Plus three reasons why it’s ok that not every child loves literature

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

How can I get my kid to read more?

Parents asked this question at least weekly when I worked in schools, and I always appreciated it. Reading fluency is often predictive of academic outcomes, and reading frequently supports fluency. Heading into winter break, and winter in general, we’re in an optimal period for kids to spend more time reading. Snuggling on the couch with a cozy book sounds like heaven to many adults — and plenty of kids! — but what if it sounds like torture to your child?

I’ll get to the strategies in a moment…


Worry creates its own negative cycle. Parents who notice concerning signs can use these strategies to break patterns before they get established.

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Photo by Jhon David on Unsplash

Everyone worries or feels stressed periodically, but according to Child Mind Institute’s Rachel Ehmke, children or adults with anxiety disorders experience significant disruptions to daily life because of these symptoms. Medical or mental health providers diagnose and treat anxiety disorders. During stressful times like the 2020 pandemic, anxiety symptoms often become more prevalent, so understanding how experts approach anxiety can help parents develop more confidence in supporting children using evidence-based strategies. …


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Photo Credit: Canva.com

This summer and fall, I’ve given many talks for corporate client employees and parent groups on how parents can continue to support their children with remote and hybrid learning. These build on a piece I wrote for The New York Times in March.

A question that comes up at every presentation is How can I deal more constructively with the friction that keeps coming up between my child and me? This makes sense — spending more time at home with our families has its positives, yet the challenges for many of us can feel overwhelming.

When it comes to pandemic…


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Photo by Gabriel Porras on Unsplash

Impulse control and response inhibition describe the ability to stop and think before acting. Students with impulse control challenges may blurt out responses or start work before planning. They’re likely to rush through homework without checking it. They may quit a task halfway through to start other activities, or have difficulty using class procedures consistently. At home, kids may leave belongings strewn on the floor, interrupt conversations, or seem to disobey directions.

But aren’t these just typical kid behaviors? To some extent, that’s true. Impulse control and response inhibition are key executive function skills, higher-order thinking and planning skills that…


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Are you a procrastinator? Know someone who hates to be interrupted when they’re in the middle of a project? Have a child who thinks an assignment will take fifteen minutes when it will really take an hour? Executive function describes the complex skills at play each of these situations.

Executive functions are the mental and emotional skills that enable people of any age to conceptualize, start, and successfully complete tasks. Skills like task initiation, metacognition, and goal-directed persistence work together to facilitate a person’s overall executive function. These areas reinforce each other, and individuals are typically stronger in some than…


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Spring experiences with remote learning pushed many families to their limits. This fall, parents hoping for a better experience supporting kids’ growth can focus on organization, learning strategies, and the “coach approach.” In mid-March, I published a piece in The New York Times outlining “How to Home School During Coronavirus.” Little did I know at the time that many families would still need this advice six months later. The original piece covered the importance of schedules, the seemingly contradictory need for flexibility combined with consistency, and how to supplement emergent online curricula that weren’t always complete.

A return to school-from-home…

Katharine Hill

Learning specialist and parent educator in private practice at Upnext.nyc, has written about learning for The New York Times.

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