Parents Must Read

Proud to be “kinda ridiculous”:
During one of our many play time adventures-when there is a fine line between mommy and Captain Hook-my daughter (Tinkerbell) was in a battle of words with me.
“Codfish!”
“Stinky fish!”
“Underwear fish!”
“Flying fish!”
Long pause…”Mom, you’re being kinda ridiculous.”
At this point I burst out laughing, my three year-old daughter just called me ridiculous in an exactly appropriate context. Where on earth did she learn that word? So I ask her-
“Chicken Big, mommy.”

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Then, I recall that in her new favorite story, Chicken Big, the big chicken does call the smaller chickens ridiculous one time in the text.
This situation happens almost daily at our house. Causing me to only further believe in the power of story time. Our daughter takes new vocabulary from repeated readings of children’s texts and applies it to her daily conversation. Recently, words like, “apparently”, “compare”, “horrible”, and “unkind” have frequented her speech.

The one thing you can do to make a difference:
As a preschool teacher, when askedd, “How can I help my child _______?” (fill in the blank-write her name, make friends, use the potty, etc.) my best advice is always-READ. Reading with your child is the one thing a parent can do to make the biggest impact in that child’s life. Turn off the screens, curl up in bed beside your child and get lost in a story together. This sacred time can build brain power, strengthen social skills, teach life lessons, and create a strong bond between parent and child. I believe many of us parents know this and some of you may have already stopped reading this, but knowing and doing are two very different things. Spending 30 minutes a night reading with your child is a commitment; it is not to be taken lightly or easily brushed off. Your child will look forward to this time together more than they look forward to Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

The Third Grade Guarantee:
Some states have adopted a policy where every third grade child who cannot pass the reaading portion of a standardized test will be retained-will flunk, as a third grader would say. This is cruel and inhumane to subject our nation’s youth to such “ridiculousness.”
This guarantee says, “You can’t read, so here-practice reading some more.” You must not have done enough phonics flashcards, you must not have read the assigned readings that we now know you could not read, you must not have tried hard enough…eight year-old.

Why do you excel at something?
Because I practiced it..a lot.
But, why did you practice it?
Because I enjoyed doing it.
So, why did you enjoy doing it?

Someone encouraged you-told you it was a special skill you had, told you you were good at it, someone mentored you, someone showed you how great you could be; they led by example.
PARENTS: You have an opportunity-do not waste it! Be that catalyst in your child’s life. Show them the wonderful world of reading-make it fun, make it exciting, make it…ridiculous!

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