August 2016 Bulletin

Follow Directions

Building Bridges Between Home and School

Following Directions

Since the time your child has learned the word, “no”, it’s probably been important to you that your child follows directions at home. But the ability to follow directions means more than just being obedient. It can also mean the difference between successfully competing a project and experiencing frustration.

Imagine the chef’s dismay when his soufflé flops, or the builder’s embarrassment when her structure does not match the blueprints! Clearly, following directions is an important part of life, and it will be an important part of your child’s academic life for many years to come.

Help your child follow directions by practicing the following together:

  • Make sure your child knows how to do what you are asking of him or her. Review the task if you are in doubt.
  • State your directions clearly and make sure your child has everything he or she (he/she) needs to complete the task.
  • Break down your directions into steps, i.e. if you want your child to get ready for bed, give your directions and say, “Remember: brush teeth, wash face, put on pajamas.”
  • Ask your child to repeat the steps back to you to be certain that he/she understands what you want. This will also help your child remember the steps.
  • Give your child plenty of praise when he/she successfully follows your directions, especially if you have asked to complete a series of tasks.

We hope this serves as a basic guide to help your child follow directions. In addition, here are five books that you and your child can read together on the topic:

  1. In the Driver’s Seat by Max Haynes
  2. Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan London
  3. Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes by Mollie Katzen and Ann L. Henderson
  4. Don’t Forget the Bacon! by Pat Hutchins
  5. Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley


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