Hey, remember that year that spring came and it suddenly got colder?
Yeah, that was epic…oh wait, that was this week. Excuse me while I get my scarf.
1. Our poor neighbors are on spring break, and I feel like they should get a refund or something. As I type this, it is 27 degrees out. Who wants spring break when it’s 27 degrees out? Sorry, neighbors!
2. We started reading The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis with the kids. We put Tessa (20 months) to bed early (and welcome her earlier each morning but, oh well, that’s the way of it!) and then all crawl into our bed and listen as Diggory and Polly delight us (and inform us- last night we learned that “ass” can be used as an insult and “dem fine” is a way to say something is excellent.) Whenever we start a read aloud, the first few chapters are a little rough. The kids are 8, 5, and 3, and it takes a few chapters for the younger two to engage. But once they are in, they are in. Ella, in particular, has taken a liking to Jadis (the villain), who Lewis refers to as the Queen or the Witch. (When I call her the Witch, Ella corrects me). In light of enjoying that time together, I thought I’d share a few tips for read alouds with kids:
- At what age could I start reading aloud to my kids? In terms of chapter books, I’d say three years is a good age (though Ella started at two but it was a struggle.)
- What should we read first? It helps to start with books that have a few pictures, such as the Narnia books, Magic Treehouse, or How to Train your Dragon series. The pictures help to break it up and give them a visual. Remember, up to this point, your kids have had an illustrator tell them what characters and scenes look like. So be patient with them as they transition to creating a whole world in their heads.
- What if I have different ages and interests between them? That’s a tricky one, but the best advice I can give is to choose books that are great stories. Even if it isn’t your favorite topic, aren’t you captured by a great story? If the characters are relatable and endearing, all your kids can enjoy them. If one child has a particular interest, maybe you could read something with just them? Due to our excess on all things BOYS, Ella and I have recently started reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This book is quite a bit over her head (probably middle school level reading), but is still a great a story. We started at just two pages each time and have worked up to a full chapter at each sitting. And of course, she LOVES that the main character is named after her =)
- Any other ideas?
- Audio books from the library are a great start. (I love the celebrity renditions of Dr. Seuss tales). Be creative with when kids listen- in the car, playing in their room, when they are starting to drop a nap but can’t quite read, when playing legos, during a meal, etc.
- A book that will convince you of the benefits of reading aloud to kids is The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. (some of the studies cited in this book are amazing!)
- A book that will remind you how stories feed your children’s souls, Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. (both of these books have excellent recommended reading lists as well, which is helpful as you get started.)
|Ella’s art on the fridge|
|Project with Rocks by Ella|
|First attempt at homemade apple pie- prettier than it tasted, but still fun!|
5. Would someone please inform my baby that she is still my baby? Sheesh. Look at this girl. We pulled out the desks this week and then set up a little desk for her (can you see it? A little yellow chair and a stool in front of it for a table.) She was quite insulted that we would try to put her in a ‘baby’ desk.
|This one works just fine, thank you.- Tessa, 20 months|
In other news, I found this lovely article and felt such an “Amen” rise up out of me. In it, Lisa Jo Baker writes,
“But I find I fit into this woman’s skin better than I did a year ago; so much better than a decade ago. I am becoming the surest version of myself. I feel it in my heart. Sometimes I feel it in my tired feet too. But those simply tell me I’ve been busy. Busy with children and their wrangling and wrestling and carrying and tending and it is a soulful kind of busy.”-
Oh, yes indeed.
Have you been watching The Bible on the History channel? I haven’t watched it, but the buzz around it has been interesting to me- as was this article called Top 7 Most Surprising Moments of the Bible series so far.
And then there’s this- After Steubenville: 25 Things our sons need to know about manhood. It hurts a little but it is worth the read. It’s hard to know what to say about that whole situation, but I think Ann Voskamp pretty much gets to the point.
Catch ya next week.