If you asked my children (or anyone who’s close to me) to describe me, I have no doubt their list would include:
- She loves to serve Jesus through volunteering.
- She’s clumsy.
- She LOVES to read.
Pretty accurate assessment of their mom. Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of reading and to the importance I place on reading with my children. In fact, I’ve written about how important time spent reading with your children is here. While most of you don’t doubt the importance of reading with your kids, you may be wondering where to find the time.
I hear you. Finding time for our children to read or for us to read with our children can be difficult. It seems our schedules are crammed with activities from sun-up to sun-down, but it is possible to find more time than you think to read with your kids, especially this summer. Here are a few tricks I’ve discovered to make the most of our time. Continue reading “Finding Time to Read With Your Children” →
As end of school busyness ramps up to a frenzied pace, it’s hard to imagine that the lazier, slower days of summer are just a few weeks away. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be more intentional in my parenting, and I’m looking forward to the slower pace of summer to implement that resolution even more deliberately. I find it is sometimes so easy to get caught up in the activity of life as my children and I run from one event or task to the next that taking the time to mindfully consider the goals I want to create or the character traits that I want to cultivate in my children get lost in the shuffle of everyday living. This summer my goal is to create an environment of intentionality in my parenting that hopefully fosters a culture of education, where I continue to model for my children that learning is both a lifestyle and a lifelong endeavor.
Continue reading “Creating a Culture of Learning This Summer” →
“I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do.”
It’s not unusual for me to choose a book for the kids and me to read based on the cover. Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan is no exception. The cover illustration of a contemplative gorilla sitting with his back to a grinning baby elephant glancing admirably at his large friend stood out from among the dozens of other books featured on the display of my local bookstore. The gold medallion placed prominently in the bottom left corner indicating it was a Newberry winner sealed the deal. My strategy did not disappoint.
The One and Only Ivan follows the story of Ivan, the mighty silverback gorilla, who is a resident of the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He, along with an elephant named Stella, a poodle named Snickers, and a cast of other animals was at one time the main attraction of this once-thriving mall, but unfortunately, Ivan and his pals no longer bring in the crowds. Mall owner, Mack, desperate to renew interest in the Big Top Mall purchases a baby elephant named Ruby, whose presence transforms Ivan from contented gorilla into an artist with a mission.
Continue reading “Review of The One and Only Ivan” →
A and C snuggle in tight, one under each arm. I open the pages of Because of Winn-Dixie and begin to read. Silence, rapt attention, interrupted now and then by a chorus of giggles when our furry protagonist finds himself the center of a
mishap follows. Today has been declared electronic-free day, which is usually met with whining and pleading, but as soon as I crack open the pages of that book and allow the story to captivate my children, no shiny contraption, not even X-box can lure them from the magic currently igniting their imaginations.
At the close of each chapter, both children chime, “One more, mommy, please!” Though dishes pile in the sink, laundry overflows its basket, and dust sits on the furniture, I, too, am drawn into the tale and give in to my children’s pleas. (My family has this quirky inability to put down a good book until it’s finished.) Though, they are both capable of finishing the story on their own, I wouldn’t miss this time with them, so I continue to read until we reach the final page. For four hours, we lose ourselves in the world of a girl and her furry companion. I close the book and resume my housecleaning, leaving behind a lively discussion of the novel, two voices excitedly reminiscing about the highlights of this charming book.
Continue reading “The Magic of Reading to Older Kids” →