Maintaining Reading, Writing and Math Skills

If your son or daughter is continuing their schooling from home then you may be wondering how to maintain their reading, writing, and math skills so they do not fall behind. If you are also working from home then this has exacerbated the problem by making it increasingly difficult to keep your child on a homeschooling schedule.

fundamental english and math skills

Make Shared Reading A Habit

Reading Rockets defines shared reading as “An interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by [an adult or older child]. The [adult or older child] explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.”

Margaret Kristin Merga advocates for a shared reading experience between parents and children. Parents who create such experiences for their children can help them experience at least one of these benefits:

  • Enriched language exposure
  • Improved listening skills, spelling, reading comprehension, and vocabulary
  • Development of fundamental literacy skills
  • Positive attitudes to reading
  • Tutors on Call has provided a list of other long-term benefits to reading

Here are some tips for creating a shared reading experience with your child:

  • Allow your child to select books he or she likes. Paperback books tend to work best because of the tactile and visual experience they create. However, ebooks are also useful.
  • Encourage them to read books that are at their level. Struggling through a book with really difficult vocabulary will only make them bored and discouraged. Ask them to read one page of the book and if there are 5 or more words on a page that they can not pronounce or do not know the meaning to then the book is too difficult.
  • Don’t be overly critical. A child will clam up and develop a disdain for the shared reading experience if you are overly critical and, therefore, make the experience unpleasant.
  • Give your child your full attention. Put away the cellphone, turn off the TV and show your child that you appreciate this quality time.
  • Ask your child questions to determine whether he or she is understanding the book.

Tutors on Call has created a list of the most popular novels. Many of them are award-winning novels that may inspire your son or daughter in their own writing and prompt critical thinking skills.

Reading List for Teenagers

Reading List for Ages 9 – 12

Reading List for Ages 6 – 8


Give Your Child Fun Creative Writing Prompts

Children often struggle with writing because it often seems boring and difficult. However, it seems less burdensome when you give your child a creative writing prompt based on his or her interests.

For instance, your child may be obsessed with Fortnite. Why not ask them to write about some of the exciting features of the game that he or she can share with his cousins and friends? Better yet, why not ask him or her to create a short story based on the Fortnite theme?


Use Cooking to Reinforce Fundamental Math Skills

Cooking is one of the best ways to bring the fundamentals of geometry and measurement to life. Let’s say that you want to bake some cookies. You could purchase this set of plain edge geometric shape cutters to teach your child how to calculate the area of plain shapes and even how to create composite shapes. Measurement will be crucial for this cookie making process.

Here’s an idea of how this basic math lesson could develop.

  1. Have your child measure out all the wet and dry ingredients; and then combine them to make the cookie dough.
  2. Ask your child to identify each cookie cutter shape as you use them to cut the cookie dough. (This step is best suited for a child at the grade 4 level.)
  3. When the cookies are done, ask your child to arrange them into a tangram such as the one shown in this video. A tangram is an example of a composite shape.
  4. Ask your child to calculate the area of the tangram that has been created. This step works best when you allow your child to figure it out, but you have to keep an eye out so that all the cookies don’t disappear into your child’s belly.


Final Thoughts

Your child shouldn’t miss out on developing fundamental math, English, and writing skills while out of school. We’ve suggested three ways that you can develop these skills right at home. However, these suggestions only scratch the surface of what’s possible. Don’t forget to check out our top-notch online tutoring services to further enhance your homeschooling efforts.

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