The increased use of smartphones and tablets among elementary school-age children is a cause of concern for many parents today. Research has shown that increased screen time can be detrimental to a child's writing and reading skills. No matter what you do, your child’ will be exposed to TV and computers, which is a reality for all kids growing today. Instead of trying to protect them from the world, your best step would be to try and help them grow these important skills in spite of a growing focus on the visual medium. Here’s how you can help.
Read to them during bedtime
Instead of letting your child doze off while watching shows on their tablet, read them a bedtime story every night. Aside from the valuable bonding experience this provides, this will teach them to use their imagination. According to studies, children of parents who read them bedtime stories have a better vocabulary than those that don’t. Slowly, your child will learn to make out the words and can start reading stories by themselves.
Provide them with creative prompts
Both writing and reading are required to improve your child’s language skills. Make the learning experience fun by encouraging creative storytelling games and activities. Have them tell stories and write them down, or reverse roles have them tell you a story. Your child can get help from a step-by-step guide to third grade writing, which can provide you with many prompts and creative exercises. By practicing writing every day, your child will be able to tap into their creativity and build on their skill with the written word.
Get them interested in word games
Word games are a fun way to build your child’s vocabulary. If you can get them interested in games such as Scrabble, or Boggle their facility with words will get a significant boost. The enjoyment of tabletop games will also give them al alternative to digital sources of fun. With board and tabletop games currently enjoying a Renaissance, there isa wide range of word games you and the kids can enjoy together.
Take them to the local library
The local library is a great way to have your kids develop a love for books. The sheer number of choices and the exciting prospect of being able to decide for themselves which books to read and borrow can make the library your child's favorite place. Just remember to let them take the lead, and have them read and explore at their own pace.
Encourage them to keep a diary
Encouraging your child to keep a diary or journal will make them a better writer. They will know how to put their thoughts into words and will be more expressive. It will help them deal with and process their feelings and encourage self-reflection and awareness. It can also be a record of their thoughts and explorations, or things they learned. As with the library example, it is important that your child develops a feeling of ownership of their journal. Build up their confidence and trust by telling them that they don't have to show you what they write, they can show only if they want to.
Writing is a skill that will stay with your child all their life. It will help them with their academics, give them a creative and emotional outlet, and can even eventually put them ahead in the job market. As a parent, it's your job to get them to love reading by starting them young.