My five-year old son Ezequiel has always loved learning, but because I am not fluent in English I worried I wouldn’t be an effective teacher. I know this is a concern for many other parents, too. When I discovered United Way’s Literacy Fairs and all the resources it provided, my perspective changed. The fairs provided so many wonderful tools for parents: books, fun activities, and a School Readiness Kit —my favorite takeaway.
The tool taught me that I have the power and responsibility to grow his love of learning, even if I don’t speak English very well. After attending numerous literacy fairs, I’m more aware of easy ways to stimulate my son’s creativity and love of learning. You can do the same for your child, too. And now’s the perfect time to prep your child for the school year.
One of Ezequiel’s favorite books is “Colores.” There are many bilingual books for all age groups to choose from, this one is included in the School Readiness Kit.
Tip: Engage with your child and teach languages when possible. The kit is in English and Spanish. So for parents like me, whose primary language is Spanish, we can read along with our kids.
Ezequiel’s drawing journal is filled with pictures of the sun, flowers, pirates and fish. Some of the drawings also include textures, like seeds, shredded paper and rolled pieces of paper.
Tip: Provide different surfaces to stimulate a child's brain. This helps them identify familiar concepts and ideas and patterns like rough vs. smooth. Kids learn by using all of their senses.
In our home, reading is longer about finishing in five minutes. We spend time reading together. I ask Ezequiel what he saw on the page and to imagine what might happen in the story or what he might do in a situation.
Tip: Ask questions to engage and build your child’s creativity, imagination and conversation skills.
Our walks have turned into an adventure! We explore our surroundings taking time to learn about insects, flowers, and desert plants.
Tip: Consider unexpected learning opportunities and sites to open your child’s mind to other subjects like science and nature.
Thanks to United Way’s tools, Ezequiel has tested into an accelerated reading program for the fall. I’m proud to say he’s going into first grade more than ready to read in both English and Spanish. We use our imagination a lot more and I’m confident that my son is having fun while learning.