Story Smarts: A New Program for Reading Comprehension
I am delighted to be able to tell you that, in collaboration with my long time colleague Dr. Laura Berlin, I have developed a new reading program titled "Story Smarts." It is a 30 story, full color program that teaches children the essential skill of "telling stories" and it is available online.You can purchase the complete program for less than $50 or you can purchase sets of five stories for less than $2 a story.
Parents often tell me,
"The teacher says my child is having troubling telling stories."
"Whenever I ask my son what he has done in school that day, he never answers."
"My daughter dreads having to write her daily journal entry."
Story Smarts is designed to handle those problems. But there is more.
All the problems that parents are talking about are part of a constellation of skills known as "comprehension." It is a vital but neglected area of reading. As you probably have seen, the bulk of the effort in reading instruction goes towards "decoding;" that is, teaching children how to look at a word and know what it "says."
Remarkably little effort goes towards comprehension; that is, teaching children how to understand what they are reading. So it's not surprising to see the many new reports that are appearing showing that children have major problems in this area. With all the attention going to decoding, problems in comprehension are not even noticed until they are too big to ignore. That generally happens at around fourth grade.
The source of the problems, however, goes way back. The basics of comprehension start in the preschool years. As is always the case, some children have a gift and do well in this area. But many do not. Unless the problems are extreme, however, their difficulties go unnoticed. Parents may sense a bit of discomfort when their children cannot recount events very well, but the hope is that "they will pick it up with time."
It's wise to start trusting your feelings. The qualms you are having are likely to be a sign that your child can benefit from guidance in this area. And the good news is that it is easy and fun to offer the guidance, particularly when the children are young and have not faced the devastation of problems in school.
That's why Story Smarts has been designed so it can be used with children as young as four years. And it can also be used with children who are older and are experiencing problems in reading comprehension. The importance of comprehension cannot be overstated. Without it, school success evaporates; with it, school success blossoms.
Since so little has been done in this area, it will take lots of time before the slow moving bureaucracies of school will put in place what the children need. Fortunately, if you want to help your child, you do not have to wait for that to happen.
Story Smarts is an easy, fun program that will enable your child to form a solid base for comprehension. If you want to learn more, go to www.storysmarts.com