Letter from the Editor September 2010

Jenna Hammond

Last week our former editor-in-chief AnnMarie returned to the office for a pizza party with her two adorable children. Her 4-year-old son Michael stole the show with his outstanding reading ability. After revealing that he recently watched a "movie trailer," his words, of Despicable Me, little Mikey went on to profess his love of reading.

If you frequent AnnMarie's Mom-in-Chief blog online at www.parentguidenews.com, then you're aware of her son's superior reading skills. Whether it's his comprehension that toy stores are open even when mom says they're not as he scans the store hours from the car, or his knack for putting playthings together thanks to knowing how to read the instructions, Michael has gone from toddler to proficient preschooler. Watch out kindergarten. This child is poised to go to the head of the class.

How can you get your preschooler to embrace the written word? Make like our former editor does by reading with your child every chance you get. For four other successful tactics, as well as tips for making books come alive for kids, turn to "Reading Ready" by Michele Ranard, M.Ed., another star mom with a blog. The article helps parents build children's vocabularies and reading skills with daily experiences, from pretend play and guessing games to conversations at the dinner table and nightly reading sessions.

Follow up the article with the mini profiles on some of the best schools, daycare facilities and afterschool programs that are covered in our Education Directory. This way you can be sure your children continue to learn and grow under someone else's care. After reading a children's book about animals, along with a few articles at the publisher's prodding that were in a recent issue of PARENTGUIDE News, Michael exclaimed that he was excited about starting kindergarten in the fall. However, if he continues to excel at his current pace, maybe Michael's mom should be looking at colleges and not the elementary schools we cover.

But I digress... Back to what's in this issue as your kids head back to school. "Envisioning a Smart Start" by Joe Bruzzese, MA, counsels parents in creating an effective support team for nurturing children's academic development. Check out the author's steps for encouraging the caretakers, teachers, mentors and coaches in your kids' lives to enhance the great strides your children will make this year. "Twice Exceptional Kids" by Kimberly Busi, M.D., uses the example of another astute child, who is gifted as well as challenged, to inform parents what to do if their child shows prowess in one subject but falters in another.

Of course, this issue also brims with articles on topics that deal with all facets of life, from health to TV time, that go beyond the realm of school. You'll have to browse all of the pages to see what I mean. If you want someone to walk you through the content, consider your kid. I know that's what our publisher would recommend after being mesmerized by Michael's reading level. And who knows? Maybe your child will be reading to the younger folk in the house, just as Michael does, before the school year ends.

Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond