I’m very lucky that my eleven-year-old daughter likes to read. Ironically, I struggle to get her to read in the summer, which seems like the natural time to take a break with a book. So I offered to accept her challenge to read some of the books she was reading.
If you’re a parent and…
…your toddler is obsessed with trains. Your kindergartener will eat nothing but macaroni. Your preteen wants to read a popular title that’s a little too scary. Tips for connecting with kids at various stages through books. Need advice? Email your situation to meredith[at]clifonline.org with “If you’re a parent and…” in the subject line.
Such excitement around the end of the school year – bring on summer! I can’t wait for slower starts to the morning, eating dinner outside, swimming/hiking/biking, and hopefully enjoying some unstructured time! The amount of things, small and large, that happen in schools between returning from April vacation and ending the year is staggering – just managing the schedules, gifts, bake sales, field trips, rehearsals/practices and performances/games in this six-week period earns parents and caregivers a summer vacation!
Middle school – how the pendulum swings between wanting independence and needing guidance and tenderness, even in terms of school work. Recently, my daughter invited me to read her fifth grade persuasive writing assignment for Humanities. Every child picked a borrower from kiva.org and argued why that person should receive a loan from the class.
As the first full week back at school (maybe not even a full week thanks to weather) finishes up, I am still trying to clean up from the holidays, to adjust to the winter schedule, and to think about the year ahead.
For me, there is nothing better than giving the perfect gift, something you know the person will love whether it is useful, hilarious, beautiful, luxurious, or reassuring [For the record, my best gift in recent memory was an underwater metal detector for my sister.].
Recently I went to a reading by my brother at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and tagged along to dinner with him and the other presenting authors. We got into a discussion of what it means to be cool – everyone had a slightly different definition but, in general, it was agreed that someone cool has a coveted confidence, style, air, and/or outlook that sets them apart from a group.
When my fourth grade daughter started thinking about her informational writing piece, a culminating writing project of sorts, she initially focused on topics about which she was knowledgeable – myths (thank you Rick Riordan), dogs, skiing. I asked her what she wanted to learn more about, and her answer was the Taliban.
My family has been spending summers in the 1000 Islands in the St. Lawrence River since I was a child. As I have aged and introduced my own daughter to island living, it has become clearer to me how this place has influenced my life decisions, sense of friendship, love of the outdoors, and appreciation of hard work and inventive problem solving.
Good news for my fourth grade daughter – for the latest semester of school, she has been appointed a member of the school’s “Awesome Reporters.” This group of students picks topics of interest to them and the student body and puts together articles with photos that are posted in school and sent to the local paper.
There is nothing like the holiday season for connecting and reconnecting us to all kinds of traditions. I wrote a review of our Christmas book collection recently, and for part two, want to share some of the books I read with my daughter about Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, with many thanks to our school and public libraries.