With the sudden, unplanned, and in many ways dramatic shift to online learning in the 2019-2020 school year, many have asked the question: What impact has COVID had on student learning? This question has been hotly debated over the last two years. I have spoken with countless educators who all echo a common observation, regardless of subject matter or grade level: there has been a significant decline in student learning since the 2020 shutdowns began. Parents of school-aged children have likely seen and felt the impact of that school year on their children. Data and statistics to quantify what’s been dubbed the “COVID learning loss” are beginning to emerge.
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Books have a way of shaping who we are. As a former second grade teacher, I know first-hand what impact reading can have on a young mind. There are, of course, the essential literacy skills built through reading from exposure to books from the earliest years of a child's life and through elementary school. But of equal value to literacy skills are the ideas presented in children's books, lessons about life, that influence a child and help to shape who they are.
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Fear is arguably one of the biggest threats to modern parenting. Whether we’re parenting toddlers or teenagers, there are myriad reasons to fear for our children. In the words of pastor and author Rich Nathan, “We live in a world that bombards us 24/7 with threats to our kids.” Amber alerts, abduction stories, school shootings, screen time and internet predators…the list of these threats to our kids goes on and on. It feels impossible to protect our kids from all the things.