Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Those Great How To Books!

There are so many great books to read for the sheer pleasure of reading, but often we forget about what I like to call the "How To Books". These are books that instruct us how to do some particular thing like crafts, building with Legos, gardening, and much more. Cook books are a big hit at our house because I love to cook and my daughter loves to help me. She loves to help so much that she told me when she was four, "I am a good cook mommy. I know how to make coffee (this from watching my husband), sandwiches, cereal, and salads." Now that she is seven, her expertise includes toasting bagels and English muffins. She has also helped me with many a batch of cookies, brownies, and cakes.   

As an avid collector of old cookbooks found at auctions, garage sales, thrift stores, and bargain basement rummage sales at local churches, I wondered if my Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls was still available. Much to my surprise, this 1957 classic can still be found at Amazon. I thought with summer quickly approaching I would try to involve Emily in more cooking projects. Two particular recipes that I think will be fun to try are the Ice Cream Cone Cakes (who wouldn't love one of those?) and the Good Kid Cookies which look like faces of boys and girls.

At the end of summer perhaps I'll post a pictures of our creations. Meanwhile, I would love to hear what kind of "How To Books" you and your sprouts like? 

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Little Things In Life!

Enjoying the little things in life is an important and integral part of living. If one is unable to enjoy the special little moments that happen each day, then life becomes dreary and unbearable. I am a firm believer in this and that is why I take such great pleasure when my daughter reads to me on the way to school.

This morning, on our thirty minute ride, she read two of her accelerated reading books to me. Both books she read happened to be by the legendary Mercer Mayer. The first book was titled Just Grandpa and Me. This story is about little critter and his grandpa spending the day together and shopping for a new suit.  Even though I could not see the pictures as she read from the back seat, I laughed repeatedly when little critter said things like, "I had to hold Grandpa's hand so he wouldn't get lost." As an adult I know very well that all the things little critter says he is doing for the benefit of Grandpa, really pertain to him.That is probably what makes it so funny.

The next book she read was Me Too. This book happened to be about little critter and his younger sister. Every time little critter does something, his little sister says me too. Every time little critter has something, his little sister wants it too. In the end when little sister has a candy cane of her own and little critter says, "Me too,"sister agrees and shares. It was  a wonderful story about how children often learn by the good example set for them.

As I laughed,  I thought how pleasant it was to be able to spend those joyous moments with her. Sometimes, as adults, we don't laugh as often as we should. When my daughter is grown and I am long gone, I want her memories of me to be pleasant, positive, joyous, and many! I guess that is why I work so hard at appreciating the little things in life.

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Do You Have Emerging Readers?

With school almost over for this year, I thought I would re-post something from a couple of years ago. Summer is a great time for those of you with small children on the verge of reading to work on the fundamentals, and this post just might be the place to help you get started.

My husband and I started working with our daughter since she was two. We worked on the alphabet, number recognition, drawing, writing, and numerous other subjects. Because of this, when she was barely four she told us she wanted to read. Of course this thrilled us to no end, and I immediately set out in search of a beginning reading program.

Having lived a mere five blocks from the library as a child, and having spent almost every waking moment of each summer there; I decided this was the place to start my search. So a hunting I did go. What I found was the BOB books.

BOB books are a series of books designed to gently guide children into the first stages of reading. The first few books use just a few letters to make simple words. These few simple words are then repeated on almost every page so the children become familiar and comfortable with how letters form words. Each new book adds a few new letters and sounds. The set I found at our local library also happened to have audio Cd's which could be listened to while reading.

While it took most of the summer and the first part of pre-school for her to actually get the hang of phonics, once she did, she was reading everything in sight. She read shampoo bottles while taking a bath, store fronts when we shopped, road signs when we were driving, and books from both the public library and our own collection. The BOB books definitely helped her develop the pre-reading skills she needed to get started.

She is now finishing up first grade, has tested at a fifth grade reading level, and has a great love of the written word. So if you have a child who is on the verge of reading, take it from me and check out BOB books at your nearest library or at http://www.bobbooks.com .

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!