Reading

child-page-person-1741230.jpg

The first step in becoming a better reader is learning to read. This includes learning the alphabet, decoding words phonetically, and building vocabulary. Over time children put this foundation to work as they read to learn and grasp concepts.  This brings a child to utilize the skill of reading comprehension, which is currently emphasized in schools.

The current school curriculum is emphasizing reading, specifically reading comprehension versus attaining general knowledge. And yet, despite the enormous expenditure of time and resources on reading, American children haven’t become better readers.1 For the past 20 years, only about a third of students have scored at or above the “proficient” level on national tests.

Also, the school-free summer months can bring on learning losses of one to two months in reading compared to the previous year. So what can you do???

  1. Begin early. Read aloud to your infant as part of a daily routine. As your child gets older, you can begin to engage and ask questions and talk about the story. Once your child begins to read, have her read aloud to you.

  2. Role model. Read! Check out books from the library. Show an interest in reading and your child may develop the same interest. Read articles, books, recipes, etc. that role model that you read as well.

  3. Make appropriate materials easily accessible to encourage reading. Have magazines, newspapers, and articles available that engage your child’s interest. Through proper adult supervision and controlling filters, you can even find interesting reading on the internet.

  4. Find help if necessary. Most children can learn to read, even if some do need a little more assistance. Solicit help from teachers or professionals to determine if your child has a learning disability or other problem that needs extra support. 

With your support and encouragement, your child will begin a lifelong journey of reading.

  1. Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years, Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, April 13, 2018

Ready to Return to School? Reduce Stress by Making a Plan

back-to-school-conceptual-cube-207658.jpg

I know… everyone is enjoying summer and does not even want to think about school right now. There is no need to cut the summer short when you have a solid plan and know when to begin. Take some time to get a plan together to eliminate the stress of returning to school. Here are a few things to include in your return-to-school plan:

Here are a few things to include in your return-to-school plan:

  1. Establish a time to begin your plan. A first consideration is when does school begin- from there you can determine when to start implementing a back-to-school plan. A good rule of thumb is to start executing a plan about 2 weeks before school begins (and continue enjoying summer until then).

  2. Return to the rhythm of a regular regimen 2 weeks before school starts:

    a. Sleep- Establish a set bedtime and stick with it. The plan can even be graduated and work towards the ideal bedtime. For example, bedtime may be 10pm and then the next week goes to 9pm. 

    b. Wake up!- Consider starting the day at the time you will need when school begins. This gets everyone in the habit of waking at the same time and eliminates the struggles that come with those early back-to-school blues.

    c. Food - Summer is all about going, doing and having fun and with that comes erratic eating habits and schedules. Try setting a solid routine for breakfast with a balanced nutritious meal.

  3. Involve the children- What do they want to do to get ready for school? What is their favorite breakfast? Getting school supplies and backpacks are ways to get the children excited about returning to school.

  4. Consider what kind of support may be needed as the children return to school- after school transportation, daycare, extra-curricular activities, etc. Working through this ahead of time will ensure the family is prepared.

Don’t procrastinate. Waiting and delaying will only create more stress later. Any routines that are started will be helpful in the return to school. Taking time to create a solid plan before return to school begins will eliminate a lot of the stress of transitioning from the fun summer.




Mathematics Tip- Back to School

alphabet-board-game-conceptual-256428.jpg

Although the school year is already underway, some children may still be finding it hard to transition from summer mode to back to school. According to a Scholastic’s teacher survey data, 98 percent of teachers cited family involvement and support as being key to student success. Although it might be hard to be physically present at school events at times, there are other great ways to be involved in your child’s education.

Though you may not able to be physically present in school, there are many other ways that you can get involved in your child’s education. One way is by practicing basic facts Immediate recall requires practice and time for practice in the school day is often limited. Orally presenting facts promotes mastery more effectively than worksheets. There are a lot of great times to practice math facts including driving or waiting. Secondly, you can play games. Games are a great way for children practice mathematics skills and develop strategic thinking, while also promoting positive parent-child relationships. Thirdly, you can help your child see that math is all around them. If you point out how mathematics problems are a part of everyday life, children will be able to understand the value of mathematics.

You also need to know that being prepared for the future nowadays requires being able to do more than simply computing facts or carrying out procedures. You may be thinking that math is different now than when you were in school, and that is true! The available careers are very different now than they were 20 years ago. Of course, children need conceptual understanding and procedural fluency, but they also need to know how to apply this knowledge to solve problems. Try to include problem solving techniques as often as possible in daily conversations.

Having your child in Eye Level is a great start to giving your child a head start. Through Basic Thinking math, your child is gaining the necessary computation skills to succeed. Since Eye Level also provides Critical Thinking math, your child will apply those skills in problem solving situations. Continue being involved in your child’s education and he will succeed

https://www.nctm.org/News-and-Calendar/Messages-from-the-President/Archive/Diane-Briars/Back-to-School_-The-Time-to-Engage-Parents-and-Families/

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/meghan-everette/10-tips-family-engagement-school-year/