Ep. 88: What to Be Teaching Your Children to Become Excellent Readers with Joan Kelley

Ep. 88: What to Be Teaching Your Children to Become Excellent Readers with Joan Kelley PIN

What to Be Teaching Your Children to Become Excellent Readers with Joan Kelley

Joan Kelley is a former teacher and mother of three adult children and is on a mission to help parents make sure their children become strong readers. 

Because she was a stay-at-home mom for about 10 years, she spent a lot of time volunteering in schools and taking part in school committees related to educational issues.

When her youngest in 2nd grade, she went back to school to get her masters in Education in Language and Literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

After graduation, she taught reading for a few years then spent over a decade at Harvard Graduate School of Education doing research and working with school districts across the country on how to create classroom settings that are rigorous enough to grow and develop strong readers.

In 2018, she started a company to help parents understand what it takes to read well, know how to support at home, and advocate for good instruction at school.

The Abound Parenting app launched in 2019. It’s the first reading app that is designed for parents to use easily and is focused on talk at home. Most importantly, it doesn’t put kids in front of yet, another screen.

The Unspoken Topic

  • Most children in this country will not become strong readers. 1 in 3 children have proficiency reading skills by 4th grade. 1 in 10 kids have advanced skills. Yes, these are the types of skills that we need in the 21st century.
  • If people knew there are 3 buckets of skills that children need in order to read well, we could really change these reading levels for children.

What We Cover

  • The 3 buckets of skills needed to excel at reading comprehension.
  • How to incorporate learning to read in your day-to-day activities.
  • How to be excited about reading.

Take a Listen >>

Key Takeaways

  • Reading skills build over time. 
  • There are benchmarks for children along the way so you can measure where your child is developmentally. This gives you information so you can know what action is needed.
  • You cannot attach a sound to a letter you don’t know.
  • The number one problem for high schoolers struggle with is vocabulary. 
  • A child’s oral vocabulary at age three is predictive of 10th grade reading outcomes.
  • There is no shame in where your child is reading. Just own where your child is and help them keep growing these skills.
  • We need to help children wonder and think. What grows brains is conversation, back and forth about ideas. This is why we read books. Suddenly there is something to talk about.
  • Families need to know more about what it takes to read well. And they need to start talking. It’s back and forth conversation- a serve and return.
  • Talk with your kids, not to them.
  • Create a family culture around talking, playing games, doing puzzles, reading together. Language builds language. 
  • Reading well predicts school and life success.

Actionable Solution

 How to Support Your Child’s Reading Skills

  • BUCKET ONE: Letters and Sounds. This is fun with puzzles, ABC books, magnetic letters. These skills are essential but not sufficient. We also need comprehension.
  • BUCKET TWO: Vocabulary and Knowledge. We continue to build this for our entire life. Don’t talk down to your child to help elevate their vocabulary. Reading books helps build this skill.
  • BUCKET THREE: Awareness and Regulation. You have to be able to take in the information that is being presented. You need to be able to take perspective of characters in books.
  • EXAMPLE 1: 
  • Parent: I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with ‘Top.’
  • Child: Is it something you do on one foot?
  • What’s the difference between a cat and a cap?
  • Oh, I see the big red sign says S-T-O-P. Oh, that’s the same meaning as Yield.
  • You can say the blocks fell down or you can say the blocks collapsed. Then discuss the word collapse. A chair can collapse.





How Was the Way Your Mom Was WIth You a Child Affect The Way You Parent

  • Her mother was a big talker. She always had her back and had unconditional love for all her siblings. She talked to them in a very engaged way. She does the same with her kids. 




Joan’s Gift For You

Ep. 88: What to Be Teaching Your Children to Become Excellent Readers with Joan Kelley Gift

Oooh this gift is exciting because it lays the foundation on how to engage with your kids on the day-to-day to improve their reading skills.

Just type in your email below and we’ll send it on over. You’ll be joining both of our email lists so you can receive even more goodies!

Mama Has a Minute 

  • Favorite form of self-care: Exercise.
  • Best parenting advice ever received: Don’t be critical. Criticism is toxic.
  • Favorite parenting hack: If you want your child to do something, give them an option they don’t like as much to choose between.
  • One product your children cannot live without:  Insulin.
  • Share 1 book: The Piggy Book.
  • What motherhood means to you: Motherhood is a pleasure. She is proud of the people they’ve become and she hopes she played a small role in that.

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