It’s always a good time to think about reading, a fundamental building block of learning. We all know that first children learn to read, and then they read to learn. No matter how old your kids are, or how well they are reading now, you can help them become better readers. Check out this issue of Power Parent to learn more.
Unfortunately, predators have many ways to approach and lure children via the internet . Make sure you know ways to keep your children safe online.
Today, children are considered digital natives, which means they are just as comfortable online as they are offline.
The internet enables endless educational possibilities, with constantly evolving information streams. But the vastness of the internet can be a hindrance when children cannot effectively process what they find.
Strong literacy skills help children discern and interpret information, allowing them to use the internet’s information effectively and wisely. Good study skills and habits also help make sure the digital footprints students leave behind is safe, appropriate, and reflects their true, best self.
Literacy is the ability to read, view, write, design, speak and listen in a way that allows you to communicate effectively.
The power of literacy lies not just in the ability to read and write, but also in your ability to apply these skills to effectively connect, interpret and discern the intricacies of the around you.
To find books for your child’s reading level, check out these lists, organized by grade level and interests.
When reading books with children there are questions you can ask before you start reading, questions to ask during reading or questions to ask after you are done. For sample questions see Comprehension Questions to Ask Children While Reading.
As a parent, you can help in many ways.
When you tell your children what you expect from them, both during school and outside of school, it gives them a standard to follow. For example,
I expect you to:
Believe in your ability to learn and achieve
Go to school every day
Read in school and at home every day
Ask for help when you need it
Do your homework completely and on time
Living up to these five B-GRAD standards year after year help students graduate from high school on time with their class.
Children will live up to your academic and behavioral expectations, whether those expectations are high or low.
Learn more about parenting styles.
Most public libraries host story hours for young children. When you take your children, you can:
- read and sing together and with other families
- enjoy stories, music, movement and rhymes that develop early literacy skills.
- encourage everyone in the family to share their love of reading.
Even if the books are selected for ages 6 and younger, siblings are welcome to attend as well. Search for story hours at your library.
Enroll children in a summer reading program at the public library.
Family Fun Idea: Have a reading contest with your children.
Grand Rapids Public Library
Grand Rapids Public Library offers programs for children and adults of all ages, including the One Book, One City for Kids partnership with GRPS. This annual reading program encourages all 5th graders in the city to read and discuss the same book. Many brand libraries also host story hours for younger children. All GRPS students can also use their student ID to check out books and use the electronic OVERDRIVE system. Learn more at www.grpl.org.
In the United States, approximately 150,000 computers are disposed of every day. At the same time, an estimated 48 million people in the U.S. do not have access to a home computer. Comprenew, a nonprofit electronics refurbisher and recycler, is working with GRPS to close the digital divide by giving your retired electronic devices new life. GRPS parents who have graduated from our basic skills computer class can purchase a refurbished computer from Comprenew for just $50.00. Learn more at www.comprenew.org.
First, second, and third graders usually love to play Concentration, a game that tests visual memory. Perhaps because their young brains are so sharp, youngsters can often soundly defeat the adults in the room. Try playing Concentration with your child using words at her reading level.
Using index cards, make two copies of each word, then shuffle the cards and lay them word-side down. Take turns finding matches; the player with the most pairs wins. (In the beginning, you’ll likely have to help your child recognize many words, but give her the chance to try.) As your child becomes familiar with the words in your deck, add more challenging ones.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS THIS MONTH
Why do some people love books?
Can you name a favorite book or two? What about a favorite character?
How could you persuade someone who doesn’t like to read to try your favorite book?
Do you like to visit the public library?
Do you think it’s important to make books available, for free, to everyone? Why or why not?