Children begin learning language shortly after birth. Their language skills become increasingly more complex as they grow older. They learn how to comprehend and use language to learn and to communicate effectively. The following are suggestions to enhance speech and language skills for elementary school age children.
Suggestions for early elementary grades (K-2):
*Talk with your child and encourage your child to talk with you.
*Read a variety of books with your child often. As you read, talk with your child about the story.
*Have your child retell stories and talk about events of the day.
*Talk with your child during daily, everyday activities. Give directions for your child to follow, ie, making cookies, playing a game.
*Talk about how things are alike and how things are different.
*Give children reasons and opportunities to write, ie, keep a journal about special things or places that are memorable for your family.
In later elementary grades (3-5)
*Continue to encourage reading, using reading material that is interesting to your child.
*Help your child understand and solve problems encountered in reading materials.
*Help your child make connections between what is read and heard at school, at home and in other daily activities.
*Encourage active listening, ie, forming opinions about what has been heard or read, relating what is read to real life experiences.
*Help your child recognize spelling patterns, such as beginnings and endings of words, ie, "pre" and "ing".
*Encourage personal writing, ie, letters, daily dairy, creative stories.