This post stems off the last post about Inspiration and Theme
Think of a book you read or that was read to you as a child, that you read again as an adult…. I had a few… The Little Prince, The Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, Harry Potter series, Oh the Places You’ll Go! By: Dr Seuss, Narnia Chronicles & Harry Potter series to name a few. In my last post I discussed common themes that some of our favorite books may or may have. To review the common themes in my favorite books were: The Reluctant Hero, The Misfit’s Unify & some kind of Epic Journey These are such fun themes to study also for kids to grow up reading about because there is so much to learn as we progress throughout our early childhood, all the way through to adulthood. Life lessons on family values, relationships, peer group conflict / resolutions, societal values, political references, power struggles, hidden agendas/ secrets (ex: the man behind the curtain in OZ) Now, I was a very avid reader as a child, but when I was forced to read books I had little or no interest in, I could have easily been labeled a “reluctant reader”. This is why we have to be very careful when trying to push kids into reading certain books. As an educator and a parent, I have found myself falling into the same trap I try to encourage others to avoid! Especially as educator/parents we tend to think we “know” which books are “better” for children. Reading should be fun, engaging and interesting. It should be about self discovery and a deeper connection to the world around us! 🙂 —- The other day, I was organizing and discarding some of my books from childhood. I am stocking them up in the basement bookshelf until my 6 month old daughter is of age to read them. I smiled as I thumbed through some of my favorite classics, like the ones I named above as well as Pippi Longstocking, Choose your Own Adventures, The Baby Sitter Club series, Harriet the Spy, Judy Blume series, James Harriet’s Dog Stories and many more that tickle my soul when I come across them. I haphazardly began tossing books like Sarah Plain & Tall, Little House on the Prairie & some Nancy Drew books only because I, personally didn’t enjoy reading them, or for whatever reason, I never even tried! Now, this is no reason to deprive my child the chance to read these great classics. It’s not like they are terrible books, like some I wont mention on a blog (but you can ask me in a message if you want my opinion). These are good quality books and she may actually enjoy them! So I kept them on the shelf. As for clutter issues, that will be in another blog… Side note: Classic Literature should NEVER be banned!! (sorry just had to throw that in there) So, anyways, back to my point regarding children’s books – SAVE them ALL!! You never know what your child might gravitate towards. Let them explore! Here are some ways to do exactly that… 1) Create a book friendly home. “A home without books is like a room with no windows” (Horace Mann) Some people choose to have small bookshelf in every room, for children to browse at their leisure. I prefer a room dedicated to books! Or, if you don’t have a huge house (like us) use a section of the basement and maybe a corner of your child’s room as a cozy “book corner” Here are some arrangement ideas I got off the internet… 2) All Parents are TEACHERS! Children soak up everything like your best kitchen sponge. As you already know, your children study your every move whether you like it or not! So be a good role model for your children. They will respect you for it in the years to come (well, before and after those terrible teen years)- just kidding teens! We love you!
Here’s a dad getting ready for work, showing his baby the routine… This is great modeling! Nothing wrong with the popular football hold for Dad and baby bonding time… (This pic reminded me of my husband because it is exactly what he does with our little one when he’s getting ready!)
3) TIME TIME TIME! Spend time with your child on Literacy Exploration. Follow the Reading & Writing Workshop Model that Lucy Calkins created at Columbia University! She is amazing and one of my heroes in the teaching world. If you’re a teacher, you definitely need to study her workshop model and try it out.
If you are a parent (or teacher), watch this video clip on time management.
“Powerful instruction produces visible and immediate results; when youngsters are taught well, the thinking, talking, and writing about reading they produce becomes far more substantial, complex, and significant. Good teaching pays off. When you provide students with constant opportunities to read and to write and when you actively and assertively teach into their best efforts, their literacy development will astonish you, their parents, the school administrators, and best of all, the students themselves.” —Lucy Calkins (Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University’s Teachers College)
Here is me and my little “rose”