Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Quotes from another resource

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Wow, time sure flies when one should be blogging. 

Our neighbor recently gave us a stack of books as her son has outgrown them.  Included in the stack was a set of books called “First Steps to Reading*.”  Ella has enjoyed reading those books and I think they will be great even when Ella starts to read.

Included with the books is a parents’ guide.  When reading through it I came across a few quotes that do a good job of explaining the value of parents teaching their children to read and would like to share them.

You are your child’s first – and perhaps his best – teacher.

Because of this, you will want to help your child take full advantage of every learning opportunity.  This includes the opportunity to learn to read – as soon as interest is shown – rather than waiting for a pre-set time.

 I especially agree with the statement about teaching a child to read when they are ready instead of waiting. 

Short, three-to-five-minute reading times are far better than one long reading time.  The quickest way to stop the fun of reading is to make this a “come and sit down time.”  Avoid that like the plague.

Definitely true for reading and for learning the phonograms.  I pushed Hayden harder than I should have many times when he started reading.  I even knew I was doing it, but continued anyway.  Maybe being older and wiser will help me with Ella.

When do you begin teaching?  Why, at the very beginning.  From the moment you first hold your baby in your arms, you are teaching the language of touch.

As you smile, hug, sing, and talk to him, he is already on the road to developing language.

Language seems to bubble out from a bottomless spring, as your child discovers that EVERYTHING has a name.  And you – you are his language teacher.

 I’ve said this in the blog before, but this is stated much more eloquently.

…research shows that the more first-hand experiences a child has during his early years, the better his language will be.

This is what drives me to read, sing and talk to Ella as much as possible.  A variation on this I’ve heard is that a child has a three-year window where the brain is most receptive to new learning and once that window is closed the brain is set for life.  I want Ella’s brain to be as powerful as possible. 

I’ve stolen some good quotes from that parent guide, with proper credit I hope, and encourage you to visit the site below to take a look at these books. 

* First Steps to Reading by Jane Belk Moncure (

Talking to Ella

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Along with reading, it is very important to talk to your children.  The more language they hear the faster they will pick it up.  I have not done as well at that as I should.  While thinking about the blog today on the way back from dropping Hayden off at school I realized I hadn’t been taking advantage of times like this.

I remember especially the times with Lauren when she was a baby and I was teaching.  She went to daycare at the Methodist church in El Dorado and I dropped her off each morning.  At the time I was driving a Nissan pickup so she was sitting right there beside me.  I talked to her non-stop on the way to daycare.  This wasn’t too long after my graduation from college so all that I’d learned in all those teacher-ed classes was still fresh in my mind.

So, after realizing that I’d been missing opportunities to better prepare Ella for learning to read, I started talking to her.  And Ella started talking back at me.

This blog is helping me to hold myself more accountable for doing all I can to prepare Ella to learn to read.  I didn’t expect that, but it is excellent.

One More Thing and a Bad Thing

January 26, 2010 1 comment

I forgot to mention one other thing that we’ve done to get Ella on the road to reading.  It is important for children to see others reading.  That way they know the family values reading.  Below you can see Hayden reading and Ella looking at a book.  This is something she has just recently started doing.

I was guilty of a bad thing this evening.  Not helpful at all on Ella’s road to begin reading.  She came to me with a book during the first half of the KU-Missouri basketball game and I told her in no uncertain terms that I was not going to read to her during the game.  I did later relent and read the book to her during halftime.  I’ll also make an effort tomorrow to read her a few extra books and some extra nursery rhymes.


January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Ella was born on May 15th, 2008.  She is a third child born about 11.5 years after her brother and 16 years after her sister to parents who never expected another child but were overjoyed at the thought off experiencing it all again.

This blog will be about the process of Ella learning to read.  The first two Boline children learned to read with haphazard help from their father.  While Hayden was learning to read, the process became more structured, eventually leading to a well-defined program.  The program has been commercialized to a small degree and will be used to teach Ella to read.

My name is Mark Boline and I’m the father.  There are many things to enjoy about raising a child, but watching a child learn to read is one of my absolute favorites.  As I mentioned above, Ella was a surprise.  I figured it would be many years before I was able to watch one of my grandchildren learn to read, and then most likely from afar.  I am extremely excited to be able to go through this process again with Ella.

Ella is 20 months old as this blogging begins.  I will write about what we have been doing to build a foundation for reading as well as describing daily activities.  The blog is planned as documentation of the learning to read process, but will include many personal observations as well.

As a former first-grade teacher who loved watching multiple children learn to read each school year, I would love for other parents to use the experience documented here to assist them with teaching their own child how to read.  The program I mentioned before came about through my desire to help parents teach their children to read and this blog is just another path for me to do that.