Supporting your kids in school

This series of articles provides tips that parents can use to help their children in school. Here's the background as to why I wrote the articles:

A few years ago, I was telling some friends that I had diagnosed a minor reading problem that my daughter was experiencing (she didn't know how to apply the hard and soft c and g rule). With sadness in her eyes, one friend said, "I wish I could help my kids. But I'm not a teacher; I don't know what to do."

It's no secret that public and independent schools are screaming for experienced, certified teachers. Just check out the major dailies. The situation is alarming, and forecasts predict that it will get worse. So I'm writing these articles for parents who want to:

  • Do something—but don't know what to do
  • Help their bilingual kids improve their study skills and in particular, their reading skills
  • Ensure that gaps are filled when their kids are constantly exposed to a series of different substitute teachers (particularly if the subs are not certified in the subjects they are "teaching")
  • Complement and support the efforts of all those wonderful, competent teachers who work very hard to do a good job, but can't help every child as much as they'd like to because:
  • • Classes are too large.
    • The range of abilities in the classroom is too diverse.
    • They must substitute teach (work with two groups when a colleague is absent).
    • Resources are limited (no money for instructional materials, teachers' aides, or special education teachers).
    • They lack training or experience in dealing with an extensive range of abilities and problems such as learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Asperger syndrome, and autism.

Auditory discrimination—hearing differences between sounds

by Judy Petersen

This article provides tips on how you can work with your children when they have trouble hearing differences between sounds.

Discussion

The schools I've come in contact with in the US and Sweden use phonics as a means to teach children how to decode ("sound out") words. And phonics is a wonderful tool! But what happens when a child's hearing isn't developed enough to hear the differences between sounds, such as b and p? Or when a child has a learning disability? Not much if teachers are overburdened and resources for "extra help" or special education programs are limited. Or, if the problem isn't judged "serious enough" to warrant extra training in auditory discrimination.

Children develop at different paces. Some are walking or talking early. Others take more time. This also applies to hearing very fine distinctions between these sounds:

Type of sound Sounds that are made ...
Nasals Through the nose: m n ing
Plosives By stopping the air and then releasing it all at once: p b t d k g
Fricatives By blowing air through the vocal tract: f v th s z sh zh h
Affricates By stopping air that had started with blowing: ch j
Liquids As they glide off your tongue: l r
Semi-vowels Like vowels (have similar characteristics): w y

I emphasize sound here, because saying and hearing the sound of a letter is not the same as saying and hearing the name of a letter. Hearing the sounds of individual letters can be more difficult.

For example, early on, we figured out that our son was an auditory learner. At age 3, he listened to a 90-minute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cassette—3 times a day (drove us nuts but his English soared after that). At age 8, he received Lord of the Rings for Christmas (he listened to 13 cassettes in 2 days).

And he remembers what he hears: he can tell you why Huck Finn felt guilty because he was hiding Jim and the names of the men who King Nebuchadnezzar threw into the fiery furnace.

But he's not very developed (according to my standards) when it comes to hearing individual sounds in words—to decode or spell them correctly.

Part of his problem has to do with his priorities. The other part has to do auditory discrimination training, which he should have had more of in grades 1-3. (I foolishly didn't see the problem because his listening comprehension skills are so excellent.)

Recommendations

Ensure that your child's hearing and vision have been checked and that she is free from infections that could interfere with her ability to discriminate between sounds.

I had 10 boys and 1 girl in my first grade group when I taught Title I reading. The little girl always had a big glob of green snot hanging from her nose. After medical treatments, her reading problems gradually disappeared. Repeated infections interfered with her ability to discriminate between sounds!

If you suspect that your child has problems discriminating between sounds, get him tested by a certified learning disabilities or reading specialist. If that's not easy, then here's what I'd do after he finishes first grade:

  1. Write the letters and letter combinations on separate cards.
  2. Create a "score card" table on a separate piece of paper to record the test results. Write the letters and combinations down the first column. At the top of column 2, write Correct. At the top of column 3, write Incorrect.
  3. Select 3 types of sounds per testing session (for example, nasals, plosives, and liquids).
  4. Group the cards according to sound type on a table in front of your child (for example, place all plosives in one row).
  5. Stand behind him.
  6. Pronounce a sound and ask him to select the card that has the sound written on it. Mark on the score card if his selection is correct or incorrect.
  7. When you finish, move about 4-5 meters away and repeat step 6. Do not say the sounds in the same order that you used the first time.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 on another day, using a different set of sound types (for example, fricatives, affricates, semi-vowels). But note that if your child does not read English very well, you should leave out th z sh zh ch j until your child finishes 4th grade.

The testing sessions should take no more than 10 minutes and should give you an idea of the sounds that your child needs practice with.

If you or your child become frustrated, stop! The following activities should be helpful and fun for both of you.

Suggested activities

When performing these activities, work only with sounds that your child had trouble with when you tested him. Try not to exceed 10 minutes for each session.

Drills

1. Sit face-to-face with your child. Ask her to watch your lips and listen carefully as you say a sound. Then ask her to repeat the sound. Repeat 3-5 times in one session.

2. Write the nasals, plosives, liquids, and fricatives that occur in Swedish on a piece of paper. Point to each sound, say it, and then ask your child to say it. Repeat 3-5 times.

Tongue twisters

Teach your child tongue twisters and ask him to repeat them, for example:

  • Plosives: Björn bares brown bears on his back. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • Fricatives: She sells sea shells by the seashore. Fran found four fat frogs.
  • Semi-vowels: Yolanda uses yellow yarn. You saw yards of yellow yarn at the yard sale. Which witch is which? Would Wheeler woo Wanda if Woody snoozed woozily?

Encourage your child to create her own tongue twisters.

Flash cards

Create flash cards based on your child's needs and then:

  1. Select between 5 to 7 words.
  2. Say a word, and ask him pronounce each sound separately in the word.
  3. Ask him to say the entire word.
  4. Repeat items 2 and 3 at least 3 times.

 

Visual discrimination—working with reversals

by Judy Petersen

Some parents become alarmed when their kids reverse letters such as b, d, g, p, and q (and numbers such as 2 and 5). So this article provides tips on how you can help your children cope with this problem.

Discussion

In the 1970s, I taught Title I reading for grades 1-8. Most students in grades 1-3 were boys; many reversed letters and numbers. After 3rd grade, the number of boys and girls in each grade gradually evened out, and reversal problems became fewer and fewer. By 8th grade, the sex ratio was 50/50, and no one reversed letters or numbers.

My conclusions? Boys may be more prone to reversal problems, but regardless of sex, kids outgrow the problem. My son reversed letters and numbers until age 8. Sometimes my daughter (age 11) still reverses letters and numbers.

I had their eyes tested and gave them a little test to determine if they were dyslexic. No problems there. So now I'm doing the following activities with my daughter to help her read and write the correct letters:

Recommendations

If you or your child become frustrated, stop! These activities should be helpful and fun for both of you. Each session should last no more than 10 minutes

.

Suggested activities

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Teach your child this exercise, which she can use as tool for remembering the shapes of the letters:

  1. Print the letters b, d, p, and q on a piece of paper. Say the names of the letters and then the sounds of the letters, ask her to repeat them, and then trace them with her index finger.
  2. Sit down and ask your child to stand behind you so that she can look over your shoulder.
  3. Position your hands about 10 inches away from your chest.
  4. Make 2 fists but keep your thumbs sticking out.
  5. Keep the fists and turn your arms so that your fingernails face your chest and your thumbs are pointing upward (thumbs up sign).
  6. Look at your left hand. Do you see how your thumb forms the stem of the letter b? And how your left fist forms the bulge of the letter b?
  7. Say "b", and ensure that your child understands that the fist bulges out to symbolize the letter b. (You might point to the letter b that you wrote on the paper.)
  8. Look at your right hand. Do you see how your thumb forms the stem of the letter d? And how your right fist forms the bulge of the letter d?
  9. Say "d" and ensure that your child understands that the right fist bulges out into the letter d.
  10. Keep the fists and turn your arms so that your knuckles face your chest and your thumbs are pointing downward (thumbs down sign).
  11. Look at your left hand. Do you see how your left thumb forms the stem of the letter p? And how your left fist forms the bulge of the letter p?
  12. Say "p", and ensure that your child understands that the fist bulges out to symbolize the letter p. (You might point to the letter p that you wrote on the paper.)
  13. Look at your right hand. Do you see how your thumb forms the stem of the letter q? And how your right fist forms the bulge of the letter q?
  14. Say "q" and ensure that your child understands that the right fist bulges out into the letter q.
  15. Have your child repeat steps 3-14 at least 5 times. Ensure that the letters are always said in the correct (alphabetical sequence): "b, d, p, q".

Try to do this exercise mornings and evenings for about a month.

Flash cards

Create flash cards with the words that have the letters b, d, g, p and q in them. Use the English or Swedish words listed under the following "B, d, and g words" and "P and q words" headings.

  1. Select between 7 to 9 words.
  2. Say a word, and then ask him to say it.
  3. epeat items 1 and 2 at least 3 times.
  4. Ask him to write each word.
For visual learners

If your child is a visual learner, then provide visual cues. For example, I noticed that my daughter usually has problems with letters at the ends of words. So I put the letter b in blue, d in red, g in green. All other letters are black: bid, bib, big, etc.

Work with the flash cards 2 or 3 times a week until she can say the words correctly—without hesitation.

For tactile learners

If the sense of touch helps your child learn, then:

  • Fill a box about the size and depth of a kitty litter box with sand. Write the letter b in the sand with your finger, say the letter for your child. Then "erase" it, and ask your child to say it while writing it with his finger. Repeat for the letters d, g, p, and q.
  • Cut out sandpaper letters, say each letter, and ask him to trace each letter with his index finger.
  • Play a guessing game: ask her to use her body (arms, legs, etc.) to create the problematic letters, and you guess the letter she is trying to make.

Repeat these tactile exercises at least 3 times in one sitting. Try to do them at least once a day until you can see that the problem is becoming less serious.

Dictation

Pick out 7 to 9 b, d, p, and q word (see the following words lists). Point to each word and say it. Ask your child to say it. Then ask him to write it. Tell him that you're going to dictate the words and he's going to write them without looking.

Give him about 5 minutes to study the words. Then dictate all the words. When you've finished with dictation, ask him to correct his mistakes and write each incorrect word at least 3 times.

Continue this activity each day until all the words you selected are written correctly. Start the next week with a new list of 10 words.

B, d, and g words

Today, your child might read the words in the following lists correctly—only to read and write them incorrectly tomorrow. So don't assume that everything is OK. Be persistent.

Here, I extracted words with b, d, and g in them from a basic sight word list:

about before could get old
back big did go said
be but do had  
been by down made  

Here are more challenging words with b, d, and g:

baby beg bud daddy gab
bad bib dab dibs gob
bed bid dad dub kid

Swedish b, d, and g words

bad bibel bud gadd gift
bag blod dag gädda god
be bo dagbok gång göda
bedja bock dopp gel grepp
bi bog dropp gem grupp

P and q words

Here are some p and q words. But don't stop here. As your child gets older, find harder words!

cap nap put sap
cup nip quack sip
dip pad quad tap
gap peg quake tip
hip pet quart top
hop pig queen whip
lap pit quest zap
lip pop quick zip
map pot quid  
mop pup rip  

Swedish p words

avhopp påbud avlopp padda begrepp päls
belopp papp flopp papper galopp pedal
hopp piga kopp pigg lopp pöl
mopp propp napp pub    

 

Making the transition

by Judy Petersen

This article provides tips on how you can work with your kids to help them make the transition from pronouncing Swedish letters to pronouncing English letters when they:

  • Sound out words as they're reading English
  • Spell English words

Discussion

Throughout the years, my kids have asked: "Mom, how do you spell (pick an English word)?" Because I only speak English to them, I spell in English. The results that landed on paper varied with their ages (for example: came = cemi, gone = gåni, or what = whet).

I didn't push the issue, because I have problems spelling out English words using Swedish pronunciations of the letters (although I'm an excellent speller in English).

Now my son is 14 and can handle both languages very well. My daughter, age 11, still has a way to go. But she's getting there! Here's what I think helped them:

  • My daughter is very musical. When she had trouble sounding out or spelling English words, I sang the alphabet song to her (a-b-c-d-e-f-g, etc. ...), and I played tapes that teach phonics. She's also very visually oriented, so I pointed to the letters as I sang them.
  • Most of my son's computer games are in English. In some games, he must type a word correctly to get to the next level. Because he asked me for help and I only spelled in English, he was forced to make the transition from Swedish to English so that he could move on in the game. Correct spelling also became important to him when he played games on the Web with kids from other countries—he didn't want to look stupid.
  • We bought a typing program so that the kids could learn to touch type at home. When they first started practicing, I said the letters aloud in English.

Recommendations

Do not attempt to teach long and short (English) vowel sounds at the same time that your child is starting to learn to read in Swedish. I can't recommend an optimal time to start practicing English vowel sounds, because all children are different.

If your child becomes frustrated or confused while working with the suggested activities, then wait awhile. You might try again after you've returned from a trip to an English-speaking country.

Do not work with long and short vowel sounds at the same time. Concentrate on short vowel sounds first (for about 21 days). Then tackle the long vowel sounds.

If you or your child become frustrated, stop! These activities should be helpful and fun for both of you.

Suggested activities

These activities should take about 5-10 minutes a day. My kids and I have done some of them in the car, at breakfast and dinner, and when they've encountered problems with their homework.

Don't think I'm a saint. I did these activities with them only after I discovered that they had the same problem I still have!

The alphabet song

Teach your child the alphabet song and point to the letters at the same time. Ensure that she associates each sound with each letter.

Drill—short vowel sounds

Teach your child the short vowel sounds:

  1. Point to a vowel and say the short vowel sound.
  2. Ask him to repeat it.
  3. Point to the next vowel and continue as above until you're gone through a, e, i, o, u, and y. (Short y is rare, but it will occur at some point in your child's education: physics, physical, or physiology.)

Repeat this exercise at least 3 times.

Flash cards—short vowel sounds

Create flash cards with the words under "Short vowels".

  1. Select between 7 to 9 words.
  2. Say a word, then ask your child to say it.
  3. Repeat item 2 at least 3 times.
  4. Ask her to write each word.
Drill—long vowel sounds

Teach your child the long vowel sounds.

  1. Point to a vowel and say the long vowel sound.
  2. Ask him to repeat it.
  3. Point to the next vowel and continue as above until you're gone through a, e, i, o, u, and y.

Repeat this exercise at least 3 times. Remind him that the long vowels sounds are in the alphabet song.

Flash cards—long vowel sounds

Create flash cards with the words under "Long vowels".

  1. Select between 7 to 9 words.
  2. Say a word, then ask your child to say it.
  3. Repeat item 2 at least 3 times.
  4. Ask her to write each word.
Dictation

Pick out 7 to 9 words with short vowel sounds. Point to each word and say it. Ask your child to say it. Then ask him to write it. Tell him that you're going to dictate the words and he's going to write them without looking. Give him about 5 minutes to study the words. Then dictate all the words.

When you've finished with dictation, ask him to correct his mistakes and write each incorrect word at least 3 times. Continue this activity each day until all the words you selected are written correctly. Start the next week with a new list of 10 words.

Read aloud

Read the Dr. Seuss books listed under "Additional training" to your child. (The Cat in the Hat was a favorite at our house.) When your child starts reading English comfortably, ask her to read them to you!

Short vowels

Here, I extracted words with short vowel sounds from a basic sight word list:

all and as at back big but
can cat did get had has have
him his if in is it just
little more much must not on out
that them then this up want was
well went what when which will with

You can also choose simple words with short vowel sounds that are related to concrete concepts such as colors (red, yellow, silver), numbers (six, seven), or food (lettuce, bun, butter, jam, bread).

When both a long and short vowel occur in the word, point this out. Or work with rhyming words (bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, vat).

Long vowels

Some of these words came from a basic sight word list:

bay be bite boat by came
clue cone cry cute feel fine
fry game glue go he home
like made make me mile my
no old right see she shy

You can also choose simple words with long vowel sounds that are related to concrete concepts such as colors (white, blue, green), numbers (three, five, nine), or food (cake, pie, pea, bean, cheese, meat, beet, Coke®).

Or work with rhyming words (bee, see, free, knee). When both a long and short vowel occur in the word, point this out.

Additional training

I highly recommend using Dr. Seuss books for practice with short vowel sounds, for example:

  • ABC (ISBN 0-394-80030-3)
  • Cat in the Hat (ISBN 0-394-80001-X)
  • Green Eggs and Ham (ISBN 0-394-80016-8)
  • Fox in Socks (ISBN 0-394-80038-9)
  • One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish (ISBN 0-394-80013-3)
  • I Can Read with My Eyes Shut (ISBN 0-394-83912-9)
  • Oh the Thinks You Can Think! (ISBN 0-394-83129-2).

Children ages 10-13 might benefit from practice with long vowel sounds in Homophones 2 (ISBN 91-973302-1-3). The exercises in this English-Swedish workbook cover cases when:

• ai sounds like a
• ei and ea sound like e
• ie sounds like i
• oa sounds like o
• ue and ui sound like u
• This workbook also takes up the silent e rule: when a word ends in e, the vowel is long and the e is silent. (I have not found this simple rule mentioned in my kids' English textbooks.)

 

Introducing basic sight words

by Judy Petersen

This article provides tips on how you can help kids read and spell 100 words that make up about 50% of all the English words we read and write.

Recommendations

Do not attempt to teach these words at the same time that she is starting to learn to read in Swedish. If she reads very well in Swedish, then start working with these words at the start of grade 3.

Wait until the summer between grades 3 and 4 if she has reading problems in Swedish. And then proceed with caution. Don't force the issue if she resists. (Click here for help with Swedish basic sight words and follow the instructions under "Suggested activities".)

Do not encourage her to "sound out" these basic sight words. Children must recognize them immediately ("on sight"). Using phonics as a tool to decode these words slows them down. This also applies to Swedish basic sight words, for example, try sounding out dig, sig, mig in Swedish—it doesn't work—they sound like deeg, seeg, meeg.

Suggested activities

Reading is like playing the piano. The more you practice the better you get at it. So sit down with your child and practice, practice, practice!

Flash cards

Create flash cards from the list of basic sight words. Show your child the word, say the word, ask him to say it, and then ask him to write it.

Don't go through all 100 words in one sitting. When he starts to look tired, bored, or distracted, STOP! A rule of thumb from Psychology 101: don't work with more than 7 (plus or minus 2) new words at a time.

Reading to your child

Ask your child to pick out a story. You read the entire first paragraph. As you read the second paragraph, point to one basic sight word in each sentence and ask your child to read it. More than likely, she will figure it out from context if she doesn't know the word.

In the third paragraph, ask her to read 2 basic sight words per sentence. Continue like this until the story is finished.

Dictation

Pick out 7 to 9 basic sight words. Point to each word and say it. Ask your child to say it. Then ask your child to write it. Tell him that you're going to dictate the words and he's going to write them without looking. Give him about 5 minutes to study the words. Then dictate all the words.

When you've finished with dictation, ask him to correct his mistakes and write each incorrect word at least 3 times. Continue this activity each day until all the words you selected are written correctly. Start the next week with a new list of 10 words.

Tactile activities

Some kids are tactile learners, which means that their sense of touch helps them learn. Fill a box about the size and depth of a kitty litter box with sand.

Select between 5 to 7 basic sight words. As you write a word in the sand with your finger, say the word for your child. Then "erase" it, and ask your child to say it while writing it with her finger. Repeat until you've gone through all the words.

If you're really ambitious, cut out sandpaper letters, use the letters to build words (but no more than 7 at a time). Say each word. Then ask your child to trace each letter with his index finger.

Basic sight words—half the battle

Just for fun. Together with your child, pick out a paragraph in an English publication such as a newspaper. Count the words in the paragraph. Search for these words and draw lines through them. How many words are left?

a did is on they
about do it one this
all down just only to
an first like or two
and for little other up
are from look our want
as get made out was
at go make over we
back had me right well
be has more said went
been have much see were
before he must she what
big her my so when
but here new some where
by him no that which
call his not the who
came I now their with
can if of them with
come in off then you
could into old there your

For additional help with basic sight words, children ages 10-13 might find Homophones 2 (ISBN 91-973302-1-3) helpful. This English-Swedish workbook covers 30 of the 100 basic sight words that happen to be homophones, for example, to, too, two, their, they're, there, etc.

The topic of homophones is not covered in the English textbooks that I've seen in Sweden. The topic is covered in Language Arts workbooks in the US.

Swedish basic sight words

alla din han men se
än du hans mera sig
annan eller har mig ska
är en här min skulle
av ena hon mot som
bara ett honom mycket stor
blev fick hos några till
bli för i när tillbaka
borta förbi in nej titta
bra före inte ner två
första jag nu tycker
där från just ny under
de kalla och ungefär
de där gammal kan om upp
dem gick kom önska ut
den gjord komma över vad
deras gjort laga var
dessa gör liten rätt vår
det hade måste vem
dig hämta med sade vi

Using the natural language approach

by Judy Petersen

This article describes a method for teaching reading, which is called the natural language approach. To work with this method, you'll need a spiral bound notebook or ring binder, cards to make flash cards, pencils and pens, patience and discipline.

Discussion

Children's speaking vocabularies are larger than their reading vocabularies. They can say a lot more words than they can read. And they comprehend many more words when they hear them—compared to when they see the same words in print.

Recommendations

Try to limit each session to no more than 15 minutes. If you or your child become frustrated, stop!

Method

A child's natural language forms the foundation of this method for teaching reading, which works like this:

  1. Ask your child to tell you a short story (about 50-100 words). As she tells it, you print it on a piece of paper that you should store in a notebook or ring binder. (See also the "Ideas for stories" section.)
  2. Ask her to read the story aloud. As she reads, take note of the words that she hesitates to say, stumbles over, or just doesn't know.
  3. Use the words that she needs to practice in the "Suggested activities" section below.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you've accumulated about 5 stories. Start each session by having her read the previous story. After she has mastered the words in the first five stories and can read reach story fluently, then create 5 more.

Ideas for stories

A letter to Santa. If you celebrate Christmas in your home, then ask him to dictate a letter to Santa Claus.

Interviews. If she's hard pressed to give you a story, then interview her about something (a pet, best friend, favorite sport or after-school activity).

Ask her to respond to each question in a complete sentence. As she responds, print her answers on a piece of paper and repeat steps 1-3 in the "Method" section.

For example:

  • What's your name?
  • Where do you live?
  • What's your address?
  • What's your telephone number?
  • What is your mom's name?
  • What is your dad's name?
  • What grade are you in?
  • What school do you go to?
  • What is your favorite subject in school?

The result might look like this (48 words):

My name is Ingrid Svensson. I live in Solna. My address is Anygatan 99. My telephone number is 08 111 2345. My mom's name is Jane Doe. My dad's name is Jan Svensson. I'm in the fourth grade. I go to the Great Expectations school. My favorite subject is art.

More interviews. Read a story to her. Then ask her questions about the story (in complete sentences). Write down her answers. Then ask her to read what you recorded. For example:

  • What name (title) would you give to this story if you had written it?
  • What happened in the story first? Second? Third?
  • Who was your favorite character in the story?
  • If you could give that character a new name, what would you call her/him?
  • What did you like best about the story?
  • What did you like least about the story?
  • If you could change the ending, what would happen?

Suggested activities

Sound out words.

Select words from the list that are easy to sound out. Point to a word and say it. Then ask her to say each sound in the word and then the entire word.

One-syllable words with short vowel sounds work best when your first start working with this method (is, in mom, dad, red, etc.). I still remember the first sentences in my first-grade phonics book: "Sam sat in the sun. The sun is good for Sam."

For visual learners

Cut out the shapes of words that are problematic and nearly impossible to sound out. Write the words on a separate piece of paper and show them to her. Then hold up a shape and ask her to guess the word.

The physical shape of the word can act as a visual cue to helping her remember words. For example, these words have different shapes: the, made, some, bake.

Flash cards

Create flash cards from the words that gave him problems. Show him the word, say the word, ask him to say it, and then ask him to write it.

If there were a lot of words in the list, then just select 7 (plus or minus 2) to work with in one sitting.

Dictation

Write 7 to 9 of the words that gave him problems on a separate piece of paper. Point to each word and say it. Ask your child to say it. Then ask your child to write it.

Tell him that you're going to dictate the words and he's going to write them without looking. Give him about 5 minutes to study the words. Then dictate all the words.

When you've finished with dictation, ask him to correct his mistakes and write each incorrect word at least 3 times.

For tactile learners

Fill a box about the size and depth of a kitty litter box with sand. Select between 5 to 7 of the words that gave her problems.

As you write a word in the sand with your finger, say the word. Then "erase" it, and ask her to say it while writing it with her finger. Repeat until you've gone through all the words.

 

Note: These articles intend to complement and reinforce what bilingual children learn in school. Suggestions in these articles cannot and do not intend to replace regular classroom instruction.

© Copyright 1999, 2000. American Writing & Editing AB. All rights reserved. Please send corrections to Judy Petersen.