Recently I embarked on a health kick – one that was going to become my new way of life. I decided that I needed someone to support me, so I encouraged my husband to join me. And even though we have now been living this new way of life for nearly twelve weeks, I would be lying if I said it has been a ‘walk in the park’.
It has been tough. There were some days, where I was so over cutting up vegetables, that I really just wanted to throw some hot chips in the oven, and be done with dinner. But it was time for action: now or never, or I would never do it! I had been out, grazing in the long paddock for far too long, and I was committed to losing some weight and getting fitter. This declaration of commitment was the easiest step by far – the hard part? I actually had to do something.
So where to start? On the exercise front, I knew that I had to choose something that I could do every day – so that ruled out cycling or running. There was no way I could commit to either, on a long term basis! So it was decided that walking would be my chosen sport – one foot after the other, how hard could that be? Besides, I knew how to walk!
On the nutritional front, I have to say I struggled. I googled and googled, and all I got was a lot of conflicting advice. There is far too much information out there! So after days of frustration, I stumbled across a book that was to become my bible. It was written by a highly respected doctor in conjunction with a highly respected dietician – and it was simple to understand! I knew I needed to get this part right, as everyone knows, good health is only 20% exercise and 80% of what goes into your mouth (or thereabouts, depending on who you google.)
My whole fitness/ health experience has so many parallels to young children learning to read. Phonics and sight words are only 20% of the equation. The other 80% is the actual engagement in reading. As I have often said before, there is little or no point in having a child decode words successfully in isolation, and there is little or no point in having a child rattle off a list of words. Unless they connect these skills to the actual practice of reading, and gain understanding and enjoyment – forget it!
And just as I needed my husband, to support me on this journey and help keep me motivated, a young child struggling to read, cannot teach themselves to read. They need you or someone else who can read. As a parent, the easiest part is acknowledging that your child is struggling to learn to read. The hardest part, is making a real commitment to helping your child learn to read, by engaging in the reading process with your child, for ten minutes a day, five days a week.
And the good news? BORN2READ has you covered as far as engaging in the process of reading. Our online program has over 550 readers, written especially for, and tested by children!
I am at long last starting to see some positive results – I am getting fitter and feel much healthier. I know the journey has just begun, but it is one that I know, I can live with!! With holidays just around the corner, I challenge you to make the commitment to helping your child to read. Just as walking is one foot after the other, teaching your child to read, is one book after the other.
Until next time,