WIDA Early Years has released a new booklet: “Learning Language Every Day: Activities for Families” — that’s available free online in English and Español to help children keep learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The booklet can be downloaded for printing and sharing.
Appropriate for children between the ages of 2 and 7, the activities in the booklet encourage kids to practice and improve their language skills by talking about topics they know—themselves, their families, what they like to play, how they feel, what sounds they hear, and the weather.
“Children learn language by listening to those around them and then using their language skills to respond,” says Lorena Mancilla, director of WIDA Early Years, a resource that advances multilingual learning for young children in early-care and education settings. WIDA is housed within the UW—Madison School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
“Parents were not given much time to prepare for their children to learn at home and they should not be expected to teach academic subjects for six hours a day,” says Mancilla. She wants families to know that they can choose from a variety of ways to keep their children engaged and support learning at home.
“It is important for parents to begin by asking themselves, ‘What can I do to build on our knowledge and create a learning environment at home that works well for the whole family?’”