Have you subtly compared your child to others and wondered if your child could be doing better? It happens easily. Maybe you run into another parent at the store and catch wind that their kid is reading several grade levels ahead. Maybe you overhear praise for a student who has just excelled at the science fair and is moving on to regional competitions. Maybe a relative has hinted that your child seems behind compared to what you accomplished as a child. Whatever the source, the question is nagging at you. Is my child behind?
Hoot Reading Blog
Creating Confident Learners
Elizabeth Hawkins Lincoln
Fun Tips From Ms. Elizabeth Hawkins Lincoln, a Hoot Reading Classroom Teacher
Kindergarten is in many ways, a “rite of passage” in North America. The number of social media posts about crying parents, smiling teachers, and our nervous kids, seem to increase annually. This year, 2020, may be no different. Depending on what your school district does, there may still be many crying parents, nervous kids, and just a few smiling teachers. (Let’s face it, distance teaching during coronavirus was NOT easy for teachers either!) We are all wondering what will actually transpire when the 2020-21 school year rolls around.
Will your Kindergartener get the teacher’s attention they need if school is operating at a distance? As a parent, will you be able to devote the time and energy to distance learning? Will your child miss out on a formative student-teacher relationship or on meeting new children and having positive developmental relationships? There are many questions swirling around the minds of parents of K-12 children, heading into this upcoming school year.
While many universities and colleges have already committed to providing only a distance-learning experience, the same does not hold true for K-12 education. This should not surprise us. The Kindergarten through fifth grade experience is uniquely designed to be more hands-on, physically accommodating, and appropriate for the ebb and flow of cognitive development. The middle and high school years are far more structured and model a transition to self-reliance. It’s also the time when adolescent social development is spinning like an all-consuming tornado, which was the number one frustration of my friends who have teens.
And yet, when the crisis came knocking, most Kindergarten through fifth grade students were provided with a very “adult” method of learning at a distance. The middle school and high school students simply received another opportunity to develop into more mature versions of themselves. My own elementary aged children began to look like mini-adults at the kitchen table, hunched over laptops. I watched knowing this wasn’t remotely close to what they would have done in the classroom.
So, yes, while most distance learning is designed for adults and could be modified for middle and high school students, we all agree that none of it was easy. We’ve all seen (or been in) the social media videos of ranting parents, the distance learning memes, or the “I’m trying!” messages from teachers.
It’s time for Part 3 in our Reading Activities series and this one is all about literacy games! If you missed them, you might want to catch up on Part 1 (about sight words) and Part 2 (about fiction and nonfiction reading activities).
We know that you’re looking for ways to keep kids learning and engaged at home right now, and we’re happy to share some ideas! Last week, we shared Part 1 in this series that was all about working on sight words and the accompanying activities to do. Click here to read Part 1 now.
If your school is unable to provide lessons for your child during social distancing, or if you want to extend the materials being sent home, here are ways to keep their reading going strong. If you haven’t already, try a free Hoot lesson too! Many parents find that having a qualified Hoot teacher removes a burden off of the parent-child relationship.
Yes, this is really happening. And yet, at least once a day I find myself in a moment of hazy denial. If I don’t look at the news, I can almost forget that a pandemic is taking place. I feel extremely fortunate that it hasn’t yet affected me personally, and I can barely imagine the depth of the fear and grief experienced by those in the midst of this long dark wait. I have family and friends all over the globe and know that each one of them is having a vastly different experience. The haze of denial doesn’t last long.
One of the best ways to engage little readers on a cold, blustery day is to work on their reading comprehension. By picking out a good book that sparks their interest, and incorporating a few questions about the content, you will start to see the wheels turning and your child think more critically about what they’re reading.