Little ones love literacy.
Music is magic!
Holidays are precious times we want to remember. To help with memory consolidation, in addition to taking pictures, it is helpful to write about our experiences, and encourage our children to write as well.
Here are some of my favorite holiday writing prompts:
"It's Holiday Time" is a song written by a student. He wrote about his holiday wish list, and also the best part of the holiday.
Even preschoolers can write about the holidays. Ask them one of the writing prompts above and then tell them to write about it. Hand them crayons and paper let them get to work. Then ask them to tell you about what they wrote, and transcribe their words. Encourage your children to write about the holidays and let me know how it goes.
Wishing you all happy...
Whether you are a teacher or a parent/ caregiver, we all want to set our children up for a peaceful school year. Making class rules or house rules together helps everyone know what the expectaions are. And when we include our children in the making of rules, this gives them a feeling of empowerment and a greater sense of buy-in.
In Responsive Classroom trainings, I learned a great way to include children in rule-making. After collecting rule suggestions from children, encourage them to make postitive rules about what we want to see, instead of rules about what we do not want. Then rules can be sorted into three buckets: our things, each other, and ourselves. Use the language your children use to make these rules. For example, the rules in one class were, "Use lovely treatment with our things. Use lovely treatment with each other. Use lovely treatment with yourself." What was the one over-arching rule? "Use lovely treatment."
In my original song, "Be Peaceful," the rules are,...
Encouragement is having high, but attainable expectations, celebrating every success, and showing compassion in the face of failure.
In How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish write, “Let us realize that, along with food, shelter, and clothing, we have another obligation to our children, and that is to affirm their ‘rightness.’ The whole world will tell them what’s wrong with them—loud and often. Our job is to let our children know what’s right about them.” (p.191) (I love this book. Their book, Siblings Without Rivalry is also excellent.) The world can be a discouraging place. Our homes don’t have to be. We can choose to encourage our children.
Let’s focus on progress, not perfection. Focus on the wins, employing a strength model vs. a deficit model.
Recognize your child as a reader. (Check out this blog: https://www.singintoreading.com/blog/recognizing-readers)
Today is World Poetry Day!
Poetry is all about using words to evoke emotion.
Poetry is about using beautiful language.
I often talk about the importance of reading books to children daily. It is important to expose our children to poetry as well. There are many wonderful poetry books for children. My favorite is "Honey, I Love," by Eloise Greenfield.
Not only do we read poetry to our children, but we also encourage them to write it. Children are natural poets. The world, seen through a child's eyes, is poetry. The words a child uses are often poetry.
Collect your child's words. When your child says something poetic, save it. Say, "That is beautiful language." Write it down and hang onto these precious words.
As a classroom teacher, I had a poster on the wall that was titled, "Beautiful Language." When students said something beautiful, I wrote it down, hung it on the bulletin, and read it aloud to the class.
Here is one of my favorites... When my oldest (now 15) was 4, he referred to the...
Get your free booklet, "Ten Tips to Teach Your Child to Read with Music and Love" here:
Do all things with love. This is my mantra. Especially when teaching or parenting, we want to do it with love and encouragement. When we lose our patience with children, that is discouraging. Facing discouragement puts someone in a state of dysregulation - which is not a state receptive to learning. Instead, if we want our children to be open to learning, we need to encourage them.
Parents in my membership receive a "Rosy Moment Visualization." In this guided meditation, I walk parents and guardians through a special memory of their child. Once this memory is solidified, you can breathe into it at times when you feel you are losing your patience. It is a tool I use to bring me back to encouragement and love.
How do you keep your patience and remain loving when you feel upset? What are your favorite ways to do all things with love? Let...
Holidays can be a crazy time. There is so much to do and just not enough time to get it all done.
Let's face it, holidays don't always feel like a Hallmark show. Holidays can be stressful - especially with children.
I invite you to join me in deliberately stopping to breathe whenever you feel stressed.
No matter how much we have to do, we always have time to breathe.
Wishing you PEACEFUL holidays filled with love, joy, and music!
In this Masterclass for parents and educators, I talk about how to teach your child(ren) to read with music and love. Then I guide you through a self-assessment, so that you can recognize and celebrate what you are doing well in building a loving literacy foundation for the children in your life. The self - assessment will also help you realize which habits you want to add to your routines. Finally, through habit-stacking, I can help you craft a schedule that fits your life.
When we start the journaling, after my explanation, pause the video. You can find the journaling prompts here. Click "Make a copy." (Then you can rename the file in your own Google Drive account.) Then, when you are finished with your own self-assessment, resume the video.
P.S. Enroll in the membership here: https://www.singintoreading.com/literacy-foundation
We just finished celebrating Independence Day.
This holiday is all about FREEDOM.
What does freedom mean to you?
For me, freedom is not necessarily doing everything we want to, all the time.
(Let’s face it, nobody gets to do everything we want all the time. We all do the dishes and the laundry - even when we don’t want to.)
For me, freedom is all about having CHOICES.
I value choice and freedom.
That’s why as a teacher, and also as a parent, I offer choices whenever possible.
I give my students a sense of ownership over our classes, and I give my kids a sense of autonomy over their own lives.
'Cause I'm Free
by Risa Cohen
I’ll do what I want to do
And I’ll say what I want to say
And I’ll be what I want to be
‘Cause I’m free
I’ll do what is good for you
And I’ll say what is good for us
And I’ll be what is good for me
‘Cause I’m free
I’m kind! I am kind to you.
Happy New Year!
January is my favorite month of the year. It's my birthday month, and, in January we celebrate one of our country's heros: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I also enjoy setting New Year's goals. Let's be clear - I always enjoy personal development - any time of year.
The concept of a year, and time in general, is enigmatic. Time is a continuum, and dividing it into units - seconds, days, weeks, months, and years - is a big concept for kids to understand. So be sure to teach and review it often. Sing days of the week songs, and months of the year songs. Sing "It's a New Year!"
It's hard for grownups to understand time, too. All I know is, the older I get, the faster it moves.
I wrote a new song, "It's a New Year." Listen to it on the blog, and let me know what you think of it.
Ask your children (four and older) what they want to do this year. Maybe they want to learn to ride a bike, swim, or tie their shoes. Maybe they want to sing more. Or, maybe they...