Tag Archives: parenting

What’s a Parent to Do…for School Success?

I spend a lot of time suggesting ways to support preschool children to guarantee that they will have joyful school lives and do well when they enter formal schooling. I offer below what families do that help assure children will enjoy school success from the time they enter kindergarten. If one wanted to make sure children are […]

phonebabysitter

Babysitter for Sale!

They invited their babysitter to join them for dinner. While the parents were chatting away about this and that, their young son passed time quietly with his sitter. Don’t get me wrong! The babysitter had much to offer. Vivid colors. Constant motion. A world of entertaining information. But the child never spoke a word, knowing it seemed that the […]

cover

Linking Arms and Growing Readers

Fort Morgan, Colorado, is a farming community where crops like wheat and sugar beets grow. Farming can be challenging there, however, as the eastern plains of the Rocky Mountains are a literal water-deprived high desert. Fort Morgan is also historically challenged to grow more important crop—that of young readers. Morgan County, with only 27% of homes […]

bookgift

Books: The Ever-giving Gifts

In the past week, thanks to TV and radio commercials, the chilly weather and knowing that this week includes “Giving Tuesday,” I have been gently prodded into thinking about what gifts I might give for the upcoming holidays. Of course, my favorite gifts to give are books. Virtually every book could make a terrific gift […]

Phonics 3

The Very VERY Best Way to Learn to Read

The “VERY BEST WAY TO TEACH READING” to a particular learner is not debatable. It is discoverable. There are scores of paths that lead from a baby’s first taste of a board book, to his life of joyful and informative reading. Those journeys are very complex. I’d predict that there are as many paths as […]

African American Family Eating Meal At Home Together

The Cost of Free Books

I’m currently working with the Kentucky Humanities Prime Time Project in a school in my home town. The fabulous librarian coordinates this project which has invited 40 of the school’s Hispanic families (parents AND kids) to enjoy a light meal, some picture-book read-aloud time and participate in demonstrations of humanities-based conversations about the books once a week. Humanities conversations focus […]

Show Me 1

First WHY, Then HOW

It seems that these days every news or scholarly article about literacy development contains the word “skills.” Reading and writing skills, to be exact. We want to teach children to read and write, but instead we teach reading and writing SKILLS. What’s up with that? I believe it’s because skills are easier to measure than lifelong learning habits. Skills get attention because […]

OH No 2

What’s Your Family Culture?

Culture is everything in creating family connection. Members of most cultures share values and commonly admired lifestyles to which others in the same culture aspire. In multi-cultural settings like the United States of America or Canada where hundreds of languages and cultures create a shared community, it is difficult to assess a single value placed on […]

digging 6

They’ll Watch Us Digging

My neighbor’s kids gave her a truly precious puppy for her 85th birthday. Right. My thought exactly. Why not a sweet, older, house-trained dog?! But she seems thrilled and has escape proofed her picket-fenced yard with chicken wire and filled it with balls to entertain Coco. As we observed her active new companion, my wife and I […]

Questions 4

Children’s Questions Guide Literacy Development

Children signal a preparedness to learn to read and write by carefully observing what older kids and adults do and then asking questions. They carefully observe mature models of literate behavior who make themselves available during daily reading times and in the sharing of letters and birthday cards. Writing interest is reflected in children’s curiosity […]