Homework - Literacy
What's the single most important thing you can do with your child?
There is sometimes a misconception that there is absolutely no homework in a Montessori school. We may not set homework in the sense of worksheets but we do believe that learning continues at home. So what should you be doing in the area of literacy?
There is one thing you can do for your child that will benefit them beyond all else. It requires nothing more than a bit of your time every day. Just 15 minutes a day will make a difference. If you do this one thing, it will have greater results than any worksheet could ever offer.
The answer is reading aloud to your child. Like brushing teeth, it should be a daily practice. We cannot emphasis enough the importance of reading aloud to your child . It’s a simple as that.
- Start right from the cradle! And don’t stop. Continue as long as you can.
- Continue reading aloud even after your children learn to read. Young readers will enjoy listening to many books that they can't yet master on their own, and many teenagers like to hear old favorites.
- A child's reading level doesn't catch up to his listening comprehension level until about 13. You can and should be reading books that are slightly more sophisticated than their reading level. You can use the opportunity to read unfamiliar words and explain in your own words anything they don't understand. They'll get excited with you about the plot and this will be a motivation to keep reading.
- Set aside a special time every day to read aloud to your children. Before school, naptime, or at bedtime are some obvious choices, but do whatever works best for you.
- The benefit differs from your child reading to you. Reading aloud to children is vital because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need in life.
Knowledge of printed letters and words, and the relationship between sound and print.
The meaning of words. Expanding vocabulary.
How books work, and a variety of writing styles.
The world in which they live.
Books are an obvious choice, but read anything. The newspaper, magazines, anything to experience and enjoy the pleasure of reading.
Follow on with drawing, artwork, visits to the library etc to further satisfy their interest and curiosity in a book/subject or author.
Finally, you will experience the joy and intimacy created between you and your child when you read together.