Raising kids Raising Readers

Raising Readers by Whatever Means Possible…even the WWE

I’m not a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). I watched it a little when I was in college, so I know many wrestlers from the late 90s early 2000s, but its definitely not my thing. However, I did end up marrying a WWE fan, so I guess he’s to blame for why this tale is going to go the way it does.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that my efforts to get my son reading have been many and taken on many forms (i.e. graphic novels, listening, and patience to name a few). One of the things that I believe is important for helping any kid enjoy reading is to connect reading to things that they already enjoy. Well, these days, much to my side-eye, that thing my son enjoys is the WWE. Somehow, my child has become obsessed, talking constantly about wrestlers, their theme songs, and their finishing moves. Interestingly though, I think what may have sparked this can be partly blamed on a book!

My mother gave this book to my husband one Christmas, and my son recently discovered it. This book, 30 Years of Wrestlemania, full of photos and history, combined with watching some WWE shows has equaled a wrestling filled quarantine in my house. As tired as I am of hearing about the last 30 years of Wrestlemania, moments like this are making my heart swell…

So much so that for his upcoming birthday, he’ll be getting two more WWE related books that I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to get. As much as WWE is not my thing, if this is what it currently takes to get his face away from a screen and into a book…I’m all for it. There are books that are connected to just about everything these days, so in your #raisingreaders quest, finding a book connected to their interest may be the way to go!

Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

The Little Things…

It’s almost 11:30 pm as I’m writing this, and my daughter just left my room with a cheesy smile on her face.

She had recently started reading The Lightning Thief, and about an hour ago I had gone into her room to turn out her lamp so she could go to sleep. However, she was not at the end of a chapter, so she told me she would turn off the lamp when she got to a good stopping place. Apparently it took 60 minutes to get there. 🤷🏾‍♀️

She came in to my room smiling because she felt like she had to tell someone that it was so good she could not stop reading, so she read an extra two chapters before she put in down. And naturally that she’ll finish it first thing in the morning. She looks so happy and wired I’m not convinced she’ll be able to fall asleep, but we’ll see.

I say all this just to say that her smile and joy about the book was contagious and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fall asleep myself (I was reading when she walked in.). Just another reminder as to why I am intent on #RaisingReaders and sharing with others reasons why you should too.

Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

After Reading the Books, Don’t Forget The Conversation!

During these momentous times of conflict and protest we are currently in, one suggestion that I’ve seen on a variety of platforms, and even given myself, is to arm ourselves (and our children) with knowledge through books. I’ve seen great lists of books everywhere, from engaging picture books to powerful YA novels and everything in between. And while this is a great first step, the conversations with young people around the books can be just as influential as the books themselves.

I realize at times it can be difficult to have some of these conversations, and that there are times we can “get away” with not talking if the kids don’t ask any questions–trust me, I’ve been guilty of doing that myself. However, you also don’t want your child to walk away with the wrong impression or understanding, so having those talks are important. You don’t have to be armed with a whole set of questions, but just a simple, “What are you thinking?” or “Do you have any questions?” can get it started. I know my kids tend to see things in black and white, so I’ve had to clarify things they’ve seen on TV, and the same would apply with books.

Even with your older kids, who may be reading books independently that deal with sensitive issues, don’t forget to check in with them and see if they have any questions or thoughts about what they’re reading that they want to talk about.

Using books to help #RaisingReaders who understand the importance of equity and become anti-racist is a great step, but don’t forget to have those important conversations!

Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

Last night’s #BedtimeStory

In light of current events and conversations, this was our bedtime story last night…

It doesn’t solve anything, but its a start…#KeepReading

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An Extended Bedtime Read- Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane

Have you ever had one of those nights where you started the kids’ bedtime process just a little earlier in the hopes that that means they’ll be falling asleep faster? Has that attempt ever backfired on you? Yeah, that happened to me last night, but for once I actually was ok with it.

downloadI was thought I was being slick. It wasn’t super early, but early enough that I was anticipating getting in a decent amount of TV or reading time in, but my book choice derailed my plans. We read an ebook copy of Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane written by Johanna Wagstaffe and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, a cute informational book about how hurricanes form. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how a book about hurricanes could derail bedtime, because before we started the book, I felt the same way. However, in school both of my kids have learned a lot about clouds, the water cycle, and the water crisis, and so they had a lot to add to the facts in this book. My son just had to elaborate on what makes up clouds and the different types of clouds. My daughter saw sandbags in one of the illustrations and took us off on a tangent about their many purposes. The book only has 30-something pages, but with all those extra conversations, it took us almost 30-something minutes to read it.

See those sandbags in the corner? Yeah, had a whole extra conversation about those.

But, and especially considering how our school year has ended, anytime I experience my kids recalling things they learned I get excited for them because that means it stuck.  So, I decided I wasn’t disappointed that our bedtime read was a little longer than usual, because I ended up with a #proudmama moment.

Whether your own kids are water “experts” or not, I would recommend this cute book, just be warned ahead of time, it may bring out questions and/or comments, so be sure to start bedtime early that night. 🙂