Many parents are expressing concerns about their children’s education and schools are adjusting to a new normal after the pandemic. There is no question that classrooms have made a shift over the past few years and look different. There is also a knowledge gap that may or may not be closed, depending on where you live. This leaves parents asking, “What do I need to do for my child to expand their learning?”
Often, the first things that we think of are reading, writing, and math. It is true that these are the backbone of our educational system. As a parent, to help your children, you absolutely must support and assist your children with those three. Yet there are other times you can impact their processing of information.
An area that can easily be skipped over is developing the ability to understand and apply information. This is often assumed to happen in reading and writing. The struggle many children have is while they are focusing on reading or writing, comprehension waits. If this hidden skill isn’t developed, we hear they need to work on their comprehension. When they are working very hard to remember their reading or writing skills and they haven’t fully developed their memory skills, they become overwhelmed. Hence, it appears they are not comprehending what they are reading when really they have not fully developed the ability to take in information and apply information from their environment. This is an auditory/verbal skill that needs to be developed before learning to read and write. It is even more difficult for those whose fluency is less than average. The brain is preoccupied heavily with basic decoding skills.
Comprehension can be developed through conversations and discussions with your children. Asking them questions like, “What do you think?” allows them to develop their information processing. Asking them to tell you what they learned today helps them develop their ability to remember things. We must develop our memory recall ability and not simply assume it will happen.
After watching a show with your children, take the time to talk about it. Ask them questions like, "What did you like? Could that happen?" This allows them to begin to analyze what is happening around them. Once they accomplish this, they can better apply it to their reading and writing, especially as they continue to develop as a fluent reader.
So take time and engage your kids in discussions about what is happening around them, and keep them practicing reading, writing and talking.
Scott Smith is a Umatilla County educator with 40-plus years of experience. He taught at McNary Heights Elementary School and then for Eastern Oregon University in their teacher education program at Blue Mountain Community College. He serves on the Decoding Dyslexia-OR board as its parent/teacher liaison.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.