Parents are a child’s first teachers!  As a parent, you expose your children to new situations, teach them language to communicate and you are their biggest supporter!  There are so many ways you can support your child’s learning.  For example, continue to use new vocabulary, ask a lot of questions that require more than a one word response, tell stories from your family and homeland, read to them, encourage them to tell you about what they are doing in school and support their work by learning with them at home.  One of the highest indicators of success in school is vocabulary.  Regardless of the language (either in your first language or English) keep talking and introducing them to new words!  Keep in mind that the language and skills that children have in their first language will assist them in aqcuiring a second language…so keep talking!   Below are some sites for parents to find more information.  All of them contain information in Spanish and English.

Colorin Colorado
A bilingual site for families and educators of ELLs!  This a must-visit for parents and teachers!

Helping Your Child series from the US Department of Education
This site provides parents with tools and information to assist their children in succeeding in school and life.  You can download booklets in Spanish and English for Helping Your Child to Learn: Science, Math, To Become a Reader, Helping with Homework, a Responsible Citizen, Through Early Adolescence, and more…

Reading is Fundamental
Beginning reading skills are fundamental.  This site is geared for young children (toddler – kindergarten) and provides books to be read aloud, nursery rhymes, songs, etc… in English and Spanish.

Kahn Academy

For ages 2 – 18, available in 40 languages, exercises, quizzes, and tests so students can practice and master skills, as well as instructional videos to help students learn or review material. Free videos are nearly all in Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese (in addition to English) and may be useful to parents who are trying to support their children.

International Children’s Digital Library

The ICDL’s goal is to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children’s literature from the world community. The site has multiple languages available.

Unite for Literacy

A collection of fiction and nonfiction books in multiple languages for to support literacy, vocabulary, and concept learning.

Mrs. Jones Room
Mrs. Jones offer English and Spanish beginning literacy activities, websites, and access to online language learning sites.

Learning ESL…A Wealth of Resources for Children and Adults Learning English as a Second Language
Students can sit on their couch and practice up on their English language skills via the many different offerings on this site!  This website is geared towards all ages and has many links that support interactive learning for all family members, regardless of your age!

Iowa AEA Online
This site is a great resource for homework, student projects, and to get more books into our homes!  Families can also listen to books in Spanish and English and research other countries. Students will each have a password from their school.  If they do not know it, they can ask their teacher.  This site is encouraged to be used at home.

A couple sites that may be of high interest to families are:

  • Britannica Online: this is an encyclopedia, plus more.  Families can search for information, use the translation tools to translate into their first language, and there is a Quick Click dictionary that provides definitions and audio pronunciation when reading text.
  • BookFLIX: intended for pre-school – 3rd grade, families can read, listen and watch stories in English and Spanish, along with videos that tie to the content.  These are titles you can check out at your local library as well!
  • TrueFLIX: books are written at an English level for grades 3-6.  You can access books and videos.

BBC News
Access news and information from around the globe in 28 languages.  Viewers can read, listen, watch, and download content in the language of their choice.

**Parents, also visit the ‘Student’ resources page for websites where children can work on language and other skills.