Category Archives: reading

Sleepytime stories

For generations, reading bedtime stories has been a traditional aspect of parenting.

But there’s a new angle: bedtime stories for adults.

Perhaps the idea is a natural extension of the mindfulness trend or the growing awareness of mental health in the wellness arena.

Whatever the reason, most moms and dads don’t need to relax their brain before falling asleep. Exhaustion is the perennial sleep aid for parents, especially on Christmas Day.


Raising readers

As both an educator and author, I hope that during the Christmas season we continue to see an increasing demand for children’s books.

Many attribute the trend toward the Harry Potter books.

Although J.K. Rowling showed that children will read fantasy, lengthy books and titles with a long, overarching story arc, we’ve seen a continuing surge in all types of children’s publishing.

I’ve always believed it was more important to give a child the right book than a new toy. That’s still true.


Has your child finished assigned summer reading?

The last week of July is often the panic point for students who have one or more books left to read before school starts. Unfortunately, too many kids are turning down some great reading by using the abbreviation, tl; dr, or “too long, didn’t read.”

Encourage your child to experience the joy of losing himself in a longer book. Share a book you loved when you were your child’s age. Or read aloud before bedtime, even if he’s an independent reader.

Parents who share their love of reading might never hear their child decline a book by saying, “tl; dr.”

Homework policy updates?

The school homework policy is sure to be on the agenda for many elementary administrators this summer.

Last year, some schools substituted daily overnight reading for homework assignments in various subjects. That reflects research which says students younger than those in middle school have minimal benefit from homework, but do benefit from daily reading.

Yet the “no homework hassles” have, rather surprisingly, drawn some opposition from parents. When helping with homework, these moms and dads stay in touch with what and how their children are learning.

Reading together or reading aloud to each other seems like a simple solution. Reading often triggers conversations. Perhaps parents who share a book with their child don’t discuss math facts or a science experiment, but reading can trigger conversations about even more significant elements of life than academics.

Serious summer reading?

In preparation for completing summer reading lists, librarians are devoting more shelf space than ever to graphic novels.

Because this genre fills the gap between screens and a traditional print book, graphic novels often appeal to reluctant readers or students with limited English language skills.

This summer, “light novels,” which are text-only novels based on comics, will appeal to many of these same students.

Some parents don’t see these books as serious reading, but as an educator, I’m glad to see options for kids who might otherwise struggle to complete summer reading assignments.

Book baskets

During a recent interview, the host and I discussed how books are a perfect “add” to Easter baskets.

Books that address worry and anxiety are traditional standards in a children’s emotional tool kit.

Perhaps living in the DC area makes me more sensitive to the climate and tone in the culture, but Easter is a great opportunity to choose titles that focus on empathy, compassion and caring.

For toddlers and very young children, try my new release, First Feelings for Toddlers. Click link:

Reading pictures

Is this the “Age of Visual Learning?”

Some educators believe the phenomenal popularity of comic books and graphic novels merely reflect the fact that we use so many images in everyday communication. Emojis are one example.

For students, especially those struggling with skills or motivation to read, images add a playful element.

So if graphics increase the fun factor for readers, this genre gets my support.