Why you need to read chapter books and novels to your children.

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Of course, you are going to read aloud to your children.

Picture books and storybooks abound. You get children’s books as baby gifts and more books for birthdays. There are so many to choose from and each child has their favorites. My oldest son memorized Dr. Seuss’s ABC and Drummer Hoff we read them to him so many times. My younger son loved Where the Wild Things Are and How a Crayon Is Made (Just for fun I bought him a hardback edition for Christmas when he was in high school).

But when I talk about reading aloud to your children, I mean moving beyond their reading level and really challenging…

As parents, this is how we helped our children grow into lifelong readers.

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Raising a reader is not difficult, but it is more than making sure your children have access to books. It takes dedication. We made reading a family affair. As a result, we raised 2 readers. What started as a nightly bedtime routine, developed into a habit that helped both of our sons become lifelong readers. I don’t have a clear memory of how we started down this path, other than both my husband and I love to read.

Here are some of the benefits of reading to your child:

  • Well developed language skills and vocabulary. …

4 Ways I Move and Stretch My Creativity

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Ah, the creative process. The dance. The flow. The connections. The energy. And then the block. It happens to us all. The right words don't come to you. A color combination isn’t working. What you are producing isn’t matching what you had visualized. Or worse, your brain is just overloaded.

Everyone will get stuck during the creative process one time or another.

There is as much advice on how to get past a block as there are creators.

  • Take a walk.
  • Plow through it.
  • Read a book.
  • Call a friend.

The list of suggestions to reclaim your creative mojo is…

Helping children prepare for what’s to come.

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Visualization is a powerful life strategy.

When you have new big changes or difficult tasks ahead, how do you prepare?

I use visualization. I picture myself being successful. I visualize daily or several times a day. Visualization helps me think through the possible scenarios I may encounter and prepare for the outcomes. Every job interview I have ever had, has me visualizing in advance.

As adults, we use visualization all the time. We have a collection of life experiences to be familiar with possible outcomes. We can use those experiences to plan and problem solve.

We also know questions to ask in advance. We know who…

I was surprised to see whose faces they were

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It was a cold, wet day when we buried my mother. She died 18 months ago. When you see death coming, you may think you are prepared. I learned quickly I wasn’t. When you know the end is coming for a loved one, grief begins before death. Predicting what will spark that grief is difficult.

My grief began when home as I knew it disappeared. Dismantling a home because of a major life change is a hard process. Dismantling my mother’s home came over a period of time. First, she moved into an assisted living facility, greatly reducing her possessions…

Humans and their pets have a special bond.

“I’m going to have a hard time when Woody dies,” said my husband. Woody is our eight-year-old black and tan miniature dachshund. We adopted him when he was one.

I was surprised he said that out loud. That was a statement I didn’t need to make. My husband knew I would have a hard time. I become attached to all of our pets. They are family members. Of course, there is no comparing our pets to our human family members. These are two distinct family lines. Each provides a unique bond based on the type of reciprocated love they give…

Meet me at the crossroads; we’ll toast our progress.

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I am on a journey to be a daily writer. Not in the sense of a writing career, I just have a desire to write and share my thoughts. I want to engage with readers for feedback and conversation.

I have struggled on this journey. It’s been a long road with many detours. Somewhere along my writing travels, I decided I needed to journal. To be a writer of any genre, you need to write. To improve you need to practice. Journaling seemed to be the answer. After all, the definition of journal is a daily record of news and…

Well, you need a cake too.

Cake for Author’s Granddaughter on her 1st Birthday

Growing up, my mother always made angel food cake for our birthdays. The birthday child chose the color of the cake. We would count drops of the chosen food coloring into the white fluffy batter, excited with the anticipation of eating the cake after dinner.

What we did not know is my mother was holding out on us. She had a more decadent recipe in her recipe box. I don’t remember when she first made it for us, but it became the only birthday cake I make for my family. …

The day I learned not to judge a book by its cover

Image by EB Pilgrim from Pixabay

I hated riding the bus to school. It was an assault on my senses. I was prone to motion sickness. Between the movement, the smell, the noise, the extreme temperatures — stifling in the warm months, freezing in the cold months — and having no friends to sit with, I dreaded the ride to and from school each day. It was the worst two times of my day. Five days a week.

Mr. Moses drove the school bus I rode. He worked at a gas station. He wore a grease-stained uniform of dark blue work pants and a light blue…

Who benefits? Teacher or Student?

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The pandemic brought several changes to our home. One of those changes was welcoming our youngest son back into our house. After solving the initial problem of where to put his stuff, the adjustment was smooth. He got a part-time job and started taking online classes. Once again, we were a family of three, locked down together. It put quite a crimp in my twenty-something’s social life. It was back to family mealtimes.

Cooking at home is a habit we developed over the last 35 years. It is no different today. Now with all adults in the house — adults…

S. G. S. Abel

Writer collecting stories to share through the lens of personal growth, parenting and 40+ yrs in special education. Reader with a tendency towards rabbit holes.

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