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Are Your Kids Going to Fall Behind this Summer?

Kids are excited for the summer months, and chances are, you are as well. Barbecues, vacations and family outings are abound during this downtime and that can mean a lot of fun for the entire family. But that may also mean downtime from education and from reading. Since kids are not in school, they may not be prompted to read as much. Whether it is because they are too tempted to play outdoors, or because they don’t want to feel like they are in school, it is still important as a parent to make sure that kids continue to read.
Two months may not seem like a long time, but it absolutely is for kids. Their minds are constantly developing, absorbing information from the world around them and assimilating what they know and experience into usable knowledge. It is vital that kids continue to read over the summer in order to retain and increase their reading level come the following school year. Your kids may want to play outside more, but there are ways to entice kids to read that makes them forget they are even reading.
The first thing you have to do is make the reading feel less like work. Kids who like to read for recreation have shown to have a significantly higher love of learning. This keenness to read also helps kids understand new concepts they learn in school and as they get older. If your child feels that reading is like “school work” then you can show them how fun reading really is by getting them their very own personalized story. Our personalized books for kids make each child the STAR of their very own story.
Plan family outings that are educational as well as fun. Visit historical landmarks, telling your children what they may find there and what happened. Have them read the historical plaques out loud and ask them what they think happened and why. Visit the museum and do the same. Making a day trip out of it can make learning seem more like fun than work.  Engage your kids in reading and critical thinking skills by asking them fun questions about what they did and learned on vacation.
Reading to them nightly can also be a great help. Have them read along and ask them questions about the story or each chapter before saying good night. This makes the act of reading not only a shared experience, but it seems more fun when they are being read to. Ask them to read parts to you. Asking them to answer questions about the story and about what parts they liked and didn’t like help their listening and reading comprehension skills, keeping it sharp for when school starts again.

Even engaging in arts and crafts activities can help keep kids engaged. A hands-on activity with an end goal in mind helps keep kids’ minds working and thinking. Ask them to write poems or blurbs about what they made and why. You can also have them write stories, whether they are about their vacations, what they did that day, or a story they made up entirely on their own. Writing skills are linked directly with reading and require an active imagination as well. Make learning and reading fun by crafting interactive things for your kids to do. It will not only keep them up to speed for the following school year, but it will also keep their summer days full and fun.

KD Novelties publishes personalized children's books to make reading fun and create a unique experience for kids.  For more resources about reading for kids visit the KD Novelties blog and subscribe.

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Reading Beyond Books



Learning to Read Beyond Books
Teaching children to read can be taxing and time consuming. We often look to books aimed at first learners or visual programs that teach children the letters of the alphabet while playing games, singing songs and the like. But words are everywhere, and learning can be everywhere too. Kids aren’t just learning how to communicate, they are learning about the entire world around them. Words and language are everywhere, they help build the world around us and helping kids learn to read through pointing out the language in everything is important to their overall development. 

When you’re out with your kids, try pointing out signs in stores or on the road when you’re stopped in traffic. Sound out words for them, ask them what letters they see. While at the supermarket, ask your children to point out the items you usually buy, have them sound out the words and point out the letters on the box. Not only is this a great way to build a relationship with your child, but this helps your child build a better relationship with the world around them. Once they learn to spot letters, words, and language everywhere, the more they will pick up on speaking and reading skills on their own.

KD Novelties provides Personalized Books for Kids while encouraging them and building their self-esteem.  They also provide lots of reading tips and advice for parents and guardians.

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The First Five Years



Reading is a fundamental skill anyone needs in order to interact and function within society, and is a key focus in early education. While reading is a skill taught in schools, it is still vital that children grasp the concept of language and reading comprehension skills before they even begin school. Studies show that children who develop these basic skills with their parents before entering the school system are more likely to grasp other educational concepts more easily and develop a more diverse vocabulary that assists in this early learning. Additionally, it helps improve their confidence to try new things, understand new concepts, and develop socially within the classroom atmosphere. 

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The first five years of a child’s life are the most important for developing healthy life-long habits. Aside from helping a child develop language and reading skills, (including introducing kids to foreign languages since their brains are more adept to naturally learning various dialects when young) it is also a great time to establish healthy eating and physical habits, foster emotional understanding through parent-to-child interactions and develop good motor skills. All of these factors help children when they enter an educational atmosphere and ensure that their minds are at their most optimal to absorb new information and develop lasting learning skills.

KD Novelties is a publisher of children's books and provides children the tools of reading for a lifetime with their very own personalized book.  

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Dads should read with their kids

When it comes to school activities, art projects, homework and reading, usually in most households these tasks default to the Mom. Sports and outdoor activities and recreation "belong" to Dad. This has become a global stereotype. In reality, both parents should read to the child especially Dad. Here's why: Bonding TimeReading creates a bonding experience. The physical closeness of story time and cuddling bring you closer to your kids. Hugging, kissing and tickling are all part of this bonding experience especially when it comes to reading. Therefore, it is very important for Dads to experience this bonding separately from Mom. Children will never forget these special times and they will love you for it. Variety of Voice and EmotionWhen reading and acting out voices and emotions it's important that children get used to the different tones and accents from Mom and Dad. It's part of their hearing and learning experience which increases their comprehension. Double Reinforcement: Set the Example If the kids see Mom reading then they will think reading is worthwhile. However, when Dad also jumps on the bandwagon the kids will start to realize that there is something to this "reading" thing. That is why reading with your kids early on in the process (both Mom and Dad) can help instill a love of reading in children. The more people that seem interested in reading will help reinforce that reading is something important and enjoyable. Reading is quiet and calm time As mentioned previously Dads are involved with sports and outdoor recreation (anything and everything active such as running, wrestling, playing with the kids). However, reading is a very sedentary, calm event. If Dad can now show kids that playtime is over and sit still with a book on his lap reading with the kids, they will also learn how to calm down after an active event. In the long run this will help them in school. Studies show that many teachers have reported that it is extremely difficult to get kids to focus on school work after playtime (or lunch). Instilling this principle in the home will help your children in school and with reading.

Personalized Children's Books, Music and DVDs by KD Novelties

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Difficulties with Reading

What boggles the minds of parents is why or where did the reading process for their child brake down. Many experts have identified reading problems to stem from either decoding, comprehension and retention with most believing that the bulk comes from decoding problems.

Decoding ~ Websters definition is the use of phonetics to decipher print patterns and translate them into the sounds of language.

In simpler terms the process of breaking down the phonemes of a word. For instance the average decoder can separate the sounds "tuh", "aah", "guh" for the word "tag."

Someone who has difficulty in this area may not be able to break down and differentiate the word "tag" on the page. If you think about it, this is the process in which we all learned how to read words; by sounding them out.

Signs that your child has a decoding problem:
* Having trouble sounding out words
* Slow reading rate (takes time to sound out words)
* Ignoring punctuation when reading
* Confusion between letters and the sound they represent
* Reading without expression

Comprehension ~ in terms of reading comprehension it measures the understanding of a passage of text.

Comprehension relies heavily on decoding. Children who have difficulties with decoding will find it difficult to understand and remember what they have read. They spend most of their time trying to decode the words that when they are finished, they are not able to grasp the understanding of the passage making it very exhausting for them.

Signs of comprehension difficulties:
* Lack of concentration during reading
* Confusion about the meaning of words or sentences
* Not able to connect ideas in a passage

Lastly Retention ~ which requires the ability to retain facts and figures in memory. Retention requires the child to have both decoding and comprehension skills. Reading to learn and to retain by memory is critical in a child's life and throughout their schooling years. It becomes an essential task and is expected of them through the education system.

Signs of retention difficulties:
trouble remembering or summarizing what is read
* Difficulty connecting what is read to prior knowledge
* Difficulty applying content of a text to personal experiences
* Trouble remembering or summarizing what is read

HOW TO GET HELP: Contact their school for a list of reading specialists that can help your child with their difficulty. Most schools have staff that are certified and can help your child during the school day. Do this ASAP.

If you need more help deciphering the process that is breaking down you can always contact the child's school psychologist that would be able to access the problem areas and formulate a written plan for the child and give you more guidance.

If the child is not of school age spend more time in the areas of concern and seek professional help if applicable that way they will be at the level of their classmates when entering school.

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  • Getting Back into the School Spirit August 21, 2014
    Back to SchoolNew environments can sometimes be difficult for kids to adjust to. Whether they have already started school or not, going to a new place after a long summer can take some getting used to. Some children may not be quite as receptive to the idea of heading back to the classroom or entering the classroom for the first time, and this is completely […]

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