So if you read my post on goals, you would have seen that I want to read at least 40 books this year. I don’t have a specific list of books I want to read, nor do I want to engulf myself in school or educational texts. Yes, for the past few years I have check out close to a hundred books on homeschooling, teaching methods, and curriculum. This year, I would like to branch a little bit away from that area and read books that I find entertaining; not just solely fiction books but just not education books/manuals. Don’t get me wrong as an educator by nature and a homeschooling mom, I do find education text interesting but the last two years they dominated my free reading time.
Why Reading Is Important To Me
I have always loved reading. I can remember as a child my mom signing me up for the I Can Read book club. I loved getting my books in the mail, some of my favorites were There’s A Carrot In My Ear, Amelia Bedelia, Chicken Soup with Rice, Little Bear and Bread and Jam for Frances. Hopefully these books don’t show my age (haha, just kidding), but I hope that you have heard of some of them. I can remember sitting in my room reading book after book after book. I was an only child, (for the first 11 years of my life) and if you are an only child or have been one for a significant number of years, you know the importance of entertaining yourself. Books were entertaining, I would read to my stuffed animals while pretending I was a teacher.
When I was in the third grade, we moved to East Haven, Vermont. A very small town, with some very unique qualities. My favorite thing about this town was the school. It was a two room schoolhouse; the first room was for grades K-2, and the second room was for 3-5. The local community center was were grades 6-8 were taught. Once in high school, parents would transport their kids to the high school in Lyndonville. Yes, parents where required to provide transportation for their child/ren, no buses here!! Reading was a very big part of the day at the school, not only did we have books to read on our own, I can remember after lunch the teacher reading chapter books to us, every day. I honestly don’t remember this in any other school I attended. It definitely helped to encourage my love for reading and showed me how much fun it is to use my imagination in visualizing a book. (My favorite being The BFG by Ronald Dahl and poems written by Shel Silverstein)
Book vs. Movie
Is there anything better than reading a book and making up your own movie in your mind? I used to love reading books and then watching the movies; I thought it was fun to see who they would choose for the characters and how the scenery would be set. However, I recently read the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova and I absolutely loved the book. It was powerful and riveting. I could feel every emotion the characters in the book felt. it was unbelievable. I heard so many people talk about the movie, that after I read the book, I borrowed the DVD at the local library. Now, I know that movies don’t tend to follow the book as closely and will leave certain details out, so I was prepared for some things to be different. For some reason I have to say that I was so disappointed with this film, this was the first time I completely chose a book over a movie. I had to wonder, am I getting old? I no longer found a movie as intriguing as the book. Honestly, I didn’t even finish the film and I was so sad because I had high hopes. I felt nothing watching the characters in the movie, I felt no emotion at all.
Be An Example
I want my children to love reading as much as I did as a child. I want them to get lost in books, go on adventures, feel the emotions of characters they can only see in their minds. However, I feel the only way to do this is to set the example, to begin to read in front of them. I need to show them, that I enjoy taking free time in my day to read a book. I can remember watching my mom read books–mostly V.C Andrews, Flowers in the Attic series. But that memory sticks with me, I remember my mom enjoying books and that set the example for me. My children are young and very impressionable; we have story time before bed and we read a book here an there in the day. I am slowly starting to read chapter books out loud with Anna but sometimes her attention is limited and her focus may not lend itself to a chapter book…yet. I am working on some strategies to help her with focusing; such as taking character notes or pictures, to do this she has to listen for the clues in the book. It is nothing I have perfected yet but I am hopeful that we will find a good system. So far this year we read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, after we read the book we watched the movie. I was very impressed that Anna was able to tell me the parts in the book they left out of the movie!
So here’s to a year of reading and adventures in the mind. If you have any must read books please leave me a comment below. I would love to know what you are reading or have read. I have no list that I am following, I tend to go into the library and browse the shelves taking books with interesting titles.