You read that correctly. I am starting a podcast with my oldest, and one of my best, friends who happens to have experience that parallels mine. A long time educator, Alexis was in the elementary school classroom, while I was in the library.
When I first conceived of the idea of a podcast I wanted to talk about reading and kids books. I think this blog is evidence of how much I like children’s books and reading. But in addition to being a librarian who loves those things, I am also an unschooling parent. Which has gotten me a lot of questions from “concerned” strangers about how I knew how to teach my kids to read. It was always reading they hyper focused on. I have yet to have a stranger worry about my kids’ ability to add or subtract.
Yet, it’s not just random people in the grocery store who feel worried about kids learning to read. A lot of caregivers get notes home about their child’s reading in school or worry their children don’t like reading. Or worse, fight with their kids over filling in reading logs. Some parents don’t want to homeschool because they’re afraid they don’t know how to teach reading. Caregivers can feel helpless to understand why reading feels like a chore or contextualize the notes they’re getting from teachers. Despite the hand wringing over my kids, my experience in both the classroom and library helped me have context and confidence around what to expect and do when it came to working with my kids and I want other people to have that too.
Alexis and I decided to work together to create a podcast where we could support people who don’t have our experience understand how learning to read happens and what they can do to support their kids. This is way beyond those ridiculous “Ten Things To Do To Raise a Reader” lists you see plastered all over blogs. We’re giving you the perspective of two decades in the classroom, some of the science behind what’s happening, and what resources are out there to help. We’ll give you vocabulary and thoughts on how the current educational system makes reading a chore by setting benchmarks that only apply to a narrow set of children.
And as we started recording and diving into the things we wanted to talk about, we realized we had way more than one season. We realized we could talk about spelling, math, play, and writing. So look for future seasons with those topics.
The podcast should be available on all major podcast platforms. Be sure to give it a listen, subscribe, and review it to bump it up in the ratings so other folks can find it. I’ve started a new tab at the top of the blog homepage to easily find the audio for the show, transcripts of episodes, and show notes.