Happy Epiphany Day! According to the Christian tradition, Epiphany is the day that commemorates the Magi's visit to the baby Jesus and is celebrated as the day Christ was revealed to the world. And so, as the Christmas season draws to a close, I would like to take a few moments to share a small, personal epiphany - an "A-Ha!" moment - and wrap up last month's Writing Workshop.
On December 3, 2016, a group of fantastic parents came together where I conducted a workshop to share new perspectives on how to support their children in developing writing skills at home. These wonderful people came out on a Saturday afteroon, the week after Thanksgiving when food from their feasts were still lingering on their tastebuds (or maybe they ate pumpkin pie for breakfast like we did at my home!). Christmas shopping, travel plans, and get-togethers with family and friends all urgently coming to the forefront of their already busy lives made me so grateful for their sacrifice of time. We had an intimate writing workshop where I showed them what I do at home with my children and spent time addressing their individual concerns.
The "A-Ha!" moment surprisingly came at the very beginning of the workshop. Maggie, a returning workshop participant, introduced herself to the group and then proceeded to say:
"I attended Jaime's 'Encouraging Literacy at Home' workshop last year when my son was in Kindergarten. I followed many of her suggestions for helping my son to improve his reading skills. This year, my son is in the 1st grade and at his Fall parent-teacher conference, his teacher told me that his reading level was like that of a student at the middle of the 2nd grade. I found Jaime's tips to be very helpful and that's why I am attending her 'Writing - Nuts and Bolts' workshop today."
Such kind words only goes to show how Maggie has taken the little gems that I have shared with her and invested it, through her time and effort, into the treasure which is her son! This moment clearly articulated why parent involvement is so valuable for developing reading and writing skills with children. Maggie's testimony has deepened my comittment to encouraging parents in their desire to developing literacy skills with their kids.
As we begin 2017, I wish you many moments of epiphany - the "A-Ha!" moments - as you raise your children. In the midst of tantrums or triumphs, homework hurdles or academic accomplishments, family set-backs or personal growth, may you always seek out ways to encourage your kids, your treasure!
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