Misreading and skipping words: A great question from a first grade mom

March 7th, 2019

I had the pleasure of presenting to some engaged and eager parents recently, and one of them asked me a question that I hear variations of often:

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Should you use flashcards to teach your kindergartener sight words?

January 28th, 2019

At a recent parent meeting, one mother asked if she should use flashcards to teach her kindergartener sight words. My gut response? Don’t bother. But here’s why avoiding flashcards is my knee-jerk reaction, and when, on the other hand, flashcards might not be so bad.

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New research on parents’ phone use

January 8th, 2019

As I think back to when my kids were little, I’m so thankful that there weren’t mobile phones. I know it would have been really hard for me to avoid picking my phone up; taking care of young children was tedious at times, and texting or scrolling would have been a great way to entertain myself.

But does a parent’s mobile-device use even matter? Apparently, it can. An article in the New York Times quotes data that might make parents of babies and toddlers want to rethink their phone habits:

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“A book on every bed”

December 21st, 2018

Last week I wrote about why giving books to your children as gifts sends a clear message about how important reading is in your family. For another fun take on holiday book giving, read about the Book on Every Bed campaign.

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Holiday gift ideas: Buy books this holiday season!

December 12th, 2018

What you give your children says something to them. So when you are buying gifts for children, always include books. They’ll know that you think books are special and gift-worthy, and you will be building a family culture that puts reading at the center: we read and talk about books together, we read books on our own, and we give special books (lovingly chosen) as gifts to people we care about. Make book-giving a habit early and stick with it through the years: you want a solid connection between family, books, reading, and good times.

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Reading motivation: Why doesn’t my child just pick up a book and read?

December 4th, 2018

When I talk with parents of children beyond kindergarten, the same question often comes up: “My child just doesn’t pick up a book on his own. How can I get him more excited about reading?” While this is a topic we’ve tackled before, I think it’s worth a deeper dive.

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Going digital (part 2): Reading with little ones — ebooks or print books?

November 20th, 2018

Full disclosure: as a rule, I am a print-book fan. But I know there are some positives to the engaging and now-ubiquitous ebook format, so I reviewed a number of studies and learned a lot about the digital format’s strengths and limitations. The research is not comprehensive, unfortunately. There have not been enough high-quality studies done on all types of ebook experiences with young children, including Kindle-like ebooks, for example, or enough strong studies with digital formats at every age of child. Given the research that is out there, however, there are things parents should know.

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Going digital (part 1) : Digital versus paper reading – where and how do we understand best?

November 10th, 2018

Digital books and reading experiences are everywhere: we read the news on our laptops, articles on tablets, and Twitter on our phones. But how does this kind of reading compare to reading “the old-fashioned way,” in paper books and newspapers? More specifically for parents, do children get all the same meaning from reading text on a screen that they would if they were to read the same text on paper? Read the article  

In the news: Why are we still teaching reading the wrong way? (NYT 10/28/18)

November 2nd, 2018

If you have not yet read Emily Harmon’s article in this past weekend’s New York Times, you should stop reading this blog and go directly to the link here. And if you did read the piece in the Sunday Review, you surely are still shaking your head over it.

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