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Before You Teach Writing Skills During School Breaks

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Before you teach your child writing skills over the school break, you will need to determine what he already knows, what he needs to learn, and how his teachers want him to learn writing. Staying within your school's guidelines for teaching writing while studying at home will provide familiarity and help him make logical connections to what he has already learned.

Teaching Writing Skills Over School Break

Keeping your child's writing skills on track during school break is important to:
  • Prevent regression;
  • Reinforce skills through practice; and
  • Give your child a stronger start for the next school session.

Teaching Your Child Writing Skills Over Break

Plan your work at least a few weeks before the break:
  • Ask the teacher what writing skills your child needs to learn. The teacher may provide worksheets or recommend appropriate software for your child's skill levels.
  • Ask the teacher to explain how your child learns best in class. In expressive writing, ask if the teacher can provide her scoring criteria for written work.
  • Ask the teacher for samples of good work.

Ask for Appropriate Writing Skills Teaching Materials

Ask your child's teacher or school librarian if there are recommended workbooks, worksheets for letter-word formation, or computer software for expressive you can use with your child to guide your summer studies. Does the school have online resources for parents to help them help their kids in writing? Are there any recommended commercial websites for guidance?

Find Out if Summer Writing Programs are Available at School

Ask if the school will offer summer tutoring sessions for students struggling in writing. If so, ask if your child may attend. (Some programs are funded only to target specific groups of students, such as low income families or the lowest performing children, so not all programs may be available to your child.) Some teachers from your child's school district may tutor students privately over breaks. Ask your child's principal, counselor, or teacher if they are aware of teachers who plan to offer those services or if they will post your interest in tutoring in the teacher's lounge.

Does your Child Qualfy for Extended School Services?

If your child has a history of regression with his writing skills or is likely to show regression, she may qualify for School Year Services (ESY). If you believe your child will qualify for ESY, request an IEP team meeting to discuss it. The team must review your child's math performance throughout the year to determine if she qualifies. Generally, to qualify, students must have a history or strong likelihood of significant regression beyond what typical students experience.

Are Summer Writing Programs are Offered in Your Community

Some community resources such as public libraries and community education programs offer summer tutoring or activities that reinforce skills. There may also be commercial tutoring resources available. Your local library may be able to help you identify services in or near your community.

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