A Smarter Beginning 

Category Archives: Blog

Why is Learning to Read English So “Tuff”?

February 8, 2014 | Blog | Permalink

We all know children who found learning to read English difficult. They may be our own children. They may be other children in our family. They may be a friend’s children or classmates of our children. The strange thing is that when I speak to people from other countries about the difficulty many English speaking […]

Finland’s Lucky Children

January 30, 2014 | Blog | Permalink

Is this what we want for our children:  “Anxiety and stress levels among youths [in the US] are at an all-time high; they are bogged down with homework, over scheduled with extracurricular activities, deprived of free play and faced with the pressures of getting into a top college”? (Peter Gray, interviewed at www.alternet.org/education/real-problem-education). Think there’s […]

School Readiness: What Do Kids Need for Success?

January 4, 2014 | Blog | Permalink

What best predicts children’s academic success? Hint: It’s not I.Q. It’s being prepared socially and emotionally to learn. Will Your Child Be Ready for Kindergarten? This is a question parents in the past didn’t think much about. Today, however, many parents are concerned about their child’s school readiness. Why? One reason concerns what kindergartens want […]

School Readiness and Poor Vocabulary

December 19, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

Some children hear 30 million words less than other children in their first 3 years. This leads to a poor vocabulary which has negative effects on school readiness, literacy and future school success. These children often never catch up. Whether you choose homeschooling or regular school for your child, you want him or her to […]

Dialogic Reading: The Best Way to Read to Children

December 6, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

Are you reading to your child in the best possible way? Which way is that? It’s one that maximizes his or her language development, involvement and enjoyment. Dialogic reading does that by reading “with” instead of “to.” Many of us have very fond memories of sitting on our parents’ laps and being read to from […]

Teaching Your Child to Think Critically

November 23, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

Is your child being taught to think critically? Why is critical thinking so important and what is critical thinking? A SIMPLE EXAMPLE When the holiday season rolls around, most kids are excited by the thought of Santa Claus bringing gifts. They’ve heard that Santa and his reindeer land on the roof and that Santa then […]

Electronic Screens Disturb Sleep

November 12, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

Does your child have difficulty falling asleep at night? Maybe it’s because of the TV, computer screen and hand-held devices. BLUE LIGHT: THE BOGEYMAN OF SLEEP Unfortunately, a lot of the light we’re exposed to is blue light even though we don’t usually see it as blue. Electronic devices such as TV’s, computer screens, laptops, […]

Electronic Media in Your Child’s Bedroom

November 5, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

  Is there a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom? Then you need to know about the current research on how electronic media affects children’s sleep. The poor sleep habits of children today have many parents, educators and child psychologists concerned. For example, a friend of mine recently told me that she found her […]

Enough Sleep for Your Child to Learn?

October 15, 2013 | Blog | Permalink

We all have days when we’re too tired to think straight. Well, so do our kids. Unfortunately, in our modern world, even our children aren’t getting enough sleep. This is having serious effects on their development, on their behavior, and on their learning. Signs of a Sleepy Child You know them, especially if you’re a […]