Many of you may have heard the big rocks word picture–a way of illustrating the ” put first things first ” mindset–and in our video blog today, we shared our own nerdy teacher version of that. In a world where busyness reigns, time management tips are something that most of us want. Although this “big rocks” picture may seem simple, it is can also be a very life-changing concept if we let it. Life is full of constant choices, as we are inundated with countless options of how to spend our time each day. If we respond to the myriad of little things first, we will almost assuredly reach the end of the day without time to fit in the biggest, most important things. However, if we start each day knowing what is most important and making those few things the priority, then we will have time to fit many of the little things in around them. Knowing and keeping our main priorities equips us to make all of the little decisions that come at us each day! Join us on facebook to leave a comment about your big rocks!
Too many times have I been in that place where I feel like I can’t add even one more thing into my already-crammed busy life. Having been there, I understand the reflex response of rejecting anything that looks like it might be a time taker. However, I want to take just a minute to share with you why I think Reading Tricks might be more manageable than you think.
In short, Reading Tricks is not a typical training program. You aren’t required to put in in a minimum number of hours memorizing materials and learning an entire method or curriculum before you can even begin putting it into practice. Instead it is a bite-sized video training program, where you watch one video at a time (normally 5-10 minutes long), accompanied by simple step-by-step lesson plans. After watching one of these videos, you are already trained to teach your student one lesson. And even more fun that that is the fact that you can do it all from home in your pjs! 🙂
In our video blog this week, we talk about how fear can be such a controlling factor in life. It’s something that, for a long time, stopped one of our Reading Tricks teachers from helping struggling readers. She shares her story of never even considering the possibility of teaching because of fear that she didn’t know how or couldn’t do it well. Her story is not an uncommon one. Fear causes people to overlook or avoid possibilities and can stop them from sharing gifts they may have with others who may need them. We want to help break through some of the fear aspects of teaching people to read. Reading Tricks offers a curriculum with step-by-step instructions, accompanied by videos, on how to teach people to read. If you can follow instructions, then you can teach someone to read. Our challenge for you today is, at the very least, to take a few minutes to think about the possibilities. What if you *could* offer the gift of reading to someone who might never have a chance to do so without help? Join us on facebook, instagram, or twitter to share your thoughts!
What’s your passion? Your heartbeat? That thing that gives you purpose and is worth fighting for? Our passion at Reading Tricks is to help struggling readers and non-readers learn how to read–and we do that by teaching you how to teach them! This week we want to share our passion with you, and we’re hoping that you can take a few minutes to share it with others. If every person shares it with even just one person, think of how quickly it could spread. We long to exude contagious passion–to grow a community of people willing to fight for those who can’t read and don’t know how to fight for themselves. Join us by sharing our page with your friends… or by looking into our training at readingtricks.com so you can give someone the gift of reading! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Building trust with our kids and students is important but takes some intentionality. One way we can do this is by giving genuine compliments. Kids are able to tell when we are giving false praise or empty compliments just to make them feel better. So rather than using empty words and teaching them not to trust what we say, let’s find things we can genuinely praise them for–building trust that our words have meaning! We can compliment our students on natural abilities, strong character, personality, hard work, good choices, fun ideas, and countless other areas. Be observant and creative, and make sure that you mean what you say–building a priceless trust between you and your kids!
Join us at facebook.com/ReadingIsHard to connect with a community that is passionate about helping others learn to read!
Building self-esteem in our kids can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but one of our Reading Tricks teachers shares a simple way of intentionally doing so by purposefully letting our kids overhear our conversations. Rather than talking about our kids’ struggles and learning differences in a way that makes them feel insecure, let’s have conversations they can overhear where we are talking about their strengths and gifts. We could mention their abilities in sports, music, or art; or we could even make specific comments about growth in areas they struggle with, i.e., hard work or improvement in their reading, writing, handwriting, sound recognition, etc. Either way, we want our kids to overhear us complimenting and praising their strengths and hard work. Kids so often hear enough negative comments from peers and sometimes even adults. Let’s make it a point to let them start overhearing the good stuff!
If you are a parent or teacher who has experienced that sinking feeling of recognizing you have a child who learns differently than your other kids, you understand our Reading Tricks’ founder’s experience of discovering her son’s learning differences and the journey that ensued (shared in our video blog today). Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and language processing disorder are just a few of the language-based learning differences you may be experiencing–with or without knowing it. Recognizing the differences your child has is an important place to start. However, after becoming aware, knowing what next steps to take can be extremely overwhelming. You may want to begin by taking some big steps, such as pursuing educational testing, getting speech therapy, finding outside tutoring, or receiving training yourself. Or you may need to ease into this process with some smaller steps, such as reading to your student each day, playing with sounds and syllables through riddles or rhyming games, or just starting a conversation with someone who has been there. Either way, if you want to connect with other people who are on the same journey, please sign up for our e-mail updates here or join us at facebook.com/ReadingIsHard, where you can connect with a community of people passionate about this journey.
Building trust with our students and kids is something that takes time and great intentionality. In our video blog this week, our Reading Tricks founder shares a hard but life-changing tip she’s learned on how to build this trust. She talks about how her students are extremely sensitive to feeling like they are being laughed at, whether or not they actually are. This could be caused by the actual experience of being laughed at by others; or it could just be because of the insecurities that come from their learning differences. Either way, it is extremely important that we as parents or teachers don’t laugh at our kids. Whether they are using the wrong words, mispronouncing something, making mistakes, or anything else that could hit us as funny, we need to be aware that laughing at them could add to their insecurities and low self-esteem. Even when our intentions are completely kind, something that seems so harmless could turn out to be very damaging. In light of this, let’s make sure we check ourselves and our reactions around our kids, giving them the kind and encouraging support that they need. As we offer them a safe place, they will begin to have confidence that they won’t be made fun of, which will in turn build a very meaningful and life-changing level of trust. Join our e-mail list here to be part of our team learning together how we can support our kids!
Last week’s video blog continued our conversation about low self-esteem, addressing the possibility that we may be unintentionally contributing to it. When we talk about our students’ or kids’ weaknesses and learning differences in front of them, it can be much more damaging than we realize. Obviously these conversations aren’t intended to hurt them, but once our kids have heard our words, they can’t “unhear” them. They may begin to believe that they are different or stupid, or that something is wrong with them. Our words have the power to seriously affect our kids’ self-esteem—for better or for worse.
In response to this awareness, we shouldn’t react by choosing to ignore or avoid these conversations. Recognizing the differences is necessary in order to discover the best ways of meeting the needs. However, we do need to be intentional about when and where we are having these discussions. This intentional change could make the difference between an in-tact or damaged self-esteem.
In our video blog yesterday, we talked about focusing on the positive with our students. Whether we think of ourselves as positive people or not, it can be challenging to identify and celebrate our students’ strengths—especially when they have some substantial learning differences and struggles. However, taking the time to do just that is incredibly important.
In order to make this happen, we must be intentional about looking for strengths, making sure to think outside the box. One student may be gifted in kindness, having unusual empathy for those around; while another may be an excellent communicator and story-teller. Actual skills (musical ability, artistic aptitude, sports talent, etc.) also present a great opportunity to praise and encourage, but we should make sure not to over-emphasize success alone. Focusing more so on character strengths—such as honesty and integrity—can help our students define themselves based on who they are, rather than on what skills they have.
As we begin to celebrate the positive, our students may enjoy a slight break from the constant awareness of their weaknesses. We get to help them develop an atmosphere of encouragement—one that fosters confidence and growth. And finally, as we learn to do this with our students, we can take it a step further and look for strengths in our families, friends, and co-workers. Let’s choose a lifestyle of encouragement!