Friday, October 06, 2006

Warm Fuzzies Equals Brain-based Learning: Surely a Joke!

Study after study says “Reading to your kids makes kids better readers.” O.K., I’d agree with that. The reading specialists, bless their hearts, have analyzed what this means. It’s about seeing words on pages. About hearing the words. Connecting what they hear to what they see on the page. It’s even related to beginning to understand phonics—if you think phonics is important. (I do.)

I say forget all this analysis. There’s one reason kids who are read to become good readers. It’s called “warm fuzzies” and “warm fuzzies” have a scientific, neurological basis.

All of us and our kids must have a connection to the mid-brain or Limbic System in order to be motivated to do anything, including reading. The mid-part of the brain is the brain’s emotional center. In other words that’s where love is.

So of course, my four-year-old granddaughter Cari, sitting on her Daddy’s lap during bed-time reading, feels loved? It’s quality time with Dad. It’s warm fuzzies.

So now Cari’s a big girl and doing a splendid job of reading in first grade. She’s learned to connect reading to love. And love’s just about the best motivator we’ve got.

Want your kids to love reading? Read to ‘em every night. Hold ‘em in your lap. Do the quality one-on-one time with ‘em. Connect reading to love and you’ll have a kid who loves to read. It’s a brain-based learning strategy.
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Feeling stressed out by parenting? By teaching? Don’t forget next Wednesday’s Telechat:  “Kids + Learning = Parent and Teacher Pressure:  How to Lower Your Stress while They Learn.” Register Today for this Brain-based Learning TeleChat .  The TeleChat’s Wednesday, October 11, 6 pm mountain time. Put it on your calendar now. My TeleChat’s always come with handouts you can use at home and in the classroom.

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