Did I create a monster?

Did I create a monster?

About a month ago I was working at my school’s Scholastic Book Fair and had some time to peruse the cases (honestly, for like the 100th time, I have an addiction). Somehow, for only the first time I ran across this book–

thmb_20161028_132600_1477679190718
And a $5 price tag?–Win/win!

So, here’s my thought–sure, some of it may be over her head (I’m sure she doesn’t know 1/2 the people on the cover) or some stuff she may not be interested in, but for 5 bucks? There’s got to be something in this book that my 7-year-old will like. So, I sent a picture of the book to my husband, he seconded my idea, so I bought the book.

When I gave it to her that afternoon, I told her it could be a “car book” (Yeah, I had just made it up). It was a book that would stay in the car so she would have something to look at on short and/or long trips. From my perspective, it would also give her something to focus on in the car so I could listen to my music instead of Kids Place Live.  She was excited and went straight to reading it, and I went straight to listening to some 90s R&B. When we got home and pulled into the garage she said, “So mom, I can’t bring this book in the house?…Then can I stay in the car?” Put one in the win column for mama! Don’t worry, I didn’t leave her in the car.

So, here’s where the monster part comes in. Since she’s getting all this new information, the focus has become sharing all this information with me or her father, completely backfiring my plan for me to reconnect music like in the car while she enjoys her book in silence.

“Mom look, did you know this book has sign language?”

“Dad, did you know the state bird for Illinois is the Cardinal?”

Our latest conversation has been about Presidents. Since my husband is a Social Studies teacher, my child has decided she needs to quiz him on his knowledge of American Presidents.

“Dad, did you know Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President?” “Dad, who was the 21st President?”  I could go on and on, because she goes on and on…Now for the most part, he’s been a good sport about it all and will play along with her.

Even this morning, over a month after she first got her “car book”, she’s still getting new information from it. Although I focus my attempts at #raisingreaders at nighttime, I’ve discovered that reading in the car actually works too!  You have to get it in wherever you can. So, did my “car book” purchase give me the time to enjoy the music I enjoy? Not as much as I wanted. But was it worth the $5 spent? Definitely.

20161129_072200
Did you know Hellen Keller was born on June 27th? Thanks to her, I do!

 

 

Advertisements
Raising Readers AND Kind people

Raising Readers AND Kind people

Initially, in the aftermath of the election, my plan was to write a post that would take readers’ minds off the election and would have nothing to do with that current event. However, in my failed efforts to NOT read things election-related, I had a realization. Regardless who you voted for, one thing I like to think all parents want is to raise children who are kind. And there are a couple of things that I read that caused me to refocus my energy in that direction.

One of the many advantages of raising readers is that there are times you can let books help you do the talking you cannot or don’t know how to do. There are conversations that I didn’t (and probably still don’t) think I was ready to have with my 7 year old; however, current situations will require them sooner rather than later. So I came across this blog post from the wonderful website readbrightly.com, where the author suggests using books to navigate difficult topics. Well duh, why hadn’t I thought of that before? Maybe I had, maybe when I happened to read Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, we happened to have those conversations about bullying. The difference here is that she was intentional, and that was something I hadn’t done. The author even gave some title suggestions, and even though most of them were not books appropriate for my 5 and 7 year old, it did spark my curiosity to find books that were.

So luckily, teacher and author Pernille Ripp writes a blog. And in that blog there’s a post about picture books that teach kids empathy–perfect! You can look at these great titles yourself here, but one of my favorites by one of my favorite authors (Jacqueline Woodson) is on there, so if you’re looking for a place to start, here’s a good one:

imgres-1

So, I’ve decided I’m going start this tedious journey with my daughter, and I’m sure it’ll be a bumpy one, but I’ll let you guys know how it goes. And by all means, if you have ideas or suggestions on how you’ve used books to teach difficult topics with your children, feel free to comment below and let me know. In the meantime–

imgres-2