Get advice and share tips on teaching your child everything from baby sign language to algebra and learn how to choose the right school for your child including options like home schooling and unschooling.

Favorite parenting and/or child development books?

Looking for a somewhat easy read since my brain is usually a little fried at night. Something starting from 1 year and on preferred but if it has a little bit of the first year too then it’s ok. Thanks!!

Marta posted in Education Jun 04

My daughter says she doesn’t like school because it’s boring. What should I do?

My daughter is 4 years old because she is a year behind in school because her b day is sept 6, 5 days after the cut off. In her school they start at 18 months she’s in pre-K 3 right now. Since she started pre k 2 she tells me that school is boring and when she started pre-K 3 this year (2XXX-XXXX) she tells me the same thing. What should I do?

  • Joan
    Jun 05
  • Marta
    Jun 05

    I have tried and the other hard part is that I work at the school I’m the other pre-K 3 teacher

Anonymous posted in Education May 30

Recommendations on educational iPad apps for a 2 year old?

  • Whitney Rhodes
    Jun 01

    Jellies! There's a category of videos for kids 2+ and they're all educational. Colors, shapes, ABCs, numbers, trucks (real-life, not animated), five senses, manners and respect, you name it.

  • Lorraine
    Jun 14

    Little Reader and Curious World

Rachel posted in Education May 28

Year-Round School

If your kids go to a year round school, what do you do with your kids for the long breaks in winter and spring? Are there camps? We can't go on a 3-4 week vacation from work twice a year, sadly.

Handwriting and learning numbers, colors, letters, etc

When did your child start learning how to write? When do you think it is a good time to teach them the alphabet, numbers, colors, and very basic Spanish words? My dad used to use flash cards on us when we were about 4, instead of him reading to us, he had us read to him while he just guided us along, and he always had us doing those workbooks that you can get at Wal-Mart, and I was reading on m... More

  • Erin
    May 24

    Thank you everyone. This has all been some great insight :)

  • Sha
    May 26

    They say the first 5 years kids are like sponges. Start from birth. Even though they can't speak they understand. You will be surprised what they can do.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment May 21

Learning activities for one year old?

I'm a SAHM to a 13 month old. She's great at independent play and loves reading books (by herself and with me). She has TONS of toys, a lot of them are intended for "learning" but I'm looking for more enriching things to fill our days with. We have some flash cards and I try naming things/ asking her to name things when I do play with her. We do music time with an instrume... More

  • Christina
    May 21

    Sensory tables. I like edible ones at that age. Storytime. Parks. Exploratory walks. Even things like laundry and dry dusting. Coloring-bonus if you have a giant box to contain her and the crayons. Don’t use markers-they do not develop fine motor strength. Don’t stress about more, you don’t want your day so busy that you rush from thing to thing. Kids need open play time.

  • Sha
    May 26

    My LO is the same age. We have a radio flyer converter bike with a handle so we can go on strolls around the neighborhood, parks and picnics...I also bring along bubble blowers and a big ball, building blocks, "help making meals and cleaning" finger painting, coloring, we work on body parts, colors etc., ..also sand/water tables work well

Primary Schools: Multiple Intelligence Theory vs Traditional

Which do you recommend? We have to make a choice between the two.. has anyone sent their kids to both and found a huge difference? Just wondering how these kids adapt to traditional High-School coming from Elementaries that use MI Theory.

  • Diana
    May 17

    If your child isn’t academically proficient go for the MI. It brings out and celebrates the natural abilities and teaches from those, compared to forcing a one size fits all curriculum and lesson plan on every child. I think all schools should be required to teach to MI’s since too many kids think they are dumb because they don’t do well in school using traditional methods.

Anonymous posted in Education May 16

Learning apps for an 18 month old?

I have a 18 month old who is not interested in “learning” if I pull out flash cards she said NO or walks away. If I get a book she just keeps closing it. Everything needs to be on her terms. Any learning apps you guys recommend.

  • Jade
    May 18

    My son likes toasted waffles but since they’re hot, I put them in the freezer to cool for a second. During the wait, we sing ABC’s with the alphabet fridge magnets. At the end, he gets his food. His room has books more accessible and visible than toys. His daddy has a special book that they read together every night-same book. We talk about what things are, how they’re spelt, how many there ... More

  • Adam
    May 22

    Learning place mats

My son is 3 years old and reading is one of his favorite activities.

How do I get him to pay more attention to the words? He seems to have most books memorized... I prompt him if necessary. Sometimes he tells me the whole story, other times I read the whole story.

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    The fact that reading is one of his favorite activities is fantastic! It is also wonderful that he has memorized stories. I suggest shaking things up a bit. Start with a new book with the promise to follow it with an old favorite. It can help if you point to the words as you’re reading. This might keep his attention focused on the words on the page. You can let him use his finger when he retell... More

ESL Books

My kids are learning English as a second language and it’s tough! Any suggestions on helping them with their vocabulary and getting better at comprehension? Their grades are not good.

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    It is a challenge to learn a second language and to have your schooling depend on the acquisition. The more English your children hear and speak the better. Young minds are incredibly adept at picking up languages –much better at it than adults – but they need exposure. Reading to them or using an audio book while looking at the actual book can help. It’s rare I suggest watching TV with childr... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

My 9 year old is struggling with reading. I was wondering what I can do to help her?

ADHD and dyslexia = frustrated mother and child :(

  • Anonymous
    May 15

    Thanks. I will try this. Ask her IEP team to give me more things to work on

  • Mariah
    May 22

    Maybe look at a coworker of mine suggested to me for my toddler but hes a bit young compared to the focus on the sight but it could be helpful for you

Is there any benefit to reading above a child's comprehension level?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am not sure if you mean reading books to a child that are above his or her comprehension level or if you mean a child who can say the words but doesn’t understand what he or she is reading – so I’ll answer both questions. When reading aloud to a child, it’s fine to read books and stories where there is a little stretch for the child. The story might include unknown vocabulary or twists in th... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 15

Keeping a gifted reader challenged

My kindergartener was an early reader and now reads independently at a grade 2/3 level. He’s way beyond what they are doing in his class and I want to make sure he doesn’t get bored with reading! Is this something I should work with his teacher on or just try to make sure he has plenty of books at home to challenge him?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    What a great problem to be facing! But I don’t underestimate the issues of helping early and gifted learners. There are lots of issues that arise, and will arise, as your son progresses in school. Absolutely make sure he has plenty of great reading material at home, along with taking regular trips to the library and bookstores together. I would also talk to his teacher. No doubt there will be ... More

  • DaveP
    May 25

    The library is your best friend for a gifted reader. Plus a fun place to visit. We gave our son his own library card and he chooses books online to be available to pickup. We do supervise selections but he can go through series like the box car children then hardy boys. Look online for websites that suggest good reading material but it helps if you can read with him too at times as even the bes... More

Hello Everyone!

When Winnie asked if I would answer questions from parents about how children learn to read, I was delighted to say, “Yes!” As well as designing the curriculum behind HOMER’s learn-to-read program, I have been teaching children to read for more years than I like to admit, but I never lose the excitement and joy that comes from helping youngsters make reading breakthroughs. I love sharing helpf... More

How can I start teaching my three year old letter sounds and moving that into reading?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    Being the curriculum designer of HOMER, I have to say that our program for three-year olds is excellent. We cover sound-letter correspondence as well as addressing the auditory and visual tasks that are foundational to a child’s success in reading –and all in a playful format. That said, there are a number of non-digital ways to make learning letter sounds fun for children. I suggest making a... More

How did you all prep your kids for school?

My daughter likes to play school sometimes and I was thinking of doing little drills to practice for school—like the morning routine and walking to school etc. Thoughts? Also any book recommendations? She loves stories to prepare her for transitions. TIA

  • Liza M.
    May 11

    You can make a social story for when the actual day gets close. Just use power point. It's pretty much a "first, then" story. For example: first, I wake up, then I get dressed, then I have breakfast, then I brush our teeth. Then I get our backpack. Then I walk to school/take the bus. Etc... You can add clip art or even work on it together, taking pictures as you practice the rout... More

  • Ebonie
    May 11

    My son does not do change well everything has to go very close to expected. So when I was to put him in school the end of the year before I took him there and we took pictures. I mean a lot of freaking pictures of everything. We then went home and started putting the pictures up. So he was able to see things that would be everyday for him soon enough. Worked like a charm he loved school since t... More

My family is bilingual. Any skills/tips for Spanish & English reading for my almost 3 yr old child?

  • Emily
    May 13

    First off, that is awesome! Second, I learned that reading books with both languages help a lot. For example it may say “the sky is blue” and right next to it it will say “el cielo es azul” so it incorporates both and means the same thing. Dora books are really good for that. Good luck 🙂

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    Being bilingual is a great benefit in life, so it is wonderful that you want to make sure your three-year old’s reading skills are developed in both languages. But to make sure that your child is literate in both languages might require extra effort. The alphabet is the same, but the pronunciation of the letters is not identical, at least not completely identical. This means your child will hav... More

Anonymous posted in Books & Reading May 09

How can I get my 3 year old to sit still for a story?

I try to read to her every night, but all she wants to do it wiggle and talk and flip around the pages. Sometimes she engages with the story or pictures but mostly she just isn’t interested. What am I doing wrong?

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    You are not doing anything wrong. I applaud your observing that what you’re doing now is not working well and looking for alternatives, and I do have some suggestions for you. First, don’t worry --at least for now –about the words on the page. For the moment, let her turn the pages and then share -- even for a second or two – your observations. “Oh, I love this picture!” “Here’s where the co... More

  • Gean
    May 27

    I had the same problem. My daughter, now a month away from six years old, is just now starting to like books. The more animated Iam with my reading, the longer she can sit for it.

Introducing reading to a 3 year old

I've been teaching my 3 and 2 year old about language since birth. My 2 year old, his vocabulary is just beginning to build. He is at 100+ words now. My 3 year old has an impressive understanding for language and grammar. I think she's ready to learn to read. I'd like tips on how to begin. She's known the alphabet for 2 years and can recognize letters in various fonts, both big ... More

  • Peggy Kaye: Chief Curriculum Officer at HOMER
    May 15

    I am delighted to share some ideas with you, and I applaud your careful nurturing of your children’s language development. As I mentioned in another answer, certain listening skills are highly correlated to a child’s ease in becoming a reader. At HOMER, we offer a huge range of listening tasks for just this reason. Likewise, we focus on helping children relate letters to their primary sounds.... More

  • MomBreezeKhia
    May 16

    Thank you. I appreciate your advice. Wow, you are so gifted. I will follow every step of this information that you've given me. Thank you so much !

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