After having taught primary grades the English language for about 5 years, I have now taken a huge leap from there, to teaching grades 9 through 11. It has been an interesting couple of months to say the least.
Right of the bat, I saw some consistencies in the weak areas the children were facing, especially when it came to essay writing. While the initial weeks were more of a learning experience for me, I had the opportunity to critically evaluate the general writing quality of the children across each stage.
I came to a couple of very important conclusions, and tackling these will take center-fold precedence when the new term starts. In my lap right now, are a bunch of writing papers that I need to grade and it has been a painful process… I’ll tell you why in a bit.
I wanted to share my insights with you as parents will always be an important part of their children’s education, alternatively, your teen can read this post and see where that takes him or her.
Let’s switch those adverbs the other way around shall we? Or not.
A while back I spoke about how parents are actually demotivating their kids on reading. Check that post here. This is the follow up of that article, how to actually encourage your child to read of his/her own free will.
So besides the usual lessons learnt from what I spoke about before i.e showing that you are an avid reader yourself, providing a comfy space, giving choice etc., there are other more interactive things you can do as well. Whereas the previous article showed how to improve the reading experience, this article will give tips on how to bring reading into your child’s practical life… the child won’t even know he’s doing it.
My usual focus has been to build writing skills in younger primary school children, but teens need this even more so, primarily because it helps with better grades, effective correspondence/communication and later to write college applications. A good essay can make or break your child’s potential career.
Read on for tips and guidelines on how to motivate and build up your teen’s writing potential
At PTMs, parents constantly ask how they can inculcate the habit of reading in their kids. They complain that even though there are a ton of books at home, kids simply don’t bother with them.
Thinking back on my own experience with books growing up, and then the experience of my own kids on the relationship they had with books, I realized there is a lot parents themselves are doing to put kids off from reading. Continue reading →
Most kids, I’m sure you would agree, will search high and low to escape writing a paragraph or essay or story. It’s quite a chore, a loathed and detested piece of written work any kid would not wish upon his oppressor/bully at school. I used get boos and awws as well. So I asked myself, I can either instill the love or at least the willingness in my students to attempt to write. For that I needed to know what it was that instigated such negativity within them. I’m no psychologist, but if careful observation and gut feelings count, I came to the following conclusions:
Why in the world not? The problem is that teaching parts of speech at school has become so mundane, as have other subject matters, unless you have the good luck of landing a pro-active teacher who goes out of the way to actually engross the attention and yearning of the kids through imagination and activities. But that is sadly not something that happens very often.
I had the pleasure of teaching this very topic to a bunch of kids I’m tutoring in creative writing. The challenge was to keep them from giving out bored sighs as I wrote ‘Verbs’ on the board. What followed was surprisingly fun to watch. I felt the need to share with parents out there who can just as easily do this activity at home as well, with kids from first grade all the way upt o 5th or even 6th.
In a previous post I explained how to help your kids to make sentences more longer and more interesting. You can check that out here. This time, you can guide your child to make more conceptually sound and opinionated sentences. Using words to contrast or compare can make for great opening sentences for paragraphs. They can also make ideas more clearer. They can be used for effectiveness in creative writing exercises. The basic concept is that it binds together two phrases in a way that either compares or contrasts. Connectives are also commonly know and conjunctions. So what are these words and how can your kids make proper use out of them? Read on.