Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

The Steps To Reading

steps to reading

“It’s just a miracle!” parents exclaim. “Our son is five years old and he’s reading.” When children begin to read, it does seem miraculous. Remember when your child began to talk? It seemed as if one day she couldn’t say a word and the next day she could, then you could never get her to […]


What? Don’t Teach The ABCs?

don't teach the abc's

Don’t teach your children their abc’s,” I tell surprised parents of three-year-olds. “They’ll learn their abc’s later, but to be wonderful readers they need to learn something else first.” Most of us learned the letter names, as we sang our “abc’s” (aye-bee-sees). To learn to read faster and more efficiently, help your children learn the […]


Reading Begins At Birth

reading begins at birth

Avoid the trap of thinking that the road to reading for your child will begin in kindergarten. Parents tell me, “Oh, I’m too busy. I’ll just let my child learn to read in first grade.” For many children important skills for reading are not developed at the time of their lives when it is the […]


Avoiding Power Struggles

avoiding power struggles

“You can’t make me!” yells our darling child. Instantly our breathing quickens, our heart rate elevates, our blood pressure rises and a throb starts at the temples. At times we feel like we “have to” make our children do some things against their will. Brush their teeth. Take a bath. Get dressed. Take their medicine. […]


Step By Step For A Clean Room

step by step for a clean room

“I can’t get Zoey to clean her room,” said Joan, mother to three-year-old Zoey. Clean your room is an abstract idea and most three-year-olds don’t have the experience, memory or skills to clean their rooms all by themselves. Three-year-olds have attained a certain level of independence; they can walk, talk, express their opinions and are […]


Different Strokes For Different Folks

different strokes for different folks

But Sammy’s mother lets them eat ice cream for breakfast. One of our parenting and teaching challenges is to explain the rules, not only in our own homes and classrooms, but in those places where we have no control. As our children’s friends and relatives visit our homes, we’ll hear the phrase, more than once, […]


Don’t Snooze, You Lose

don't snooze you lose

After reading John Medina’s book, Brain Rules, and William DeMent’s The Promise of Sleep, I began to see sleep as an important way to maintain optimum health. Medina tells us that people fall into three kinds of sleepers: Larks, Hummingbirds and Night Owls. Dement says that adults need 7 to 10 hours of sleep per day. […]


Sugar Blues

sugar blues

When we first were married, my husband’s habit was to drink a 16-ounce glass of orange juice for breakfast. To that we added pancakes with maple syrup. During my honeymoon year I found that by ten o’clock in the morning I was nauseous and sweating. After weeks of these episodes, off I went to the […]


Learning To Set Goals

learning to set goals

Goal setting seems to be an adult-oriented skill set. How do we help our children learn to set goals? Having given adult workshops on goal setting, I realize that many adults lack basic understanding on how to formulate goals along with the strategic and tactical steps to achieve a goal. In my elementary classroom my […]


Learning How to Care

Learning How To Care

Many things in life seem to be a closed system, as if certain concepts flow through an electric circuit. To get respect, give respect. To have a friend, be a friend. Care for others and they’ll care for you. The key to success in learning to care is in understanding what actions constitute caring, just […]