Library Love: January 23, 2015

library-love-soft-light

 Library Love is a recurring post in which I share my weekly bounty from my public libraries.

 

 

So, The Boy and I have decided to move our daily Reading Time to our local library once or twice a week, just for a change of scenery and to get out of the house for a while – he tends to get cabin fever very easily. It’s gone well so far, but then we’ve only gone once at this point. It’s nice to settle in, surrounded by all those books, and that book smell, and that “hush” in the air you can only hear in a library. Speaking of books: Oooooh, y’all, am I going to get my read on this week or what?! All kinds of books that I had on the waiting list came through for me this week, and I cannot wait to get started!

As you may have noticed, I’ve been working my way through the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series. This week I’ve got the fourth book in the series, The Moor. I am loving these novels so much! The Barefoot Queen has been on hold for me for so long, I can barely remember why I wanted to read it – just that I really, really wanted to at one point in the distant past. Same goes for I’ll Give You the Sun {I’m not much of a YA gal, but I’m going to give it a go}. I’m so excited to get into The Girl on the Train – I hardly had to wait for it at all; that was pure luck on my part. The Children Act looks to be a good bet, as well. Stay tuned for next week, y’all, when we’ll have a special edition of Library Love: Junior Edition!

Happy Reading, everyone!

What are you reading this week?

 

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Read to a Dog at the Library!

healingheartdogs-logo-small  Here’s a great opportunity for Lincoln, Nebraska residents! This summer, Healing Heart Therapy Dogs will be offering 15- and 20-minute drop-in sessions for children to read aloud to a dog. This is an opportunity for children ages 6 to 12 who have experienced reading difficulties or who just need to practice their reading. No preregistration is required. Sessions will be held at two branch locations:

Gere Branch Library
2400 S. 56th Street, 402-441-8560

  • 10:30-12:00 noon on Tuesday mornings in June and July starting the week of June 4
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons – June 5, 19, July 10, 24, and August 7

Walt Branch Library (15-minute sessions)
6701 S. 14th Street, 402-441-4250

  • 1:30-2:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoons – June 15, June 29 and July 27

I can personally attest to the positive effects this program has on children. Three years ago, The Boy went through an 8-week Read to a Dog program. There were no concerns over his reading ability, but I was hoping that being around the animals (and their handlers) and reading out loud would help to build his confidence. He was going through a very hard time at school and his self-esteem had taken some pretty hard blows. The Boy loved the dog he was assigned to and it turned out that the dog’s owner worked at our vet clinic, so he felt an added connection there, as well. Reading aloud for that extra 20 minutes a week at the library did make a difference for him – it elevated his mood, it made him feel good about himself, and it made him feel good about being around other people. And let’s not forget – our kids can never read too much! I highly, highly recommend getting your children involved in this program. Woof!dogsandbooks-small

Reading With Kids: Reading Comprehension

Book Report Pic

I’ve shared many times the importance we place on reading here in the Pathologically Literate Household. And while we’ve increased Reading Time to 60 minutes daily during the summer months, I still felt like we needed to be doing more. I’ve decided we’re going to mix things up a bit with some book reports, as well as some live book discussions using guided reading questions. Oh, The Boy will be soooo disgusted pleased when I tell him about this!

There are many places online where you can find guided reading questions for specific books. For example, The Boy is currently reading The Strange Case of Oragami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. I found a list of guided reading comprehension questions for Oragami Yoda here. I was also able to find a general list of reading comprehension questions here that can apply to any book a child is reading – there is a list for fiction books and one for non-fiction books.

Another option we’re going to explore is completing some book reports. I’m not looking for anything complex, like the three to four page reports The Boy has to write at school. I’m just looking for something short and sweet to keep him thinking about the book a little bit longer, demonstrating some brief reading comprehension and perhaps sharing some informed opinions. Of course, I immediately went on the lookout for some free printable book report forms

book-report-cropped1

I really liked this colorful printable (From Life.YourWay.net)

2013-06-12 20_26_48-Book Report Templates - Fiction - Mystery - Plot - Setting _ abcteach

The site I found this form on has a virtual treasure trove of book report forms! (From abcteach.com)

It remains to be seen how The Boy will react to this new development in our Summer Reading Routine, but you can be assured that he will be hard at work! For more ideas about Reading With Kids, check out my – wait for it – Reading With Kids Pinterest Board.

Are you doing anything in particular to promote Summer Reading with your kids?

Weekly Review – Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our second full week of summer vacation has come and gone, and we’re finally starting to settle into our summer routine. The Boy has been somewhat resistant – we’re not big fans of change here at the Pathologically Literate Household – but is slowly catching on. The best part is this, though – even though I’ve already increased Reading Time to 60 minutes a day, The Boy has been enjoying the books I picked out for him so much that he’s spending extra time reading on his own! Yes! My duplicitous literary plans are finally coming to fruition! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Speaking of literary plans, I am way behind on reviews for the books I’ve been reading – I hope to catch up on that this week. In the meantime, here’s where I stand at the moment:

Books I read this week:

Book I’m currently in the middle of:

Books I reviewed this week:

Upcoming reviews for the week of June 10, 2013:

And that, my friends, is my weekly review. I hope you had a good week, and I hope the coming week is even better. The weather here has been just perfect – not too hot, and not too cool. Hope it’s the way you like it where you are, too. Happy Summer!

What did you read this week?

Our Summer Schedule

our summer schedule clock

 Source: blue2likeyou

Every summer, I promise myself that I will create a very specific routine for The Boy to follow so we can avoid chaos and eventual mutiny in the Pathologically Literate Household. And every summer, while we follow some semblance of a routine, I never quite attain the level of structure I had hoped for. This year, this year is going to be different! Failure is not an option.

I had a few requirements for the routine I was creating. One goal that was important was to train The Boy to take more responsibility for his surroundings. He’s kind of one of those kids who leaves a trail of mess in his wake no matter where he goes (kind of like his Mama). He now has to complete a Daily Chore (which changes each day), and we have instituted three daily Two-Minute Tidies. I will tell you what – the Two-Minute Tidy is a miracle. A miracle! We generate an ungodly amount of clutter in our house, but since starting this practice things now stay nice and tidy all day long. It is soooo nice. We’ve only been doing it in our main living areas so far; once it’s more of a habit we will turn it into a Ten-Minute Tidy and hit the whole house. I haven’t informed The Boy of this development yet, however. This is strictly on a need to know basis…

A second must for the routine was Reading Time, of course – since it’s summertime, I increase the time The Boy is required to read each day. Instead of one 30-minute Reading Time, we have two of them, totaling a minimum of 60 minutes of daily reading for him. Studies show that the more a child reads over the summer, the more he/she will retain what he/she learned over the past school year. Some children can lose over 70% of what they learned during the school year over the summer months if they don’t work to combat this loss.

Another part of our daily routine that we do together is meditation. The Boy has Tourette Syndrome and anxiety issues, and in the past has suffered from depression because of this. Multiple studies have shown that meditating for even just twelve minutes a day can have a hugely positive effect on depression and anxiety issues, as well as your general health and state of mind. We fit in around ten to fifteen minutes a day. We use a few different methods, and even play a couple of meditative “games” to mix things up a bit.

Anyway, I worked it all out and entered the information on a chart. Here’s a look at what I came up with; this is what we do each day:

2013-06-05 18_38_17-Tyson Summer Schedule 2.pdf - Adobe Reader

I found this nifty little free printable chore chart online at imom.com. You can download it in color or black and white, and as a customizable PDF, which is what I did. It’s helpful to have our schedule on display, and The Boy really likes being able to check off each task or activity as it’s completed – it gives him a real sense of accomplishment, which is great for his self-esteem; things like that are relevant whether a child is a tween or a toddler. So far we’ve been following this schedule for nearly a week, and it’s been going great!

Well, my friends, that was a look at our summer schedule. It’s not for everyone, but it’s good enough for most. Hopefully I gave you a few ideas for your own summer routine. Have a great summer!

Do you have a summer routine? Do you just go with the flow? Share your family’s way of handling summer vacation…

Reading Time

child_reading_book kids_who_read_succeed I used to think, for the longest time, that The Boy hated to read. Oh, he loves books, don’t get me wrong. I always make books available to him. We spend plenty of money at the school book fair, and he checks plenty of books out from the library… he just never sits down to read them. When he was younger he always loved to be read to, and there are a couple of series that he will devour the second he gets his hands on one of the books (Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid). He has some medical issues that force him to sit still for a little bit each day, and he sometimes reads then. Other than that, though… he just rarely shows an interest. This has been devastating to me, of course. As a Reader, I expected my child would be a Reader, and that we would Read together for great lengths of time, cuddling on the sofa and bonding over books. Uh, yeah. Not so much. Until. Until! My Discovery.

First, let me give you a little insight into The Boy’s personality. He is go, go, go from the moment his eyes open in the morning until he finally falls asleep at night.. He likes constant stimulation – he always has to be doing something or he goes crazy. He never stops talking. Never. Stops. Talking. I thank God when he’s got friends over here to provide some distraction. I’ve tried to train him to watch TV while staring blankly & drooling quietly, but he Won’t. Stop. Talking. He does play some video games, but even then, he wants me to watch the entire time, while he discusses every move he makes. So. Constant stimulation. Got it? OK.

About two months ago, I got very sick of (and guilty about) all of this reading that was not going on. After all, research tells us that students who read just twenty minutes a day perform better in school. I immediately set aside a thirty-minute chunk of time just before bedtime for us to read together. Separately, but together – each with our own book. I creatively named this time, “Reading Time”. To make things more appealing to The Boy, I bought him a new book to read on the Kindle app on his tablet. A new book and the novelty of reading on an electronic device like Mom – what’s not to love, right?

Yeah, right. Oh, there was whining. And moaning. And groaning. “Other moms don’t make their kids do this,” he whined. Yes! He even pulled that one out, can you believe it? Not much reading got done at first. But after a couple of days, there wasn’t so much whining. He settled down and started reading. He kept a close eye on the timer, mind you, but at least he read. And as time passed, and he moved on to other books, he stopped checking the timer so much. Until one day, when I told him our thirty minutes were up, he said: “Just five more minutes, Mom, please?” Oh! The angels sang and lights shone down from the heavens when I heard those words! Yes! We often read for up to an hour now – sometimes even longer!

See, all along The Boy enjoyed reading. He just didn’t want to slow down enough to enjoy it. Someone else needed to make that happen for him (moi). Once I put Reading Time into effect, all of the other pieces fell into place. I am fairly specific about the books I pick out for him, and I’ll share more about that in a later post. But the point is, “if you build it, they will come”. If your child is high-energy and also a reluctant reader, perhaps this is something that might help everyone get back into that reading mood.

Does your child enjoy reading? Or does he/she resist taking the time to do so?