Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Many books a day keeps the school psych away!

So as many of you are aware, I was a school psychologist in my previous life (aka-before becoming a stay-at-home mom). In case you don't know what that is, basically I helped schools to teach struggling learners better. I helped develop interventions (both academic and behavioral) and also did "testing" to see if kids qualified for special education services, etc.
The number one referral I had? For reading concerns...both fluency and/or comprehension. Sure, I had lots of referrals for math, written language, and behavior, but more often than not I'd discover that a major root cause for those other concerns was actually a reading deficit (do you know how much reading is required for solving mathematical story problems?!).

Ok, so now you're all saying to yourselves, "this is super interesting stuff, but why is she telling us about the wild life of a school psychologist?" Well it's because of this key thing that I found myself saying over and over and over again during my job. I'd have parents come in for meetings to go over my "findings" and hear my recommendations on how to help their child. Certainly there were things I suggested the school do, but still the parents would almost always ask "what can I be doing at home to help my child who's struggling with reading?"....and then they would wait intensely for the words of wisdom I'd share, some magic reading program they could purchase, some special workbook they could use at home, etc. And it seemed like never did parents expect me to say what I always said, which was "read at home". Seriously, there is no better "intervention" to increase reading ability than to simply read more. Parents should read to their children daily. I always suggested 30 minutes at minimum. When the child is  old enough have him/her read to you, but still parents reading aloud (modeling appropriate fluency, etc.) remains important even for older children. A lot of time parents would tell me "but he HATES to read!" and yes, some kids do. But don't limit your idea of what reading is! If your child likes to read magazines, that is fine! Find a book series that appeals to their interests. Model a love for reading yourself (it's hard for a child to want to read if you're sitting on the couch watching TV and they are sent to their room to read---it comes across as punishment, which reading never should be!)

So today's Tot School activity--READING! We picked out a ton of books and read and read and read until Raya lost interest (which was quite awhile, because she just loves books!) Brielle sat and listened too--don't  forget to read to your babies!

Here was Raya telling Brielle about the dragonfly--I was surprised she knew the word dragonfly!

So my challenge to every parent who reads my blog is to spend 30 minutes reading aloud to your child(ren) today--even if they are older! Do a family read-a-loud and model a love of lifelong reading. I truly believe it's nearly impossible  to be successful in life if you can't read, and read well. Start early  and raise a reader! Put us school psychs out of business ;-)

Lastly, don't  miss my earlier update from today--Brielle's 6 month pictures!

Here are 2 more "favorites" I wanted to share

Love this face hehe--push ups are hard work!

Pretty girl :-) go grab a book!


  1. Love the pics of the girls reading! Brielle is one pretty baby!!!!!!
    Grama F

  2. any suggestions, I try to read to Charlee and she always dislikes when i hold her on my lap and hold a book to read. She scrums and just makes noises...what can I do to get her used to me reading to her. PS and favorite books???


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