As we get ready to head into a new school year, I have been reflecting on last year. One area of concern that came up while talking to parents was the idea of practicing speech and language at home.
It became apparent that many of my families didn’t realize that speech and language doesn’t have to be done at a table with a worksheet or a list of words. In fact, many SLPs recommend that speech and language should be practiced in motivating and engaging activities.
But what could home practice look like if it’s not at a table with a worksheet? Depending on your child’s goal it can look like:
- Reading books
- Picking bedtimes stories that highlight the sound they are working on
- Picking stories with repetitive sentence forms (e.g., I see a fish, I see a bear, I see an owl)
- Grocery shopping
- Asking questions while walking through the grocery store (e.g., plurals, what/who/where questions)
- Making connections between items in a grocery store (e.g., categories, similarities, differences)
- Playing on the playground
- Having a scavenger hunt (e.g., following directions, prepositions, turn taking)
- Practicing basic concepts in games (e.g., stop, go, first, last)
- Similar activities can also be done while playing board games, baking, doing laundry, etc.
If a child is not at the point of saying it with some success, emphasize their goal when you use it (e.g., “I See a Snake”, “I LIKE ice cream”, “ice cream is a dessert too! It is in the freezer”).
Overall, home practice doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. For many children it can be fun, engaging, and embedded in what you are already doing. Talk to your child’s SLP for specific instructions on how to help them be successful in their goals.
– Miss Brynn
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