Barrios & Virguez January 2018

Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. MAKE IT A FAMILY RESOLUTION There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. WANT TO SEE BETTER REPORT CARDS IN 2018? Make Reading a Family Resolution

Life is full of challenges, but it’s also filled with beautiful moments. Celebrations like weddings, graduations, and birthday parties are joyous occasions. For those of you who’ve gone through the naturalization process, you might add the day you got your citizenship to that list of the best occasions of your life. Now that you have your citizenship, you are eager to have your family join you in the U.S. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you have the right and privilege to petition for your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. FAMILY PETITIONS AND SPONSORSHIP You must be over 21 to file for most petitions on a family member’s behalf. Depending on your family member’s situation, your petition may help them enter the U.S. more quickly than they would if they were filing on their own. Because your parents are considered an immediate relative, you can petition for a green card for them, and they will not have to wait for a visa number. For your children, the process is dependent on their age and marital status. If your child is under 21, they are also considered an immediate relative, and you can petition for a green card for them. That way, they also don’t have to wait for a visa number, making the process fairly quick. If your child is over 21 and unmarried, you can file a petition for them, but they will have to wait for a visa number. Currently, wait times vary depending on a person’s home country, but range from 10 to 15 years. Your married child of any age will also have to wait for a visa number, and wait times are also very long. You can file petitions for stepparents and stepchildren, too. For stepchildren, as long as you married your stepchild’s natural parent before the child was 18, you can sponsor them. There are resources available to help you complete the right petition. Contact our office to learn more. If you want to file a petition but are discouraged by the wait times for your parent or child, contact our office. We can discuss options with you. To start the process, there are some guidelines you should be aware of.

Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained. SET REWARD MILESTONES Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours

spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring.

USE READING APPS Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find

recommendations, share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household. 2

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