Cougar News

Welcome to our School News page! On this page you will be able to read the latest Cougar news as well as tips to help your child be successful. Be sure to visit this page often, as we'll update it frequently and communicate the exciting things happening at Lee Academy.

Practice Fluency for Better Comprehension

Fluent reading is the key to comprehending text. If your child isn’t a fluent reader, she won’t understand what she is reading. Contrary to popular belief, fluency is not speed-reading. So what is fluency? It’s reading a passage in a flowing, smooth manner with expression.

Children become fluent readers with practice, both at school and at home. So what can you do outside the classroom to help your child build fluency?

  • First, find out what your child’s reading level is, and locate some books that he can read independently. If he stumbles over five or more words on the page, the book is too difficult.
  • Depending on the age and ability of the child, the “me, us, you” method works well. Read a short book or passage aloud, then read it together, and finally have your child read it alone. Be sure to model expressive reading.
  • Allow and encourage your child to read the same thing multiple times. The more she reads it, the more successful she will be.
  • Find some age-appropriate poetry to read together. Poetry often has a rhythm and rhyming, which helps children read at a steady pace, thereby improving fluency. Find some fun poems by Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky to start, then move on to more difficult poems.
  • Though fluency is not speed-reading, some children enjoy being timed. See how many words your child can read in one minute. Then, several days later, time him again. Chances are he’ll read more words the second time around, which will help to build his confidence.

Most importantly, fluency comes from reading—as much as possible. The more she reads, the better your child will read. Talk to your child’s teacher about other ways you can help out at home.

Tips for Allergy Season

The approach to managing a child's allergies is similar to that of an adult, with some important differences regarding medication choices and dosing. In general, there are three ways to treat a child's allergies:

  • Avoidance of the allergic triggers
  • Use of medications
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy)

Avoidance of Allergic Triggers
Avoidance of the causes of a child's allergy symptoms can often be the best way to prevent symptoms. There is essentially no cost, no medication side effects, and it is essentially a curative approach to the child's allergic problem. Examples of at least partially avoidable allergens include pet dander and dust mites. However, avoidance of allergens is often difficult and not always possible. For example, plant pollens and mold spores are part of the outside air, and short of keeping a child indoors all the time, it is impossible to avoid exposure to these allergens. Once allergy testing reveals the presence of allergic antibodies to various triggers, an allergist may recommend avoidance of these triggers.

Use of Medications

When avoidance measures fail or are not possible, many children will require medications to treat their allergy symptoms. The choice of medication depends on numerous questions to be answered by the parent or child's physician:

  • How severe are the child's allergies?
  • What are the child's allergy symptoms?
  • What medication can the family get (over the counter prescription)?
  • What medication will the child take?
  • Does he/she need medication daily or intermittently?
  • What side effects might the child experience from the medication(s)?

Allergy Shots
Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, treats allergies by reducing the child’s sensitivity to allergens. Although immunotherapy doesn’t work for everybody and may be only partially effective in some people, it does offer some severe allergy sufferers the chance to eventually reduce or stop using “rescue” medication.

This therapy might work for your child if he/she suffers from severe allergies and cannot avoid the specific things he/she is allergic to. It is most successful when used to treat:

  • Those with allergic rhinitis
  • Those with asthma
  • If it begins early in life or soon after the allergy develops for the first time

Work with your child's doctor to discover what will work best for your family and allow your child an active and joyful life.