A NOTe from mrs. Demeyer

From our Dean of Educational Philosophy

“My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others.
This is one of the great powers of literature; the ability to draw us into foreign worlds and allow us to experience them from the safety of our own.”
An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

Summer is right around the corner and summer gives us the gift of time.  Time to enjoy the outdoors, to spend lazy days exploring the wide world, to visit zoos and museums, to just play, and to read.  The list of Summer Reads will be coming with the end of year report cards.  These books offer a beautiful opportunity to foster of a love of reading and help our kids master the art of conversation.

One of the best times for conversation is the family dinner, and a great family dinner topic is the latest book you’re reading.  Dr. Anne Fishel, co-founder of The Family Dinner Project, states that dinnertime conversations are an important time to “relax, recharge, laugh, tell stories, and catch up on the day’s ups and downs, while developing a sense of who we are as a family.”  Dinnertime conversations have been linked to lower rates of substance abuse, childhood depression, and higher grade point averages.  Paired with the research that reading improves concentration and literacy, and reduces stress and learning loss, making reading a summer priority is one the best gifts you can give your child.

Modeling reading by spending time in your own book in front of your kids and committing to reading aloud as a family affirms the importance you place on reading.  Asking questions about the books your children are reading helps them master the art of conversation and increases the wonder and enchantment of a book.  In her book, The Read-Aloud Family, Sarah Mackenzie emphasizes the importance of asking questions that start conversations and plumb deeper than “How did you like the book?” to cultivate the love of books and the art of discussing them.

She identifies several keys for starting organic conversations about books.

  • Remember to be casual and conversational. There are no right answers. There is a journey to truth, beauty and goodness, and each of us must make that journey ourselves.

  • When asking questions keep in mind that compelling questions matter more than compelling answers. Your child will surprise you with their depth of insight if you ask a question that does not have a right answer.

  • Plant seeds and step aside. Often as adults we desire to teach in tidy lessons and simple frameworks, but organic conversations are neither simple or tidy and do not need to end with a recap of a lesson.

  • Have fun with the discussion. We all respond best when the conversation allows us to traverse the twists and turns of discussing something that inspires us.

Enjoy exploring this summer, both outside in the wide world and inside the pages of some good books.

Jennifer Walker
Dean of Educational Philosophy       

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Dear TCA Family, 

I need your help! As we approach the finish line on our wonderful "return to normal" school year, I have great news to share. A few TCA families have once again promised to match all gifts in May dollar for dollar up to $50,000.

I am committed to encouraging our entire staff in both intangible and tangible ways, to stay the course, and stay at TCA, by offering a sizeable Staff Appreciation Bonus for next year.

Will you please consider making a gift today? Especially now, while we have the challenge match available to double you donations.  Simply click the "Our Kids" icon above to make a donation today!

We Are Titans!

Russ Sojourner
TCA President

 


 

    

 


  




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