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Back-to-School Prep

September 2, 2015

Back-to-School Prep Step 2

 

More than Books:  

5 Things You Should Read to your Child

 

 

In this blog series, we will be featuring a total of 3 steps to help your child be back-to-school ready in no time!  Check back for a new step every week.

 

 

 

It is no surprise that literacy and success in school are linked.  According to a National Education Association study, 26% of children who were read to 3-4 times per week recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14% of children who were read to less frequently.  (more on that here).  When you consider that recognizing letters is the first step to learning to read, it is clear that recognizing the alphabet prior to beginning school puts kids at a significant advantage.  In our last blog, we talked about how you can include reading time into your hectic schedule.  Now, let's look at things you can read, other than books!

 

 

1)  Recipes: 

 

Aside from learning to read and learning new descriptive vocabulary, children will also learn a little chemistry and measurement.  Pretty cool!

 

 

2)  News: 

 

For children, I particularly like Newsela, Scholastic Online, and Time for Kids.  Newsela is free to sign up for all-access to the site.  Additionally, you can click the numbers on the side of the page to change the reading or grade level.  Changing the grade level keeps the information changes the length and vocabulary of the article.  It's AMAZING!

 

 

3)  Art:  

 

Check out Joseph Kosuth's neon creations like the image above. He makes words and sentences into unique and colorful experiences.  If his work is not on display near you, art museums like MoMA, the Whitney, the New Museum, and the Guggenheim in New York City will be sure to have "art language" everywhere!  You may even want to take a day trip to Beacon, NY and check out Beacon Dia.  You have so many options when looking for art language, including internet search engines!

 

 

 

4)  Poetry:  

 

Many of us remember reading the goofy and hilarious Shel Silverstein poems.  Check out any of his books, such as, A Light in the Attic or Where the Sidewalk Ends.  For something a little different, you can try more classic poetry.  

 

 

The musical Cats is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.  There is certainly new vocabulary and it can be challenging but you can read it aloud to your child if they can't read it themselves.  

 

Lastly, Robert Frost's poems can be quite short and fun for children to read.  Just don't try to delve too much into the meaning since they may be a little depressing.  Or, if your child is middle-school aged, you may want to try to analyze the meaning.  There's a good lesson in "The Road Not Taken."

 

 

5) Magazines:

 

National Geographic: Fun facts about animals?  Check it out here!  Literacy-based games galore? This website has that too! Also, don't forget to check out the "kids" section. 

 

Highlights: This classic magazine with puzzles and games, now has a website!  You will find a ton of great activities for kids but also advice and tips for parents! 

 

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