Hilltown Families Articles

For the last year, I have been writing articles on various subjects relating to communication skills for Hilltown Families, a grassroots, online community for families in Western Massachusetts.

Kathy Puckett – Hilltown Families

Community-Based Education Network

Time to Talk: 11 Apps to Support Children’s Language Skills

The activities we do when on vacation can be used to support vocabulary and language skills. When used together with your kids, apps can also be useful tools to stimulate communication and fostering language carryover. This month in "Time to Talk," speech-language pathologist Kathy Puckett shares 11 apps to use to support children's language skills during the summer time.
Posted: July 1, 2015, 1:00 pm

Time to Talk: Helping Our Kids Explain

Helping Our Kids Explain One of the classic cliches of the parent-child relationship is the question and answer, “What did you do today?” “Nothing.” Over the years, I have had so many parents ask if I could help them get some information from their children. I suggested that they think about the three types of […]
Posted: June 3, 2015, 7:00 pm

Time to Talk: Stress-Free Reading

In libraries all across America, therapy dogs are brought into libraries to provide children with a stress-free reading experience that helps them immeasurably. Often times western MA libraries host these programs, an effective way to support literacy through companionship for young readers. Read Kathy's most recent post in her monthly column, "Time to Talk: Supporting Children's Language Skills," and discover the value of these programs.
Posted: May 6, 2015, 4:00 pm

Time to Talk: Understanding & Helping Children Who Stutter

This month in "Time to Talk: Supporting Children's Language Skills," Hilltown Families Contributing Writer and speech-language pathologist, Kathy Puckett, addresses stuttering. This useful post include tips, resources and videos for supporting parents and adults raising and working with child who stutter.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 4:00 pm

Time to Talk: Mapping Out Childrens’ Behavior

Our behaviors are stitched together by a series of reactions...how we respond to things, how we process and then how we move on to another reaction. For children it is important to have some recognition of behavior and how reactions dovetail. This month in "Time to Talk: Supporting Children's Language Skills," Kathy lays out a fascinating column including social mapping and feeling meters and how they can be used as effective tools.
Posted: March 4, 2015, 5:00 pm

Time to Talk: The Importance of Applying Reason & Scaling Problems

Overreacting is often a damning thing to left at your door. It's very rarely acceptable behavior to overreact to a problem. It hinders reason, problem solving and communications. This month in "Time to Talk: Supporting Children's Language Skills," Hilltown Families contributing writer and speech-language pathologist, Kathy Puckett, looks at barriers to learning and how children can adopt some techniques to overcome barriers such as overreacting. Read on for some excellent tips and insights.
Posted: February 4, 2015, 2:00 pm

Time to Talk: Sounding out the New Year for Kids’ Development

As a speech-language pathologist, Hilltown Families contributing writer, Kathy Puckett, is a big believer is building a culture of reading for children at home! With the new year upon us with thoughts towards New Year's Resolutions, Kathy encourages our readers to resolve to carving out time to read more to on your children. Quality time spent reading together is universally acknowledged as being crucial to any level of child development while creating memories and bonds between parent and child. At the end of the day it all comes back to reading...
Posted: December 31, 2014, 2:00 pm

Time to Talk: How Listening Removes Pressure to Perform

We're all fighting the same battle: the clock. So much to get done. Always. Even kids are facing it through things such as a challenging curriculum at kindergarten level, which chews up play-time. If we're not pushing, pushing, pushing, we're not achieving. What has suffered has been the ability to listen because, as you've guessed it, it takes time. But listening allows us to give ourselves over and relieve stress a little and work smarter. Kathy really outlines the power of listening this month in "Time to Talk," which you will really enjoy reading. Because we're all in the same boat, right?
Posted: November 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

Time to Talk: Constructing The Two-Sided Conversation

Conversations with kids can be a mazy roller coaster of a ride. Sometimes the lack of perspective taking can turn the conversation very one-sided and block any real chance of a meaningful connection being made. This month in "time to Talk: Supporting Children's Language Skills," Kathy shares her approach to organized thinking... something we can all perhaps plug into!
Posted: October 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

Time to Talk: Practice & Monitoring is Key to Speech Development

Creating an environment for your kid's speech development is key to their growth. Parents naturally want to help their child and therefore can sometimes assist a child too much in, for example, finishing a sentence. It's great to monitor your kid's speech and let them figure out the power of sound manipulation. In "Time to Talk" this month, Kathy lays out some great guidelines in keeping that balance to drive your kid's speech development.
Posted: September 24, 2014, 7:00 pm