Friday, August 29, 2008
Today we welcome education expert Dr. Hal W. Lanse to talk about his new
book, Read Well, Think Well: Build Your Child's Reading, Comprehension, and Critical Thinking Skills. Dr. Lanse will discuss how parents can become actively involved in their children’s education to help them succeed in life.
Welcome to the Book Connection, Dr. Lanse. It’s an honor to have you with us.
Thank you so much for having me!
Please tell our readers about your background and how you’ve become an education expert.
Ten years ago, I was hired to do teacher training by the Teacher Center in New York City. They provided training with some of the leading literacy experts in the country. I’ve heard lectures from Lauren Resnick, Janet Allen and a host of others. Later, the NY Department of Education sent trainers (now called Literacy Coaches) to classes and lectures at Teachers College. I’ve also attended training from Diane Snowball’s people at AUSSIE and of course I have a Ph.D. in education from Walden University. Additionally, I belong to several professional organizations and they send me lots of research. Are you exhausted yet? LOL!
What made you decide to write Read Well, Think Well?
I’ve given many workshops over the years for parents as well as teachers. Parents are always hungry for information that can help boost their children’s literacy skills. After my workshops, I am often asked to recommend a good book on literacy. This was always a problem because most of the literature in the field is written in educational jargon and isn’t aimed at people who want to support literacy at home. Eventually, I decided that if such a book were to be written I’d have to do it. So, Read Well, Think Well was born.
How have you seen teachers and school systems change in the years you’ve been involved with education?
They haven’t changed much; that’s the problem. There’s so much research today, and so many effective methodologies that can boost children’s literacy skills; but in my experience only a small percentage of teachers make any real effort to learn and implement these strategies.
What challenges does this present to parents?
The quality of teachers is very uneven. Some are fantastic, many are dreadful, and the majority of them are just so-so. Parents can’t count on schools to provide their children with all the support they need. They must learn how to support literacy at home.
It seems that parents are pulled in a million different directions these days. Many children have two working parents or are raised by single parents. In addition, children are involved in several extra curricular activities during the school year. How can busy parents implement your strategies to help their children succeed in life?
Sometimes, we have to make choices. Some extracurricular activities are great but I also advise parents to make time for family reading. This should include asking your child questions like, “What do you think the character is feeling?” or, “What would you do if you were in this situation?”
What about children with reading or other learning disabilities? Can Read Well, Think Well help them too?
There’s a chapter that helps parents assess whether or not they need to have their hildren tested for a learning disability. And I describe various disabilities that might hold back the learning process. The good news is that many children who need special services suffer from mild disabilities. With the right support, these children can be quite successful.
How do you suggest parents teach a reluctant reader to enjoy sitting down with a good book?
Most children are “reluctant readers” because we give them books that are on the wrong level; or we force them to read books that don’t interest them. Read Well, Think Well teaches parents how to select books that are appropriate and exciting. I also provide lists of books for the most reluctant group of readers: boys.
What is your hope for this book? Do you see it being promoted by educators and pediatricians as a resource for parents?
I certainly hope so. Parents deserve quality information about reading and learning.
If you could provide a parent with only one bit of advice to help them bring up good readers, what would that be?
Talk. Talk about the characters in books, their feelings and motivations. Build vocabulary by talking about and naming things you and your child see every single day. Read stories and talk to your child about why she loves them. Have parties and play dates where all the children bring books and talk about their favorite parts of the stories. Children should be seen and heard.
Where can readers purchase a copy of Read Well, Think Well?
Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or any of your favorite booksellers.
Do you have a website where readers can find out more?
You can find out more about me and my work at: www.readwellthinkwell.com.
What is up next for you?
My publisher, Adams Media, has asked me to submit a proposal for a companion book on writing; so hopefully, Write Well, Think Well will appear in the not-too-distant future.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes; I’ve just launched a blog at www.readwellthinkwell.wordpress.com. I will be addressing a variety of educational issues on a weekly basis. I hope
that readers find it useful and thought-provoking.
Thank you for spending time with us today Dr. Lanse. I wish you great success with your book.
Thank you so much!
THE READ WELL THINK WELL VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on August 4, 2008 and continue all month. You can visit Dr. Lanse's tour stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in August!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $25 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they come available. The winners will be announced on our main blog on August 31!
Find out about Dr. Lanse's TEN BOOK GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA by clicking here!
This virtual book tour has been brought to you by: