Principal's Page

with Chris Briggs-Hale

Want to make an immediate and huge impact on your child’s learning?

Read to your child every day.

Studies across the world indicate that it’s what parents spend their time doing with their child that demonstrates to the child what is important about school. According to Amanda Ripley’s research for The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got There, if you have limited time to help advance your child’s learning, focus on what actually impacts his or her learning. An easy one to start with is: read to your child every day.

There are many other things, such as putting down your cell phone when your children are around, turning off the TV (and ideally, getting rid of it), banishing all video games, but lets start with the “low hanging fruit.” Children learn to love words when they hear great ones spoken. They love it even more when you make the “character voices.”

Reading to your child (not just with), is a bonding experience that demonstrates your appreciation for the written word spoken. It helps them with writing, visualization, and comprehension. It leads to wonderful, rich conversations and a strong sense of connection. Children who are read to a lot are dramatically better readers, writers, and students overall. Ask any teacher. Ask any coach.

So, in addition to all the wonderful things you do for your child, remember, some of the most important things are often simple, quick, and focused. Here is some more “low hanging fruit”:

  1. Read TO them as often as possible. Literacy benefits from being read to.
  2. Talk and wonder about what they are reading with their child. Have fun. Wonder out loud. “I wonder why the character did THAT?!”
  3. Spend time connecting (bonding) each day over dinner or before bed.
  4. Know the names of the other children your child cares for.
  5. Ask “what did you learn today?” and “what do you think about that?” rather than “what is your grade?”
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