I remember reading with a grade 8 student years ago who could read like the wind. No word seemed to slow him down. The problem? He was retaining or comprehending very little of what he was reading. This sometimes can be expected as is often seen with individuals who are learning the English language but are quick to master English word reading. Other times, the reason for it is a mystery. Actually, we’ve likely all been there at some point where we are reading and lose track of what we are reading about. Improving reading comprehension is essential as it is the difference between just reading words and the words on the page coming to life! This post goes over my favorite strategies for improving reading comprehension.
I had the opportunity to hear Cam Adair speak recently. He is the founder of Game Quitters and is a leading expert on video game addiction. Cam, featured in the must-watch video at the bottom of this post, is a video game addict who came to realize he simply can’t play video games and live a meaningful life. He also struggled with depression and was near suicide at one point in his life. Cam was gaming up to 16 hours each day. He went over how video gaming has changed over the years and some steps to try for addiction prevention and/or recovery.
While my hubby and I were out for dinner recently, I couldn’t help but lose focus on our own conversation and overhear another. The other was an elderly man talking about living a meaningful life. To be honest, I was kind of distracted from the moment I first saw this gentleman walk into the restaurant. If I had to guess, the man was well into his 80’s if not in his 90’s.
There seems to be this stigma out there that a learning disability is a negative thing. Some parents feel a sense of relief hearing that their child has a learning disability. The diagnosis may explain the reasoning behind one’s struggle in school. Other parents feel a sense of guilt. They wonder if there is something more they could have done to somehow prevent their child from struggling in school. Thankfully, this feeling generally decreases with time and acceptance. For me, I see a gift within a learning disability. This is especially true when it is presented to the child as one. This is because there is a lot of ABILITY in a learning disability! This post goes over what a learning disability is and gives examples of individuals diagnosed with one embracing their gifts.
My husband and daughters convinced me to go on a mini staycation this past weekend. We live within driving distance of Banff and Lake Louise. It is currently SnowDays at Banff and the Magic Ice Festival at Lake Louise. We have lived in Alberta, Canada for nearly 12 years now, but have never gone to visit Lake Louise with our daughters even though it is only a 2-hour drive for us. For some reason, whenever it’s suggested to go do something near us with the kids that will have some cost to it, I get plagued by ‘there’s always next year-itis!’
It is time for me to lighten things up a bit after my emotional post last week. One of the things I love about working with kids is that they always manage to teach me. Prior to this past week, I had already known that there are an incredible amount of words that don’t follow the reading rules in the English language. What I didn’t know is how much this would be thrown in my face in the middle of my lessons with one particular small group of students that tend to ask questions (which is fantastic, BTW). It was a week of hilarity on the reading front proving to me, once again, that ONLY teaching phonetic rules and phonics is NOT enough to develop a reader.
I got to see my mom over the holidays. For those of you who don’t know, she is in a nursing home. She is fully dependent… is fed, diapered, in a wheelchair, and no longer talks. She may or may not know who I am on any given day. This post is for her whom I miss. This is about Mom’s traumatic brain injury. Even though I can physically hug her (one-sided), I find I am truly missing my mother!
Research indicates that reading to our children for just 15 minutes a day exposes them to one million written words or more. That’s a lot of words… many of which our children may not otherwise be exposed to in a year. Reading to our children provides cherished bonding time as well. Some children will sit and listen to books without issue. Others will require some hilarious and engaging content to do so. This is why I am sharing some of my favorite hilarious chapter books that will keep nearly every 5 to 12-year-old child engaged while being read to.