Your Family's Weekly Library Visit
by Jay Davidson
Parents sometimes tell me that they have only a limited time to work with their children at home. They want to know what one thing they can do to help make a difference in their kids school success.
I recommend one activity that has the potential to make a tremendous difference: Make it a family practice to visit your local library once a week and have each child check out as many books as he can carry.
The Palo Alto City Library allows each child and adult to take out up to seventy items at one time, so you may not want to take home the maximum allowable. But you could decide among your family members to take out six, ten, or a dozen items each week. Part of the key in establishing this family ritual is to be consistent about going every week.
During the week, there will be plenty of time to read and re-read these books. You can expect that your family will have the following benefits from this activity:
- There will always be something for the kids to read.
- Reading will become a preferred activity in the house.
- By practicing reading, it will improve.
- Increased reading will lead to improved writing.
- The stories and topics of the books will influence conversations in the family. This can mean a shift from talking about things that need to be done around the house (nagging) to the stories and subjects of the books that family members are reading.
- Older children will practice their reading skills by reading to younger siblings.
- When the kids ask questions that you cannot answer, you can suggest that they find a book that addresses the question during your next trip to the library.
- Children will develop favorite authors, characters, and genres of books.
- You and your children will enjoy your time together - both in the library and at home reading.
- Children s confidence and attitude about learning will improve as they have the weekly opportunity to choose books that are meaningful to them.
Jay Davidson has been teaching in San Francisco for 31 years; he teaches first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A First Grade Teacher s Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 from Amazon.com. He can be reached through his Web site at http://www.jaydavidson.com.
Jay Davidson the Speaker...
(From Jay Davidson's website....)
Once a teacher, always a teacher! Jay doesn't have to have a classroom full of wiggly first-graders to get on his soap-box. Their parents will do just as well - and usually pay better attention.
Following are examples of his topics:
- Easy ways to boost literacy in your family The need for greater parent involvement in education
- Creating a family mission statement
- Kindergarten readiness
- First grade readiness
- Parent-school relations
- Developing a sense of responsibility in children
- Time management and organizing at home
- The organized classroom - presentation for elementary school teachers
Comments from participants at Jay's workshops
- "Very inspirational and thought-provoking."
- "What a magnificent teacher!"
- "Clear presentation; an enthusiastic, caring speaker. I bet he is a great teacher - the kind we hope stay in the profession."
- "Great insight, motivating."
- "Well put-together - prepared with lots of thought and
delivered with lots of heart."
Jay has made presentations to:
- California Reading Association
- National Association of Professional Organizers -San Francisco Bay Area chapter
- California Agricultural Teachers Association
- Parenting groups in San Francisco Unified School District and San Mateo-Foster City School District
Jay Davidson is also the author of "Teach Your Children Well: A First Grade Teacher's Advice for Parents"
(available at amazon.com)
Visit www.jaydavidson.com for more information about Jay Davidson.