Traditional education has long served as a foundational pillar in societal progress. Yet, its inclination to prioritize academic success over the holistic development of children remains a predominant concern. As students invest countless hours in classroom learning, more than 90% of the students are struggling to reap its full benefits. This results in unmotivated learners and a sense of disillusionment among parents and educators. This podcast addresses that critical imbalance head-on.

Introducing Aligned Learning Revolution, the podcast that re-envisions student learning for today's rapidly evolving landscape. It serves as a beacon for those seeking to supplement the conventional education model with rich, applicable learning experiences beyond traditional limits. Join a voyage of discovery that elevates the educational dialogue with insights from parents, teachers, and thought leaders who are altering the rules of student engagement and learning efficacy.

The show joins a diverse group of people who express their discontent with the current education system and offer their well-informed opinions on necessary changes. Listen to parents whose children deal with the challenges of a system that seems to be against them and how these families have successfully managed to navigate through standardized education to showcase their children's unique talents and abilities.

Don't let a single discussion pass by. Be part of the solution by listening and contributing.



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Early Childhood Education, Learning Success Coaching, And The Impact Of Phone Addiction On Student Wellbeing With Terri Gregory

March 06, 202446 min read

To say that phone addiction is one of the biggest threats to childhood developments is no understatement. Despite any opinions to the contrary, early childhood education teachers, who are at the frontline of this whole childhood development struggle, see the negative impacts happening in real time. Where do we go from here? In this episode, Holistic Neuro Growth Learning Success Coach Terri Gregory joins Kohila to talk about the impact of phone addiction on students' well-being. They also shared their teaching approaches, with Terri expressing a preference for focusing on one subject – reading. The conversation concluded with Terri considering switching to a new engagement platform for her reading program, recommended by Kohila, which could also help with Terri's mental health issues. Join in and take part in one of the most important conversations that have to happen in today’s society!


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Early Childhood Education, Learning Success Coaching, And The Impact Of Phone Addiction On Student Wellbeing With Terri Gregory

In this episode, I have the pleasure to introduce our guest, Terri Gregory, the Founder of Limitless Learning Success Coaching Practice. With a heart dedicated to education, Terri is not just an early childhood teacher but also a certified holistic neurogrowth learning success coach. Her passion lies in the world of learning and literacy where she made a significant impact over the course of eleven years. Terri's journey is all about empowering students, helping them to enhance their reading abilities, boost their confidence and foster effective communication skills.

Her dedication to the growth and development of young minds has been a driving force in her career. When she is not immersed in the world of books and delving into personal development, you'll find Terri indulging in peaceful conversations with her beloved plans. I'm excited to have Terri on our show. Welcome, Terri.

Aligned Learning Revolution | Terri Gregory  | Phone Addiction

Welcome, Terri, to our show. How are you?

I'm good. Thank you for having me.

I'm very good. Thank you for asking. You are an early childhood teacher and a certified holistic neural growth learning success coach. Tell me why did you choose to become an early childhood teacher?

I am a lover of learning. I have always had a passion for children. I'm at a young age. It was forced upon me because I was the oldest of my siblings and cousins. I was more responsible. I was always the one babysitting. That's how it happens for the oldest child, and I think it could go either way. You could either love it, you could love kids or hate it.

For me, I loved it. In fact, I sought out other kids in the neighborhood like, “Oh,” and I would always be with their child and do little fun activities with them. It was a no-brainer for me to become an early childhood educator. Some went to school majoring in Education through college. I worked full-time as an elite teacher at an Early Learning Center. From there, I got my first teaching job once I graduated and I've been an educator assistant.

The Challenge Of Early Childhood Education

How hard is it for a teacher to take on the role of an early childhood teacher? It's different from great to great. It's different but early childhood is even much different.

It requires a lot of heart and patience, especially with the way the school system is set up. You love children, but when you are twenty-plus in one room, it becomes a test of your passion for it because it requires a lot of patience, repeating yourself, physical energy and talking. Think about it from the parent aspect. We tell our children to clean up their room. How many times before it happens? Take that and multiply it by twenty-plus, that's how much I'm talking. It requires so much of me physically and mentally. My heart goes out to all my fellow early childhood educators.

You can love children, but when you put 20 of them in one room, it becomes a test of your passion for it.

That's a lot of work. I spent a couple of times in kindergarten classes and I said I'm not going back. It was an energy that I couldn’t deliver. I know how constant you have to be and very vigilant too because there's the stuff that can go wrong. They can get hurt. You have to watch out about learning plus they're safe.

Keeping them alive.

Safety was what I was scared of. How am I going to bring all the kids back from the recess? What if I miss one? I was paranoid because it was new for me, but it was probably a routine.

It's second nature now. My wheels and antennas are always scanning. It’s funny because my significant other tells me all the time that I miss my call. He's like, “The FBI is missing an agent and you're it,” because I don't miss anything.

You're on it.

It's funny. He'll drive a different car and I'm like, “You're in the truck today.”  He says, “How do you know that?” I'm like, “Uh.” I could hear the sound. I told him I can hear the difference in the background noise and like when you're on the highway, he's like, “Oh my God.”

Even though it's hard, you still do it. How difficult has it been since the COVID? Has it changed? For you, they are new. They're young.

The Impact Of Screen Time

It's still a drastic change because COVID changed us as a people in general. For instance, children spend more time on technology and socials. They get a lot of screen time these days. I think it heightened with COVID, and COVID made it okay. It's not okay for their development, especially early childhood children learn to play. There's been an effect. It's almost like we are going against our natural innate abilities because we are forcing everything to be digital. I think the screen time is two-dimensional. Children not engaging in it. Therefore, even though the students that I do teach, at this point, they have been in school since the beginning of their education.

I still see a drastic difference from the students that I teach nowadays and the students that I taught many years ago when I began. I do think that is a direct correlation of how we have changed as a human in society since COVID. It is much more difficult because of screen time and the effects that it has on a child in their development. I'm seeing these things in the classroom or the lack thereof. That affects their ability to sit longer and be able to complete a test from start to finish, and they are stamina. We'll talk more about that later. Their attention span is shorter. The classroom is very similar. Teaching in the same manner and expecting children to sit for these lengthy times is not working. With that being said, they're still effective a lot.

Screen time affects children’s ability to sit longer and their ability to complete a test from start to finish.

Let's talk about screen time because I go to restaurants and it doesn't matter what age. You see their parents are all on it or even the child is given that phone too.

It’s to distract them.

How does a child at that age shift from being on the phone and sometimes even if they're on the phone or watching something in the car or walking they might be looking at it before in the morning and coming into a classroom where we're asking them to sit and now focus in some different way. This was a focus too, but there was a different focus versus focus on a paper, toys or something. How is it home hard is it for them?

It's all difficult because they honestly don't understand it. They don't get what you're asking of them because they're not getting practice with that in any other every night in their life. They come to the classroom and here I'm the teacher and that's my job, but I am not able to do that because it's many other prerequisites that need to take place before I can expect a child to sit and take in the information that I'm learning and teaching.

You couple that with the demands of the classroom, expectations, performance and indicators that we have to meet, and the scores that they're expected to get on the standardized testing. It's literally an environment where it's not set up for a teacher or student success because children aren't equipped with the skills to be able to sit. It’s almost impossible for some students. It's difficult.

What happens when you ask these students who have already had one hour on the phone before they come to the classroom in the morning? I'm witnessing more and more, every time we go to dinner and outing, we have kids, but we have very strict rules about when you use a phone and when not, “It's a tool. You can use it. When you're not going to be using it on the dinner table and when reading. That's the whole point of eating.”  I want to bring back this culture into every family like we eat dinner. If you go out to eat, what is the point of going out to eat if you're letting your child on the phone? That's the time to teach them the menu, talk about the food and, “What did you do in school?” We don't have any conversations.

I harp on this all the time. You're speaking my tune. When I go out, I look out for that. I take mental notes like, “How much is happening in many homes?” It's happening in members of my family's homes. I educate and sometimes they take the key. Sometimes it's, “You can't tell me how to parent.” It's frustrating because here I am with the facts, the data points, and how it's negatively impacting our children, but it's convenient. The child is quiet and out of my way that's sad when you think about who we’ll be as a society in the next twenty years.

They'll have a lack of social skills because they're not having basic conversations and then like you said at the dinner table, it's when you can teach them the menu and have these conversations. It's when you connect as a family and also understand what's happening and everyone's lives. You come together at that moment and you're fully present and these things are happening. As a result of that, we're going to have more families disconnected even more than they already are.

When it comes to harder conversations, we won't have the skills to speak to each other because we never developed that relationship to look at each other, talk about stuff, answer stuff and be interested in other people's life. That is the time I ask my son “How was your day? What did you do today? Tell me a little bit about that. Tell me a little bit about this. How's your friend doing?” Just the catch-up time. There is so much to investigate. We have these kids coming into the classroom after being on these and they're very addictive.

They decide to be that way.

It's almost like putting people on sugar and drugs.

Screen time is almost like putting people on sugar and drugs. It's a drug.

It’s a drug. It's the same.

We have these kids coming in fully charged. Now here you're asking them to sit, “Let's focus and let's do work,” in our play even. Play is no longer of interest to many kids. Can you explain a little bit about that?

Children are not interested in play at all. Let's look at like the big corporations. It's a rest. It went out of business. That is a huge testament to how our children are not playing. you have these children that um lack play which they learn many skills through they learn problem solving skills. They learn how to cooperate. They learn like, “I can keep going on.” You have these kids that lack the experience in these skills, and then they come into the classroom.

The amount of conflicts amongst one another is insane. I'm literally putting out a fire almost every ten seconds. It could be very minor, but it takes away from the learning nonetheless. You add all of that time up and it's like, “How much time is truly spent teaching?” Children are mean to one another in the words, like the way they talk to one another. I teach Early Childhood. I’m very animated. I have to literally give them the sentences to say and have them repeat me like in the midst of the conflict and we're trying to solve it. I have all parties involved and I ask them questions, “How did that make you feel?” I give them the floor to explain in front of the person their feelings and how I made them feel.

I asked, “Did you like that?” They'll say no, and then I'll say, “You have to tell them, ‘I don't like when you hit me. I don't like when you whatever,’” and then I have them repeat that. They're getting it from me in the classroom. I see positive changes, but then it's undone because they go home and they're back in these devices. Let's not talk about the content they are seeing. I listen to the kids who are in my personal lif. It’s outside of my home because it's not something that allow, but I see what an extended family member’s kids are watching, and I hear it. I'm like, “It's heartbreaking how these children are talking.” The children pick that up and they bring it to the school. This is what this is their tongue when they're communicating with their peers and it's heartbreaking. I'm having to deal with it more and more than ever before.

When does the time come to learn, the real learning now? Let's talk about the other side. Now you have pressure from does this is happening at the student level? We're going to talk about parents a little bit because this show is all about understanding each other. We need to take a perspective from each point of view to solve this problem that we're in with the whole system. Let's go up to the top level. The administrators want you to teach them a curriculum. Now, you're teaching one.

I'm in grade one.

They're now telling you to get these kids ready to perform. How do you manage that with the situation happening here with the students?

Not Set Up For Success

That's the real conflict because I'm still learning. I think every day is a learning process because it's learning and trying to find a balance between keeping up with the expectations and knowing the reality of the situation. I do the best I can. I manage it by being transparent with student with the students. I am almost transparent in the sense of explaining my thought processes and goals.

Sometimes they don't like to do certain things. I'm like, “I don't agree with it either.” I had this candid conversation with my class and I was like listen, “I know you don't like this program. I don't like it for you, but as there are rules in this classroom that you have to follow, I have rules that I have to follow too.” I said we don't always agree with the rules we have to follow but it's life. It's the reality.” I get them to buy in because it's like, “She doesn't like it either but let's do what we got to do and then we can move on.” It's being candid, transparent with them and it's you know understanding them in the relationships that I build with my students. We have our difficult days and lots of difficult days, times and moments but the relationships that we build together are the test of getting and reaching our goals. The best of our abilities given the circumstances.

How much pressure do you get from the administrators to get the kids to perform?

It's heavy pressure. It's a lot. It affects me as a person and an individual, as a daughter, significant other, an aunt, as a parent and in many ways because pressure is a form of stress and stress is not healthy in any of our lives. The stress is so much. I'm pretty a candid person. I was in a meeting. It was a training and it was my coach. She was putting the pressure on us. Her and I were very similar in understanding the reality of it. She was transparent with us.

I was like, “I understand that it is top-down.” I get that. She's saying that the pressure is coming from the top on her to then put on us. I was like, “Let me paint this picture for you. The top is putting pressure on there's late levels and then the pressure comes to you and then you put the pressure on me. Shall I put the pressure on the kids? How will that work for us to reach our goals and meet these metrics that you want to be met? How does that work? That's not how we operate.” The pressure is heavy. It's hard. It causes me to lose the passion for the system not for teaching not for learning because that's innate. That's who we are. It's for the system and I feel like it's not. set up for success.

The system is not setting us up for success.

How much of this do you think the parents that you serve understand? They're child, what they're going through and what this top level down pressure putting down on performance and how much of these parents understand from home?

I don't think the parents understand what it is like in the classrooms. I think the parents have the perception of what school was like when they were in school. Their expectations align with their perception and school is all what it proceeds. It's funny. I went to a Christmas party. I met lots of people, engaged, networked and talked with many people and in the conversation, the fact that I'm a teacher came up and he asked, “Let me ask you this. Is it like that in schools?” I'm like, “What do you what do you mean? Was is it like what?” He's like, “Is it just testing? It's that all it's about?” I was like, “We can talk about this for a long time, but I'll be frank in short, yes it is.” I'm not able to do what I love because I'm Preparing kids for a standardized test that is standardized and we as humans are not standard. We're all different. It's like an oxymoron and it's like it goes against

Especially at a young age, that's when we want to explore uniqueness in each of the child, we're not saying, “We got to take you through the whole mold. You got to go the same old and come out the other end with all this knowledge that we're trying to push into.” What is it that do to a child? Does it make them develop love for learning or hate?

Absolutely not, they become hopeless. They get to a point where the gap is almost a foreign language on the things you're talking about. It’s like a foreign language to them. They become hopeless because it's such a wide gap from what they're ready for because it's like we're teaching to the middle and the students are ready for what the expectations are. They become hopeless.

How much anxiety these kids are already developing as a young?

The anxiety is shown in many forms. Sleeping all day, angry, combative, agitated and confrontational. You have students who are very emotional who may cry or throw tantrums. It's shown in many ways different but it's shown in many the majority. Out of a class of 20, it's 15 of your students. You probably got five of them. They're looking like, “These kids are crazy,” like you.

Tip For Parents

It's difficult. Let’s make it difficult. Let's give some tips to parents. What can they do at home to help the situation because at the end of the day, I am a parent? I believe that we have more power than anyone else in terms of going our kids. If this is happening to our kids parents have to take ownership charge. What can they do to help a teacher out in the classroom at home?

I'd like to go back to our conversation about having conversations. I'm happy about the communicating part with your arm with children. It's funny because I know we say our kids talk too much. They won't be quiet. We have to leverage the talkative nature in our children and do that by communicating with them, teaching them greater vocabulary, and teaching them a synonym or a bigger word for the ones they already know. Sometimes it requires explaining or over-explaining to your child and letting them in on your thought processes of why you're doing something.

Strong communication. Take the time to talk to your children. Get to know what's going on in their day, ask them questions that are going to require them to elaborate and not say yes or no because I'm happy with the technology, implementing the time frames or the constraints and not having full range to their phone and teaching them to discipline with the device because it's a part of our life. Technology is not going anywhere. It has a lot of great features. It provided us so much. It's just that we have to teach children how to properly and safely engage with our technology. That means limiting it and not sleeping next to your bed because the blue light distracts your sleeping cycles and not sleeping with a TV on. Simple things like that.

We have to teach children how to properly and safely engage with technology, and that means limiting it.

How many grade one students have before?

The majority of them.

A question for parents I have is why does grade one and kindergarten?

I'll be the devil's advocate because I'm on your side. I do not feel that first graders need a phone because why? They are always present with an adult. Think back in the day, devil's advocate would be that the world today is dangerous.

This is more dangerous than anyone. There’s garbage on this.

I've asked questions like that before to parents and that's when like, “They need to be able to get in contact with their kid. They're not safe or why, “Are you letting your child be in someone's if you don't feel like they are not safe?” You have homes where there are separate families. They live in separate households. You may have the parents to don't get along as well. It's easier for the child to have the phones you can communicate directly with the child.

These are some of the things that I've heard. I still don't feel like it's valid because we are adults. If that is the issue, then we need to work on that and not give the child the phone. If the communication between the adults that parent the child is an issue then we need to address that because given the child the phone is not the answer because like you said, it is more dangerous than the world that we live in. That might be a big deal.

Anything can pop up. They can search up any garbage they want to know or that they're they're not going to because they're not looking for that but don't have any filters.

It has popped even when it shouldn't pop up. Sometimes it does. My nephew told me one time before how something inappropriate popped up on his screen and I'm like, “What were you watching?” It was a child's video very appropriate and I was baffled.

There are a lot of young boys who get to watch a lot of stuff that I don't agree with. It's all available to these guys. This is just a matter of searching it up and you hear from a friend. You search it up and it's available to you. When you start watching inappropriate or your kids start, they always go inward because they feel shame in some way because they don't know how to deal with that information because it's not age-appropriate. We had many filters like when we were watching cartoons on Saturday morning or whatever, they would not put any advertisement during that time. There were rules.

There are no rules on this one. Anything can be played anytime, anywhere and by anyone. I don't trust this phone more than in persons who are safer now than at this point. One thing that I always ask parents is like, “We don't let strangers.” When someone has to come to our house, they would have to come knock, ring the bell and then we let them in. We know who's in our house, but by letting this phone in my son's bedroom.

You're letting anyone in your home.

It's in his bedroom. Anybody can go into his head How can as a mom I can do that to my son? I won't let anyone walk into my house and say they are going to go up to my son's room right now if someone asks me. It's not happening, but we allow it on the phone. It's as much dangerous as letting some random people into your house. It's mental. These kids are getting mentally programmed and getting abused by certain content that should not be available to them.

It's not going to happen at school. It's not happening by the teacher. It's happening at home. I'm divorced. My son was young. We still had the same rule in both households. We didn't have good relationship, but we still had the same rule in both households. It doesn't change because it has to be continuous for the child. Otherwise,  their children tend to play on both parties. We have to be very careful because they're smart. The rule is the same, “Your phone shuts off.” I have parental control. My son si sixteen. I still have it. It's not that I don't trust him. I trust him. Some people say, “Do you not trust your son?” “No, I don't trust the phone and the internet.”

“I don't trust these people who are coming to influence my child.”

I don't have any control. Parental control is available. My phone my son's phone shuts out at 10:00 at night. Why do you need it after 10:00? What are you going to look for? There's nothing you have to do. You need to go to sleep.

You shouldn't be on the phone.

You should be sleeping and this happened because he was waking up. This was earlier in his fourteen. He was waking up. He would come outside of his bedroom and he would look like he hadn't slept for two days. I'm like, “You just woke up. What's wrong?” This was happening and I immediately know that the phone was in the room so I had to take it out. If it's not the phone then it's like they have these PlayStations and all of them access inserted.

They have YouTube on those things.

I had to take all of that out too, “Nothing stays in your room. Your room is a sacred place for you to rest, read and go to bed. If you want a book, I'll bring it to you.”

Those boundaries have to start at home. The parents have to do it. They have to understand and be on board.

I’m not putting parents down or anything. We're not pointing fingers.

We didn't know the effects the technology would have on our children. When the first iPhone came out in 2007, we didn't know. Now that we are awakening, we have to take charge and recognize, “This is you okay. This is not good. This is not healthy. I need to enforce those boundaries.” I'm not beating up on parents at all because I do understand that i's the world we live in. I fell into the trap myself with the phone. At the time, I was an adult and my brain was fully developed.

When I noticed the changes in myself, I knew what life was like before phones. I had to create those boundaries for myself as an adult. I went through a phase with social media and feeling inadequate because I'm looking at and comparing my life to others and then that affected my mental health. As an adult, I was able to make the separation and enforce those boundaries. Now that we are awakening people to understand the negative effects that phones and technology has on our children, we have to now enforce and take back control of our children.

Eve on restaurants and church, these are places we must teach our kids. This is the time to teach these lessons to them. How to stay quiet because this is a quiet place. Teach them taking some coloring books or something that they can quietly sit, draw and play with while we wait. This is how we know what the phone. At dinner tables, no phones.  These are controls that every parent can take back even if we had done it without knowledge of previously and there are a lot of parent younger parents. They grew up with social media when they were teenagers. They're used to checking it.

Even turning off every notification on your phone will change your life. You only look when you want to look. There's no notification binging or showing you there are ten messages where you go look. I've turned everything off on. The only reason I go is because I'm going to look at it.  Otherwise, it's somebody else or running your mind.

They're running your mind. They're telling you when to do what.

Let's skip over to about you becoming a learning success coach and what made you decide to do that?

Learning Success Coaching

I decided to be a holistic neural growth learning success coach because I still have a passion for learning and I knew that it could still be done, but it required to meet the children and the students where they are. This program gave me the ability to do that. I didn't see the need is in the classroom with the child and then one-on-one. With that one-on-one attention, it's many other benefits that students get from that in itself. It was a no-brainer because it was a question that always hung in them in my head, but it didn't know the answer yet. When I found the program and saw what it was about and what I learned through it, it was like, “This is it. This is absolutely what we need for every child.”

What does every child need?

Every child needs a learning success coach. Every child needs a coach. I know that a coach for every child would decrease the amount of childhood suicides we see in the world. It would decrease the amount of mental health issues that children are facing even younger. It would be educational for the child and the parent because the parent could learn healthy routines and behaviors through the coach.

Every child needs a learning success coach

Sometimes we don't know what we don't know. We don't know to even seek the information because we don't know. If the child had a coach and the coach was implementing certain strategies, then that coach could then teach the parent to mirror that in the home so that it is consistent and we're all on the same page.

You focus on reading program. That's your passion. With the learning success coach, you work with the students as a holistic child. It's a holistic family. As a learning part, you have to look at everything. How can parents help their kids with reading because you do specialize in reading. How much do you notice about reading? Now in your grade one, do they like reading?

They don't like reading. They do enjoy me reading to them. They enjoy your read-aloud. They don't like reading themselves because it's difficult for them. They become hopeless because they aren't given enough time to gain knowledge and practice skills. Children learn through repetition. It's not done in a sense where it becomes concrete because it's, “We got to move on to the next thing.” That's when they become helpless and it's like we're here but there's not they're not there yet.

They don't like reading for themselves. It's the negative self-talk. I hear students all the time say, “I don't know how to read. I can't read.” They won't try. They'll seek help before they try themselves. I teach first grade. At the beginning of the year, we're doing basic CVC words, Constant-Vowel-Consonant, and three-letter words. We teach the short vowel sounds. I teach them a method or a strategy to help them decode the word and read the word.

They won't even use the strategies that are in their toolbox. They'll just raise their hand and ask for help and it's like, “Let me see you try.” I have to literally sit there and coach them through trying to decode the word and then they do it. It's like, “See? You can do it.” However, they won't try the next time either. They'll do the same thing and it's like, “You know how to do it.” It's like me having to direct them to use their tool, “You have this tool in your toolbox. You have been successful when you've done it independently. Try it.” It still requires me to. Give like give them give it to them. It's not like, “I know how to do this,” and try the strategy. It's the instant gratification. Even if they have the skill, the work ethic isn't there to even try it.

I wonder if is it because we get so much gratification with our phone whatever we're watching. It's all immediate that's fast and like, “I don't want to mistakes?”

I think that's a strong correlation. The presence of the majority of our conversation. I think everything goes back to the uses of technology and the difference that we see in students.

At this young age, when they become trained by this technology, anything needs a little bit more effort  and stamina.

It's not happening. They're not putting forth the effort.

How are they going to manage in 2, 3, 4 or 5? This is a foundation, but it can be by grade 1 or 2.

The gaps get wider. It's more difficult for the next teacher because they're still expected to teach on their grade level standards and the majority of students are lagging behind.

How much of it becomes their identity? A lot of students we meet are, “I'm not smart enough. I don't get it. I'm not good at this.” It becomes a story that they tell all the time for everything.

That correlates to their mental health and then it goes back to comparison.

Comparing other students.

Their mental health suffers and then, unfortunately, we have an increase in suicides because children’s self-esteem is low. Their self-worth is low, and it's all connected.

What can parents do about this and in reading place?

We're all very busy. Parents are very busy. They're working to keep food on the table and a roof over their head. I understand the hustle and bustle. To simplify for parents in the most easiest way, I would say the language piece. We don't realize and understand how much reading is the foundation of reading is language, communication and talking.

There are five components of reading and one of those components is vocabulary. If you can do anything, send your child to school with a healthy vocabulary. How do you do that? Have conversations with them? I taught my nephew a word in passing. It was my natural, how I talk. He's like, “What is that?” I told him the synonym. He was like, “I didn't know that word.” He learned a new word. it was another time we in conversation and sometimes we dig deep. We look the word up. We'll draw a picture of the word and these are simple things that parents could do at home.

Having those conversations using words that are bigger or synonyms for in pointing things out and in the car when you're traveling instead of the child being on the phone talking about the environment, what they see, the signs and anything. Those are the moments that we can take advantage. Kids talk a lot. They won't stop talking. I have over twenty of them in my class and sometimes I wish they stopped talking. I know parents feel the same sometimes, but I like to stress that children are only children for a small fraction of time. It's such a small fraction of time in your life that when they become teenagers, they're not going to want to talk to you at all. You want to soak it up while you can because when they're teenagers, it's going to be bad. It's going to be to the point where you would pay them to talk to you.

Slow down. Life is going to be the hustle and bustle. It's not going anywhere and take a moment to talk to your child. That alone you're setting your child up for success in reading that you're helping teachers would one of the five components and they all go hand in hand. If you're helping your child with the vocabulary, then you're helping your child with comprehension. You leave the coding and the technical things to the teacher, but then you've already sent a child that was ready and had some foundation.

Making read in a part of your everyday life. In the restaurant at the table, read them in you in the grocery store, read the items, have your child help you, point out letters, and words, discuss their sounds and create a moment where you can read every day at home just ten minutes a day. These small things are instrumental in the child's reading ability and we have to remember that reading isn't in eight. It's not something that we're born to do. It is a skill that has to be taught. it has to be intentional and these things are intentional to help your child for reading success for a lifetime.

Reading is not something that we're born to do. It is a skill that has to be taught. We have to be intentional in helping our children achieve reading success for a lifetime.

That's amazing. You’ve giving them so many strategies. I want to add one more. Even if you're busy, send your kids with a book to their bed. Make it a habit and even read with them. This is what we used to do. It's not with the phone they went to bed. If you have a household and you're saying, “My kid won't go without a phone. This is already established. I don't know how to break.” Just take the phone away. It's not something they need it or require. It's not like you're not feeding them.

Sometimes I hear people say, “It's like my child's food. I can't take it away.” You can take it away. It's a tool. You take it away. You establish new boundaries and you set new household rules and values. That's why I love having value statements in the household, “This is who we are. This is what we believe. This is what we live for.” That way, we have an identity as a family even if we are separated.

You made me think of something good.

Even if they don't like reading you read it to them for 10 minutes.

This one is fun. I tried this with a group. I was testing coordinaton. When you test, there's no technology or devices allowed, um for the students and the teachers but teachers don't listen to that role. It's sad. They could be violated. I am a gorilla model. I was testing. It was a proctor in the room with me and she was scrolling her phone and I was like, “I'm not doing that. I got a book.” I sat and read my book.

I didn't say to anything to anybody. I suggested when they were done they could get a book. In day one, a lfew students went to get books. Some of them put their heads down. In day three, 95% of the students were sitting in reading books because they saw me reading. They got interested. I was focused and like into it. They're like, “What are you reading?” Before you know it, they were all reading books. I was like, “Lead by example.” If you want your child to enjoy reading, you have to show them that you read too.

It’s very simple. even if you're busy, I'm terribly busy and we can say that word all day every day. Your child is going to grow up while we say that our kids are growing up like my son's already sixteen. He’s growing fast. I can't keep saying I'm busy. I got to put down some rules value systems in our house, boundaries and balances. The phone is a good technology. It's a great system for our kids to learn. I'm not saying they don’t make the main agent and take the phone away,  but balance and boundaries are must in every household.

It reminds me of an infant and you're trying to wean them off of the pacifier. You do a cold turkey. You're going to go through that rough time. You're going to go to the spell when a kid is and crying not sleeping through the night. It's going to be difficult. It's going to be hard. You whether the storm you'll get through it. The reward and rainbow on the end is going to be much greater. You're going to notice the complete difference in your child holistically. That's the benefit. That's the greater benefit. There's a rip the Band-Aid off. Snatch the pacifier out.

It has become a pacifier. This is the pacifier. You got to take it away. Leading by example involves that too. As a family, we put away our phones when we're eating. When we go to restaurants, we're going to be presented because what's the point of spending all this money, to sit and eat when no conversation is happening? We don't want kids to grow up not present because if you're on the phone in your immediate surroundings if something is happening, you're going to be unaware. Eventually, you'll tune out everything like right now they're okay a little bit because they still have the sensations. If you can think about it in a couple of more generations, we could have people who have no idea what's happening in their proximity.

That's dangerous. We'll have some cage or something. I'm protected so I can be on my phone. What else do you want to tell the parents in terms of being at home? If there some tip you can give for the strategy that they can help their kids with reading?

With reading words, get familiar with the letter sounds as a parent so that you can teach those sounds to your child and then help them with decoding them. A teacher's term for sounding them out or reading the words. I'm trying to think of tips that don't require a lot of learning on the back end for the parent, something that's simple that they can do.

I taught my son everything. We would listen to songs.

That reminds me of if you're talking about child it's okay, Kindergarten first grade, then songs, rhyming words. Those are the basics for reading and listening to sounds. It's funny because we all acts like babies. What sound does a dog make? We love it when the child is barking like a dog. Those are the basic foundations for hearing sounds in language. We don't realize that's what we're building on. Having children be present in their environment and take in the sounds that they hear and ask them like, “What kind of truck is that?” If it's an emergency vehicle going by they can understand and notice the difference and do between the different sounds.

Seeing them sound through rhyming words is the best way and then you know Sesame Street. English is the second language those songs, farmer and songs any of those rhyming songs.

If parents don't have the resources to do it themselves, seek outside help. It's always beneficial for a child. Seek the help that you need for the child outside, their resources in the community with technology. We talked so bad about technology. Technology is great in many ways because they connects us with people who aren't in our communities. That could help our children. For instance, a learning success coach. I am able to work with students who are on the other side of the United States because of technology. It has its benefits. We've been griping on it all night, but it's great for several reasons. We have to have balance and boundaries.

This is our world. As young is those kids, as parents, we have to put some boundaries. I don't trust the thing. We could have a centralized thing like this age group, they can figure out who's on it either. We can search anything. If we can have some filters that enables kids from going into certain things or being shown certain things, even if they're not searching. I'm okay, but here it's not possible. Anything can pop up from anywhere. I don't trust it.

If we introduce this too early, this is my problem with this, even if they're watching Dora, Finding Nemo or whatever on their phone, if we're giving them as their pacifier from a young age, they will start figuring out how to use this because our kids are smart. They are on the phone than me. I can never figure this out. Over time, they'll become smart with that phone. They're no longer going to be wanting Dora, Finding Nemo or whatever your child is watching. Now they want something more different, stimulating and, “Give me more.” That's where it gets tricky too because now we created this pacifier situation. Now they want it. We know it's all healthy and we can't take it away. Now, they're going to have withdrawal. It's almost withdrawal.

We don't introduce it to our children early until their brains are developed enough to understand how to balance it. There are already studies that show the negative effects that even TV has on infants. The phones are the same and those studies have been out since I was like a kid because the TV has been out for so long. Those facts don't change just because it's a phone. It's not healthy.

It's private. When we were watching TV, it was more public but you said in that living room you watching in front of it, “My mom would know what I'm watching because she can hear it. I didn't have a headphone or anything. Everyone knows what I'm watching.”

It's in your home. You can go everywhere with it. We couldn't take our TV. He's out of our homes. It's like at the tip of your fingers, whatever you want it 24/7. Even in schools, it's not allowed but kids are using them because sometimes it depends on the culture but some schools aren't managing them. They aren't taking it from the students because they don't want that responsibility. There are schools that may, but even still, kids find a way.

This conversation has been amazing because this is a must-have. I know sometimes it's sensitive and some parents might think, “I don't know how to take their phone away. I want to trust my son or daughter.” Absolutely, you would always trust you trust them. Trusting the phone is the issue. I hope some of those tips we have shared is to bring awareness mostly awareness of how it's affecting in every part of their life. They cannot regulate themselves anymore within a classroom setting because of this. I know this is it because I think this is something new to them.

Where does it start and finish? It's not a conversation we're going to finish because it's an ongoing debate, but boundaries and balance any family can sit. That's in our hands. Family's value systems are always important to whatever that is to your family. It's different from family to family. Anything else you want to add before we finish here?

We covered a lot and we talked much. I like to thank you for having this conversation and giving me the opportunity to be on your show. I wanted to leave with gratitude. Thank you.

This is what all about. We're looking at it from a different perspective. We looked at it from the child's perspective, we're not helping them. They are in chaos. If we look at from the teacher's perspective, they're in chaos. If we look at it from the administrator's perspective, top level down standard every testing performance chaos, and then look at it from parents from the household perspective. As you can see the whole system bringing up a child is in chaos. The most important precious person in all of this is our children. Whatever is harming our children, it could harm our children each of these members have a role. Their ultimate mission is to protect that child and if there isn't we got to do something about it. That is what this show is all about, to explore those different perspectives. Thank you for being here.

Thank you for having me.

We'll talk soon. Thank you.


That was a hard conversation about phone usage and technology. As you can see, it's a very big problem. If you're a parent reading this I do not want you to feel like we were beating you up or we were saying that you're doing something wrong with it. I'm a parent myself. I think we all have to establish our own rules and the house. It doesn't matter what other people are doing to us as a family. What is the rule? I think, no phones at the dining table because that's the ultimate time for you and your kids to have a conversation and enjoy dinner or lunch together.

No phone in the bedroom. I always say this to everyone who asks me, “Do you not trust your son?” I love him and I trust him. I don't trust the phone because the phone is the world that comes through the phone. As I always say, this example sticking my mind is that if I open my front door right now, I would not let anyone in and everyone through that door and if they ask me to go to my son's bedroom, I would not let them go. I have a responsibility to make sure that who goes and who comes into my house but on the phone, we don't have it. As parents, we don't have it. It's not about trusting your child and not trusting your child.

We do to trust them and love them but they don't have the ability to know what's right and what's wrong and things can pop up. There are no guidelines on these phones and the internet. We have to protect our kids. As you read from Terry, how hard is for kids to focus in the classroom and how hard is for them to read because reading is a boring activity when it comes to having a phone and when it was all stimulating them in a different energy level now come down to reading level. It's no longer fun for them or exciting for them.

You can see how this phone is playing a role, this usage of screen time or technology is playing a role in every aspect of their life. Why do we want our kids to be anxious? Why do we want them to feel like we are failures? Why are we setting them up from a young age not to be successful? what can we do as parents? We said boundaries. We said rules that protect them from going through this chaos. What we want to do for our kids is to make sure that they have rules, boundaries and balances that you set up as a family and you follow together and reading is an activity that you can do even when you're busy as Terri pointed out, words, conversations and vocabulary. Give them the vocabulary they need.

It doesn't matter who they become in the future. They must always know how to read and do simple math because if they don't have both of those skills, they are at a loss. As an educator and mother, I'm asking all the families that are reading this to make sure that you set up some boundaries and balance in your household with the technology and the screen time so you can protect your young children special when they're laying down this foundation. It's important for their mind to be curious, creative and want to learn, hungry to learn and these electronics and these addictions and these hits with dopamine do not allow them to learn the way they can learn in the classroom. Thank you so much for reading I'll see you in another episode.

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About Terri Gregory

Aligned Learning Revolution | Terri Gregory  | Phone Addiction

Hi, I’m Terri. I am an Early Childhood Teacher, Certified Wholistic NeuroGrowth Learning Success Coach. I am a lover of learning and literacy. I’ve been increasing students' reading abilities, confidence, and communication for over 11 years now. When I’m not glued to a book or knee deep into personal development you can find me talking to my plants on a relaxing Saturday morning.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing our guest Terri Gregory, the founder of Limitless Learning Success coaching practice,. With a heart dedicated to education, Terri is not just an Early Childhood Teacher but also a Certified Wholistic NeuroGrowth Learning Success Coach. Her passion lies in the world of learning and literacy, where she made a significant impact over the course of 11 years.

Terri's journey is all about empowering students, helping them enhance their reading abilities, boost their confidence, and foster effective communication skills. Her dedication to the growth and development of young minds has been a driving force in her career.

When she's not immersed in the world of books or delving into personal development, you'll find Terri indulging in a peaceful conversation with her beloved plants. Today, I am excited to tap into Terri's wealth of knowledge and insights.

Phone UsagePhone AddictionScreen TimeLearning SuccessEarly Childhood EducationReading Program
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Kohila Sivas

Kohila Sivas is a parent and a lifelong learner. She has been a classroom teacher at all levels and a Special Needs Instructor and is a Professional Math Interventionist, a Master NLP coach, and a #1 Best selling author.

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