New from Ellie Books
When I was a child, we didn’t have the opportunity to learn a second language. We also didn’t have any children in my small-town school whose native language was anything other than English. I suffer today from a lack of confidence in tackling any language other than English as well as from a clear lack of ability to speak or comprehend any other language. Sad, but true.
I’m thrilled that my grandchildren are being introduced to Spanish at a young age. And, I’m thrilled that some elementary schools are offering immersion programs in Spanish. I wish there were more such programs as well a wider variety of children’s enrichment programs that introduce the languages our grandchildren will encounter in our world of global communications.
Abuelita dice que es bueno ser inteligente is for all the children of Spanish-speaking families. It is also for all the children learning Spanish in school or through a special private-language camp or program. The book is identical to the original book, Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart.
I thank Joe Ketarkus for translating the story when I took a mocked-up version of the book to Peru in 2008, and working on the final translation for the published book this year. Thank you to Rosa Medina and Nuria Vega for reading and commenting on the Spanish-language version as native speakers. And thank you to my husband Paul for the patience and skill it took to change the words in the illustrations to their Spanish counterparts. That was a challenge I could not have accomplished without his steady hand and help.
Together, Joe, Rosa, Nuria, Paul and I are happy to be reinforcing the importance of reading, exploring, questioning, imagining, and being proud of one’s every new interest and accomplishment to many more children through the publication of this edition of the book. Enjoy.
For the past month I have been posting the titles of exciting books for young children − mostly for preschool age, but also for children in grades K-2 who are still into picture books. In fact, I recommend picture books for all ages. They can be read by children and adults for not only enjoyment, but for conceptual development as well. Never underestimate the thought and discussion potential from reading simple statements and, moreover, from reading pictures.
Reading with Young Children
Unfortunately, the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, reports that about 10 million children have difficulties learning to read. Even people with mild reading impairment do not read for fun and suffer from a low self-esteem. A surprising statistic is that reading problems affect girls at about the same rate as boys. Because boys are more apt to act out whereas girls more often enter a quiet dream world, boys receive more attention in schools for their reading difficulties. Long-term studies have shown that from 90 to 95 percent of reading-impaired children can overcome their difficulties if they receive appropriate treatment at early ages.
Parents can make the difference. Head Start research on the affects of reading to children under age 3 reports that English-speaking mothers who begin reading to their children as babies have toddlers with greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive scores by the age of 2. Likewise, Spanish-speaking mothers who read to their children every day have 3-year-olds with greater language and cognitive development than those whose children do not have the benefits of early reading. Researchers advise that parents take advantage of every book a child wants to read. Even out-dated books conceptually (for example science books) can connect with a child, convey basic information to build upon, inspire questions for further exploration, and simply provide parent-child bonding and fun.
Jocelyn of The Tattered Cover Book Store continues to recommend great new as well as some tried-and-true titles for the little ones. You will find these on the Tips and Previews page of this blog.
Posted in Children's Books, Early Learning, Grandma says it's good to read, Picture books, the habit of reading, Young Children
Tagged ages 0-7, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning to read, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners
Every Sunday evening Liliana’s Restaurant in Fitchburg welcomes families, giving parents the opportunity to kick back, while their children (under age 12) eat free. This Sunday night there is an added bonus. I will be there, reading my book to children ages 0-7. If you live in the Madison, WI area or will be there for any reason on Sunday, Dec. 4, stop by anytime after 5 p.m. with your children.
I look forward to meeting you, exploring ideas with your children, and signing books as well.
Start your child off reading like this little guy. A world of wonder is the result.
For more information on Liliana’s go to http://www.lilianasrestaurant.com/. And don’t forget – every Sunday is Family Night, and kids eat free.
Posted in Early Learning, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Growing up smart, Picture books, Smart is cool, Young Children
Tagged ages 0-7, grandparent alert, learning is fun, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising smart children
Of course I’m selling “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” for the holidays. I’m thrilled that CUNA Mutual Insurance Foundation and The Rainbow Project of Madison are working with me to distribute 50 copies to poor children. I read in early November at The Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver − where “Grandma Says” is still available, will be selling books with the Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative at the trade show in Madison on Dec. 3, and am reading at Liliana’s Restaurant in Fitchburg on the evening of Dec. 4 − children eat free.
I am also thrilled that I met a new friend in Colorado −Jocelyn , who works in the children’s book department at Colfax Branch The Tattered Cover Book Store, running their children’s Story Time every Tuesday morning. She recommended several great new books to me for my grandchildren, one of which I mentioned in my last blog. Jocelyn has agreed to send me lists of her recommendations of new titles and old favorites, at least through the holidays. I will post these on the Tips and Previews page, with the first list appearing today. Thank you Jocelyn for helping me to finally update my tips page, and in such a valuable way!
Posted in Children's Books, Early Learning, Grandma says it's good to read, Picture books, Reading is cool, Young Children
Tagged ages 0-7, children's picture books, grandparent alert, new children's picture books and old favorites, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, reading with your little one
National Parenting Gifted Children Week is hosted by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
Follow their Blog Tour
Download SENG’s free NPGC Week ebook, The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children.
On June 24, The New York Times reviewed Alexandra Robbins’ “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth,” in which she states that although adults are proudly admitting their earlier nerd status now that they have achieved success, “there have been surprisingly few trickle-down effects… bullying and exclusion are rampant” (in our schools). She elaborates, “many of the traits that correlate with ‘outsider’ status among high school students — originality, self-awareness, courage, resilience, integrity and passion — reveal themselves as assets later in life.”
The review is less than an endorsement of Robbins’ writing style or message, and I do not agree with the concept of overachievement, the topic and title of her previous book. However, as the reviewer – Jessica Bruder – points out, “None of this dampens the urgency of her broader message. Adults tell students that it gets better, that the world changes after school, that being ‘different’ will pay off sometime after graduation. But no one explains to them why.”
The article concludes that Robbins is “dead on: teenagers need to hear that adolescence ends. And more than that, they need to believe it.”
The point of “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” is that for many gifted kids, the teenage years are too late for this message. That is why they don’t believe it. Grandma says start telling them that it’s good/cool to be smart early on. Starting in infancy and toddlerhood, smart and gifted children need to feel good about their abilities and have that message reinforced every time an unfortunate incident of name-calling, bullying, or negative peer pressure to hide who they are and what they know occurs.
In honor of SENG’s National Parenting Gifted Children Week, I am offering a special price for “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart.” Start your little ones on a path to believing in themselves and their talents at an early age. Go to the “Contact Ellie Books” page of www.allkindsofsmart.com for details on how to order.
Posted in Advocacy for the gifted, Awesome children, Children's Books, Developing a child's curiosity, Early identification of giftedness, Early Learning, Early reading leads to later success, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Curious, Grandma says it's good to read, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, Learning by doing, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, Natural learning, Parenting for academic success, Parenting for adulthood, Passion in teaching and learning, Picture books, Role models, Serious learning, smart child, Smart is cool, Special Book Offer, The chance to learn, Young Children
Tagged ages 0-7, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning is fun, life-long learning, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, parent alert, passionate learners, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising smart children, reading with your little one, SENG, whimsical pictures attract children
Eric Heidin, Olympic skater and gold-medalist, once remarked that it all began because someone gave him some skates. This is an apt metaphor for advocacy. Someone must provide the skates. But Eric received more than that. Advocacy for him meant also receiving an arena, a coach, time for practice, competition, guidance, caring when he struggled and lost, and pride when he achieved and won. It means the same for all children with talents, whatever the field of endeavor. They must be given the materials and the tools for learning. They need someone who can feed their passions and guide them through the hard work and determination it takes to succeed. They need to stretch their limits and be respected for their goals and accomplishments. Advocacy for talent development is advocacy for excellence, whatever the domain. Advocacy for appropriate educational options is essential along every person’s road to success and happiness.
In the literature on talent development, Peggy Dettmer (1991, p. 170) presents stages of advocacy that she believes can help parents and teachers become more effective in bringing about educational change. Attention is the first stage, because if you are going to make a difference, you must first gain the attention of key people in whatever constituency you need to affect. After attention, the interest you’ve roused in the situation invites participation by those you need to assist you. Their concern for the students you’re trying to help should follow. Those who are concerned should be ready to get involved with your situation. As they grow in knowledge they should become more willing to make adjustments to the curriculum, policy, or program. This leads to their commitment and puts them in a position to provide encouragement for others to support your efforts. They will be able to help you promote an optimal match between learner characteristics and curriculum or program. Finally comes resolve to make the change successful, perseverance to see that this is accomplished, and progress toward realizing the educational goals you had in mind. Dettmer suggests that as your children go through school, you will need to cycle through the stages again and again at increasingly sophisticated levels.
These descriptors need not occur in any set order. You might or might not experience them as stages. Chances are your advocacy will require you to work at increasingly complex levels, but you might simply consider these helpful key words that inform your thoughts, feelings, and actions as you guide your child’s talent development.
“Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” can help you to start advocating at the basic levels for your smart and talented children when they are preschoolers or in the early grades. In honor of National Gifted Education Week from July 17-23, I will offer a special sale of the book throughout July. See the Contact Ellie Books page of this blog for details.
Posted in Advocacy for the gifted, Children's Books, Creative Kids, Curiosity, Developing a child's curiosity, Early identification of giftedness, Early Learning, Early reading leads to later success, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, Natural learning, Picture books, Reading is cool, Showing versus hiding one's talents, Smart is cool, Special Book Offer, Young Children
Tagged academically minded, advacacy, ages 0-7, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning through exploration, life-long learning, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising gifted children, raising smart children, whimsical pictures attract children