Home is an important site where young children grow – a truism especially relevant now until classes resume. The importance of a high-quality early home-learning environment for a child’s educational and life outcomes has been highlighted by a report published for the Department for Education of the UK before. It suggested that the physical home itself and interaction in the home both matter, and parents should understand they have the power to improve them.
Specifically, it is crucial for parents to support their children to achieve their milestones of early language and communication development. Following are some extracts of suggested actions for parents of children from age 2 to 5 identified by the National Literacy Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists:
- Tap out the beat to songs and rhymes.
- When playing with your child, give a running commentary on what they are doing, using action words, describing words, position words and feelings as well as object words.
- Engage in conversations about feelings and important memories.
- Encourage the child to talk about the future and anticipate events
- Tell your child about your day. Ask your child questions about what happened in their day, helping them to use memory and to talk about things that happened in the past.
- Play make-believe games together or games which use opposites such as on or off, big or little.
- Reverse roles when you are playing together so your child gives you instructions.
- Play rhyming games.
- Use new words in the context of play and activities.
- Ask decontextualized questions about past and future activities, “What did you do at the park last week?”, “What will you do on your field trip next week?” Tell your child about things you did in the past and will do in the future.
- Ask your child if they can give possible solutions to problems, e.g. their favourite hat is missing
Let’s make some quality time with your children in these unusual days!
Source (Open Access): Department of Education (2018). Improving the home learning Environment: A behaviour change approach. London, UK: Department of Education. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-the-home-learning-environment