Archive for December, 2010

Dec 17 2010

Let’s Get Ready To Help Children Learn To Read!

According to UNICEF, “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women.”  In America, two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Statistics show that children who don’t learn to read by age nine may never catch up. Learning to read is the key to changing our global world.

I remember learning to read.  I used the Dick, Jane and Spot books.

DickJanegang

They were word picture association books with three words on each page.  They were perfect for learning to read. 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0448434113/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0448434040&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06PHQAY1K1PBZATNZ3NM

http://www.amazon.com/Read-Dick-Jane-Go/dp/0448434059/ref=pd_sim_b_1

I think part of the problem for parents is that we are not professional teachers, who specialize in teaching children how to read and we might be using the “wrong” books to help our children learn to read.  As an author and publisher, I am shocked by the number of books that are labeled as “early reading” and yet are not using the appropriate “early reading” vocabulary by age group.   I love Dr. Seuss books!! They are fun and engaging and full of repetition and rhyming patterns, but unless they are part of the early reading series from Dr. Seuss, they are not always the best choice for word picture association and learning to read.  WHY? Because word association doesn’t always work with Dr. Seuss; he uses silly off-the-wall rhymes that don’t add up in a child’s head.  They would not automatically put together green eggs and ham, unless they already knew the book and the rhyme.   

Top tips for helping kids learn to read. 

  1. Empower kids into the process with simple “early reading” books that use word picture association and stress word/picture connections.
  2. Practice getting kids to draw one page word picture association, such as draw:  Tom has apples. 
  3. Getting them to make the connection and guess what the next word is – Tom has…they can see the apples so they can say, apples.
  4. Play games to get children to guess word association: if I say peanut butter, you say: __________.
  5. Practice, practice, practice with the early learning books that specialize in word picture association and using words in the early learning vocabulary. 
  6. Make it fun with lots of picture books with repetition and rhyming patterns that are geared to “early reading”. 
  7. Read out loud time makes for better students.  Studies have shown that preschoolers who have frequent read–aloud time with their parents have stronger language skills later in life—including higher reading, spelling and IQ scores at age 13.

Have you pledged to help a child learn to read?  Visit www.target.com/reading to do your part to change our world!

20 responses so far

Dec 16 2010

Let’s Get Ready For Cold and Flu Time!

It’s not too late to get your flu shot and protect your family from influenza.  Heidi and Megan had the option of the flu shot or the flu mist, but because the mist is a live flu strain and we are around babies, we opted for the shot instead.  Now that my girls are getting older they know the routine and request what it is they need:

Wash those hands long and often!

I can’t say it enough: Wash, wash, wash those HANDS especially if you are sick to help keep everyone else stay healthy!  Wash long and often, especially after touching your eye, nose, mouth; before and after eating; coughing and sneezing; and of course, after the bathroom.  I still listen to the sound of the water and if I don’t think it was long enough I will say definitely say something!

Make a Steam Room!

Shut the door, run the shower to create a warm sauna room upon entry.   The girls love soaking in the whirlpool tub or take an extra long shower that helps to open up clogged airways.  I have a television in our master bath room (my way of seeing the news without alarming my kids – especially during 9/11) so they enjoy watching TV as they soak in the whirlpool tub inside their steamy sauna room!

Hot Chocolate or Soup!

It’s a family tradition for hot chocolate and something to dip depending on how sick they feel: toast, graham crackers or cookies!  How about some Chicken Noodle Soup!  It really does work!

Gargle with Salt Water or Nasal Rinse

You know they don’t feel good when they request to gargle with a mixture of warm water and salt or a nasal rinse.  We have a nasal rinse kit from the drug store.  It has a salt solution packet that you add warm water; it comes with a spoon to mix and a special genie shaped bottle that you pour in one nostril to drain out the other nostril.  It sounds gross but it really does work.  Have plenty of tissue on hand because you will definitely be in need of blowing to clear and clean passages!    

Cuddle Time and a Movie or Book with Mom!

We curl up on the sofa and watch a movie or read books together for a few hours of cuddle time. I make them sleep for a few hours while I work in my home office and only after I feel that they got enough extra rest, I allow them to have homework, play, books, crafts, laptop, iPod and/or television time! 

Wash, wash, wash those HANDS and stay healthy for the holiday season!!!

What is your secret tip to keep your family healthy?? Leave a comment and keep us all healthy!

104 responses so far

Dec 15 2010

Let’s Get Ready to Celebrate Green with 50% coupon sheet!

Gear up for your holiday shopping season with these amazing deals: 

http://bit.ly/dAEUUI

18 responses so far