How to Support Your Child’s Education After The Pandemic: Luminous Minds, Spotlight and Giveaway

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education released an alarming report stating that only 35% of students entering 4th grade were reading at or above grade level.  Fast forward to the most recent data (2019) released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and this percentage remains the same. 

This means that 65% of elementary students are reading below grade level by the time they begin 4th grade and that we, as a nation, have made no progress in improving this percentage for our 4th grade scholars. Couple this data with the COVID-19 pandemic which left many children (and parents) on their own to “figure out” how to navigate through all the challenges and hiccups of virtual learning one must ask, “Who is out there seeking solutions to support our children?”

Meet CEO/Founder/Teacher: Chandra Roughton 

Meet Chandra (Ms. Chandra), a master educator with an extensive career in education. Chandra is well known for always putting her students first and never being afraid to speak up (or speak out) for what is best for kids.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chandra constructed an entire in-home classroom recording studio and created a website that serves as a virtual learning platform to support children in developing critical early literacy skills. At Luminous Minds (LMI), parents and educators can access a variety of instructional videos, worksheets, activities, games, and resources all with a focus on teaching young children how to read.

This isn’t your typical virtual learning platform. All of Ms. Chandra’s instructional videos not only contain high academic rigor; they promote a growth mindset, use brain-based research on how children learn, include multi-sensory learning to reach all types of learners, AND prove just how FUN learning can be.  

The worksheets and activities found in the Shop are high-quality, aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and incorporate the five key elements of the Science of Reading. The website provides a one-stop shop for parents looking to do more with their children at home, or for educators to quickly access high-quality materials that they can use immediately in their classroom.

To learn more about this incredible story and evolution of Luminous Minds, you can head to the Luminous Minds YouTube Channel and check out their documentary While you’re there, don’t forget to watch some of the engaging video clips, cheers, and Sight Word Songs!

Subscribe Today 

The LMI team strongly believes in closing achievement gaps, now ever so widened by the COVID-19.  They’ve made their monthly membership affordable so that all families (and scholars!) can access their learning materials. For as little as $14.99 a month, you and your family get complete, unlimited access to EVERYTHING on the website. There is also a handful of freebies for you to assess the quality of their materials. The best part? New materials are uploaded every month. It’s almost like having a Netflix account for literacy materials!

Giveaway

To celebrate this innovative virtual learning platform, we’re giving away 5 free one-month memberships. With your membership you will have unlimited access to all instructional videos, worksheets, activities, and more!

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and (leave a comment below when done).
  2. YouTube: Subscribe to the Luminous Minds YouTube Channel
  3. Facebook: Follow and like Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  4. Facebook: Follow and like Luminous Minds and tag two friends.
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @Luminousmindsoffical and tag two friends in the post.

References:   U.S. Department of Education, “The Nation’s Report Card,” 2013

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), “The Condition of Education.” 2020

Academics In Childhood: 4 Reasons Why Early Education Is Essential

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Guest Blogger, Kara Masterson

Rhian Evans Allvin, executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, explains; “There’s an explosion of activity in the first five years of life, more profound than any future years. If we can capitalize on that and maximize the support and learning opportunities, then we really stand a good chance of setting young children on a trajectory of success.” That is just part of the reason why early education is so important. Here are a few other reasons why this kind of education is essential.

Improved Social Skills

Learning how to interact with others is a skill that will benefit children throughout their lifetime. Within an early education setting, students socialize with other students. They learn to communicate, play, and take turns. Young children are also able to adjust better when they start Kindergarten because they have already been around other children in a structured environment. Oral language provides a foundation for literacy development and children have the chance to practice oral language when they are around others.

Enhanced Attention Spans

Children who receive early education will also have many opportunities to practice increasing their attention span. Daily schedules, story time, and classroom activities allow students to enhance their attention span by escalating their interest and level of engagement. Students have opportunities for structured and unstructured play where they are learning to attend to one thing at a time. Focusing on specific tasks is good preparation for the school years.

Develop Cognitive Skills

Children receiving an early education will learn the basics in all academic areas including reading, math, and science. Schools such as Miniapple International Montessori School provide opportunities for children to learn at their own pace through a discovery learning model. The effects of developing cognitive skills early on have shown to benefit children later on in school. In fact, children in early-learning programs show higher levels of achievement throughout school. Alternatively, if a child does have learning issues; they can be identified early.

Early Literacy Skills

Early literacy skills prepare children for so much more than just Kindergarten. Learning letters by sight and sound, phonological awareness, print awareness and vocabulary is quite literally the foundation that students build upon for the rest of their lives as readers. It is widely known that literacy skills are developed early in life and correlate greatly with school achievement. Furthermore, children who have limited experiences with language and literacy will have more difficulty learning to read.

Young children are sponges that soak up all that is happening in the world around them. Early education gives children the opportunity to practice social skills, enhance attention spans, develop cognitive skills, and teach early literacy skills. All children can benefit from early learning opportunities.

Empowering Kids Through Play

Empowering Kids Through Play

The Young Child Expo and Conference was a success last week. My colleague, Deb Vilas and I presented on a very hot topic right now, Play in Early Education: The Antidote to Technology Overload. We broke down the negative effects of too much screen time and what it does to kids; problems with attention, sleep, self-regulation, impulse control and poor social skills.

We also discussed the academic pressure that both the teachers and children are feeling. The curriculum is incredibly tense and doesn’t allow kids to learn in a healthy environment. Sitting at a desk, with a pencil in hand and memorizing 120 site words isn’t the most optimal learning space for a kindergartener. School doesn’t become exciting anymore, it becomes work and we are turning them off at a very early age. Kids begin to act out and misbehave both in the classroom and at home.

So our antidote is to bring child centered techniques into the classroom setting. Play is the most natural way for children to learn and express themselves. By being with kids, allowing them to lead, explore, and problem solve with full acceptance of who they are and where they are at the moment, we are empowering them. Kids will begin to strengthen their skills in self-regulation, impulse control, communication, self-confidence, mastery over experiences in their life and feel safe to express their emotions and thoughts. They are building their self-identity.

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We broke it down into a four components to help the attendees absorb the information and see themselves using it with their kids.

We even had some fun role-playing and provided the audience with an opportunity to try it out. We made it playful by providing the audience with noise makers shaped as lips and they were told to whistle every time we made a mistake. It was a captivating presentation that brought up a lot of great discussion from the audience.

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We hope to bring this presentation to other conferences to help caregivers, educators and professionals working with kids.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please leave a comment below or email me at Childlifemommy@gmail.com 

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