This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: email@example.com.
It’s an exciting time when your child’s learning how to read. Suddenly, letters are not just foreign shapes on pieces of paper or the fronts of buildings anymore. They begin to make sense, and children learn how to combine different consonants and vowels to sound out words they hear every day. Luckily, working on your child's reading skills doesn’t have to be restricted to just school, homework, and bedtime stories. Take advantage of meal times as well, and bump up your child's reading skills by dining out.
The act of eating can actually benefit your child's learning capabilities. Specifically, chewing can boost concentration, focus, and memory retention, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine found, according to an article published on CNN. They recorded the academic performance of a group of non-gum chewing students and a group of gum-chewing students and found that the gum-chewing students had better overall final grades than those who did not chew gum during the study. Scientists have theorized this may be because of the act of chewing. You can take advantage of this find by encouraging your child to practice his or her reading skills while dining out, as chewing is a part of eating and practicing reading during a meal (or immediately before one) could help them to retain the information better.
Begin by having your child look over the menu with you. Have them pronounce the names of dishes as well as what’s inside them, helping them along the way to discover what foods they would like to order. When the waiter comes around, have your child read the waiter's name tag and say the name aloud. Encourage them to tell the waiter what they would like to order off of the menu. This makes children feel involved and gives them a chance to actively use the reading skills they’re picking up. Even learning how to correctly pronounce dishes with unusual spellings, like "spaghetti," will teach them about all the different ways that consonants and vowels can sound. When food arrives at the table, practice with your child how to spell their dish and have them read the name of the dish again. This way, the word they just read is not just a word, but also something that they can eat and enjoy.
It’s a great idea to take the family out to a restaurant that serves ethnic cuisine to see how dishes are spelled and pronounced in different countries and cultures. At these places, children can learn about how different languages use the same consonants and vowels to form very different sounds. Have your child practice pronouncing the items on the menu and be sure to give them encouragement when it comes to tougher words. Don’t worry about having the different ethnic cuisine names confuse your child. Kids have fun trying to pronounce the names of foreign dishes because it’s something that they normally don’t encounter. As an added bonus, taking children to dine and learn at ethnic eateries exposes them to different cultures, teaching them about the wonders of diversity.
All in all, mealtime is a great place to not only get together and bond with your child, but to sneak in some fun learning outside of school. Kids enjoy reading off the menu, and ordering their own dishes. You have the satisfaction of knowing too, that eating at ethnic restaurants will open your child's mind to tolerance and diversity.
Thanks Alisa. Alisa's a freelance writer looking to expand her writing horizons, so if you're a blogger looking for guest posts, contact Alisa!