Hello everyone!  We are so excited to have our blog up and are anxious to share information and resources with you.  Well, it is that time again. I am shopping for school supplies, filling out student information sheets, and desperately trying to get my kids back in the habit of going to bed before 11:00 pm.  Thoughts of busy schedules, homework filled nights, and running kids around like a taxi driver are looming over me like dark clouds. Undoubtedly it will be good to have more structure and to see my kids progressing in all areas of there lives, but I am sad the lazy days of summer are drawing to a close. It can be hard to keep the learning going over the summer or to find great reading activities. I know how important it is to get them back in "learning mode" and help my kids get excited to go back to school.  I did some research on this subject for myself and for our company and would like to share with you some of the article I wrote:

One of the most difficult things about getting your kids ready to go back to school is knowing how to motivate them to be excited to go back, whether it is public school or home school. Most kids are not anxious for the busy schedule that the school year initiates and the homework that swallows up their evening playtime. One of the main reasons kids are unmotivated to go back to school is a lack of confidence in their abilities in relation to learning difficulties. The main learning difficulty that is found within schools is problems with reading- despite intelligence. One of the best ways to motivate our children to head back to school is to empower them with the confidence that they have the tools and strategies necessary to handle any word they read and to give them the opportunity to experience consistent, measurable success.

To learn how you can teach your child the strategies that allow them to break down any word, sign up for 30 days of free access to Reading Horizons Online Training for Parents! >

I ran into an article that discussed seven non-monetary rewards to help motivate people. A few of the basics conveyed were that people are motivated if they are treated with respect, given positive feedback, allowed independence to solve problems their way, have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and able to learn new things. I have had several parents ask if their children will get bored with the program or if it will motivate them to continue. I can answer confidently that it is highly motivating, and I can prove that in comparison with the rewards mentioned in the article.

First, this reading program is very careful to not appear condescending to older, struggling readers. The method is presented in a clear, respectful manner.

Second, the program offers immediate, positive, corrective feedback, which has been something many users have said they are grateful for. Most who struggle with reading have heard a great deal of negative correction focusing on their weaknesses and errors. This positive-feedback approach is a wonderful, motivating change for them.

Third, this program is designed for independent learning. Being able to go through this program independently gives the user great pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Fourth, the software clearly outlines what is expected, and users know how they have done and where they are going at any given time.

And finally, the greatest motivation is when you can learn something of benefit where the results are immediately evident.

The skills learned in this program can be automatically applied to whatever users are working on and they can see their progress increase. Learning, increased confidence, and a positive experience are remarkable motivators that bring invaluable personal rewards. I've found that if I focus on the positives of going back to school and let my kids know I believe in them and their abilities it helps a great deal. Making sure we still have some down time and fun and relaxing things planned for the weekends helps too. These thoughts help the dark clouds to disperse and the sun to shine through.

It is going to be a great year!

Learn more about Reading Horizons program >