Teaching Your Kid to Read

file0001244043169A very odd thing happend to me this last weekend. My daughter and I were talking about something, truthfully I don’t remember what because she was doing all the talking, and I was trying to work. As she is only 3 sometimes it’s just not critical to hang on her every word, but out of this stream of consciousness she paused for a moment and looked directly at me and asked me to teach her how to read. I was in shock, it seemed like yesterday that she was a baby. I have no idea of how to go about teacher her. Don’t they teach her once she starts school? Of course I can’t just say wait till your older. If she wants to try to read now I want to help her learn. I spent some time talking to some of my friends that have kids and got their input on the matter. I also did quite a bit of reading online and came away with the following suggestions. These in and of themselves won’t give you a step-by-step plan on teaching your young child to read but are rather guidelines to help you while you are in the process.

First, and this one seems obvious, use material they like. My daughter specifically wants to read because she love Winney the Poo and wants to be able to read her books that I normally read to her by herself. She is also interested in anything related to princesses much to my chagrin.

Second, don’t push your child to read earlier than they are ready. I would have never even thought to begin teaching her if she hadn’t asked and could already recognized several words on her own. All kids have different development timeframes – some are ready to read at 4 and some at 7. Pressing too hard will just lead to frustration for both of you. I always think it is so funny when people tell me how early their child learned to walk and talk. Why does this matter? I have met thousands of people in my life and none of them were unable to walk and talk. We all get there, just at our own pace.

The final piece of advice comes mostly from me wasn’t brought up by many of the people I talked to, and that is don’t reward your child for reading. I know this sounds counter intuitive in our culture of rewards for every single thing a child does, but trust me here. You want your child to read for the reward of reading itself for the joy of reading a new story, for the joy of going on a new adventure, not because of some snack or toy you will give them as a reward. I feel very strongly about this. This behavior actually takes away the joy that your child gets from reading and replaces that joy with the outside reward. This guarantees that once the reward goes away so does the pleasure. Your not going to be there the rest of your child’s life giving them a cookie for reading so stop now.

Well that is all I have for now. I’ll be updating this post as I have new information. Let me know about your experiences with teaching your very young child to read. I’m just starting this process and would love to hear your thoughts and listen to any advice you might have.

Ramblings of a Great Mind

Humans 2057

Dr.Michio Kaku..Explains why we are a type 0 civilization and given the odds will never  see type 1. If all this make no sense to you no worries check out the short video and Dr. Kaku will explain it all using easy to understand analogies. I like to listen to him sometimes when I get caught up too much in my petty day-to-day existence, he always makes me feel smaller yet less stressed about the things going on around me. Let me know what you think about the video.

The Career Crisis

file4121296766060   We’ve all been there, staring at the computer screen, watching the day slowly tick by, waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 so we can leave. On the drive home we start thinking can I really do this for the rest of this week. Can I stand another day doing the same boring job that I’ve done for the last 10 years. Then the really terrifying thought grips you. Oh my God, can I do this job for the next 20 years. That’s when the panic starts and thats when you know you are having a mid-career crisis. I’ve been there, truthfully I’m there now. I’m not sure what I’ll do about it, if anything, but I’ve spent a lot of time talking with friends and family and research information about the topic. It would seem that I’m not alone. Vadafone conducted a survey and found that people from all age groups show a large amount of dissatisfaction with their job with those people 31-35 being the most unhappy of any group they tested – with over half of them unhappy with their career. The reasons were varied but the main ones were feelings of being undervalued, not being fulfilled and just being plain unmotivated.

So great now we know we are not alone and that we don’t have to feel so guilty about having a job when many are out of work, what do we do. I think the first and most often heard piece of advice is not to do anything drastic. This seems obvious to me, like not quitting your current job before you have another – believe it or not many do this. But this advice is more subtle than that. Meaning that it is best to give yourself some time to really think about what is making you unhappy in your current job. It really pays to talk to friends and family at this point. Surprisingly you’ll often find that the reason you are unhappy has nothing to do with your career and is caused by outside emotional influences i.e. relationships, financial worries etc.

Giving yourself some time also allows you the opportunity to test the waters of other careers. Of course this is not always possible but there are many opportunities to volunteer on your off days, do charity work, shadow a friend at work whose job you think you might like. This way you can test the waters before jumping head first into a new career move. And my final piece of advice is go for it. If you really can’t stand working at your career and it is effecting your day-to-day happiness then make a change. It will not always be easy, and sometimes you may need additional training, schooling, and new skills but with enough strength and determination you can preserver. I hope these tips have been helpful for you. Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to do.