Fall is a beautiful time of year. I was discussing with my children's literature classes this week the book, "The Oxcart Man," by Donald Hall. Sometimes adults don't see the beauty in this simplistic picture book. I have always thought that one of the most intriguing aspects of this book is that it starts at the end. The story begins with harvest time and then takes us throughout the following year so that we observe the family preparing for that important harvest time. I think this analogy is very much like helping children learn basic skills. We know what harvest time should look like (the child competently performing necessary skills) and we need to go through the process to really understand how to make harvest time occur for every child. There are no shortcuts, just a step by step acquisition of skills to prepare for the harvest.