6 Ways to Practice Reading and Writing at Home


As we are all navigating how to homeschool our own children at home thanks to CoVid-19, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to practice essential K-1 literacy skills at home--with no technology needed!

Even after this pandemic is over, these are great activities and routines to keep in mind for the summer time or any time you are at home with your littles to reinforce what they are learning at school.  I've already blogged about my math suggestions, so let's talk about reading and writing today!

Handwriting

WHO? kinder and 1st graders or any kiddos with illegible handwriting :)

WHAT? A pencil and handwriting pages or paper

HOW?  Write a sentence in marker on handwriting paper and have your child trace it with pencil and then write it underneath.  If you want to make it even more fun, let them You can find ready made handwriting pages here.  If your child is in PreK or Kinder or really struggles with handwriting, you can get the phrases I say with kids as we write letters for free here.  This really helps their letter formation.

WHY?  Handwriting is great fine motor practice.  Also, research shows that practicing letter formation helps kids become better readers.  The act of handwriting while learning letters increases letter naming fluency, which is an indicator for reading success.

You can get more ideas for handwriting and letter formation practice here.

Sight Word Practice

WHO? Any kids who are reading or beginning to read words in a book

WHAT? sight word cards (make your own on index cards or use these premade ones), play doh, yarn, or other around the house items

HOW?  There are a ton of sight word games and practice options out there.  I've blogged about my favorite at home sight word games here including the fly swatting game, and this independent activity.

If you're looking for even more independent practice for your first or second graders, you can find tons of sight word printables here.

WHY?  While sight words should not be the only thing you use for reading practice--not even most of your reading time, it is important for kids to quickly read some words that we see a lot in books!  Having several high frequency words that kids don't have to sound out leads to reading fluency.

One Sentence Journaling

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? a notebook or download this free journaling paper here, pencil and crayons

(This is the cover we are using during the CoVid-19 Quarantine, but there are other generic cover options if you want to use this during the summer.)

HOW?  At the end of each day, write one sentence that tells about your day.  It can be a sentence about something you did, how you are feeling, or what you think about this whole quarantine situation!  Illustrate your sentence too.  Only ONE sentence.  That's the fun part (and makes it easier to get kids to do).  Just pick one important thing to remember and write and short and sweet, one sentence memory about it!

WHY?  I have been doing my own one sentence journaling for over a year now and absolutely love it!  It's a great way to look back and see what has happened over the last year and a half or so.  Quarantining to protect our community from CoVid-19 is an unusual time in our history.  Years from now, it will be special to look back and see what we were thinking about and doing during this time!

Letting kids write about what they want to write about (journaling) is great, authentic writing.  It gives them practice with sentence mechanics like capitals, spacing, punctuation and spelling.  And it's way more motivational to write about something you choose than something mom tells you to write about! :)

Pen Pals

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? pencil, paper, envelopes and stamps

HOW?  Find a friend or family member (or several) that will write to you!  Just like we did years ago, write a letter to a friend and write a letter back to someone who writes to you.  Tell them anything you'd like!  My sister-in-law had this idea and started a Facebook group for those interested to exchange addresses.

WHY?  Once again, letting kids write about what they want to write about is great, authentic writing.  It gives them practice with sentence mechanics like capitals, spacing, punctuation and spelling.  And it's super fun to write to friends and family members and get out and check the mailbox everyday while we are all practicing social distancing.
Mail, Newsletter, Home, Mailbox, Hiring

Digital Phonics

WHO? Kinders, 1st graders, and 2nd graders

WHAT? A week of digital phonics lessons.  Just click on the grade level below to get a free lesson.  Want a whole week for free?  Sign up for my email newsletter and choose the grade you need to get any entire week of phonics lessons for free.
 Kindergarten Digital Phonics Curriculum, Letter ID FREEBIE   Phonics Interactive Powerpoint: FREEBIE   2nd Grade Phonics Digital Curriculum FREEBIE

HOW?  These lessons require powerpoint and a computer.  They are intended for a teacher or parent to guide the kid(s) through them.  There are notes at the bottom of each slide that tell you exactly what to do.  It's as simple as click and learn.  No prep needed!

WHY?  Phonics or decoding skills are essential for young readers.  Primary teachers are highly trained for teaching these skills, but it can be scary for parents to understand the skills, much less teach them.  But if our schools are closed for any length of time, we must be able to continue phonics instruction for our children so they don't have decoding "gaps" in their reading when they return to school.

Decodable Readers

WHO? Kinders & 1st graders

WHAT? decodable readers... these are books where at least 90% of the words can be sounded out based on the phonics sounds your child knows.  You can use any books you may already have as long as they fit that criteria.  You can find a free set of decodables here to get you started!
       
HOW?  Just print the free decodables I linked above or grab your own decodables and have your child read to you.  Can't sit and listen to them read right now?  Have them record themselves reading and then they can play it later for you or an older sibling to listen to.  I have blogged about specific routines and ways to use decodables to help your kiddos.  Read the post here.

WHY?  AGAIN....decoding skills are essential for young readers.  Primary teachers are highly trained for teaching these skills, but it can be scary for parents to understand the skills, much less teach them.  But if our schools are closed for any length of time, we must be able to continue phonics instruction for our children so they don't have decoding "gaps" in their reading when they return to school.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS?  If your child gets to a tricky word that he/she can't decode, try saying... "Say the sounds" or "Blend the sounds" or "Get your mouth ready for the first sound and read all the way through the word."  If it is still super tricky, cover up all but the first sound and ask, "What does this sound say?" and then continue to reveal the next sound until they have decoded the whole word.

More Free Resources

Looking for more free printables and resources to help your K-2 kids with reading and writing with little to no prep?  Check out these FREE resources by clicking on each picture to download them.
Seusstastic Rhyme Time Matchup FREEBIE  Poetry Folder FREEBIE  Sight Word Morning Work FREEBIE
Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions FREEBIE  Homeschool Preschool Reading FREEBIE  Halloween Grammar Worksheets: FREEBIE
Language Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten  Phonics Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten  Writing Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten
Pocket Chart Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten

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