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Vinnie Reynolds on Read With You

Listen to the episode here.

Show notes:

Mother of 5 children; ages 7, 6, 6, 4, and 2.

Been in education since before 2005. Taught preschool. Graduated from Brigham Young University, studied English and Education. Taught in public schools for 8 years. Taught 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Teaches online for a university.

Parents have power to influence their children. Too often we outsource the teaching of our children to schools. Parents as partners in education are critical to their learning, especially before they even start school. The foundation we give them at home helps them to grow and progress on a much faster trajectory when they get into school. Parents might feel like their job is just to love their children and to keep their children safe, when they also need to educate their children. When we combine all of that- love and safety and education, we give them tools to jump off from and explore the world and when they know how important education is to their parents that also helps them in their own educational pursuits.

In addition, the idea that a child can grow and learn and isn’t born with a certain set of abilities, and that’s it.

Everyone gets frustrating moments, we all learn and grow, we aren’t born good at something. Empower our children to understand that even though they may not know how to do something right now, they can learn it.

We think about steps we can take, like a checklist of what they need to know. More important, we need to teach them to think. We need to fill their minds with skills rather than information. In education, this is called metacognition, or thinking about thinking. The end goal really should be to understand how you got to the answer and realizing what their thought process is. If they know what their thought process is, they can replicate that with harder and harder questions.

Question: why? What does that mean? How did you get to that answer?

Help them consider what they are thinking

Especially important in reading- inference is the ability to pick up on clues and make an educated guess as you read. This is a skill children can learn through asking questions.

Summarize: so what you’re saying is… pause and think about what they just said.

Predict when reading.

Connect: make it personal so they understand it more fully. To themselves, to the world

It doesn’t have to be very complex, but it using these will help children learn these skills. These are great metacognitive skills that are impactful in reading and also in all areas of learning.

When you use these in all areas, you understand your child better. It also gives you the ability to teach your child how to be self-aware. If you’re self aware, you can pause, you can think about things before you react. Metacognition is important in all areas of our life. The more we are aware of what we’re thinking and feeling, the more we’re in control in all areas of our life. And that’s really what it’s about; its about empowerment. Education is about empowerment: the more you know the more you can do. Children become more resilient when they are self-aware.

Too often people think they were born with talents; we want to teach our children that there are skills that they can learn. Teaching metacognition helps with reading and all areas of learning.

“I don’t like reading.” Stop and think: what could you do to like it more? What is it about reading that you don’t like? Can we find you different books? Can we try a different kind of reading? Open their eyes to seeing there are different kinds of reading. Find something that matches their interests. Be open to what reading really is. Broaden our own mindset- as well as our kids’ about what is a good strategy to learn.

Expose children to lots of different types of literature when they’re young.

Book selection is a skill. Teach children how to find books that they will actually like.

Growth mindset: you can do this

Have a reading time every day. Everyone in the family reads- together or individually.

Have books available. Children are learning language through reading and repetition. Don’t be afraid to read the same book over and over. They are figuring it out through watching you.

Read on your own. Let them see you. Teach by example. Read where your kids can see you reading and talk to them about what you’re reading.

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