A lot of educators struggle teaching punctuation to young learners. This is mostly because it can get left behind when it comes to reading instruction. Due to the fact so much emphasis is placed on grammar, punctuation gets lost. As a result, the only punctuation you’ll see most children use is a capital letters and full stops.
At I Can Read we frequently see really poor punctuation skills even with our older learners, this is the reason we place such a massive emphasis on it. We want your child to be a step ahead.
Punctuation is so important, but the important elements of it, full stops, question marks, exclamation points, etc. are generally not taught until children are way past the initial stages of reading. This naturally leads them to ignore it. So when they are suddenly told to pay attention to it, they struggle.
With punctuation standards continuing to drop as young learners use slang and text with high frequency, we continue to see a flagrant disregard for punctuation marks, even from those students we would deem “strong academic performers”, and this is worrying. Many claim we shouldn’t set rules about how to use and write language, more so observe how it evolves and changes then amend rules accordingly. While there is value in this view point, it needs to be understood that punctuation is one of the most important aspects of written English. Punctuation gives meaning to written words. An error in punctuation can convey a completely different meaning to the one that is intended. A lax attitude toward its importance will intensify the degradation and do your child no favours, especially when it comes to exam time.
As educators and Reading Specialists we should hold punctuation in the highest regard – you should too! A good way to help your child develop skill in this area is to carry out various punctuation activities. We have plenty of these on offer in our Reading Classes. Please feel free to ask any of our Reading Specialists for more details on how I Can Read can help your child become a punctuation master.