Quantcast

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book-on-the-Floor Alert!

Because I'm pregnant, bending over has become harder and harder as 2017 as gone on.

May 2017

August 2017
Sometime near the beginning of the summer I had a day when I was tired of telling the kids to pick up the floor and I just did it myself (with accompanying quote from Sebastian of Disney's The Little Mermaid playing in my head: "If you want somet'ing done, you gotta do it yourself!").

While the result was a clean floor, it came along with pain and lots of crabbiness on my part.

When I realized I had overdone it, I began my campaign to get the kids to pick up after themselves more often. As every parent knows, it's not easy to raise the bar on your kids. They're like, "Whaaaat?"

via GIPHY

Over time this campaign has worked out pretty well, though, and my favorite story from it was when I told Jubilee to clean her room. She was despairing and saying it would take forever, so I said, "Don't worry, I'll help you!"

She looked at me and said, "But mom! You can't pick things up!"

Muahaha!

"Well," I said, "I'll sit with you while you work."

But here's the thing. Much of what gets left on the floor around our house is books. And those books were getting stepped on and bent up and abused and that made me sad.

So one day I gathered all the kids together and told them about our new family rule:

No Books Allowed on the Floor!

I explained about all the books that were getting damaged and worn from our bad habits, and I outlined the plan:

"Any time anyone sees a book on the floor, they should pick it up and put it on the not-floor. Preferably on one of the many, many bookshelves, but anywhere is better than the floor.

"It doesn't matter who left it on the floor or who saw it first or anything like that. We're all going to work together to keep books off of the floor."

The kids saw the sense in this and have done much better about getting books up off the floor. Are they still leaving them there in the first place? Yes. But we're getting better.

And, the best part is that somehow this new rule has translated into a family culture of shouting "Book-on-the-Floor Alert!" before picking up a book (or, in my case, pointing to a book that needs to be picked up).

It's kind of fun. It's our thing.

What rules do you have around books in your house?



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Books for a 7-Year-Old Girl

Hello Friends! A friend recently asked me on Facebook if I had any recommended reading for her daughter. I feel like it is the season! My own kids have started school and the boys, ages 7 and 9 and starting 2nd and 4th grade, have reading homework each night. 

My 9-year-old Benjamin is supposed to read for 30 min/night and my 7-year-old Levi is supposed to read for 15 min/night. What this means for us is that they have an excuse to start reading something, "for homework" and then they get glued to it and I enjoy the peace and quiet and don't stop them until they've finished the whole book. 


I snapped this photo of them reading the Lego Magazine on the kitchen floor before school,
in case they tried to convince me that they hadn't read anything yet, when bedtime rolled around. 
Bottom line: we're needing more and more books around here!

Related: They're reading too much, some days. Is this possible? I submit yes

Anyway, Lessa asked the following:

Any book recommendations for a 7 year old girl? Recent favorites have included the Ramona series and the Penderwick series. Reads comfortably to a 6-7 grade reading level.

I responded:

Yes! Have you done Sideways Stories from Wayside school yet? My 7 year old has recently LOVED them.  Also Odd Duck by Cecil Castelucci. and how about Saffy's Angel (and the series that follows) by Hilary McKay? I have heard excellent things about All-of-a-kind Family, but have not yet read it myself, if she's into the old-fashioned feel. Betsy-Tacy is also a great old-fashioned series!


And Lessa followed up:

Thank you!! We've read Betsy Tacy and enjoyed it, but I'll check out these other books for sure. And how could I have forgotten the delightful silliness of Sideways Stories from Wayside School?!

So here is a little bit more about each book I recommended for Lessa's daughter (You can click the cover images to shop or see more reviews on Amazon.):



Wayside school series by Louis Sachar -- This series has three very very silly books in it. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School is Falling Down, and Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger. They follow the kids (and wacky teachers) at an elementary school that was accidentally built as a skyscraper instead of a long, flat building. These books have been around long enough that I read them when I was in elementary school. It was a total treat to read the second one aloud with my boys, recently. They were giggling, reading ahead, and begging for one more chapter. For some reason we only owned the second book, so I gave the first book for Levi for his recent birthday.



Odd Duck by Cecil Castelucci - I picked this one because I can't resist a good graphic novel, and this one was the most Ramona-like graphic novel I could think of. I mean, Ramona is an odd duck. This book follows one odd duck as she meets another, and deals with their friendship. The art is beautiful and while some pages have panels, a lot of them are full bleed, which makes the book look a lot like a picture book. An extra long, thought provoking picture book about friendship and ducks.



Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay - I picked this one because this series is one of the best-kept secrets of middle grade fiction. The characters seem so, so real to me. That is one of the absolute charms of both The Penderwicks and Ramona books, so I thought good character development was a must. This book follows Saffron Casson as she discovers her family isn't what she thought it was. In my opinion the series just gets better and better as it goes along.



All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor - As I mentioned above, I haven't actually read this one. But I really want to, now that I've read what Amy had to say about it. I even checked it out from the library, but it was a short loan period and I maxxed out my card that time, so this one returned unread. I understand it's about a family of girls growing up in NYC in 1907. And Amy said it is the perfect book to read in November.



Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace - I picked this one because I've caught Levi re-reading it again lately. (I also caught him leaving it on the bedroom floor, in violation of the No Books on the Floor rule I instituted this summer.) I was glad to hear that Lessa and her family had read and enjoyed it already. I need to get more of the books in the series, myself. They're lovely and pleasant. They follow best friends Betsy and Tacy through their growing up years, and are based on the real-life friendship that the author cherished growing up.

What books would you recommend for a 7-year-old who reads well and loves Ramona and the Penderwicks? I'm sure the more books we can recommend here, the better. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...