California mandates children be five years old to begin school

October 10, 2010

To insure that children are prepared for school, California’s Governor signed a bill requiring children be 5 years of age to start kindergarten. Working with teachers all over the country I hear complaints how students are not ready for school. School readiness is not simply accomplished by making sure children are 5 years old when they begin school.

A child’s readiness for school— making sure they have the skills needed to be successful learners —is fostered by language acquisition, and is not something that magically happens at five years of age.

Early childhood literacy is nurtured by vocabulary acquisition and verbal skills. Many of the skills a child needs to get ready to learn to read are first learned in conversation. Talking with young children— “What did you do at the play ground?”, “What did you eat for breakfast?”—these conversations build a child’s vocabulary. A child who enters school with a vocabulary of 22,000 words has a distinct advantage over the child who enters school with a vocabulary of 2,000 words. In addition to talking with children about everyday events, reading aloud to children and talking with them about a story is another wonderful way to build their vocabulary.

Boys and Reading—a p.s.

October 8, 2010

I just wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal about Boys and Reading  http://www.dianefrankenstein.com/diane-in-the-news/ and a longer piece on boys and reading (10.8.2010)  http://www.dianefrankenstein.com/musings/ On the heels of thinking about boys and reading a few ideas began to percolate while reading a review of Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. Where do […]


e-books and kids

September 30, 2010

Children between the ages of 6-17 spend less time reading for fun and more time going online and using their phones for fun, but a majority of them are interested in reading an e-book and a third say they would read more books for fun if they had access to e-books, according to a study […]


Boys and reading

September 27, 2010

A recent article in the WSJ “How to Raise Boys Who Read” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704271804575405511702112290.html highlights some of the issues at stake when it comes to boys and reading. The Center on Education Policy reports that substantially more boys than girls score below the proficiency level on the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test. Why […]


Banned Book Week: Celebrate the Freedom To Read~September 25-October 2, 2010

September 25, 2010

Some things never change…the Puritans brought censorship to America with Boston being the center in the early 20th century. Censorship, as a subject, makes for a great conversation —most people have strong opinions on the subject. There is a part of me that enjoys seeing some of my favorite books on the list of challenged […]


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