Learning Skills Evaluation

These are questions for you to think about -- and thoughts to consider.
After evaluating how your family is doing, go to Learning Skills Activities.


Starting a home library for your child shows him/her how important books are. Having books of his/her own in a special place boosts the chance that your child will want to read even more. When collecting and reading books are a part of family life, you send your child a message that books are important, enjoyable, and full of new things to learn!

Q1: Do we have books, magazines, and newspapers to read in our home?
  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

As a parent, you are your child's most important role model. If your child sees you reading, especially for pleasure or information, he or she will understand that reading is a worthwhile activity.
 

Q2: Do we read regularly and let our children see us reading?

  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Marilyn Jager Adams once wrote: "Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read." That's a powerful statement! Read with your kids every day, and watch them blossom.

For a child, hearing a story should be a reward, something special and wonderful. The emotional and physical closeness that accompanies reading a book with your child is a pleasure for both of you. Have tolerance for being asked to read that same book over and over again. Remember why she wants to hear the same book over and again: In a child’s unpredictable world, it is nice to have something like a picture book that is under control. It’s fun to know what comes next and be able to fill in the blanks.
 
Q3: Do we read out loud to our child on a daily basis?
  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Play with language by singing songs, reading children’s poetry or reciting nursery rhymes. Experts report that children who come to school having memorized 4-6 nursery rhymes are better readers by third grade. Chants you learned when you were growing up, like jump rope and counting out rhymes, are fun and help children learn new words and how words work.
 

Q4: Do we sing to our child and recite nursery rhymes with our child?

  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Math is an abstract idea for children. When they see you using the same skills they are learning in school they understand why they need to know how to add and subtract, multiply and divide. Point out to your child each time you use math during the day, such as when you cook, pay for something at the store, or measure and weigh your child, or use a calendar to talk about special events like birthdays.

Q5: Do we let our child see us using simple math skills, such as balancing a checkbook or paying bills?
  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Science is about understanding the world around you.  Don't think of complicated formulas, lab coats and text books.  Think of curious children always asking why.  Now, imagine you both finding the answers to those questions. Go to your library or check out bonus materials to find fun projects you can do with things you find around the house. When you learn with your child about nature, your classroom is just outside the door.

Q6: Do we create opportunities for our child to learn about science and nature?
  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Children learn best using their 5 senses.  Take advantage of your town's attractions and enjoy a family field trip. Family field trips are hands-on learning experiences. Thus whether you go to a local museum or participate in an organized activity, such as a guided hike  at a  park, start by considering the age and interest of the kids as well as the topics they are studying in school. A trip to an aquarium is fun for kids of all ages and a behind-the-scenes tour may spark the interest of primary school children studying marine life.

Q7: Do we visit museums, parks, libraries, or zoos together as a family?

  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family

Art is good for all children. Young people who learn about and participate in the arts learn skills that help them in decision making, problem solving, creative thinking, and teamwork. An increasing number of studies also find that arts programs motivate children to learn, assisting in improving performance in academic subjects. For some children, the arts provide the reason to stay in school until graduation.

Q8: Do we encourage our child to be creative through drawing, dancing, singing, imaginative play and other creative activities?
  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family


Asking questions about what your child learned at school allows your child to focus on the 'how' not the 'what' of learning, and makes learning easier. Asking questions encourages your child to think about the big picture and helps your child to find connections between ideas and subjects.
 

 

Q9: Do we talk to our child often about what he or she is learning in preschool, school or childcare?

  • A possible goal
  • Definitely a Goal for my Family


What's Next