Building Language Arts Skills at Home - Part 2

The Six Building

Blocks of  Language Arts are the

Foundation of Your

Child’s Education

In today’s post, we will continue our look at the building blocks that build a quality Language Arts foundation: listening, viewing, and visually representing.

4. Listening: This, of course, is a skill that we begin developing as a newborn. The first thing we learn is to listen for clues from the world around us. It is the first language skill that we develop before speaking, writing, or gesturing. Listening plays a vital role in your child’s learning, and enables him or her to process what is heard for deeper meaning and purpose. So considerable attention should be provided for developing this skill during the elementary school years.

What you can do: Engage your child in conversations about the news stories you watch on television. This will not only improve your child’s listening skills, but will help to make him or her a well-informed and intelligent consumer of information. Additionally, discussing what is happening in the news can improve your child’s intellectual relationships with both children and adults.  Your child’s teachers will be impressed!

5. Viewing: This is the English Language Arts skill that involves observation and interpretation of visual media. Every child must learn to critically observe the images around him or her, process the content of the images, and comprehend their meanings. When your child sees an image, he or she should be able to understand the purpose of it. Teaching students about this skill at an elementary age can lay a firm foundation for the critical thinking skills they will need ahead.

What you can do: Ask your child to look for advertisements around him or her, whether they are in magazines, on television, or along highways and streets. Ask questions like, “What is the purpose of that ad?” and “ What is the meaningof that ad?” As your child develops this important viewing skill, he or she will begin to think more critically about the visual media that is presented in the world and discern its value. As a bonus, your child will become a savvy customer, too!


6. Visually Representing: Your child has to be properly guided to represent his or her ideas visually. This involves organizing thoughts or events in such a manner that another person can observe and understand the content accurately. The complexity of the medium used for this does not matter, but it should make sense to the viewer.

What you can do: Ask your child to give a small presentation at home where others visually interpret a piece of his or her work.  These presentations can be such items as book reports, posters, and artwork, all of which convey specific messages and meanings. Let your child do this as an activity with a group of friends where each child observes, understands, and discusses the content of the others’ presentations. Having the presenters dress up as “subject matter experts” on their projects can make this activity especially fun!

One last thing: A commitment to helping your child improve his or her English Language Arts skills is just the first step in supporting your child’s academic success.  As you proceed, emphasize the significance of each skill one by one, and repeat concepts as needed. Remember how writing letters leads to forming words, and then forming sentences, and then to forming a story?  In the same manner, each English Language Arts skill develops another of your child’s abilities. Be patient while implementing the recommended measures here over time, and seek support from educators or other parents whenever needed. 

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.