Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Featured Friend Emily Patterson-How to Raise an Early Reader

How to Raise a Reader

Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: early childhood education and child care services by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062)

People who want their children to enjoy reading and experience success in school should begin early to enjoy books together with them. It has long been borne out by research studies that children who are read to on a regular basis have a great advantage in acquiring academic skills. Even reading to a child before birth helps to develop the parent-child bond and the enjoyment of language. Establishing the habit as early as possible will help ensure that, as your child grows, you will take the time to enjoy books together.

The key word is "enjoy." Young infants will respond to the cadence and tone of a parent's voice long before they can understand the words being spoken to them. The experience of being cuddled and read to will start them on the road to acquiring language and learning that books communicate stories and that stories are endlessly entertaining.

When looking at books with very young children, begin by talking about the pictures. Also try some books with simple rhymes that help you develop a natural spoken rhythm to keep the child's attention. Choose books you yourself enjoy so that you can sink into the experience with the child. An animated reading with lots of changes in tone and cadence will help little ones listen and join in. Also, since young children love repetition, you will find yourself reading the same book many times. Choose one that you will want to share again and again.

To foster an early love for and understanding of literature, parents can follow these tips:

• Keep a variety of books on several topics at the child's age and ability level

• Set aside a time each day for enjoying books with children, beginning when they are infants

• Remember, it is never too early to start reading together

• Find ways for the child to participate in the story, such as providing sounds at the appropriate time or counting objects in pictures

• Allow children to help choose books to enjoy together

• Keep favorite books in the car to amuse children on long trips or in waiting rooms

• Get a list of books from the teacher to reinforce what is being learned in the classroom

• Make the library or book store a regular destination for yourself and your child

• Once a child has heard a favorite story time and again, let her "read" it to you when she is ready. She will turn the pages and usually re-tell the story

• Listen to what your child has to say about the book. He may make up an entirely different story, which is a major step in understanding literature.

• Always demonstrate a joy in reading and looking at books with your child

Enjoying language together with their parents helps children to develop their ability to communicate and learn about the world around them. Both talking and singing enable them to expand vocabulary and other language skills, which is one of the major tasks they will master as they grow up. Exploring the world of books with a supportive and engaged parent is an essential step in a child's cognitive development.

Not everyone can be a stage actress or direct a movie, but most parents have the innate ability to enjoy pictures, words and books with their children. Helping a child grow in understanding and love of books is one of the great joys of parenting. The earlier you start, the more fun and natural the journey will be. So get some favorite books and get started reading to your child. You'll be glad you did.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Featured Friend- Shannon Hartz

I wanted to start featuring some of my personal friends that inspire me. I wanted to start first by introducing you to an amaing friend of mine:
Shannon Hartz
Shannon and her husband Robert (Bobby) as I know him have been married for 10 years going on 11 this December 30th. They have gone through so much with each other and their love continues to grow each year.
They have 4 beautiful children Brock, Dane, Briley and Caed, that keep this family very busy to say the least.
About two years ago Shannon and her husband opened a Crossfit gym in Chino Hills, with their partner BJ. This is a wonderful family oriented gym where they both put a lot of time and effort in to working out and staying healthy.
Be sure to check out their website at .

Shannon takes great pride in herself, as you can see in the photos, she is at the gym or busy chasing her children and eating an impecable diet that keeps her in great shape.
I asked Shan which is her most favorite workout and her least and here is what she had to say.

"My favorite is the GHD sit-up machine. It's this crazy machine that you get your legs into then you do like a back bend then sit up. It's a great workout for abs - which are my favorite to workout. I have to say I do like doing legs though too, and weighted lunges are one of my favorite leg/butt workouts.
" My least favorite is double undrers (jump roping where the rope goes around twice for each jump). It it an awesome cardio wokrout and great for the calves, but after having 4 kids - it often makes me pee my pants - just gonna be totally honest with this one." If you have done these as a mom you know what she is talking about. 

   I asked Shannon to say a few diet tips with us all
She says "I heard a saying once that I TOTALLY agree with" -
"you can never out train your diet"
It is so so so true. Diet is super important. I try to look at food as fuel. I tend to eat a pretty much zone diet. I try to stick to low fat, low carb high protein meals, and I eat 5 - 6 small meals a day. Fries, chips, cookies... - they have NO nutritional value - they are just going to pad your body. If you want to look lean and have definition then you need to eat lean and workout hard.
When Shannon finds time to spare she loves to spend time with her family, by going to the beach or taking the kids to the movies, or playing at the park and watching them grow up.

Well I just wanted to add that Shannon is truly an amzing women with such a love for life and she is definitly enjoying it to the fullest. Check out her blog:

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