Monday, September 9, 2013

Parent to Parent: Reading Tips Everyone can Use

By Dr. Andrea Blake-Garrett, Parent, Science Educator and Author

“To go from poverty to the professions, you must first cross a bridge called books”.
Dr. Samuel Betances

As parents we love our children. We want what is best for them. We want them to live a better life than we did – right? If your answer is yes, then you must start reading aloud to and with your children now!  Let them see and hear you reading.  As you read point to each word. Speak loud and proud. Allow your voice to fill the room you are in. 

“There is no time to read. Nonsense.” Make time.  There is no law that says you have to read the whole story in one sitting. Ten minute in the morning and ten minutes at night equal 20 minutes a day. That is over 2 hours per week. 

“ My child won’t sit still for me to read to him/her” Who cares? As long as they are in the same room and can hear you keep on reading. In the beginning, my son would never sit still not even for 5 minutes. As time went by he began to settle into his routine and began to sit for longer and longer reading sessions. If there is a bible in the home start reading it.  

I can’t afford books.” Plan a trip to the local library every week. Borrow books to read. Just be sure to return them. Always have at least 3-5 books that are 2 grade levels above your child’s current grade. One of the most important benefits of habitual reading is the growth of your child’s vocabulary. Build both of your vocabularies. Read so often that to them it becomes a habit – a normal routine like washing your face. I even read to my twins while they are sleeping.

“ What to Read”  Start with books where there is a connection – Autobiographies and memoirs. An autobiography tells the story of a life, while memoir tells a story from a life. Require children to write a book report  summarizing the story and indicate important lessons learned.

Be encouraged. Keep On Reading!

Guest writer’s bio:

Dr. Andrea Blake-Garrett is a science educator, consultant and CEO & Founder of Dr. Blake-Garrett's Educational Solutions. LLC. She has taught science to students K-12 in East Orange Jersey City and her home city of Newark. If the authors name sounds familiar that is because she has worked for the Jersey City Public School over 12 years. She challenged the city’s children to “put on the jacket of science” as science supervisor before moving to work in the areas of Science, Home Instruction, Nonpublic Schools & Interagency Task Force. “I live in a scientifically fabulous world and could not write a book without including a little science.” says an animated Dr. Blake-Garrett. She no longer wears her trademark colorful white lab coat but she still has a smile as big and her personality.  She has earned two Masters Degrees from Montclair State University and a Doctorate from Seton Hall University. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Blake-Garrett immigrated with her family to Newark, N.J. as a small child, where she now lives with her husband and twins.

To see Dr. Blake-Garrett’s book series written to provide a story for her twins, go to:

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