Building Language Arts Skills at Home - Part 1

The Six Building

Blocks of  Language Arts are the

Foundation of Your

Child’s Education

As a concerned parent, do you have a clear idea of what an English Language Arts education is? Do you know which concepts are in English Language Arts teaching? How do you know that your child is progressing with his or her English Language Arts education?   

English Language Arts plays an important role in your child’s education. In fact, it is the very foundation upon which all of your child’s other learning occurs. A quality English Language Arts education enables your child to successfully engage in all of its building blocks: reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing. It also prepares your child for applying these critical skills toward adulthood and in society. Three of the six building blocks of English Language Arts education:  reading, writing, and speaking are the subject of today’s  98thPercentile blog post.

1. Reading:  This is the process in which students use strategies to decode words and understand texts. Reading involves learning the skills of understanding and comprehending the written word. Through reading practice, students learn what each word means and how it works with others to form sentences, paragraphs, stories, and books. The elementary school level is the right time for developing these skills, and is thus a crucial time to encourage your child’s desire for reading proficiency.

What you can do: Since abundant reading material can pique your child’s curiosity about independent reading, encourage your child to read at home by providing a variety of reading material, including fiction and non-fiction books, and magazines.  The public library system is a great resource for obtaining children’s reading material, including digital books available for personal tablets. Take your child on a field trip to the local library and he or she will appreciate and enjoy all the age-appropriate reading possibilities! Choosing and taking favorite selections home to read will surely make your child an eager reader.

2. Writing: Forming letters and making words is not enough when it comes to this skill. Your child needs to know how to communicate through writing with clear cut and effective use of words. In school, students should be preparing to convey their thoughts and ideas through assignments. To a great extent, this involves an understanding of spelling and grammar rules, sentence and paragraph structure, style and voice, and other complexities of written communication. 

What you can do: Encourage your child to write about anything that interests him or her. Ideas for writing include journals, diaries, portfolios, and creative stories or poetry. Your child will soon enjoy the freedom of expressing whatever is on his or her mind as it is revealed on paper, available to appreciate, reread, and share at any time. If your child shows interest, play soft instrumental music in the background to help the creative ideas flow! You can also purchase color pencils or markers that add colorful art to your child’s written productions. At-home free writing time is sure to please even the most reluctant young writer!

3. Speaking: This is the skill that teaches your child how to use emotion, volume, tone, and facial expressions to communicate the meaning of words. This skill is often developed naturally by listening to others, but not in all cases. Elementary-aged children need to learn this skill because they are often focused only on identifying the words and not the purpose behind them while reading aloud. Students also require instruction with understanding the use of time and pacing as they learn how to orally communicate.

What you can do: Cultivate a habit of storytelling with your child. You can do this by enthusiastically modeling stories out loud that you know from memory, and then having your child retell them to you. Next, have your child come up with and share his or her stories with you (whether fiction or non-fiction). Having your child share stories out loud improves narration skills and the ability to convey thoughts through words. When your child is ready, have him or her tell stories in a group. This way, he or she will be exposed to more words, expanding vocabulary. Your child will become a confident speaker at school as well as at play!

Coming Next Time: The Listening, Viewing, and Visually Representing Building Blocks.

As a parent, you are well aware of the critical importance of a quality English Language Arts education for your child. 98thPercentile is here to help your child succeed! We deliver quality instruction for all six building blocks of English Language Arts education through our accelerated learning content-mastery program. If you are interested in partnering with us for your child’s English Language Arts educational needs, Try us for one week for FREE with no strings attached.