The CBE and we at William Reid School believe that it is important to develop good study habits. Home study contributes to this development and can reinforce classroom learning. We also want to promote the supportive role that the home has on a child’s education. At the same time, we understand that parents often want their child to participate in after school sports, arts and other pursuits. Therefore, we recommend the following:
Children are encouraged to read with an adult for about 5-10 minutes daily (home reading program). Parents do not need to speak or understand French to support their child when he/she reads. You can ask questions such as: What do you think this story is about? What clues do you see in the illustrations? What do you think will happen next? What is happening? What strategies did you use to read new words? See Home Reading Tips for Parents for more ideas and Camille la chenille for reading strategies.
Formal assignments may be given at the teacher’s discretion. In general, assignments should be of the study or reading type. Reading practice at this level may focus on developing deeper comprehension such as by making inferences and personal connections with the text. Daily practice should not exceed 20 minutes in length.
Individual teachers will provide more specific information regarding their homework expectations and home reading program. Homework and home reading are for practice only and therefore will not be formally assessed. However, teachers do help students make appropriate book selections, discuss what and how often students read, etc.
Teachers will provide work missed when possible but this is challenging as the majority of learning in elementary would be difficult for younger children to complete without teacher guidance. Teachers will not provide assignments in advance of a planned absence such as a family vacation however, students are encouraged to read, write in a journal and/or solve
real-life math problems during extended absences.
Home Reading Practice
Reading together with your child sets the stage for successful life-long learning! It is recommended that your child read to you in French for about 5-10 minutes daily. Please feel free to read to your child in English but their own reading practice in grades 1 and 2 should be in French. It is also helpful to model lifelong learning by reading in front of your child and sharing your own reading with them.
Do not be concerned if you do not speak French because learned reading skills transfer from one language to another. Your child will simply read the book aloud to you in French as best they can but you can discuss it entirely in English. In many ways, this encourages deeper reading comprehension because your child must understand what they’ve read in
order to explain it to you in English. So go ahead and ask lots of questions!
Students are guided and encouraged to select books for home practice at an independent reading level (they can read and understand it on their own without frustration). If you notice that your child brings home a book that is too difficult, please send it back to school the next day and ask them to make another choice.
When your child comes to word that they do not know, you can help him or her to choose and apply an appropriate reading strategy (see Camille la chenille). Effective readers do this instinctively but beginner readers need to learn these strategies very explicitly.
Provided here are some of the key learner outcomes from the Alberta Programs of Study with regards to reading. These learner outcomes are the ideal starting point for your discussion and questioning before, during and after reading. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding how to read with your child at home. Happy reading!