I plan to update the blog weekly with tidbits for families working with students, primarily focusing on literacy.
Monday’s tips will be entitled, “Monday’s Mentionable”, with the hope that you find some information worth mentioning to someone else!
Here is the first Monday Mentionable:
Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Beverly Pressey speak about children and nutrition at Lake Washington Technical College. She spoke about the importance of family meal time. The statistics are clear: kids who dine with the folks are healthier, happier and better students. There are plenty of articles on the subject. Here is one I liked in The New York Times.
Harvard University’s Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development shows that “table talk” during the early years is related to children’s academic achievement. PBS has great age-specific articles that can help you take advantage of everyday routines, such as dinnertime, to help your children learn more about their world, while laying the foundation for their language and literacy development.
Here are some of their suggestions:
* Find the time: Make time to eat altogether. If you cannot find time to sit everyone down, do sit with your child when they eat. Take time out to talk and share.
* Remove distractions: To encourage good conversation, you must remove those distractions! No TV, laptops, or smart phones – that goes for everyone at the table (adults included!)
* Include everyone in the conversation and practice turn-taking: The conversation should include all family members. Practice the “give and take” of conversation.
* Talk and share: Take time to tell stories, new or old. Children love to hear stories of when adults were little, like them.
* Ask genuine questions about your child’s daily activities and experiences.
* Be a facilitator, not a director.
* Eat and play: For example, name 4 objects – 3 of which are in the same category and one that is different. Ask your child to name the object that does not fit.
I hope some of this entry will inspire you to try family mealtimes or add a dimension to what you are already doing.
Have a good week, everyone!