Literacy Learning at Home

There are many ways parents can support a child’s literacy learning at home. Keep in mind that while some children enjoy the occasional worksheet or practice with flashcards, we encourage you to look for opportunities to incorporate reading and writing into your normal routine in natural, fun, and engaging ways. Please also note that we recommend you conduct these activities in the language that feels most natural to your family. It is important that your child hears and enjoys the fluent language at home. Here is a fun Family Language Learning Checklist and additional ideas:

Literacy in Everyday Routines

Your child can help you:

  • Read or write down a recipe
  • Write a grocery list and read-out the items as you shop
  • Read a map or directions when you need to get somewhere
  • Read instructions for a game, new toy, or something you need to assemble
  • Write notes to communicate messages to other family members (or read messages written to them)
  • Look up information on the internet (when a store opens, BART schedule, movie or book review, etc)
Literacy Activities

You can help your child:

  • Make time to read for pleasure each day. Many families incorporate this into the bedtime routine, but it can happen at any time. Some families even do “reading dinners” every once in a while, where everyone gets to bring a book to the table! Older children might prefer to read on their own, while early-readers will still enjoy being read to. Either way, one of the best ways parents can support their child’s literacy learning is to expose him or her to the joy of reading a good book.
  • Keep a journal of daily experiences. At Magellan we teach our students that writers write from what they know, often drawing on their own experiences. Each day can be a great source of family stories.
  • Make up a story. Younger children might draw and dictate their story to you, while older children might write the whole thing on their own.
  • Write a letter (or email) to a friend or family member.
  • Participate in the reading program at your local library.

Together, you and your child can play games that require reading and/or writing, such as Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, Hangman, crossword puzzles, word-searches, letter or word bingo, etc. Even if the game is not specifically aimed at literacy, most games require some amount of reading, such as Monopoly, Clue, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and many others.

Modeling Good Literacy Habits

You can convey the value of literacy to your child by modeling good literacy habits yourself. If your child sees you engaging in meaningful literacy activities (keeping a journal, writing a letter, reading for pleasure, reading the newspaper) this communicates a powerful message that literacy is an important and enjoyable part of life.

Digital Resources

The following resources offer various language arts games, activities, and practice. Some are geared toward preschool and early elementary, while some are more suited for older children. 

In addition to the list below, a great resource for parents is the website Commonsense Media. It reviews and suggests countless websites, apps, books, movies, TV shows, and online games for kids. You can search by age, media type, subject, or language. (If you put Spanish in their search bar, it will take you to Apps and other media in Spanish). Have fun!

Digital Spanish Resources

Destiny Discover Lightbox: A collection of nonfiction books (English & Spanish) provided by Destiny Follet. 

TumbleBooks: A small collection of digital books in English & Spanish. Use username MagellanSchool and password trial to login.

Viva leer COPEC: A small collection of digital stories in Spanish

ELeo: Digital reading platform created by the Ministry of Education in Spain. Instructions can be found here in Spanish only and any Magellan student can register under the centro de recursos CER HOUSTON.

MakeMake: This is a fantastic platform with a good number of quality Spanish books in Spanish, perfectly suited for the age range of our students (ONLY AVAILABLE WITH AN AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY ACCOUNT)

Fabulingua: A unique method to help children learn Spanish through stories. (FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE)

PrePrimary (PP3 – PP4)

Kinder – 5th

Other Sites/Resources

Digital English Resources

Destiny Discover Lightbox: A collection of nonfiction books (English & Spanish) provided by Destiny Follet. 

TumbleBooks: A small collection of digital books in English & Spanish. Use username MagellanSchool and password trial to login.

Storyline Online:  A small collection of outstanding books read by actors from the SAG foundation.

Save with stories: Several artists of different background are reading children’s books online to fundraise for Save the Children

Vooks: Streaming library for children (FREE TRIAL)

Digital Mandarin Chinese Resources

Book Recommendations

Below you can find the suggested reading lists compiled by our Academic Leadership Team for students in preschool and primary school (PP3 – 5th grade). These books are available through Amazon, LA Libreria, Cuentology, and Lorito Books, or some of these titles may also be available in public libraries.

Reading Recommendations – Ages 3 – 5

Reading Recommendations – Ages 5 – 6

Reading Recommendations – Ages 6 – 7

Reading Recommendations – Ages 7 – 9

Reading Recommendations – Ages 9 – 12