As a former teacher, I know how important it is for children to be good readers. As someone who truly enjoys reading, I’d love to pass the love of reading on to my children. This is why when I heard about The Children’s Trust and the #Read30 movement, I thought it would be great to share with you and challenge you to participate along with me.
If you are a family in South Florida, the Children’s Trust is challenging you to join the #Read30 movement and close the summer reading gap, aka the “summer slide.”
The social media campaign began June 1 and is running through August, and it asks parents and caregivers to read with their children for 30 minutes each day. The campaign is part of The Trust’s Read to Learn initiative, aimed at increasing the number of children who read at or above grade level by the third grade. How can you participate? Easy! Read with your children for 30 minutes a day. Then share a photo to social media and use the hashtag #Read30.
“Reading achievement can typically decline an average of three months in summer and the best way to prevent kids from losing that kind of ground is to keep them reading, which is what #Read30 intends to do,” says James R. Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust.
Reading with your children on a daily basis can really give them a leg up and help them succeed in school and in life. Aside from reading together for 30 minutes each day, The Children’s Trust also suggests following these simple guidelines:
Summer reading always felt like a huge chore while I was in school, but it’s so important. For kids who have assigned summer reading books, try and get involved with what they are reading. Once they’ve finished their required reading, let them choose their own reading material. Take them to a bookstore and let them browse. Give them ownership of their reading material. I LOVE to read and I finished the last few Harry Potter books in under a day, yet required reading was always the worst for me to get through and would take me weeks. [Teachers, one thing I used to do was assign one book and then make the second book reader’s choice - it had to meet certain requirements or it was chosen from an extensive list. They had to do a full on report once school started, but I had a lot more success that way.]
And thirty minutes may sound like a lot if your kids are little like mine, but you can break it up! Read a book in the morning, another after lunch, and then again at bedtime. Remember, it all adds up!
Children who read for 30 minutes daily are more likely to read at grade level by the third grade, increasing the likelihood of academic and professional success. According to a 2010 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “reading proficiently by the end of third grade can be a make-or-break benchmark in a child’s educational development.” Until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read, but beginning in the fourth grade, they are reading to learn.
So join me this summer and share your your photos across social media using the hashtag #Read30. I can wait to follow along!
For more information on The Children’s Trust and the Read to Learn initiative, please visit https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/read30.
To all my teacher friends - don't hate me for the reminder that summer is almost over. I remember being in your shoes.
In two short weeks, Caleb will be starting preschool for the first time ever! It's a half day program, but it's at a school that goes from preschool through 8th grade, which means it functions similarly to a regular school.
I like to be prepared early, so back in early July I made sure to take care of all his supplies so that I wasn't running around in the mad rush during the few weeks before school. Here's a list of what I picked up for him. Items may vary depending on your child's age and what their school requires, but I think across the board you'll find that most kids need similar items.
I think that's everything! Are you ready to start the school year with your little ones?
Dear 18-year-old Jenise,
You probably can't imagine this yet, but yesterday, we turned 32. I know. You probably think 32 seems so... ADULT. But really, it's not that bad.
As a matter of fact, 32 might actually be a prime year for you. In the last year, you've achieved things you didn't think you ever would - like run a half marathon (yes, I'm serious!), maintain a successful photography business while working from home, and reach many women, most of whom you have never met, via your blog. The next year only holds promises of even greater things.
You are married to this amazing man, Eddie (you've actually already met him and been on a date with him, but it didn't work out just yet. Be patient.). He treats you like a queen and loves you probably more than you deserve sometimes. You have a beautiful home you have built together, and an adorable two-year-old boy named Caleb. He is the light of both of your lives. You have a dog named Bella, a Lhasa Also, just like your first dog, Sassy.
The road here hasn't always been the smoothest. But with faith, family, love and support, you've made it to where you are, and you have come out stronger on the other side. But I'd like to give you some words of wisdom, from yourself, a few years down the line.
Love your body. Your body will do some incredible things over the next couple of years. Those boobs you were ashamed of because they grew so fast and were never perky enough? They will nourish your baby for nearly TWO years. They will sustain him completely for the first 6 months of his life. You'll carry your son in that belly that has never been quite flat enough, and there will be nothing on earth that will make you more proud of your body. Keep exercising - your body will do whatever you push it to do - including run 13.1 miles through Walt Disney World Resort. Feed it wisely - stop going through those drive-thrus and eating crappy junk. When you finally start to nourish it well, you'll notice a world of difference. Trust me.
Stop chasing love. Love will find you. Or rather, you will find each other. And it will be sweet, and it will be fiery, and it will leave you weak in the knees. But the day you decide to make it a forever kind of love, will be the day where you are more certain of anything than you have ever been in your entire life. Stop stressing yourself out over love. It will come. And on that note...
Don't put up with anyone mistreating you. This comes to guys and friends. You'll have one relationship in particular that will challenge you and leave you with scars. Don't let those scars get too deep. But if they do get too deep, don't beat yourself up over it, for one day, they will heal (because you will find the kind of love that is perfect for you). Friends will come and go. Friends who you thought would be forever friends will slowly start to fade into the background and new friends will emerge. But anyone who mistreats you or disrespects you shouldn't be in your life.
Don't carve your path in stone. This monumental decision about your career? Go with your gut. You will have a successful run in a profession you love. But you will also find something else that you are passionate about, and you will hone your skills and become good at that. You'll also find that running your home is a lot more work than you ever thought it would be, and you'll adapt to life as a stay-at-home mom, too.
Trust your gut. At 32, it hasn't steered you wrong. It will guide you on everything from your career, to your love life, to being a mother. People will try to give you advice about what you "should" be doing all the time. Your judgement will tell you which way to go. Trust it. You will always make the best decisions for yourself.
Accept yourself. Love yourself for who you are. Don't change your personality because someone else said it was cool to be a certain way. At the end of the day, if you've been true to yourself, you will lay your head on your pillow every night and rest easy. Be your kind, level-headed, easygoing self. You'll appreciate those traits more the older you get.
But most important of all, enjoy the ride. Life is so sweet. Savor every moment. Dance. Read. Hop on a plane. You'll never regret living your life fully.
I was provided with a subscription in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
I have been an avid reader my entire life. One thing I always imagined as I got older was reading to my kids. We don't necessarily have formal story time every day around here, but I do make it a point to read to Caleb throughout the day. Sometimes it's in the bath with a bath book, or right before we nap. New books are my favorite, and he loves exploring new reading material, too, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what new book to get!
Enter Bookroo, a monthly children's book subscription. They have two options for subscriptions: a Picture Book Box, which contains two picture books perfect for ages 2-6, or the Board Book Box, which contains 3 board books perfect for ages 0-2. Each book comes individually wrapped, and Caleb had so much fun unwrapping them. He kept saying, "Mommy, present!" I feel like this made him even more excited to receive a book as a gift!
Our first box had two really fun books, and Caleb has enjoyed them both greatly. His favorite of the two is "A Dog is a Dog," and he loves to point out all the animals.
They have one month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month subscriptions, so there is really an option for every budget. And while this is something great to get for your own children, I also think it makes a FANTASTIC gift.
Why not give a gift that keeps giving for months after a holiday or a birthday? And a gift that will allow them to keep learning and growing for so much time to come? As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to add this to Caleb's Christmas/Birthday wish list right now!
And guess what? If you use the code TOPKNOT, you will get 15% off of your Bookroo Box Subscription!
What are you waiting for?
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.