Reading aloud to your children does more for them than just building great memories and fostering a love for reading. It improves reading, writing, speaking, listening, and attention. Reading aloud to your children provides a model of what good reading looks and sounds like, builds vocabulary, and it improves comprehension. Terry Decker, a legally blind teacher, and reading specialist shares how she discovered that a love for reading could change her world and her student's world.
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Heidi Higgins: Hi there. I'm Heidi Higgins and you are listening to K12 On Learning. Looking forward to something new can be so exciting, such as the anticipation of a brand new year. A chance to start over and begin again, or continue to grow, yet appreciating the past helps elevate that experience because we take with us what we've learned.
Today, we're going to look back at a few episodes from 2022 from the podcast point of view, and share some of our most popular voices and the episodes that received the most comments, shares and interactions. Thanks for being a part of it all. Remember, there are many episodes for you to review from this past year with practical parenting advice from families, students, leaders and professionals. Thanks for joining us.
We will begin with an episode that had over a thousand comments. The episode titled 'What to Expect After You Have Been Accepted to an Online School', featured the voices of four learning coaches. Some with one or two students at home, and one with five. These mothers mentioned some of the anxiety they experienced and offered practical advice to others who may be thinking of choosing an online school.
Speaker 2: I would say give yourself some grace. Everybody's learning. It's a learning curve, but give yourself some grace. Take your time and create your own schedule. Figure out what works for you and your family. It will work out, I promise you. It seems overwhelming and it seems like it's a lot at first, but you will get it. And it's going to be so exciting, once you've realized like, "Hey, I'm actually doing this. We're doing this. And my child is learning. They're having a good time. I'm having a good time." That's how it was for us. It was amazing. Before I knew it, I'm like, "Hey, we are really doing this."
Vanessa: No matter how silly, uneducated, or annoying you think a question may be, don't ever be afraid to ask for help or to reach out with anything you have going on. You and your children's teachers are a team and working as one will help you be an even more successful learning coach. Be present, be active. Reach out whenever you need to.
Heidi Higgins: Thanks, Vanessa. Shannon, your words of advice?
Shannon: I would have to say, do not stress out the first week of school, because like any school, it's going to be challenging getting to know the routine in your classes. And coming prepared for the first day, logging on before 8:00 AM to see what your schedule is, that way you can be prepared for the first day. And having fun and enjoy learning along with your child and being able to utilize the different resources, such as the Learning Coach community, because they will help you in more ways than you could believe. Just remembering that it's a learning process for everyone...
Heidi Higgins: The episode with the most shares ask the question, "Is your child going to be ready for kindergarten?" Dr. Melissa King, an early childhood expert, curriculum writer and author, shared what parents need to know to help ensure that their child will be ready.
Dr. Melissa Kin: When we say "kindergarten readiness," we're really referring to a set of basic benchmarks that are typical for many young children in our society. But remember, it's not a recipe. Therefore, decisions about a child's readiness for kindergarten should be based on whether that particular child meets certain identified criteria, demonstrates certain behaviors that are generally observed in other children. It's not a formula, but is a set of descriptive characteristics.
Heidi Higgins: Not really surprising, but the episode that received the most downloads in a 24- hour period was about sleep. 'How to Build a Healthy Sleep Routine for Kids?' Obviously, many of us face this issue.
Speaker 6: That's going to be very different for every single family out there, as to what time it is that your child wouldn't either naturally wake? Or what time that they're woken up? So, you want to start there, and then you want to work actually backwards. How much sleep does your child need? You'll probably have a rough idea of how much that is that they need. So, start from the time that they wake in the morning. If you know that they need 10 hours, then you can tell what time their bedtime should be.
And when you know what time their bedtime will be, you want to start sort of getting ready for bed about an hour, 45 minutes, before that lights-out time, before that time that they need to be asleep, so then they've got plenty of time to relax and unwind and then actually fall asleep. Falling asleep shouldn't happen instantly, but for me, it seems that the second that my head touches the pillow, boom, I'm out. It should take us between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep at the beginning of the night, and that's the same for children, as well. So, there's that little bit of time just relaxing and unwinding...
Heidi Higgins: The episode with the most student comments was called 'Top 10 Tips for Test Taking to Help Calm Anxiety'. We had [inaudible 00:05:23] Shepherd, an experienced Test Administrator, and then we involved two students, Ben and Sarah, a fifth grader and a seventh grader, to help us share those 10 tips.
Speaker 7: We want to make sure that students have a really good schedule right now, in terms of sleep and exercise. These are really important to curb anxiety because we need to make sure that students are fueled properly, and not just with the right type of food, but the right type of rest, as well. Our bodies need rest, and that's where we recharge. And I think, students in this technology age, they know that they have to charge their phones, they have to charge their gaming systems, if they're Bluetooth or a remote, and that's the same with our bodies. We need to recharge, we need to refuel.
Heidi Higgins: The episode that brought us a 435% increase over the month before was an episode that involved the Stride, CEO, James Rhyu, and two young students, a junior and senior, who are entrepreneurs and excited about what life offers them, and they were seeking advice from the CEO.
James Rhyu: But I think more importantly than where you go, is what you do, whatever opportunities presented to you. If you look at CEOs of Fortune 500 or all the big companies in the country, you are going to see representations of CEOs from all different schools, some of them that never even went to college, they've just all taken advantage of whatever opportunity presented to them. And so, wherever you end up, I think that's the more important thing. The other thing that I think that's really important, that I really try to impress upon my son, is I think it's important to go through life with gratitude and humility. And if you go through life with gratitude and humility, then actually, you're going to be happy wherever you go.
Heidi Higgins: We've had a good growing year here at K12 On Learning. We anticipate an even brighter 2023. Coming up, we have organization tips for home and school. You'll hear about new opportunities for Hispanic families in exploring their school choice. We have experts on helping your children develop writing skills and student podcasters that will share what they are learning. I hope you'll continue to join us. Happy holidays and may you have a joyous new year.
Thank you for listening to K12 On Learning, sponsored by Stride. To learn more about online public schools powered by Stride K12, Stride Career Prep programs that foster lifelong learning, or any of the private school or individual course offerings, please go to stridelearning.com or k12.com.
Special thanks to [inaudible 00:08:28] Studios for providing the music for us. Remember to subscribe to this podcast and feel free to leave us a good review. We hope you'll join us next time for K12 On Learning.