Hello from Speech & Language! I hope that everyone is staying healthy and occupied. While you’re learning from home, you can continue to target your speech and language goals. Below are some simple and fun ways you can support your speech and language from home 🙂
Reading a book for class (or for fun)? Ask questions as you go. Are you reading fiction or nonfiction? Who are the main characters? Supporting characters? What problem are the characters trying to solve? Where does the book take place? What is something you wonder about the story? What is something you like about the story? Use or make a graphic organizer to help you keep track of the details. Take notes in a notebook to help you to remember details and any questions you have about what is happening.
Doing any baking or cooking? Following a recipe is a great way to practice sequencing and language memory strategies. Ask a family member to read the directions out loud. Use some memory strategies to help yourself remember what they said: quietly repeat the steps back to yourself, paraphrase what they said back to them, jot down some quick notes while they read. If you find that you can’t remember what they said, use self-advocacy skills to ask them to repeat! And, of course, always refer back to the text when in doubt.
Taking a walk outside or going for a drive? Play I Spy (it’s not just for little kids)! Maybe you will learn a new word, like median or hedge. You can also practice your descriptive skills by describing what you see. Use the 12 Visualizing & Verbalizing structure words to help you form a description: what, size, color, number, shape, where, movement, mood, background, perspective, when, sound. When you get home, see if you can still picture the word you described. Did the structure words help you to remember what you saw?
Getting crafty? Write a story or a poem about what you are creating! Refer back to the Visualizing & Verbalizing structure words if you get stuck.
Helping out with younger siblings? Practice using your “teacher voice” while you help them with their schoolwork. You can play teacher (or speech therapist!) to help your siblings to use clear speech. Remind them to use clear speech strategies like sitting up straight, looking at the person they’re talking to, speaking up, and slowing their speech down. If you can’t understand what they said, ask them to slow down and repeat themselves, or to try to say it in a different way. If you really want to play speech therapist, teach them this chant to practice clear speech: I sit strong, I talk loud, I move my mouth, not too fast!
Finally, refer to the Speech & Language Skills at Home reference sheet for a quick reminder on how to use your strategies at home. And please be in touch with me if you have any questions at all: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,
Amanda Dembowski, Speech-Language Pathologist