Motivating Yourself and Your Child to Practice

Practicing, even just a little bit each day, is necessary for your child to make good progress.  However motivating your child and sometimes even yourself to do this isn’t always easy.

Here are some ideas to help:

  • Short frequent practice is better than longer less frequent practice.  Practicing every day for 5 minutes is much better than practicing once a week for half an hour.
  • Try working practice into your daily routine.  Practice at the same time every day.  At breakfast, driving in the car, walking the dog, just before bed, etc.
  • Keep track of when you practice on a calendar or on this Home Practice Log.
  • Set up a Speech Practice Contract with your child.  Agree how much you are going to practice and give yourself and your child a “reward” after doing a certain amount. I wouldn’t make the reward based on learning how to say the sound.  Learning how to say sounds correctly can be challenging.  You might be setting up expectations that are not realistic.
  • Once a week or so use the Tracking Sheet  to keep track of how many good sounds your child is making when practicing.  Then chart how he is doing on the Progress Chart.  Show him how many good sounds he made last time and challenge him to make more next time.  Show him that he is getting better at making the sound.
  • You can also use the Tracking Sheet to show him how many good sounds he needs to make in a practice session. Try to work your way up to 100.  Anytime a “wrong” sound happens he has to go back and “fix” it if possible.
  • Make practice fun – or not. If your child likes to play games while practicing try some of these Games to Play While Practicing Speech Sounds.  If your child would rather just sit down and get the practice done that is fine too.  Do whatever works.
  • For older children try having him record himself saying some of the practice words or just talking. Have him listen back and really pay attention to how he sounds. Ask him what he thinks.  Does he sound like everyone else?  Is he easy to understand?  Is this something he would like to change?  Keep the recording and have him play it back after you know he has made improvement.  Make a new recording and have him compare it to the old one.

I hope these ideas help.  Let me know if you have any questions. You can reach through my Contact Page or email me at SLP@Speech-Therapyathome.com.

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