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Favorite Books for Reluctant Readers Grades 3-8

Best Books for Kids Who Don’t Like to Read

At our school’s curriculum night, I always tell parents that my number one goal is to help their child love to read so that he or she will become a life-long reader.  For some students, this goal has already been met — the children come to me with a love of literature.  For others, it is more difficult.  This can be for a multitude of reasons.  Maybe the child is still learning to read and has not built up the reading skill or endurance needed to focus on the content of the book versus the process of reading.  Maybe the child has not found the right kind of books for him or her – maybe they are trying to read books that are too long or that they don’t have the necessary background knowledge for.  Whatever the reason, it is my job to push, challenge and empower those children to become book lovers. Read more…

MathABC, free online math practice, grades 1-6, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmaticmom, Pragmatic Mom, best math blog for elementary school students, best education blog

Free Website for Math Facts Grades 1-6

Free Math Facts Website for Kids

Someone suggested this site to me,  MathABC:  Free Online Math Practice for Grades 1-6.  Mark Sanders, the founder, says that he is in the process of adding hundreds more exercises but I have to say that what is up now is pretty great!  And did I mention that it’s FREE?!!  Some of the problems are fill in the blank and some are multiple choice.  The layout is very simple and easy to use.  It’s great for children! Read more…

biofeedback effective treatment for adhd autism?, New York Times article on biofeedback, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Does Neurofeedback Work to Treat Autism, ADHD?

Neurofeedback as Treatment for Autism and ADHD

This is not a proven technique by any means.  Here is the full article by Katherine Ellison of the New York Times, Neurofeedback Gains Popularity and Lab Attention.  Has anyone tried this as a treatment for Autism or ADHD?  What do you think of this? Read more…

Josh Nakazawa, child cello prodigy, gifted children as likely to fail in life, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

Gifted Children Just as Likely to Fail Life

Are Gifted Kids More Successful in Life? No!

I told a reader that I’d post this article and just happened upon it again after failing to locate through several Google searches. Are exceptionally talented kids more likely to succeed in life?  Are the cards dealt early?  This article says otherwise and it does make sense:  the first child to walk is not necessarily winning gold medals at the Olympics.  Early readers are not the highest scoring children in literacy at elementary school.  It turns out, according to this article at least, that the future  success of exceptionally talented kids is highly dependent on good parenting — not the pushy kind. Read more…

How To Set Up a Blog for Your Child

Kids and Blogging

My oldest has been begging me to blog on my blog which is funny because she normally finds my blogging to be annoying.  Today Mashable had this really great article on helping kids create their own blog.  Caveat:  if you do this, your kids will then be your technical support because we all realize that kids will be better at the tech stuff than we parents.  I am going to help her, but this will require us to get another computer! Read more…

read with your child, literacy, how to get your child to love to read, reading, http://pragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom, reluctant reader

What You Can Do At Home to Help Your Young Child Learn At School…

What Parents Need to do at Home for their Kids

This is from my Kindergartener’s teacher:

  • show interest in school activities
  • contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns
  • praise your child often
  • read to your child everyday
  • let your child see you read Read more…
Math Curse, Jon Scieszka Lane Smith, picture book that teaches math, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom, PragmaticMom

Fun Picture Book Teaches Math: Math Curse

Fun Math Picture Book for Kids

I saw this book during Curriculum Night at my elementary school in my 3rd grader’s classroom.  I flipped though it and then bought my own copy because Jon Scieszka of Henry P. Baloney is one of my son’s favorite authors (and mine too!) and Lane Smith is a really talented illustrator.  I first noticed Lane’s work on the unfinished script of Dr. Seuss’s last book, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, and he did an amazing job of combining Dr. Seuss’s sketches with his own illustrations.  Also, anyone entrusted with Dr. Seuss’s last, unpublished work must have been carefully selected! Read more…

SAT Vocabulary for Kindergarten from Picture Book Edward the Emu

Picture Books that Build Vocabulary for Kindergarten

I know that some moms think that this is a terrible idea, but I am finding that my Kindergartener loves big words and his teacher sends a list of vocabulary words home each week that is created by our school’s literacy specialist.  We just read the word and the sentence at the dinner table (for the benefit of the two older kids), and let our youngest tell us what he thinks the word means.  It’s actually a cute and fun exercise and he’s surprisingly correct most of the time.  Try it.  Your older kids will be DYING to give the answer.  And that doesn’t suck!

Read more…

How To: Teach Kids to Write, Pragmatic Mom, http://PragmaticMom.com, get kids to write, Idea Paint, fun ideas to encourage children kids to write

How To: Encourage Kids to Write

How To:  Teach Kids to Write, Pragmatic Mom, http://PragmaticMom.com, get kids to write, Idea Paint, fun ideas to encourage children kids to writeMy Kindergarten Teacher sent this home to help us encourage our children to write at home.  Learning to write goes lock step with learning to read she says.  I’ve added a few more ideas.

Here’s some great ideas from her:

Phone Messages

  • Keep pen and paper by the phone.
  • Ask your younger child to write down the name and phone number of the person who called.
  • Ask an older child to take a message

Lists

  • Have your child create lists or help you create lists for things like:  groceries, things to pack for a trip or sleep over, guests for your birthday party, what I need to do each day before going to bed.
  • When you child gets home from school, create a To Do list and cross off as each task is completed.  Maybe there is a reward system for completed lists even!

Lunch Box Notes

  • Include a note in your child’s lunch box.  Kids love getting notes from their parents!
  • Your lunch box note can include what will happen after school as a reminder.

Postcards and Letters

  • Buy postcards either from your town or city or when you travel.  Have your child send postcards to his or her friends while on a trip as well as to relatives.
  • You can send postcards from home as well!
  • Each week, choose someone to write to.  This gets more exciting as your child receives letters and postcards back.
  • Pen pals are always fun, especially from other countries where you can exchange little gifts.

Messages

  • Leave messages in a conspicuous place for older kids to read.
  • Leave reminders for appointments or for activities.
  • Messages can also be routine:  Hi from Mom and Dad or Did you remember to practice piano today?
  • You can write up the play date schedule.  Wednesday, Suzy is coming over for a play date.

Assistance on the Computer

  • Ask your child to write down his question to you.  i.e. “How do you spell Bakugan/Webkinz/Pokemon/Nick Jr./PBS Kids?”
  • Write down the answer and let him or her type it into the computer browser.

Diaries

  • Give your child blank notebooks or journals to fill up with words and pictures.
  • Encourage your child to write a story.  Then decorate with drawings or stickers.  Keep these books with your real books and make a big deal about them when you read them.

White Boards/Windows and other fun surfaces

  • Let your child use white boards (portable or otherwise) to write notes and/or draw.
  • The windows in your house work as white boards if you use erasable markers.  Let them write their schedule, lists or even spelling words for a fun surface.
  • If there is a old surface for a kid’s art table, turn it into a white board with special white board paint.  Click on the image of the white board paint to check it out at Amazon.    

Most Important:  BE A ROLE MODEL!