Enhance the love for reading of your children at a time when online learning has forced a spike of failing grades
Written by Julia Hanke 3/24/2021
It has been public long before November 2020 that online learning is forcing a significant drop in students' academic performance. This was proven by a report on student grades from one of the nation's largest school districts. The report also showed that the most vulnerable students — children with disabilities and English-language learners — suffer the most. Between the last academic year and this one, the percentage of middle school and high school students earning F's in at least two classes jumped by 83 percent. 
Fairfax's data shows that children who are engaged and care deeply about school — children in stable home situations, whose parents have sufficient resources — will stay engaged in an online environment. In contrast, children whose socioeconomic status or home situation had blocked them from academic achievement before online learning took place will now slip further and further behind. 
And while professors and education experts are discussing whether the United States should offer every student a "do-over," which would mean everyone could go back to the grade they were in March of 2020, many Asian Americans are feeling forced to keep their children out of school out of fear of harassment or violent attacks which were caused by Donald Trump's racist language to describe the Coronavirus. 
Trump repeatedly used phrases like "Chinese virus" and "kung flu" which lead to Asians being punched in the face and knocked to the ground.
Mya Baker of education nonprofit TNTP warned that "the reality is we're talking about families living in multigenerational households, families where English is not spoken at home, so we're increasing barriers for those students who are already not performing well." 
With many students being depressed and frustrated and US teachers and educators feel overwhelmed by the enormous challenges, the situation is crying out for a solution.
What can we as parents do for our children?
For parents, it's a pleasure to see your child's face light up when you see your child so immersed in a book that he loses all track of time.
Reading is a privilege, but the love for reading takes this privilege to another level. As we learned from the above, it is also critical to your child's success—it's the key to their education.
Kids who love reading perform better in school. The more kids like to read, the more they do it, and the better they become at reading, writing, and spelling!
Children who develop a love of reading know that there is a payoff when they keep trying. The downside is that without the love of reading, the struggle is too upsetting, and kids can feel like giving up.
Tips on how to help your child read for the love of it
Read aloud to your young child. Strengthening the parent-child bond while listening to stories is a wonderful experience that shapes your child in really positive ways.
Provide books that get your children excited about reading.
This is not always easy, especially if you are religious, and you intend to raise your child to worship God alone. Many books can really corrupt a young child's mind. Usborne's non-fictional books are great as they teach subjects of science, history, and many more, and at the same time, your child can read about what he or she is interested in.
Have your child write a Gratitude letter to his or her friend
A Gratitude letter is a great way of making your child feel better during what has been a hard winter of the pandemic. You can think of it as a slightly longer and more meaningful thank you note, but instead of offering thanks for a physical gift, the child is encouraged to offer thanks for something that his or her friend has done or said.
Tell your child to think about that person and his role in his or her life. For example: "Do you remember how he made you a drawing and gave you one of his toy cars as a gift? I felt very happy and thankful for it, and I am still playing with that car. It is ow one of my favorite cars. The gratitude letter doesn't need to be long. It can just be one thing.
It doesn't have to be only gratitude-related either. Writing letters or e-mails with friends, in general, is a great opportunity for children feeling isolated to connect with their friends and practice reading (and writing).
Don't forget to keep copies! Snap a picture or scan the letter before sending it.
In the UK, educational Psychologists warn that the "catch-up narrative is putting 'huge pressure' on children". 
A whole Gratitude Journal for Kids might be an even better way to combat stress and depression caused by the pandemic, online learning, and for some children, longer school days and shorter holidays.
A Gratitude Journal can help kids:
- Improve Physical Health
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
- Increase Energy
- Improve Psychological Health as well as decrease Toxic Emotions and Depression
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
- Enhance Empathy and reduce Aggression
- Reduce Stress and Increase Mental Strength and Resilience
- Become a kinder person, have more friendships and deeper relationships
- Become less materialistic, less Self-Centered and more Optimistic
- Improve Decision Making and increase Productivity
A Gratitude Journal can also increase your kids' happiness, improve their self-esteem, and lower stress levels. You can get a FREE Gratitude Journal for kids here. It is suited for both beginners and more advanced children. Through writing and drawing, children will learn to give daily thanks for the blessings in their lives. Towards the middle of the Journal, they will learn to respond to more in-depth and thought-provoking prompts that ask them to think about gratitude on a broader scale. With this colorful and child-friendly Journal, they will develop a healthy habit for the rest of their lives.
Studies also show that Gratitude Journals improve Sleep and can help Traumatized Individuals. The Journal is well suited for children with ADHD. It helps shift their attitude from negativity.
If you start each day by writing down things you are thankful for, you will realize the positive impact a gratitude journal can have on your mood. You and your child will feel inner contentment and happiness. Are you thankful that you woke up healthy and in a safe environment? Write it down and make it a daily habit!