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You Can't Not Teach

You will always be your child’s first and primary teacher

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our Summer Reading Program has gotten off to its strongest start ever so I want to thank every single one of our wonderful parents for supporting the program but more importantly your children!

This is by far one of the most valuable things we do here for our parents. It is a fact that most children, especially the younger ones lose months of progress in reading and math over the summer break. In addition to reading it also helps when a child has structure, certainty and routine in their lives. Believe it or not kids really do not like chaos and a “free for all” life! It makes it so much easier to start school in less than two months.

We have been obsessed with answering this one question: “What makes the difference between a child who thrives and succeeds, and one who struggles and fails?” Well, one easy answer is reading. Kids who love reading love school and learning. When they do well at school they thrive in life. When a child struggles or does not like reading they tend to not do well in school. Now school is not everything but face it, this is a large part of how a child starts his or her life.

So to help you nurture the love of reading, here are some observations and tips that might help.

We find there are three types of kids when it comes to reading:

  1. The kids who LOVE READING: First consider yourself lucky.These kids read all the time without being told.You don’t need to do much but you can enhance their drive.First, sincerely praise their reading.Young children want nothing more than to please their parents and your positive feedback is huge to them.A second thing you can do is ask them about what they are reading.Have them teach you about what they read.Third, challenge their mind.Discover their interests and guide their curiosity and learning.

  2. The kids that will ONLY READ WHEN FORCED TO: Well the good news is you are still in luck.Especially when they are young, at least you (or their teacher) can get them to read.It is important right now to develop the reading habit so they do move up to the first group.The key is to do everything you can to keep them reading.In the summer let them read what they like to read.We can also help you here.We will be the “bad guys”.We will be the ones that tell them they have to read.You can stay the good guys and help them meet our reading requirement.If you need help “encouraging” your child to read just let us know and we would be happy to talk to them!Send the clear message:They do not have to like reading, but they have to read!It is not just okay but important that you teach your child the vital skill of “doing things they do not want to do!”

  3. The kids who AVOID OR REFUSE TO READ:This is a tougher one.This one you do want to catch early because time will work against you.The longer a child struggles and gets behind the harder it becomes to get them on the reading track.I have mothers all the time ask me “I tell them the best way to get your kids to read is to model it.Do you read and does your child see you read?It is very similar to eating healthy or working out.The best way to teach and develop something in your child is to do it yourself.“You can’t not teach!”You are your child’s first and primary teacher.They are always watching what you do.It is not what you say but what you do that counts.So fake it (it also might be a good thing for you). Just have books around the house.Visit the library and book stores.Look into e-readers or audiobooks.Have books with you.Carry a book or magazine with you all the time.Read with your child.If reading is important to you it will be important to your child.

  4. Kids who REALLY DO STRUGGLE with reading: Now there is a fourth group.These are the children who really do have an obstacle to reading or a learning disability.It is critical to identify this as early as possible.The schools can help you here.They can test your child then formulate a plan to catch them up.All mothers have a special gift called intuition.You know your child far better than anyone else.Trust your intuition on this one.It almost always beats the doctors and experts!

If you would like more parenting tips or just share your thoughts and concerns, I encourage and invite you to join us for the “New Parenting Orientation” session this Friday at 6:30. We will present information on making the most of this dojo and we spent a lot of time on parenting tips.

Hope to see you there!

Yours for Rock Solid (and reading crazy) Kids,


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