Reading

My Writing Timeline

This post was written by Natalie, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

Blog_Creative_WritingWhen I was much, much younger, I saw writing as a chore. There’s not a lot a 7-year-old girl being homeschooled in southwest Florida had to write about, and I certainly didn’t do much of it.

As I grew older, the process of writing morphed from a chore into a helpful emotional outlet and then into a hobby. Although I’ve never been a serious, hardcore dedicated writer, I can say that writing definitely should be credited for its impact in my life.

The earliest I can remember writing would be in my tween years. As most people behave when going through that time in their lives, I could get quite emotional and crave an outlet to vent my frustrations or just write a poem expressing my honest feelings.

I read a ton of books back then and can attribute a lot of my literacy skills to my reading. I kept diary after diary for a few years and grew my writing skills without even realizing it. Writing about anything going on in my life made me think about events and interactions more deeply than I ever had before. Continue reading


Celebrate Literacy Week 2017

Albert Einstein Library Quote

Photo Credit: Chronicle Books

Each year the state of Florida and FLVS dedicates one full week to celebrate all things literacy.

Appropriately titled “Celebrate Literacy Week,” the entire state joins together to share their love for literacy through activities that include reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking!

Celebrate Literacy Week is presented by Just Read Florida and the Florida Department of Education to remind everyone that “Literacy Changes the World.”

Now in its seventh year, Celebrate Literacy Week allows school districts and families to engage in fun activities that bring the community together for the love of reading.

The Just Read Florida website provides a comprehensive list of activities that all families can enjoy during this event. They even include a printable bookmark to help us all keep our place as we read, read, read! Did you know that the more a child is exposed to print and books the more successful a reader they will be as they grow? Continue reading


Summer Reading!

Sunshine State Readers 2016I don’t know about you, but I look forward to May 1 each and every year!

Why you ask? Picture this: children standing outside the public library automatic sliding doors in the month of May. Sweat beading down their young faces as they grip in their hands the list of all lists – the Sunshine State Young Reader (SSYRA) book list for the year!

Will my book be on the shelf?

The Sunshine State books are coveted and hoarded by children all over the state of Florida each year. These titles literally fly off the shelves of stores and public libraries. Continue reading


FLVS Intensive Reading Course Tour

FLVS Intensive ReadingWe’re always reading.

But there’s a difference between just reading words and truly understanding their meaning. That’s where the Intensive Reading course at FLVS comes in. Using easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction, this course shows students how to approach and navigate complex texts.

If you’re looking for extra opportunities to sharpen your reading skills and prepare for the state reading assessment, look no further!  Continue reading


Reading Aloud to Cats

cat readingDid you ever read to your stuffed animals as a child? Perhaps your family pet enjoyed having you share a colorful picture book as he lay by your side with the bed lamp illuminating the pages. Reading aloud to pets allows children to practice their reading skills to a non-judgmental audience.

In my house you can hear, “Here kitty, kitty! I want to read a storybook to you!” all day long. You see, my family cares for homeless kittens and cats for an organization in Central Florida called Candy’s Cats. It gives our family, especially our young daughters, the opportunity to volunteer and learn how to give of themselves. My daughters are responsible for the socialization of the felines we care for. The kitties come to us scared and hissing, but the girls know that reading storybooks to them will help the unsure kittens learn to trust them.  It works; and other programs around the country have embraced reading to cats reaping benefits for both the reader and the listener. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (1 of 3)

libraryEnrichment Activities for Families

In this three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series, I will share enriching activities to keep students learning all summer long.

As our children enjoy the long days of summer vacation, parents all over the country have been hyperventilating as they fill 10 weeks of play dates, summer camps, pool parties, and weekend family adventures.  It’s enough to make even the most seasoned parent’s eyes glaze over.  As an educator I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

Now wait!

Continue reading


Listened to Any Good Books Lately?

audiobooks coverDid you know that June is National Audio Book Month? Really!

Do you know what a cassette tape is? Well, ever since the cassette tape was the latest high-tech audio medium, I have been a huge fan of the audiobook. Recorded books helped me pass the hours on long car trips, enjoy beach days, and cram for final exams on complex literary tomes. Today, I recommend audiobooks quite often to parents who have reluctant or challenged readers. I speak highly about the MP3 books available through the local libraries when it comes to getting children excited about reading and supporting their academic growth. Continue reading


Celebrating Fathers Who Read Aloud

father reading coverMy husband is truly one of the best fathers I know.

He took note from his father who lived life to the fullest and was sure to teach him the importance of embracing fatherhood.

One of my favorite memories of my husband, Fred, being a great father was simply reading bedtime stories to our girls. I would have read to them myself, but I was in charge of bath time and that takes substantial recovery time as some of you may know.

Each and every night of the week he made books magical when they were small by creating voices and suspense when reading aloud. I can remember the girls piled on our bed with my husband having a girl cuddled on each side. Continue reading


Can Five-Year-Olds Learn Virtually?

Did you know that there are seven times more words in today’s English language than in Shakespeare’s day? Students in the 21st century will have jobs that have not been created yet, for problems that haven’t been realized. Our world is changing! Education is changing too! Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is now teaching Kindergarten and First Grade in a way that we could not imagine 16 years ago. Can 5-year-olds learn virtually? YES! Continue reading