Dramatically Improve Speech Practice at Home With These 5 Simple Tips
Research suggests that practice at home and outside of the speech room is essential for children to transfer and carryover the skills learned in therapy into their daily lives. With busy and hectic schedules, fitting in time for speech practice may seem like a daunting task. The following are a few tips on how to implement regular practice at home, and how to make it fun and easy for you and your child!
Making Practice Easier
1. Create a schedule/routine for structured practice.
Whether this be 15 minutes a day after school, homework, or baseball practice, it is important to establish a routine to hold you and your child accountable for regular practice. Setting aside 15-30 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week is ideal to ensure that the child is practicing the skills necessary to progress with their speech.
2. Implement a reward chart for home programming.
This can be a sticker chart, a check system, or simply adding speech practice to a chore chart. The child can earn stickers, checks, or tokens after each speech practice in order to earn a prize or privilege. This system will help motivate your child and allow for you and them to track structured practice week to week.
3. Provide multiple models and trials for your child throughout day.
This means using clear and accurate models in your speech to highlight correct productions of the sounds that your child is working on. In addition, allowing your child to have many opportunities to trial and produce their sound is key for practicing correct productions. This time does not need to be structured, it can be practicing and repeating words with speech sounds in the car, while reading a book or during commercials breaks.
4. Incorporate practice into daily routines.
Practicing speech sounds during daily routines is another method to help your child carryover their speech sounds into their daily life. Choosing a few routines such as book reading, bath time, nightly prayers, or singing favorite songs is a great way to target speech sounds naturally. During these routines instruct your child on using accurate productions, and allow them to feel accountable for accurate and clear speech during these routines each day.
5. Make practice fun.
There are so many fun activities that can be used for speech practice. This allows for extra practice, and makes practicing speech sounds more enjoyable for your child. Using board games, silly songs, designing flashcards, and creating silly stories are all fun ways to practice clear and accurate speech.
Katelyn Sinclair, SLP