Reading, Writing, and Math: The Foundation of Basic Skills

    Posted by Sarah Rutzler on September 30, 2017
    As children first begin their journey of learning, they are introduced to many different skills that arelearn how you can enhance your childs basic reading, writing and math skills essential for learning. Reading, writing, and math are the core fundamentals of education. It is to be understood that without practicing and encouraging your children to master these skills, they will lack knowledge and fall behind in other subjects.
    What is reading?
    Reading is a process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation. Reading is important for when it comes to obtaining and consolidating knowledge (what you read.) It is a skill that needs to be exercised in order for your knowledge to increase. You would not ride a bike one time and say you are the best at riding a bike would you? Reading is essential for children because it increases their vocabulary, and helps them become a better communicator by being well-spoken and articulate. According to The Daily Leader,  “Reading comprehension separates the passive reader from one who is an active reader, interacting with the text. A person who is well-read, well-spoken and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tends to move ahead more rapidly, get promotions more often and generally succeed in their profession.” We want children to grow and become successful individuals and in order for that to happen, reading must be incorporated and practiced as much as possible. 
    Ways to help improve your children’s reading
    • Surround them with as much reading material as possible. The more accessible reading material is, the more your children will want to pick it up and read it. This can vary from books, magazines, to newspapers.
    • Spend 15 minutes a night reading to your children. Once you are finished, ask them comprehension based questions about the setting, characters, or plot. Let them think and recall what happened in the story. This will demonstrate how well their listening skills and comprehension skills are.
    • Let your children read to you. Children get excited when a parent gives them one-on-one time. Let them practice their recognition of letters and words, and their fluency. Make sure to show them enthusiasm because your reaction has a great influence on how hard they will try to become great readers.
    • Take trips to the library or bookstore. Let your children explore the heaping amounts of genres and books presented in a library or bookstore. Let them pick out a book that interests them.
    • Be knowledgeable about your child’s progress and problems. Research what your child should be able to read at a certain age group. Discover if your child(s) is struggling with pronouncing certain words and sounds. Note his/hers progress and problems and address them accordingly. You can purchase additional learning tools such as educational learning books, computer worksheets, textbooks, or even hire a tutor.
    What is writing?
    Writing is a skill that involves taking words and creating a text. As mentioned before, reading is the process of obtaining and consolidating knowledge as to where writing is the process of combining new thoughts from that knowledge and experience. Writing is used to express ones’ thoughts and share them in an insightful way. We use writing as a tool to separate and organize our thoughts. A lot of children and adults struggle with trying to get their words onto paper. Practicing writing will increase this skill and in the long-term, make an efficient and literate writer. If a person can not write well, it can affect them forever. Poor writing skills such as grammar and fluency in writing can send red flags to future employers because it shows you do not know how to express what you are saying effectively and efficiently.
    Ways to improve your children’s writing
    • Provide children with as many writing tools as possible. Make sure there are notebooks, construction paper, crayons, pencils, or pens around. Let them choose a writing tool and let them write! Encourage them to write stories about fiction or non-fiction. As long as they are writing, they are learning.
    • Have your children write letters. Letters are slowly becoming obsolete in today’s world, but they still play an important role in a children’s growth in writing. Letter’s are a different form of writing and capture a kids attention. Have your children write a letter to their friend or a relative and have them write about whatever they want. This gives them the freedom and luxury to tell a story about anything.
    • Let them keep a journal. Keeping a journal will give your children a sense of privacy with their writing. In a journal, they can express the way they feel without having to worry about it being criticised. They are free to express their thoughts on a wide variety of subjects and events. 
    • Write together. Writing together is extremely important. Children want to feel involved and engaged with their parent. You can take turns writing a short story and reading it to each other, or create a mini book. You can even have your children write up things for you such as a shopping list. The possibilities are endless!
    • Give them prompts. Assign your children a specific type of prompt. This gives them access to learning how to write different types of stories/ essays. Four major types of essays are: 
    • Narrative- tell a story to the reader
    • Descriptive- paint a picture to the reader
    • Expository- explain the facts to the reader
    • Persuasive- convince the reader
    What is arithmetic math?
    Arithmetic is the branch of mathematics that deals with the study of numbers (manipulation of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.) The basic calculations include: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Basic math is used in everyday life and is usually mastered in early elementary school. After children master math, they are introduced to more complex types of mathematics; algebra, geometry, and calculus. Without mastering math, your child will struggle trying to learn various other types of mathematics. Besides math helping a child with learning other types of mathematics, we use math when it comes to counting money, figuring out how much will be taken off the cost with a discount or coupon, balancing a checkbook, how much to tip a server when wanting to tip 18%-20%, or seeing how much of a pizza pie is left. Whatever it is, math is being used. 
    Ways to improve your children’s Math
    • Teach them to write their numbers efficiently. In order for children to learn math, they must know how to write their numbers correctly. Have them trace over numbers you give them.
    • Purchase additional learning tools. Sometimes school just is not enough. If your children are struggling, purchasing learning tools like textbooks or educational learning books can help. The web also has great learning tools. With a quick search, you can find practice worksheets or educational online games.
    • Show them how to do the problem patiently. Even though your child is starting to become frustrated, you need to make sure you are patient. If you are patient, it can bounce onto the child. Take your time explaining the problem and show them that it does not matter how long it takes to do a problem. 
    • Help them learn mathematics vocabulary. Mathematics has a lot of concepts to remember. Your children will never get a real grasp on what they are learning unless they understand it’s vocabulary. Take the time to research and really explain what a concept means to them and then have them define the new terms. If your children are having a hard time understanding, have them show you they understand by doing simple problems. 
    • Incorporate math daily. Incorporating Mental  math everyday is very important. The more practice, the better they will become. Have your children count coins for you at the grocery store, or ask them to tell you the change. Ask your children to measure the width and height of different things in your house and compare them. 

    Becky Vaughn-Furlow. "The 3 Rs – Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic." The Daily Leader, 4 Aug. 
    2017.  Web. 20 Sept. 2017.
    Shead, Mark. "Your Intelligence – Reading, Writing & Arithmetic." Productivity501. Web. 26 
    Sept. 2017.
    "Phonics: Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Child's Reading Ability." The Telegraph. Telegraph 
    Media Group, 25 Mar. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2017.

    Topics: Reading, Math, Writing Skills, Child Education, Foundational Skills, Basic Skills

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