Tips for Creating a Reading Schedule and Place That Works for Everyone

Teaching your child to read may be one of the most important things you do as a parent. When your child can read, the whole world opens up to them. They will be able to read not only for fun but will understand signs, food labels, and instructions. But beyond that, our very freedom is based on having a well-read and educated society.

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Common Reading Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Reading is a challenge for many young children. There are a number of common errors that are made when learning to read, but there are ways to correct them before they become ingrained in your childís reading. Here are some of the more common reading mistakes, and how you can fix them as soon as they appear.

Tracking Errors

Tracking errors are when a child mixes up sounds within a word. It indicates that they are not tracking left to right, which is the proper way to read. They might sound out a letter near the end of the word before one nearer to the beginning. To help your child in this situation, sound out the word from left to right, and move your finger in the proper direction to help them remember this.

Word Guessing

Often when a child learns to read, they may guess a word without viewing it in its entirety. If a child makes the correct sound of the first letter, but the rest of the word is wrong, they may be doing this. Watch your childís eyes closely, as children who are word guessing often look away from the page and list a string of possible words while watching you to see how you react. Again, sound out the word for your child while pointing at the letters and letter combinations.

Trouble with Vowel Combinations

Children may struggle with combining vowels. You will realize this if their vowel combinations sound choppy or do not flow properly. If your child is having difficulty putting two vowels together, practice sounding out the vowel combinations, or make up a catchy rhyme or poem to help them remember what the combination sounds like.

Lack of Attention to Detail

When a child is in a hurry to read or has trouble concentrating, they may lack attention to detail. If your child misses parts of a word they are attempting to read or skips words, this may be the issue. They may have trouble blending consonant clusters. Encourage your child to slow down and take their time in order to conquer this problem.

Confusing the Letters

It is a common issue for children to confuse letters when they are beginning to read. Letters such as b, d, and even p which are similar in shape can cause confusion among early readers. If your child is obviously mixing up their letters, have them print each letter numerous times in regular block style print.

Text Memorization

Sometimes children learn tricks that make them appear to be reading better than they actually are. This can be deceiving to those who are instructing them, as the child appears not to have any struggles. If you notice your child reciting a portion of reading to you and they are not even looking at the book, they have likely memorized it. The way to combat this is to have your child read new books often and to avoid books with pictures that give away what is written once they have read it through.

There are many common mistakes a child may make while learning to read. If you catch them early, you can correct them so that they will not become a long-term stumbling block to your child. Your young reader will benefit from your attention as you keep your eyes out for these common reading mistakes and assist your child in conquering them.

How Do Our Routines Impact Children’s Reading?

No one would argue that reading is one of the most important things we can teach our children. When a child learns to read, it opens up a whole new world to them. When a person can read, they will be able to do more, learn more, and become more than they otherwise would. Our routines can impact our childrenís reading, and here are some ideas on how your routines can encourage your child to become an avid and effortless reader.

Routines Make Time for Reading

In a busy world where we often feel like we are flying from one activity to the next, routines give us a solid schedule where we can make time for what is important to us and our families. Maintaining routines ensures that there will always be time for our children to read. Having a certain time set aside daily to read is one of the best things we can schedule and make time for.

Routines Allow Us to Be Involved in the Process

Routines also allow us to be able to commit to helping a child read. It is frustrating for a child who has a desire to learn something when their parent has too many other things on the go to assist them when needed. Putting reading into oneís schedule allows us to be available and to plan ahead so that we can be there when necessary.

Routines Allow Our Children to Look Forward to Reading

Children thrive on routines, and they crave predictability in their schedules. When your child knows what to expect at each given moment, they will anticipate what comes next. Although it seems counter-intuitive, our children will be more likely to look forward to reading when they know it is going to happen at a certain time, and on a daily basis.

Routines Give Children the Structure to Think Creatively

When a child doesnít have to wonder what is going to happen at the next moment, all day long, they can channel their creativity into more worthwhile things. Routines free up a child and their imagination and give your child room to expand their creative pursuits. Children who think creatively are more likely to enjoy reading because their imagination fills in the blanks as they read, and brings the text to life.

Routines Free Your Childís Mind to Learn

Daily routines help everyone function at their best, from the youngest to the oldest of the family. Routines help us feel stable and let us get into a rhythm. We function at our best when our bodies have a predictable pattern and know what to expect next. Your child will feel less scattered and be able to focus and concentrate on reading when they feel safe and secure. This is what routines do for us.

Routines are beneficial to families in every way. They give time to parents, creative energy to children, and the opportunity to make it all happen. Embrace routines in your life and see what a difference it can make in your childís ability and love for reading.

5 Surprising Benefits of Reading Hard Copy Books

Before you throw away your stacks of real books and switch to online reading only, you should know that there is research concerning the positive things about hard copy books. Today, many individuals are focused on getting rid of the clutter in their homes, leading to only reading books on electronic devices. But there are many reasons to keep paper books in your home.

Benefit 1: Improving Your Writing Skills

By reading real paper books, you and your children can improve your writing skills. When you or your child hold a book rather than an electronic device, you will spend more time looking at the sentence structure and punctuation, helping with writing technical papers or your own fictional stories.

Benefit 2: Reducing Your Stress Levels (And Money Spent)

If you are feeling stressed at home or work, then you can quickly pick up a real book to read a few pages. It is also possible to keep an assortment of books in your vehicle to read while waiting for your children at school or while waiting for your turn at a physician’s office. Real hard copy books are available at low prices at garage sales and flea markets, but you can also borrow the items at a local library. However, you probably can’t afford to have multiple electronic devices for your family, and the price of an average ebook is on the rise, to the point that they are becoming more expensive the hard copies. That’s an expensive electronic device plus the average cost of every ebook you want to read. In that case, the hard copy wins, since you don’t need anything to read it on.

Benefit 3: Preventing Memory Loss

When you are concerned about dementia conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, you should read real books as much as possible. With a hard copy book, you can grab it to read a few pages while television commercials are on. Alternatively, if you have children who can’t seem to maintain focus for extended amounts of time, then providing real paper books for them can improve their cognitive abilities, as they won’t be tempted to jump into an electronic game your e-reader could provide. Additionally, tacklings a hard copy book may help your memory and cognitive abilities absorb the material in a way ebooks will not.

Benefit 4: Devoted Readers Are Less Likely To Get Into Drugs

Readers are less likely to get into drugs because with books they can escape from reality for a bit, they provide distraction and educational opportunities they’ll enjoy. A book can be a particularly subtle way to bring your teenager back from harmful activities. Since they don’t like to be nagged and will respond better if you’re in command of your emotions, you can approach them with other ways to engage them, and therefore, take away time that they could be drinking or smoking. If you have the time, consider starting a small family book club with them, buying them their own hardback copies of books teens are bound to find interesting (for example, we’re fan of this book for its compelling and complicated themes). If you’re a little pressed for money, libraries often have book club sets to borrow as well.

Benefit 5: Learning About a Variety Of Different Things

When looking for books at either the store or the library, you’re exposed to everything there. From staff picks to bestsellers, to more obscure titles. It’s different from shopping online for an ebook, which can lead you around in similar circles, and thus not encourage you to branch out. Go to your local library or bookstore, strike up a conversation with a bookkeeper or librarian, you never know what they can recommend to you. It might just be your next new favorite.

Have a Reading Area In Your Home

Make sure to create a reading area in your home where you and your children have a few or a thousand favorite hard copy books. Have a relaxing chair and pillows in that area so that anyone can enjoy reading a real book, and maintain an atmosphere and space free of electronics, helping you feel unplugged.

References:

Books vs. e-books: The science behind the best way to read | CBS News

Alcohol Rehab in St. Louis: Bringing your Teens Back from the Brink | Midwest Telemedicine Institute  
The case against e-readers: Why reading paper books is better for your mind | The Washington Post

E-Books are on the decline and people are switching back to print | Good E-Reader

Serena Williams Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence For Her Daughter, & It’s Deeply Moving

I doubt anyone out there has ever accused Serena Williams of not speaking her mind. The tennis queen has a history of calling out b.s. whenever she sees it, which has made her a huge inspiration to women on and off the court around the world. But it …

I doubt anyone out there has ever accused Serena Williams of not speaking her mind. The tennis queen has a history of calling out b.s. whenever she sees it, which has made her a huge inspiration to women on and off the court around the world. But it seems she has her own inspiration helping to guide her these days; her little girl. Serena Williams is speaking out against domestic violence because of her daughter Olympia, she told People in a recent interview, and it’s deeply touching.

Williams has decided to team up with Allstate’s Purple Purse Foundation, an organization first founded in 2005 to help women caught in domestic and financial violence situations. As the mother of 9-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. with husband Alexis Ohanian Sr., Williams has become even more aware of speaking up for survivors of domestic violence. Especially once she became aware of the sobering numbers; Allstate reports that one out of every four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and nearly all of those instances will include some form of financial abuse as well. As Williams noted in her interview with People; "Having a daughter means that she’s one in four. Hopefully those stats don’t go up by the time she’s dating and meeting people, but they can if you don’t make people aware of it."

Which is exactly why she wanted to get involved with the Purple Purse Initiative in the first place. She realized that she didn’t know much about the issue of domestic violence, and wanted to do her part to help end the stigma around discussing it, as she told People:

[Domestic abuse] is a subject that people are not really comfortable talking about, but sometimes talking about the uncomfortable is what we have to do. We’re doing that now with Me Too, with Times Up, and I feel like we’re making those steps. We want to make this a movement.

This isn’t the first time Williams has spoken up about a difficult subject; she’s been on the forefront of talking about the gender pay gap, maternal health care for black women in particular, and struggling with postpartum depression to name just a few. After giving birth to Olympia last September, Williams told Harper’s Bazaar UK that she was surprised at how emotional she suddenly found herself getting as a new mom:

Honestly, sometimes I think I still have to deal with it. I think people have to talk about it more because it’s almost like the fourth trimester, it’s part of the pregnancy. I remember one day, I couldn’t find Olympia’s bottle and I got so upset I started crying … because I wanted to be perfect for her.

That’s the thing about Serena Williams; she’s not just fierce on the tennis court, she also takes great pride in being fiercely honest and invested. Which is great news for the Purple Purse Foundation, since she has signed on to be the new ambassador. And it’s such a worthwhile cause, especially considering how difficult it is for women to climb out from under financial abuse, the most common form of abuse that sees victims denied access to financial resources like bank accounts and job opportunities. And Williams wants to make sure everyone is talking about this issue, including men, as she told Yahoo Lifestyle:

I think the key word is men. Getting both men and women talking about it. We need the support of the men so they aren’t becoming abusers. Women as well … to know that when they are abused, [there are] ways they can overcome it and get out of it.

One thing we know about Serena Williams; when she sets her mind to something, s**t gets done. And that’s great news for survivors.

These Pics From Kit Harrington’s Wedding Are Everything A ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fan Could Ever Want

I was a big fan of the royal wedding between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, don’t get me wrong. But here’s the reality… there was one royal wedding that I’ve been secretly waiting to happen. And on Saturday, it finally came to pass. These pics fro…

I was a big fan of the royal wedding between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, don’t get me wrong. But here’s the reality… there was one royal wedding that I’ve been secretly waiting to happen. And on Saturday, it finally came to pass. These pics from Kit Harrington’s wedding to Rose Leslie are basically straight out of a Game of Thrones set, and I really don’t need to do another thing for the rest of the day other than scroll through them. Please join me.

The actor also known as Jon Snow married his longtime girlfriend, actress Rose Leslie, who also played his girlfriend Ygritte on Game of Thrones. Their wedding took place at Aberdeenshire in Scotland, where Leslie’s father owns a literal castle, according to Harper’s Bazaar. So yes, you’re reading this right. Jon Snow and Ygritte just got married at a castle in Scotland because dreams do come true. The Times of Scotland reports that the castle in question, Wardhill Castle, has been in Leslie’s family for 900 years, back before she was just a wildling girl in love with a bastard member of the Night’s Watch, I guess. Just kidding. I know Game of Thrones isn’t real. I’m fine.

To be fair, I feel like Rose Leslie wants us all to make the Game of Thrones connection. Otherwise she wouldn’t have looked like a damn beautiful Medieval princess with flowers in her hair, getting walked down the aisle by her father in a kilt at the ceremony at Rayne Church in the Scottish village of Kirkton.

In fact, it seems that the couple, who initially got together in 2012 when they were playing love interests on Game of Thrones, are not shying away from the obvious references. According to Marie Claire, the couple reportedly used postage stamps with Jon Snow’s image on them for the wedding invitations. Oh, and an actual monk reportedly officiated; Father Chad Boulton, a hooded Benedictine monk from Ampleforth Abbey. His name is Chad, which I don’t tend to associate with monks a whole lot, but still.. if anyone was going to be able to pull off a Game of Thrones-themed wedding, these were the two people to do it.

I guess you know something, Jon Snow, and now there I’ve included the pun.

There’s also the fact that these two were able to invite cast members to their wedding. As Harrington said in a 2017 interview on The Jonathan Ross Show when talking about his upcoming nuptials:

I rang [the scheduling producer] up and I said, ‘I’m getting married and it’s your fault actually. I was like, ‘You need to factor in a Game of Thrones wedding by the way.’ They [the cast] have all got to be there so the whole thing has got to shut down.

And so they came. Members of House Targaeryn, Stark, and even the cunning Tyrion Lannister were on hand. Which seemed gutsy, when one considers what happened at Rob Stark’s wedding (who was also there in a kilt and oh my God).

There were other famous folk on hand, including British actor Jack Donnelly and his wife, fellow actress Malin Ackerman. But the real stars were the newly married couple.

As Game of Thrones enters its very final season and some people out there are grappling with how to spend the rest of their life, it’s nice to see that some things from the show will carry on. I like to think if Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister walking around the castle of Ygrette’s father, drinking mead and brooding about how they are both outcasts.

This brings me joy.

This Canadian Politician Breastfed In Parliament, & Twitter Is Loving It

I am a Canadian person. I also breastfed all of my four sons. So excuse me while I make a huge, whopping deal about the Canadian politician breastfeeding in Parliament earlier this week. Because other than the fact that she is a politician with a con…

I am a Canadian person. I also breastfed all of my four sons. So excuse me while I make a huge, whopping deal about the Canadian politician breastfeeding in Parliament earlier this week. Because other than the fact that she is a politician with a considerable amount of power and such, we’re basically the same person.

For whatever reason, public breastfeeding remains a bit of an issue for some people in the world. Especially if it’s a women who is at work, apparently. Which is why it’s so important to see women of influence changing the conversation. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould was in Ottawa at the House of Commons on Tuesday, which is the Canadian version of the House of Congress in the United States. It looked to be a pretty typical day at the House of Commons, with politicians vehemently raising their voices to get their point across during the Question period. Although this time around, there was one small difference. Gould sat in the background of an especially raucous moment, casually breastfeeding her son Oliver. And here is the best part of the video, which has already been shared by several news outlets; nobody in the video is remotely concerned with the fact that Gould is breastfeeding at work. They’re just going about their business while she goes about the business of feeding her baby.

When the video of Gould breastfeeding while simultaneously fulfilling her role as Democratic Institutions minister hit the internet, it went viral. The people of Twitter loved it, and with good reason because she’s clearly a badass. Women shared their support of Gould breastfeeding her baby and remembered all of the times they had breastfed in public as well. On account of it’s a normal thing to do, I hear.

As for Gould herself, she took to Twitter to point out that there was "no shame" in breastfeeding her 3-month-old son Oliver, because a "baby’s gotta eat." And for the record, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (who is also a self-described feminist) retweeted Gould’s words as a show of support.

Sadly, with every positive comment there appeared a negative counterpoint. People who were offended that someone would breastfeed their child in the workplace, and who saw it as a sign that our world no longer lacks decorum.

So here’s a little dose of reality for people who would prefer to keep the old status quo; women have decided we aren’t doing that thing anymore. You know, the old trope where you can either work or be with your baby, not both. We have decided that yes, we get to do both if that’s our choice. And the rest of the working world is just going to have to get used to it.

Another excellent case in point? Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who just became only the second woman to govern a country to give birth while in office. She gave birth at the Aukland Hospital on Thursday after working late into her pregnancy, according to CNBC.

This is the new order of things; politicians breastfeeding while at work and being supported by everyone around them. Women governing entire countries and giving birth to babies. I get that people who liked things the way they were before, women hiding their breastfeeding in private and having to make constant difficult choices between their home life and their work life, might be freaked out by the change. But sorry, all of that sort of sucked. I like things better the way this way. Moms working with their babies in tow, able to feed and live and work without being constantly divided.

Sorry not sorry.