Archive | Diverse Books

How Swapping Stories Can Ignite Lifelong Learning

I recently read an article in The New York Times about the decline of road trips, including hitchhiking 0r “road bumming.” (And no, all the blame doesn’t go to the COVID-19 pandemic.) I think folks largely have stopped picking up hitchhikers for many reasons, including an increase in: a sense of mistrust; an unwillingness of the haves […]

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Kids Taught to Choose What They Read Can Choose Reading for Life

The International Literacy Association in partnership with the Children’s Book Council recently released the annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards and its lists of books preferred by kids.* Each year for decades 12,500 youngsters from around the U.S. have participated in creating the lists by reading books and voting on their favorites—their choices. The lists offer consistently […]

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The Perfect Pastime for All Times

Like so many others during this stay-at-home period, I have spent an unusual amount of time watching television, especially news or current events programming. It helps me stay up to date on how my life, which feels completely out of my control, is likely to change or when it might ever return to some semblance […]

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The Year Summer Slide Started in March

The U.S. tradition of long summer school breaks hails from times when children lived on family farms and needed to be available during the growing season to help tend them. While beneficial for farming, long breaks from structured learning can take its toll on academic progress. The sometimes negative impact of up to 12 weeks away […]

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Should You Change Your Hat During the Pandemic?

Okay, so we find ourselves at home with one or more squirming, tussling, arguing, irritated kid who wants to go and do anything but stay at home, but can’t. To provide more educational structure to each day, should you put on a homeschool hat and give it a try? Nah. I suggest that you keep your […]

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Become a Leader of Readers

When children who have had plenty of experience with books and reading go to the school library, they tend to know what titles they want to check out. Like most avid readers, they know what topics and which authors they like. They also enjoy the freedom the library offers, as selecting their own books to […]

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Reading Aloud is Good for the Whole FAMILY

March is National Reading Awareness Month designed to showcase the value of reading. That’s a good thing, but the focus is always about better children’s reading, which belies the vast powers of sharing reading with the whole family. Sharing reading of anything by anybody within a family can be a HUGE asset for creating a culture […]

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The Author in the Mirror

Reading is akin to gathering our thoughts with the help of authors. Books and other forms of written communication can help us speak our minds as well as the minds of the people who authored them. I recall my young children’s response to books that I brought them from a National Council of Teachers of English conference I attended years […]

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Why so Testy?!

Every so often news headlines alert us that the U.S. ranks “below average” in reading test scores, lagging behind other countries, like China, which consistently rank at or near the top. It’s probable that we’ll receive the same news again this spring after many schools dutifully administer standardized tests. Why? Because, as a whole, our education system continues […]

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MO-tivation, not Less

If children are interested in some activity, they will be curious about it, reach out for it, explore it, and if the available support is there, will make progress as they are trying it out. If they maintain their motivation, they will eventually master it to a level of their satisfaction. They will then move on to […]