Where did the time go? If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably in the same situation I am. My little girl is going to Kindergarten in exactly one month from today. I blinked and the little baby I held and rocked and examined from head to toe (just to make sure everything was there!) is about to leave the nest for the first time and fly off to Kindergarten by herself! How is this possible? What can I do to prepare her? Perhaps more urgently, what can I do to prepare myself? I’ve done my homework on the matter, and apparently, this is what you (and I) should do in order to make the transition to Kindergarten as enjoyable as possible.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of homeschooling? Depending on your perspective, your answer might range from “quirky” to “trendy” or maybe even “brave,” but the word “rare” is probably much further down the list than it would be had I asked you the question a few decades ago.
It’s true—homeschooling is on the rise. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), there are now more than 2 million homeschooled children in the United States, and this percentage is continuing to climb at an estimated 2 to 4 percent per year.
We all want to help our children succeed in school, and this includes promoting good literacy skills such as reading and writing. Although the two go hand in hand, reading is perhaps the most important skill a student can have. After all, good readers make good writers!
No matter where your child is in the process of learning to read or advancing his reading skills, there are things you can do at home to enhance his learning and give him the boost he needs to excel. Here are some tips to help you assist your emerging, beginning, or proficient reader develop the skills he needs in order to take reading to the next level.
Do you find yourself constantly checking up on your digital savvy youngster? Does your heart skip a beat every time your child goes online to play a game or chat with a friend? You’re not alone. Although the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) takes steps to protect your child’s personal information from websites, there are many other online threats you’ll need to guard your child against, including mature content, online predators, and cyberbullying to name a few. So many parents these days struggle with the question of how to allow their children to benefit from all of the educational and entertaining aspects of the Web without exposing them to the dangers that we all know lurk behind the monitor.
Literacy is arguably the most important skill a child can have, and any educator will tell you that reading is the best way for youngsters to acquire new vocabulary and even writing skills. But what if your child turns her nose up every time you initiate story-time or recommend a book? As you know, forcing the issue can often backfire, but there are some ways that you can gently nudge your child in the right direction and help her develop a love for reading over time.
As you may be well aware of, the state of public education in America paints a grim picture of our children’s futures in a global marketplace. Despite continual efforts by the federal government, school organizations, and of course, the blood, sweat, and tears of the many talented and dedicated teachers who instruct our youngsters day after day, our country is falling dangerously behind when it comes to academics. Need proof? The facts speak for themselves.
Summer is in full swing for most of the country by now. If your child is anything like mine, he’s slept in late, has a nice tan going, and has already had a ton of outdoor fun. What you may not realize though, is that while your little one is engaged in all of these summer festivities, he may actually be moving backwards academically.
It’s July and summer is in full swing for many families: vacation, pool time, BBQs, beach trips, summer movies, keeping pests out of the garden (or is it just me?). But I was surprised when a Facebook teacher friend posted about going back to work this week, with students starting school on July 5th. Seriously? Summer has just begun! My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do a little research.
March is a great month to reflect on how you promote reading at home or in the classroom. Promote? Yes, we have to continue to encourage youngsters to read! Reading is competing for attention against video games and phone apps. Reading development is paramount to literacy, and children don’t come hardwired for reading – they have to learn how to do it. And in order for them to learn, it has to be taught.
I don’t think most parents have a clue how important they are to their child’s early reading success. Reading readiness begins from the moment your child is born – can you believe it? Children absorb and begin to learn language from birth, even when they are not yet communicating verbally. By the time children begin school, most of their neural pathways for letter sounds may already be set!