Thursday, April 21, 2016

Five Tips on How to Successfully Read to Your Child

Did you know?
  • More than half the children in the country will not hear a bedtime story tonight
  • Some children begin kindergarten having been read to as few as 25 hours
  • By age four, low-income children have heard an average 32 million fewer words than their peers
  • If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade
"Reading has the enduring power to shape and develop minds, both in the home and classroom,” says best-selling author (Teach Like a Champion and Reading Reconsidered) and educator Doug Lemov. "The urgency to make the teaching of reading as effective and enjoying as possible should always be reinforced at home. The goal must be to show every child the power that comes from the world reading can bring to light.”

So, how can parents help achieve this?

Lemov has provided five tips below on how to read successfully to your child – a great tool to have as we are coming up on the end of school year and into the summer months, when reading to your child is especially important. 

1. GET COMFORTABLE. Stories have been told and read for me immemorial because they are pleasurable and because sharing them draws people together. This is not necessarily obvious to children. At home, it’s good to mix reading with warmth and affection. I try to express that in the way I sit. We tuck in on the couch or in a comfy chair. I try to snuggle with my little one, and even with my older ones, ages 13 and 11. Or we lie on the living room floor, all of us, while I read aloud. Even if your child is behind in reading and there’s pressure to make progress, try to make reading time feel comfortable and caring.

2. READ SLOWLY. I like to stop for a couple of seconds about every half page or so when I‘m reading, especially to my youngest. The words and the story are more complex than she is used to. I want to give her me to absorb it. Sometimes I stop and look at her and smile when we’re reading. Sometimes she doesn’t say anything to me when I smile, and that’s fine. Sometimes she smiles back. And sometimes she makes a little comment. “Mrs. Frisby is afraid, I think,” she’ll say. I don’t have to do much to show her she’s doing well when she does that. Sometimes I’ll just nod and smile or kiss the top of her head. And then I keep reading. I read slowly too. Nice and steady to let the words sink in. There’s no rush.

3. GIVE THEM A FEW WORDS TOO. My kids loves it when I say, “And the next chapter is called...” and they get to read the title of the chapter to me. Look for little moments when your child can help you read a more advanced book and see that it’s within his or her range someday. Even if it’s just reading the word ‘I’ or ‘and,’ it helps. “See, you’re on your way!” is a powerful message.

4. EXPRESS YOURSELF (as much as you can). The power of reading aloud for kids is in developing their ear for language, for what words sound like and how sentences work. Capturing that is key and it’s simpler than it might sound. You don’t have to act out the roles and make it theater, you just have to capture the sound of language and the cadence of words—which ones run together, which ones get a bit of emphasis.

5. DON’T FREAK OUT. Ok maybe you’re great at reading aloud. But maybe you’re not. Maybe you fear it. Is it ok if you’re not confident in your own reading? Yes. But more important than telling you it’s okay I want to suggest a way to make you feel more confident and therefore more likely to read to your kids: preview the section you are going to read. The night before you read to your child, take the book to bed and read the part you’ll read the next night. If you’ve read it through beforehand, you’ll remember even if you don’t realize it. Please know that I do this all the time, even though I am a former English teacher and principal. I like to know where the book is going and to be ready for tough spots or content that’s challenging. It just makes me feel confident to know where things are going. If you’re nervous about reading, it will help you as well. As will starting simply. I know—I said read challenging books. But you can always build up to them. Reading to your child is a marathon not a sprint so it’s fine if you need some me to build your own comfort and skill. Just please don’t let that fear stand between your child and what will help them most.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stress Less: The Do's and Don'ts of Moving

According to recent studies, 61% of people place moving homes at the top of their stress list, ahead of relationship breakdowns, divorce or even a new job. One way to ease this stress is to hire professionals to do all the heavy lifting, but that still leaves the packing and organization of your affairs. Ross Sapir, founder and CEO of Roadway Moving has compiled some of the lesser known do's and don'ts for packing and moving, sure to turn your next move into a positive experience, no matter where in the world you're moving.

Do's and Don'ts of Moving:
  • DO all of the packing and labeling before moving day.
    • You'd be surprised how many people get stuck in the last minute rush to pack everything and move it all in one day. Make sure everything but a change of clothes is packed and ready to go.
  • DON'T forget to color code your boxes for each room.
    • Most people know to label their moving boxes but unpacking is much easier for you and your movers is your boxes are color coded according to room.
  • DO find free boxes at the grocery stores and online.
    • You can save tons of money on packing materials if you take advantage of the free packing materials at grocery stores or check online for free boxes. Craigslist's free section is a great place to start.
  • DON'T forget to hire a babysitter or a pet sitter.
    • If your children are old enough they can be helpful throughout the process but if not, it's better to have them secure and out of the way while you're packing up and moving. The same goes for your pets, they tend to get underfoot of movers.
  • DO use packing materials you already have.
    • Suitcases are perfect for transporting items, especially things that are heavy or awkwardly shaped.
  • DON'T forget to pack an overnight bag to use on the first night.
    • After a long day of moving, you're not likely to want to go through all of your boxes just yet. Pack and overnight bag with the essentials such as toiletries, a few outfits and pyjamas for use on the first night.
  • DO keep important documents with you.
    • It's best to travel with your most important items in hand. Keep a file of important documents with you while you move so that they are less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
  • DON'T place small objects directly in boxes.
    • Keep sandwich bags handy for little pieces of electronics and label the bags specifically. These tiny pieces tend to get lost in the shuffle and can make life difficult when putting everything back together.
  • DO give specific tasks to any friends helping.
    • Make sure you plan out their specific jobs before they come over, this way they will be able to help out in the most efficient way possible.
  • DON'T forget to plan out a floor plan before you move.
    • Try to plan out where each item, especially the big ones, will go and how everything will look. This will make it easier to put things in the right place immediately upon arrival.
About Ross Sapir:
Ross Sapir is the Founder and CEO of New York City's premiere moving and storage company; Roadway Moving. Since the inception of Roadway Moving in 2008, the company has grown from six trucks into a fully functional and full-service moving company with over 130 employees available to assist the 5,000 to 6,000 customers they serve a year. Born in Israel and raised in New York, Ross cites his company's success to his employees, and customer service. From quote to cleanup, Ross takes personal care to ensure that each Roadway customer is treated the "Roadway Way" -- enjoying a hassle and stress-free move without fail. His everlasting commitment to quality, efficiency and transparency, is the true testament behind how Roadway has become one of the leading and highest rated moving companies in Tri-State area, and the #1 moving company on Yelp.

About Roadway Moving:
Roadway Moving is New York's premier moving company providing professional and stress free moving services to the Tri-State area.   Roadway Moving offers a full range of moving services and storage options, while executing a seamless moving experience to clients.  From quote to cleanup, Roadway Moving's highly trained team is committed to quality, transparency and efficiency -- staples of a company known for the highest caliber of customer service in the industry. Founded by CEO Ross Sapir in 2008, Roadway Moving is certified and accredited by, a certification company that specializes in the moving and shipping industry, to provide impeccable protection and satisfaction to their customers. Whether you're moving locally, nationally or internationally, Roadway Moving provides a level of experience and knowledge unmatched by many other local moving companies. With over 130 employees in the United States, Roadway Moving is available to assist clients with last minute engagements. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

30% Off + Free Shipping Over $99 at Wilsons Leather!

The Big Event Up To 70% Off + Extra 30% Off Sitewide with code SPRING at checkout - Shop Women's

Head over to Wilsons Leather right now for their Big Spring Sale! Shoppers can take 30% Off + Free Shipping Over $99 with code SAVE30 now through 2/28!

Karina Dresses: Spring is HERE!

We are excited to announce our Spring collection is officially live on our site! Inspired by the sunshine and blue skies of California, we are trading in our black and gray dresses for vibrant reds and royal blues. Head over to the site and check it out now!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Delivery Day Essentials from Honest

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Having a baby? If your birth plan includes a hospital delivery, here are four Honest essentials to bring that will help you have a better birth experience:

Honest Diapers
Honest Diapers are eco-friendly, ultra absorbent and free of lotions, fragrances and latex. These diapers are also gentle, safe, and non-irritating for baby's sensitive skin. As if that wasn't wonderful enough, you'll also be able to choose from dozens of fun, colorful prints!

Baby Arrival Gift Set

This gift set includes 7 essential items made with safe and natural ingredients to make those first days even more delightful for both baby and mom. The set is wrapped in a beautiful lightweight reusable wooden box made from sustainable paulownia wood — perfect for art and crafts, diaper storage, photos, toys, and more!

Organic Healing Balm

Hosptials can be very dry, so Honest's Healing Balm is a must-have for both mom and baby. Made with certified organic, plant-based botanicals, including coconut, olive, sunflower oils and shea butter, this salve will soothe, calm, nourish and moisturize even the most sensitive baby skin.

Everything Tote

New parents not only need everything, they also need something to carry it all in. With over nine, thoughtfully-placed pockets, this classic handbag-style tote will keep all of her delivery day essentials organized. This tote is also very stylish, so when mom's back home, it's a great bag for transitioning from busy parent during the day to fashionista at night.

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