Earth Day is meant to show support for the many environmental concerns and initiatives to keep our Earth clean and healthy. Here are some ways to teach your child about Earth Day:
By Julie Diamond
Words are empowering. Expanding your child’s vocabulary can help them express themselves more clearly, build better relationships and make sense of the world. How do we as parents help our children expand their vocabulary?
Read Together: Set aside 20 minutes a day to read with your child. Reading introduces your child to new words and the context of how the word can be used. Read aloud to your child even when they can read independently. This way you can build their vocabulary by choosing books that might be too difficult for them to read themselves. Also, make sure to read a wide range of books including: non-fiction, fiction, graphic novels, and newspapers so they are exposed to a variety of different words.
Label Objects Around the House: When your child is a beginner reader, label objects in your home to help them read new words. Try using adjectives as they develop their vocabulary by labelling it as ‘glass table.’
Don’t Use Baby Talk: Try not to oversimplify the way you speak to your child. While your child may not be using an extensive vocabulary yet, they are sponges and soak in their surroundings. A child understands much more than they articulate. Many need to hear a word several times before they really understand it.
Create a Word Wall: A word wall helps new words sink in. Write each new word on a sticky note and put it on a wall in their room. Use this in tandem with a Word of the Day to encourage them to try to use the word in their speaking or writing.
Positive Reinforcement: Encouraging your child gets them excited to learn. Making a big deal of new words that your child uses will get them excited.
How do you help your child with their vocabulary at home? Share your experiences below.
By Jenna Srigley
Social interactions with others are an important part of growing up. It’s a big part of the school day. Schools teach children many social skills such as: how to share, show empathy, be polite, cooperate and communicate together. As we grow up, we as humans crave social relationships with others. We need that social aspect throughout the different stages of our lives as we grow. These past few weeks have been a grieving process. We miss our social interactions as adults and so do our children.
I noticed a shift in my kids’ behavior after just a few days of not getting together with their friends. They were very upset, frustrated and didn’t really understand why they couldn’t see their friends. We had a long discussion as a family where we explained the current public health situation and the reasons why they need to stay at home. My husband and I listened to their concerns too. We realized how important it was for their mental well beings that we focus on maintaining their social relationships just as much as their academics. As a result, we made some adjustments to our daily schedules and house rules. We have extended the time allowed for gaming, phone calls and texting in the evenings. We have still designated the mornings for academics and the early afternoons for exercise but after that we’ve been pretty flexible with how they spend their evenings with their friends virtually.
Since being more lenient with these rules, our kids seem to be having a bit of an easier time dealing with this stressful situation. Though every family is different so the changes we made to our routines might not be best for yours. My kids are a bit older so they were able to express their concerns and needs to us and these were the changes we decided on together. How are you maintaining your child’s social relationships while staying at home? Share with us in the comments.
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.
Julie Diamond speaking at the OISE conference for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers at the University of Toronto.
Jenna Srigley is the administrative assistant/social media co-ordinator at Teachers to Go and offers invaluable insight as a mom of 2 teens.
Fun Fact: Her and Julie (see above) are also sisters :)