Academic work can sometimes seem intimidating to families. However, family engagement comes in many forms to fit the unique needs of students and families. Offering resources and options can help foster success. Here are six easy-to-implement math and reading activities that families can do to build confidence and inspire engagement.
1. Books with Comprehension Questions
As all educators will tell you, when in doubt—read, read, read! Books and reading, especially with an adult, are invaluable and a great use of time. As educators, sending books home to borrow (or even better, to keep!), creates a print-rich environment, an experience that values reading. Pair the readers with comprehension questions to guide family members as they support their child and give them the confidence and tools they need to be successful when working with the child as well. Don’t forget to include different genres, reading levels, and interests, as well as cross-curricular literature that supports different areas of learning, from math to social and emotional development skills.
2. Paper-Based Take-Home Work
Families find comfort in the structure, routine, and simplicity that paper-based activities provide. Products such as workbooks and flashcards are easy to use and provide good practice for skills and concepts covered in class. They are a good option for providing families with a user-friendly opportunity to engage in their child’s education.
3. Manipulatives & Resources
Instructional best practices encourage hands-on learning, which provides students with the ability to understand a concept, but also the ability to apply the concept at higher levels. Manipulatives and other related resources allow learning to be student-centered and guided as students engage with concepts beyond foundational applications.
4. Games & Activities
Math and reading activities and games are a great way for families to have a positive and non-threatening learning experience with their children. These can feel less like learning, and more like spending quality time as a family, which we know helps children in all areas of development. These experiences are exciting for students and families encouraging a level of participation that you may not see otherwise if solely traditional paper-based activities are utilized.
Family engagement special events range in design and creativity. The sky is the limit! Be it hosting a book fair, conducting a Read Around the World event, or family nights for literacy and math, these special events are exciting for families if they are thoughtful and effective in their planning, communication, design, and execution.
6. Family Resources
Research has found that families do, in fact, appreciate and utilize resources provided by the campus that provides insight and information regarding raising their child and supporting their education. This can be provided in many forms, from informational classes and events, newsletters and brochures, the use of digital parenting apps, book studies and guides, and more.
Looking for More Family Engagement Tools and Inspiration?
School Specialty offers a wide selection of products that support family engagement. Our collection of engaging resources is a one-stop shop for your school community needs.
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Laura has served within the field of education for 16 years as a classroom teacher, specialist, assistant principal, and principal. She is certified as an educator in the areas of EC-12 Principal, EC-8 Generalist, 8-12 English Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies, EC-12 Special Education, EC-12 Gifted and Talented, and EC-12 English as a Second Language. Her school experience varies to include work with students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, both in Texas and Europe, and within communities that were each uniquely diverse in terms of their demographics, size, and campus needs. While serving in these roles she developed expertise in the areas of curriculum and instruction, professional development, and leadership.
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