If you want your child to speak English, you will need to practice at home. Here are the best ways to teach kids English at home.
Note: this post is for parents who already speak conversational level English
One of the very best gifts you can give your children is the ability to speak a second language. English is a great language to help your child succeed in the future. English is spoken by 20% of the people in the world and it is the third most spoken language (after Spanish and Chinese). Supporting your child to learn English will help them gain the ability to study in many countries, get jobs, and meet new people from around the world.
Lessons Are Important
In lessons your child will learn proper pronunciation, they will have their grammar corrected, and they will listen to a native speaker use words in a natural way. Both Caitlin and Helen have been teaching English to kids for more than seven years and will create custom lessons to support your child with their level and teach them through lessons that are interesting to them!
Once you have your child in a regular lesson schedule (two, hour long sessions per week is great, but more may be better for older, more advanced students, and shorter sessions may be better for younger, less experienced students) with a teacher he or she loves, you need to also support your child’s English learning at home.
Here are some tips for how to teach your kids English at home:
1. Review the words learned in class at home
We encourage students under the age of eight to have a parent with them while they take online classes. If your child is this age, you should take notes while they are in class. Write down:
If you have an older student they may be able to take their own notes which you can review with them afterwards.
Otherwise, ask your teacher to send you a list of the words learned each day in class. This is what we are here for!
Once you have the list of words to review you can make flashcards with them. If your student has time, they can cut out pieces of paper, write the words on them, and draw pictures to create their own flashcards.
Example Flashcards to use with kids
Flashcards for Beginners
Flashcards for Intermediate Students
Flashcards for Advanced Students
Or, this is a very easy online flashcard maker.
If you’d like to buy a pre-made set of flashcards they might not be the same words as your child is learning in class, but that is a great way to add more vocabulary!
Pre-made Flashcards for kids
Lakeshore sells flashcards for pronunciation practice as well as vocabulary. The flashcards are bright and colorful and easy to read. They have clear, real-life images.
This site also sells phonics and word cards but the level of their vocabulary is slightly more advanced. In addition, they have some fun games that can be played with flashcards.
Themes and topics
British Council is always a reliable source of correct information and quality resources. These flashcards cover a large variety of topics and can be printed off at home for free.
2. Reading at Home is Important
If your child is old enough to read on his or her own, encourage short chapter books. A page or two every day is a great way to start. This will help your child think in English, gain confidence in reading, and learn new vocabulary.
Here are a few great short chapter books for teens and pre-teens:
- Intermediate and advanced
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fun book for kids to read because it has designs and illustrations on the pages. It is not written like a normal book. There are 12 books in the series.
- Young learners & pre-teens
- Intermediate and advanced
Charlotte’s Web is a classic English children’s book. The story is a bout a spider who lives on a farm so it is a great book for any kids who love animals.
If your child is younger, you should read to him or her. If you can, read every day – just before bed is a great time!
Great books for young children:
3. Immerse Your Kids in English
The more English they hear, read, and see, the better!
Does your kid have a phone? Switch the language to English.
Does your kids watch TV shows or movies? Turn on English subtitles or have them watch all in English!
Do you have a pad of sticky notes? Label their bedroom, the bathroom, and the kitchen with the English words of everything.
Encourage, encourage, encourage
The most important thing when learning a new language is to feel accomplished! This is especially true with kids. Encourage them to speak, listen, and read in English and encourage them when they do – even if the English isn’t perfect.
Classes are a great place for mistakes to be corrected, and trust us – we will! But home is a great place to feel comfortable practicing, making mistakes, and trying again without being told you are wrong or doing a bad job.
Are You Ready?
Are you ready to have your kid start learning English? We take student as young as five-years old. Absolutely no experience is necessary!
We hope to see you or your child soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or ideas for how you teach your kids English at home, please tell us in the comments below!