This year, Lollaland has partnered with Raising a Reader to promote the development, practice, and maintenance of home literacy routines. At Lollaland, we are all about routines as well, and we do our best to encourage routines around family mealtime. Lollaland is excited to be donating 15% of our profits from any of our mealtime pieces to Raising a Reader, so please consider bringing our microwaveable, US-made plates, bowls, and dipping cups into your home and supporting children's literacy!
As millions of children across the U.S. end their summer vacations and head back to school, parents are getting ready to ease their kids back into the school-year routine of homework, extracurricular activities and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that provides resources and guidance for families to implement home-based literacy routines, suggests as part of that routine, parents work in regular time to share books with their children above-and-beyond their required schoolwork.
Research shows that the time caring adults spend sharing books with children has a direct relationship on their academic success. Whether building background knowledge and vocabulary, comprehension skills, social and communication skills or reinforcing the idea that reading is not just something associated with school, home book-sharing routines are essential to childrens’ success.
“During the school year, many families become so consumed with schoolwork that the habit of sharing books for pleasure seems like an unnecessary distraction,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., president and CEO of Raising A Reader. “Parents need to remember it is more important than ever to find a few minutes each day to keep the reading habit alive. Aside from the innumerable cognitive, academic and social benefits, children begin to understand that reading for pleasure actually helps improve their success in school and in life.
Here are some tips for parents to make reading a larger part of the school year:
Raising A Reader is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to helping families develop, practice and maintain literacy habits for children ages 0-8 that are critical for a child’s success in school and in life. The program is evidence-based, with more than 32 independent evaluations showing that Raising A Reader significantly improves language and literacy skills, cognitive development, communication and comprehension skills, school readiness and social competence. Raising A Reader is implemented through a network of community partners that comprise more than 2,500 locations across the country including public school systems, libraries, afterschool programs, community agencies and other organizations both public and private. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Raising A Reader was founded in 1999 and has served more than 1.25 million families nationwide. More information is available at RaisingAReader.org, @RARnational (Twitter) and RaisingAReaderNational (Facebook).
I have a friend who is a talented writer, and every time I talk to her, I learn something new. The other day, we were talking and she asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase, "kill your darlings." Apparently, it's a phrase used by journalists, who often have a great idea for a piece or a fabulous opening that may turn out to be tangential or simply not a good fit. Instead of being married to said idea or concept, journalists are taught to "kill their darlings" - don’t use it, and get over it.
I began to think that I, as a parent, sometimes need to "kill my darlings." Don't get me wrong, I know my children can drive me crazy at times, but that's not what I mean. I know I'm not alone when I say that I do my best to be the perfect mother and my husband, the ultimate father. To that end, we tend to hold onto these notions of what ideal parenting looks like. We get distraught over missed naps, feel guilty about unhealthy meals, struggle to maintain discipline, etc. We get so much advice, read so many parenting tips, and witness other seemingly perfect children and do everything in our power to parent that way. BUT sometimes what's right for one family or what we hope to do and achieve as parents is simply not a good fit. Moving forward, I have vowed to "kill my darlings" and get over it. I hope you will consider the same. I'm thinking [and hoping] that it is going to make parenting a LOT less stressful.
I don't know about you, but every afternoon I find myself thinking, "how is it already time to prepare dinner?" I just gave the kids an afternoon snack and now I'm already worrying about dinner! Well, I am a big fan of quick and tasty dinners, and this is one of my kids' favorites. I love that there are only a handful of ingredients, it's quick and easy to prepare, and it makes my kids devour peas. What more could you ask for in a meal?
You can find the original/full recipe on foodnetwork.com. Enjoy!