Latest news and updates for our Kuala Lumpur Young Learner parents - April 2015

Parent workshops

This term we will focus on helping you understand how we support your child’s writing and grammar skills, based on feedback from parents attending previous workshops.

The first workshop of the term, in week 4 (18-19 April) will focus on how we help students develop writing skills. This workshop will give you advice on how you can help young child develop neat, clear handwriting, build their confidence in spelling and how to encourage them to start writing sentences.  For older learners, there will be help parents understand tools for preparing for writing and self-editing, tools which are not taught or used in most Malaysian schools, and how these can help children become more fluent and more confident writers.

The second workshop, in week 8 (23-24 May) will focus on how we help children learn grammar in a child-friendly way. Parents will be introduced to ideas on how we use children’s natural language learning ability to take grammar beyond simple grammar exercises and learn how to use it to communicate effectively.

All workshops will be held in room 17 from 1:20-2:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. Registration is not required, but we recommend arriving early to ensure you can get a seat. There will be entertainment available for children in room 18 during the workshops.

Storytelling

In week 3 (11-12 April) we will have a professional storyteller, Keats Markandu, come to the centre to tell stories to our students. As this is the first time this has been offered since our ground floor was re-developed, we have only opened registration to a limited number of classes, but we may look at offering it to a broader range of classes and levels in the future.

Reading Challenge

The Reading Challenge will be ending in our Kl centre on the 12th April. Please make sure all books are returned by this date. If you'd like to keep reading, our library will still be open as usual.

Great news for our Damansara students: The Reading Challenge will be starting there on 25th April! Please look out for the bookcase and displays at the centre for details on registration.

Helping your child develop a reading habit

And while we are talking about reading, many parents ask us how they can encourage their child to read more. Developing a habit of reading is best started when young, but children can start developing the habit when older. Here are some top tips for encouraging children to make reading part of their routine.

For children who are not reading yet:

  • Make time a few times a week to read a story to your child. It can take as little as 10-15 minutes and can be seen by children as valuable time with mum or dad outside of the family’s normal busy routine.
  • Encourage your child to develop an interest in books. Allow them to choose their own storybooks and be prepared to re-read their favourites many times. You might get tired of reading the same story over and over, but children love being able to join in with stories they know well.
  • Don’t worry about your English. Often children are just happy that you’re reading to them.

For children who have just started reading:

  • Continue with your storybook routine (or start one if you don’t have one yet), but ask your child if they can recognise common words on the page. It can help to use the pictures from the book here. For example, if the page has a picture of a lion on it, ask your child what animal it is and ask them if they can find the word in the story.
  • When you read stories, use your finger to guide your reading. This will help your child focus on the words and link what you are saying to a written word.
  • If the children are confident with phonics, ask them to find the letter that makes a sound on the page. For example, ask them to point to the letter that makes the sound /p/.
  • When children start reading their own books, start them with simple phonics readers where they can sound out the words. Listen to them reading and help when they get stuck. As they become more confident and fluent in their reading, offer less support but continue to listen to them reading to encourage their habit.

For more fluent readers:

  • Develop independence in their reading by encouraging them to read quietly to themselves or out loud to younger brothers and sisters. You can still show interest in their reading by asking them about the books they are reading.
  • Encourage them to develop their own taste in books. At this stage of their life, it doesn’t really matter what the children are reading, as long as it is part of their everyday routine and it is something they enjoy. Their taste in reading material will change as they get older, but their love of reading will be for life!

Best tips for helping your child with their homework

  • Build routines and set goals together.
  • Be encouraging. Homework helps your child review and helps the teacher identify what your child has learned. It’s okay if they don’t get it all correct, or if they can’t do it all.
  • Let the teacher see their mistakes.
  • Help them to self-correct. If you see a mistake, ask your child questions for example – are you sure this is correct? Is that word missing something

And finally, did you know that...

  • English spelling can be difficult! The following sentence contains seven different spellings of the sound “ee”: ‘He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas’.
  • ‘Pronunciation’ is the word which is most mispronounced in the English language!
  • Tongue Twisters are short sentences that are hard to say because they contain a lot of the same sounds. The most difficult tongue twister in the English language is “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”.