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Games And Ideas To Help 8 Year Old With Ela

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by NOW, Jan 9, 2022.

  1. NOW

    NOW Gold IL'ite

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    I am looking for tips on how to engage my 8 year old son while learning spellings, pronunciation, grammar , reading, writing etc.. He reads a lot of books independently and currently into chapter books and reads consistently daily for about 20-30 mins. His favorite series is the Wimpy kid series and exploring more similar series. I can say he loves reading but I want him to start focusing on the spellings and pronunciation of new words he encounters and make a habit of referring to dictionary as needed. Please share what you do and some useful games, approaches that worked well for your elementary school kids.

    P.S: I just want to add I made note of the the wonderful book recommendations made in this forum earlier and also found some more gems when my son picked new series in bookstores. I am looking for tips on how to teach the spellings, grammar and writing skills while they are reading all these awesome books.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  2. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    You dont need to specifically teach grammar, spellings or pronunciations - just play some games with him - he will automatically learn them

    If you and your husband (or grandparents) have the time and interest - scrabble is the best way to improve your child's vocabulary - else you could check online scrabble also!

    When I was at that age, I used to write down phrases that I read or heard, that I found interesting or new. I continued the habit through school.. I clearly remember, when I was about 8-10 - my dad was talking with his friends and he guffawed loudly - "I was shocked into total silence" - I went to get my diary and wrote it down - it was quite a strange combination of words for me !!

    When my son was 9 (now 17), he had to be in bed for 8 months - through 5 surgeries - books were already his passion, so adding to that, we used to play games

    1) "Who wants to be a millionaire" using IELTS and TOEFL exam words - we had downloaded some game for this

    2) I would select a word and he would look for idioms, phrases, proverbs, metaphors or sentence usages - in any language (we would do this in 4 languages - English, sanskrit, telugu and hindi and sometimes tamil/kannada too)
    - say "bull" - then he would find phrases like "bulls eye", "a raging bull"
    - say - "Pot" - "kettle calling the pot black" or "a watched pot never boils over" - this helps them understand that dictionaries are not just for words and meanings, but for phrases and usage also...

    3) He had helped (with MS-Word) a scientist friend of mine with a research paper she had to type out about heart surgeries with stem cells - she was surprised that he could understand concepts and the words - but then you know that's the advantage of being a voracious reader!
    Your son could create a blog, write his thoughts or his travelogue... My son had written an entire adventure series (with an idea for a game)

    4) We would play a game on changing the proverbs - e.g. Instead of "where there is a will there is a way", we would change it to "Where there is a will, there are hundreds of relatives fighting over it" - we would have hours of laughter with these kinds of games!

    5) I used to create his school worksheets (he didn't attend school for those months - he was in 5th std - science or social studies - instead of fill in the blanks, I would write the questions online and create a crossword and he would solve them - just google online crossword maker! He loved doing the crossword

    6) Dont limit yourselves (and him) to just English, this is the perfect age to introduce your native language or even sanskrit - I say this as an educator and a career counselor, with the NEP getting implemented, I am seeing native languages and native literature coming back in a big way - even if he takes up STEM in the future, there is a lot of STEM and tech in languages (NLP, translations, AI, ML) - languages are a definite advantage in the new world

    All the best
    Keep smiling
    HR
     
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  3. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That’s a good point. There is some evidence that language skills are a stronger predictor of future programming proficiency than mathematical skills - Relating Natural Language Aptitude to Individual Differences in Learning Programming Languages | Scientific Reports

    At his age, I recommend you read to him and keep a dictionary handy to look up words that are new to him. When you come across an unfamiliar word, look it up together, and contextualize it with examples if needed. Make the discovery process enjoyable. Like they say show, don’t tell. Let him see that looking up a dictionary when we encounter a new word is a normal part of the reading process. Even 15 minutes a day will help reinforce the habit.

    At an older elementary or middle school level I’d recommend Membean. It is one of the best vocabulary building tools I’ve come across. It is a mandatory part of language arts classes at my kids’ school, though individual subscriptions are also available. They introduce words using pop-culture and literary references and use a spaced-repetition approach to help retention. I am thoroughly impressed with how much of a difference it has made to my kids’ vocabularies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
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  4. NOW

    NOW Gold IL'ite

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    THANK YOU !!! I totally agree with you on the native language part and need to revive my failed attempts.. especially as my younger one is also now 4+ and I can teach them together :) ! Also can read bedtime stories in mother tongue as we sometimes run out of short stories.

    I will incorporate scrabble, crossword puzzles and reading along with him at-least on the weekends. I encourage my son to write his experiences and thoughts whenever we go on vacations, after holidays or special days like birthdays, trips to cousins, sleep overs.. He resists at first but gets into the flow once he starts. He has a long way to go but he is getting there slowly w.r.t writing. This information is really useful to me to get motivated.
     

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