As a busy speech-language pathologist, you put a lot of time and effort into your therapy sessions. Oftentimes, we put so much focus on the therapy itself, we do not always think about providing speech homework and other activities for parents at home.
Speech homework does not have to be complicated or difficult to plan! Let’s chat about a few EASY and fun homework activities for your students (and a few tips on getting parents to participate as well!)
Speech & Language Homework
Homework for speech therapy is a tricky subject. Lesson planning takes time, and the therapy itself is crucial to our student's success!
Homework often gets put on the backburner but believe me when I say it can be another important tool to use to improve our student’s communication and progress on goals.
Should You Give Homework for Speech Therapy?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to whether you should assign speech homework. No matter what you choose, I believe it is good to provide parents with the option of doing speech practice at home.
If you feel overwhelmed with all your duties as a school SLP, and you do not feel like you could add speech homework onto your list of to-dos, check out these ideas below! I bet you will find that sending homework does not have to be time-consuming or stressful!
Speech Homework Activities
There are a variety of things you can send home and assign as homework for your speech students. They can be as complex as an at-home program or as simple as a weekly word to practice.
If you need some ideas for speech homework, check out these homework activities below!
Believe it or not, one of the easiest requests I make for parents to do for speech homework is reading with their child every day. No matter what goals your students have, parents can enhance their child's overall communication with a daily reading goal.
To assign daily reading, write out or print up a simple sheet where parents can record reading minutes each night. Send these home weekly or monthly with a daily reading minutes goal (I like to make a goal of 15 or 30 minutes depending on the student).
Print and Go Worksheets
A quick and easy way to send work home with your language students is with print and go worksheets. You can also use worksheets from any reference material you are using in therapy, but my print-and-go language worksheets are awesome for both therapy and homework.
I have a dozen of these awesome worksheets available in my store. Best of all? They contain themes that can be used year-round!
Print the worksheets ahead of time and grab one each week you see your student for therapy. I like to add these to my students’ folders, so they are easily accessible when I am running short on time.
Word Lists for Articulation
While it may seem daunting to prepare a handful of articulation homework each week for your students, I have a trick to keep things nice and easy!
At the beginning of the year, compile word lists containing your student's target speech sounds (bonus if they are high-frequency words!). Each week, instruct parents to practice 1-5 words until they can say them without any mistakes.
Bonus Tip: Add syllables, phrases, and sentences to these lists, and assign them to your students as they progress up the hierarchy.
I am a HUGE fan of therapy notebooks. These interactive notebooks or journals are a great therapy material (especially for those in mixed groups). They help you maintain a weekly record of material covered and provide an amazing home resource for parents as well!
Students use the notebooks during therapy sessions, and the notebook can be sent home each week or month for parents to work on concepts at home.
If sending homework during the school year is not working out for you, try giving summer speech homework instead! Having parents work with their children over the summer is a great way to continue to work on generalization and carryover as well as prevent any loss of skills over a break.
Here's some quick summer homework ideas to try out this year:
Daily reading log. Same as the above suggestion, have your students read each day and record their minutes.
Daily articulation word/daily language prompt. Provide a daily word or language prompt parents can do with their children.
Summer therapy calendar. Assign a different fun task for each day of the month.
Therapy notebooks. These interactive notebooks mentioned above can be sent home at the end of the school year for parents to use to reinforce skills learned and mastered.
Worksheets or packets. Print or copy a handful of worksheets from your favorite resources to compile into a summer speech packet.
Preschool Speech Homework
I often get asked how to best send homework for preschoolers. My answer? Keep it simple. I like to keep things fun and easy with preschool-aged children. Simple worksheets or daily/weekly activities parents can do at home seem to have the best success rate.
All my preschool language activities come with ten parent handouts to use during the year. These are a great resource you can print and send home at the end of your therapy sessions to reinforce skills taught during therapy.
Getting Parents on Board
Now that you have some awesome ideas for speech homework this year, how do you get parents engaged so the homework gets returned each week?
Here are some tips on getting parents on board with speech therapy homework (especially those that never seem to send anything back!):
Accountability. Providing a worksheet or place for parents to sign can help them remember to complete homework. You can also provide a small incentive for students who bring back completed homework (small toys or treats work well).
Monthly homework instead of weekly. Some parents get overwhelmed with weekly homework. Try sending homework packets each month to be returned on the first of the following month for better engagement!
Weekly email check-ins. Many parents appreciate a weekly email or newsletter to keep them informed on happenings in school and in speech therapy. You can remind parents to complete homework in these emails, and also assign homework as well! It’s a win-win!
Remember: Parents are more willing to follow through with homework if you keep those lines of communication open with them. Do not leave parents in the dark regarding their child's therapy. Stress the importance of therapy AND homework, and they are more likely to comply and return completed homework each week.
Speech Homework for Year-Round Use
Here's hoping these ideas will come in handy as you plan out your therapy sessions this year. Remember! Speech homework does not have to be tedious or complicated. Anything you send home will be beneficial to further improve your student's skills.