Here are the four most important questions to ask about reading success (just in time for conferences)

the 4 stages of succcessful reading

Reading is much more than reciting words that one sees on paper. Even before a reader achieves phonemic awareness and phonics, he’s learning to comprehend, understand, internalize and make connections. These are the essential stages necessary to teach kids to read, and to reach success in reading. How can parents help? By reading with children and encouraging reading and discussion time. And by recognizing the most four most important reading questions to ask themselves and their child's … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: Fall and Winter Book List Giving You Permission to Cuddle Up Under a Cozy Blanket by the Fire

A list of books to get lost in during the cold, winter months

I hit rock bottom this summer in my reading. I had so much trouble finding books I loved that I resorted to either hating books and forcing myself to keep reading or quitting and - gulp - playing Frozen Free Fall. I know. It got really bad, didn't it? This Fall, and into Winter, I'm getting back to what I love -- books that force me into other cultures and books that help me to envision my life within their pages. This is a smaller list, so I have the best of intentions to read, and, fingers … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: 5 Gripping Reads About How People React to a Crisis from best-selling novelist Catherine McKenzie

Characters in Crisis gripping novels about characters in dangerous situations

Bestselling author Catherine McKenzie debuts her new book, Smoke, later this month (which is currently available for pre-order and linked below.) I've always felt books about crisis and how a character responds to a disaster sets up for a gripping and compelling story, and usually makes for an excellent book discussion. This week, Catherine's submission to the Julieverse Reads series introduces 5 books featuring protagonists under incredible tension. [Post includes affiliate links. Thank … [Read more...]

5 Non-Fiction Books That Will Inspire You Today

Julieverse Reads A list of non-fiction books that will inspire readers

We're taking a break from fiction this week for Julieverse Reads. This post, curated by publicist and La Jolla Writer's Conference director, Jared Kuritz, highlights non fiction books that will fill you with inspiration.  The Power of Legacy We hear and read all the time about the selfless things certain individuals do for others. From Make-A-Wish to Wounded Warriors to Animal Rescue and so many more—all of these wonderful organizations were the vision of one individual. But do you ever … [Read more...]

Is Reading a Low Priority? 9 Ways to Encourage Reading In Your Home

9 easy ways to help your family learn to love to read, no matter their ages

"I assign 30 minutes of reading each night," said my 6th grader's reading teacher at Back to School Night. Then, he shrugged and finished his sentence. "But we all know that reading is the lowest priority for the kids and they aren't doing it." Say what?! Nope. My husband and I weren't happy with that at all. Reading is what comes first in our family, and there's a good reason for it: we've always embraced and encouraged reading, and a reading teacher who isn't going to do that is a genuine … [Read more...]

Independent Reading: Using the Goldilocks Method to Determine If Your Child Is Reading an Appropriate Book

Independent Reading Can she actually read and understand that book!

There is never an age that is too young to encourage independent reading. Even the youngest child benefits from “quiet reading time” where they can page through books, look at the pictures, and create a story in their heads—or recall stories they’ve heard before. But as a child gets older, parents need to insure that their child is reading books that are on the child’s reading level—books that are appropriate both in comprehension and in word awareness.   While there are many … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: Exploring Culture in Modern Literature

modern novels that introduce readers to societies different from our own. In learning how others think, live and believe, we enrich our understanding of others. Another great list of book club books at Julieverse

When I first created the Julieverse Reads series, offering an opportunity for readers and authors to share their favorite books, I was hopeful I'd have a very special author guest post, Janie Lam Meyers. I consider myself very fortunate to have so much in common with my mom. To start, we both share a love for reading and writing. This week's Julieverse Reads guest post highlights books that focus on cultures other than our own. Mom and I both enjoy reading cultural books -- ironically, I have … [Read more...]

How To Use Note Cards to Help with Homework and Learning

Help kids learn writing, reading, math and phonics the easy and fun way -- with note cards

From homework to spelling activities to games, there are so many ways to use note cards (3x5, 4x6, 5x7 or other sizes) to help your children learn and help them with homework. I always keep them on hand--in fact, they're hidden in drawers in most rooms in our home. Here are some ways to use note cards to help your children with homework. Using note cards to supplement learning 3x5 cards are the easiest way to reinforce a spelling  word, a word pattern or a math problem. When my kids are … [Read more...]

Need an inside activity for your kids? Here’s how to get hours and hours of quiet fun

Hours and hours of fun, the kids rarely realize how much education is involved in creating and playing games

Game creation is an excellent way to teach children to create and solve problems on their own. When given the opportunity, they'll use many learning elements, such as math, writing, reading, geography and, sometimes, science, all without probing and pushing from parents and teachers. And making a game is simple with very little supplies and a lot of reward. It also offers the opportunity to cater to both competitive and cooperative learning. On a Tuesday after a doctor appointment, rather … [Read more...]

Basic Reading Skills: Games to expand a child’s phonological awareness

easy games you can play to teach your kids basic reading skills

Even in grad school, I continued to confuse the emergent literacy terms phonics, phonemic awareness and phonological awareness, so it's difficult to imagine a Kindergarten parent without training in education having a strong grasp on what teachers and reading specialists are working with their children to understand. Therefore, it's probably even more difficult for a parent to gather ideas on how to make the learning process fun for her beginning reader. I'll try to break down the differences … [Read more...]