Because of my obsession with books, as well as my superior expressive reading ;), I do most of the bedtime reading with the kids. However, I do recognize when it makes more sense for their father to have that role, and we recently had one of those moments.
My kids are obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack. Yes, they’re a tad bit late to the party, but they’ve arrived. And it’s arrived with a whole unexpected conversation about why they can’t use curse words, but I digress…
To coincide with their desire to play the soundtrack every day, I found a book that I thought they would enjoy–
This book, written and illustrated by Don Brown, is all about the rivalry and eventual dual between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Now, I was all set and ready to read this to the kids, excited even, but then a light bulb went off–why not have their Dad read it to them? My husband is a high school Social Studies teacher, and a general history buff. It would make more sense for him to read it to them, especially if they have extra questions once the story begins, because there’s a big chance I won’t be able to answer them. And guess what? I was right!
The kids were super excited about the book, my husband enjoyed reading something to him that he already had background knowledge about, and although I love reading to the kids, I had the night off!
So, in your #RaisingReaders quest, if you’re looking to involve another reader, think about what books the reader and the kids could enjoy. Also, if you have kids that enjoy Hamilton, this is a great book for them too!
I just wanted to quickly wish everyone a Happy New Year, and to remember to keep raising readers, no matter where that may take you and your reader(s)!
In 2018 I gave into Harry Potter (really the fantasy genre as a whole) and developed a true appreciation for graphic novels. As a result, my kiddos continue to grow as readers and as educated citizens in general, even though that’s probably not the path I would have taken to get them there. But that’s the power in giving them choice–as long as I keep an eye on the long term goal (to enjoy books), it has been less of a headache for me and them to let them take the lead as often as I can.
So if you haven’t tried letting them take the lead, take this new year as an opportunity to let them lead the way!
Ever have one of those books that slowly but surely grabs your child’s attention, even during one of their super goofy periods? I did recently, and was pleasantly surprised that it was a non-fiction book that did the job!
We recently read Charlie Takes His Shot, a picture book biography by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by John Joven. This is a biography of Charlie Sifford, who broke the color barrier in the game of golf. Sadly, I had never heard of him, and neither had my children, but they were engaged with the story right away.
The opening scene of the book (see below) grabbed my busy bodied children right away, and then Churnin jumps right into giving the historical context, which also grabbed their attention.
We learned all about the struggles Mr. Sifford had to deal with when trying to play professionally on PGA tours when there was a literal “Caucasian rule” that said he could not play on PGA courses.
One of the many interesting things I enjoyed about the book was concept that Charlie’s success was not only due to his golfing skills, but also the help of others. Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball, was actually one of those people. Although it often can appear to be one person who makes such a big change, it actually takes the support and efforts of many to achieve such a historical change and that I love that this book makes that so clear.
The bright colorful illustrations are wonderful in this book and all three of us learned something new with this great bedtime read.
This book is great for a child who enjoys, golf, Civil Rights, and/or biographies.
On a recent Sunday morning, my 7 year old son came into my bedroom to ask me for a piece of paper. What for, you ask? This child was excited because he had found the solar system in his kid dictionary and wanted to write about it. Specifically, he wanted to write down the age old mnemonic device that many of us learned about the planets, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” (Or whatever food starting with P you may have learned.)
He was inspired to write this down because for the last few days he has been listening to Stink: Solar System Superhero and apparently this was part of the story. His plan was to create his own new sentence about the planets, which I thought was admirable, but quite a lofty goal for a relaxing Sunday morning. But his motivation got me to thinking about the power of listening to books. I love the fact that he is getting just as much out of listening to Stink’s adventures on CD as he would if I was reading it to him.
My daughter is also loving the books she’s listening to, which are part of the Wayside School series. When I recently went into her room to turn off her lamp, instead of laying down and falling asleep, she was sitting straight up because she was just that into the story. As an added bonus, we almost always get audio books from the library, which cost my favorite amount: FREE.
So, although I’ve written about this before, I just wanted to remind you that audiobooks can be a perfect alternative to reading aloud with your children, especially if you’re not feeling particularly entertaining with your reading style.
Don’t get me wrong, I still advocate for reading aloud to your children, even if you don’t feel like its your wheelhouse. They appreciate the effort, the cuddles, and the time spent together, even if you feel like you’re stumbling over words or not doing cool voices.
One of the goals of my blog is to try to do my part in assisting parents and guardians with being able to raise their children to be readers, whether it be through book reviews or sharing my parenting stories. I know that one thing that can be a road block is time, or a lack thereof, especially as children get older and more involved in activities.
One of my go-to websites for book ideas and strategies is readbrightly.com. And even though my blog doesn’t mention teen readers often because my kids aren’t that old yet, I recognize how it is important to keep them motivated to read and so does Brightly. So I thought I’d share a recent article I read from their website with some great ideas for raising readers with busy schedules.