Adults Need Reading Strategies, Too

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /
One of the websites I read fairly frequently is It's always ready with fresh, relevant content, like the article How To Remember More of What You Read. Interestingly, the tips the writer offers to boost adult reading comprehension (skim the text, set a purpose for reading, make a connection) are the exact same strategies we teach our young readers. And while I know them — and have taught them — I don't always use them. Instead, I often choose the "Dive Right On In" strategy. Shame on me. This article is a short, on-the-nose refresher course.

I would add one more tip: take notes. For me, writing down main ideas, or just interesting ideas or questions that pop into my brain, helps me engage with the text and stay focused.

Thanks for reading ... It Keeps Your Mind Full of Literacy!

Building Literacy Skills the Old-Fashioned Way

The number of resources available to help young students build their literacy skills is staggering. As a parent and former classroom teacher, I find that it can also be overwhelming. Evaluating various programs, implementing plans and trying to ensure consistent application while battling other tasks that drop into our days takes time, patience and support from families and colleagues. And it seems as if everything is web-based these days, which makes it so easy to plug in the kiddos and walk away (aka Electronic Babysitter). Yes, guilty as charged.

My daughters are almost 7, and it’s taken me almost as many years to find the literacy resources that work best for us at home and while we’re out and about. Prepare yourself. My methods are so old school that you might need to sit down before continuing on with your blog reading. Are you ready? Here we go:

 Talking and playing with words.

No, I have not gone completely crazy. Think about it. These resources are always available, free of charge, do not require me to hunt down a WiFi hotspot like a mad woman and take only a tad amount of time. No training required.

I have engaged my girls in conversation since the day they were born. Admittedly, in the early months (aka The Baby Blob Stage), my primary motivation for running my mouth was to stave off boredom. I talked to them and explained things just like I would with an adult. Big words and all. Still do.


As the girls grew older and began learning to speak and interact, our talking often involved word play such as rhyming words that made sense and words that made nonsense. Still does. We also love changing the lyrics of songs to be silly. For example, I miss the buzz of the bumblebee and the beautiful butterfly became I miss the butt of the bumblebutt and the beautiful butter butt. Inappropriate? Perhaps. (They started it). But it was also a great on-the-go lesson about alliteration.

Lately, our breakfast conversations have focused on challenge words and backward words. The challenge words come from their weekly high frequency lists or something I pull from my foggy morning brain. We all take turns quizzing each other. The backward word game involves taking a simple word, pronouncing it backwards and challenging someone to figure out the word and spell it. One of today’s words was paos (soap). This simple game takes their language learning to a whole different level.

I know there are tons of other unplugged literacy ideas floating around that families and teachers use to help students and children. Please share!

Thanks for reading … It keeps your Mind Full of Literacy!