Hi, I'm Chris Rathkey and I have worked with young children (preschoolers through 2nd graders), parents, and university students from around the world, helping them understand the heart and process of literacy. I taught children to read and write and love learning through paying attention to what reading and writing are for and what they can do for them. They wrote every day and shared their writing with others. They recorded new learning on paper and shared their knowledge with others, their notes at their side. Children don't have a lot of power in the scheme of things (except, maybe, when it comes to toileting). Writing was something to be used, not evaluated. As you probably imagine, most everything I know, about learning to write and the importance of writing, I learned from my children and my students. In my classroom writing and reading worked hand in hand with learning and empowered learners to eventually edit their own texts. They were always in charge of their own writing and read their work to others. No one fixated on mistakes, they just edited as they gained more information. As long as they could read their work they would question their own spelling and look things up. This led to the creation of avid readers. As my own children grew up they left notes about things that happened during the day for others to read. They taped reminders to exit doors at home to remind us all of needs for upcoming activities. (i.e. A paper scribbled on by a two year old and a wiggly piece of masking tape reminded us all of the need to take a pillow to a party.) Writing should be powerful and enjoyable, not confined by a list of skills. Writing should be enjoyed by all. It's not just a skill, it's a necessity for a powerful and well-rounded life…. especially for a child. This book is designed to give parents peace and confidence in using writing and reading at home. It contains ideas that respect both parents and children. Paper, pencils, favorite stories and authors can empower the whole family. The leaders will be the children because they are more open and creative than the rest of us. The ideas in the book have been tested and enjoyed for …….well….at least 45 years that I know of.