Two Side Benefits of Raising Your Child to Love Reading

There are many benefits that accrue to children who grow up as readers. Today I want to share a couple of recent incidents that illustrate benefits for parents of raising a child who enjoys reading. 

TheGetawayFirst up, during the Thanksgiving break I had to take my daughter to both Costco and Safeway one morning. Shortly after we entered Costco we swung past the book section. She begged for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book that she hadn't read yet (The Getaway). Being a sucker for books, I agreed. She promptly climbed into the back of the cart (luckily I didn't need very much on that trip) and proceeded to read through the entire shopping expedition. She continued reading, in a different shopping cart, while we were at Safeway. Throughout both stores she only asked for ONE THING, and did not complain when I said no. Normally I try not to shop with her at all, because she's constantly asking me to purchase various items. But not that trip, when there was reading to be done. I figure that the $8 that I paid for the book probably saved me quite a bit of money. Certainly it saved me stress, while providing some extra exercise from pushing the carts.

PositivelyIzzyI repeated this experiment a few days later on a trip to the toy-filled, kid-mecca that is Target, agreeing (after some initial reluctance) to purchase a copy of Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson (companion book to Invisible Emmie, which my daughter had already read). This time, the only request she made throughout the rest of the trip was for vanilla yogurt (which was reasonable enough). 

Moral #1: if you can train your child to basically have blinders on whenever she had a new book in front of her, you can safely walk her past even the most tempting of distractions. Shopping trips will be more economical and efficient, all for the low price of one new book. 

SandWarriorThe other incident occurred on a recent Sunday afternoon. My husband and I were working on various chores around the house. My daughter asked for a playdate but the friends we tried were busy and it didn't work out. Normally, this would have produced whining, at a minimum. But in this case, she simply disappeared. We had a peaceful and productive 90 minutes before she reappeared, announcing that she had read all of the first Five Worlds book and about half of the second. She was proud of her accomplishment and happy as a clam. And I got most of my Christmas cards addressed. It was a win all around, thanks to the power of reading. 

Moral #2: if you can inspire your child to enjoy reading, and you ensure that there are always interesting books scattered strategically around your house, you will eventually be rewarded with periods of quiet time (during which no mess is generated). 

As any parent (particularly any parent of an only child) knows, these benefits are not to be sneezed at. So, if you aren't already convinced that you should nurture a love of reading in your children for their sake, do it for yourself. You'll be glad you did. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: December 7: #Hanukkah Books, #28DaysLater, #SchoolLibrarians + #RoaldDahl

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this relatively light week include #BookDonation, #BookLists, #BrownBookshelf, #Curiosity, #DiverseBooks, #GenderGap, #GiftGuides, #GrowingBookworms, #Introversion, #parenting, #play, #ReadAloud, #RoaldDahl, #SchoolLibrarians, #ScienceLiteracy, #ViewpointDiversity, #writing, communication, schools, and teaching.

Top Tweet of the Week

Charities That Give Books + Promote , a list from

See also The 2018 Bookish Charitable Giving Guide | + lots more

Book Lists + Gift Guides

AllofaKindFamilyHanukkahA from

21 Diverse Contemporary Books for Kids Ages 8-13, new from |

Some fun ideas in for Young from https://t.co/mXy539Fo0R

Events, Programs + Research

28dayslogo28 Days Later Call for Nominations | is looking for under-the-radar + vanguard Black creators to profile during

Installs Vending Machine That Dispenses Free to Kids Who Read | | Using for behavior, but at least the rewards are books

Fascinating: Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Before Truth. is important, but w/out parallel trait of "science curiosity," can lead to increased |

Harvard study: Children who start school early more likely to get diagnosis — even if they don’t have it - https://t.co/XmIxuuJz5r

Growing Bookworms

RollerGirlsThe Difference a Can Make, According to a Parent | | Nurturing + providing great books

10 Times When a Book Is a Better Gift Than a Toy | |

Introversion

As an , I so agree w/ this piece about replacing boring small talk w/ authentic discussion | 11 Questions Interesting People Always Ask to Spark Great | | via

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

The In Children's Books Is The Real Monster In The Room | via

gives her students permission to write "bad" , thus taking away the fear / pressure https://t.co/q9IaywgyDt

CharlieAndTheChocolateNetflix to adapt classics to small screen - Deal includes animated versions of Charlie + the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, BFG and lots more (up to 16 titles)

Parenting + Play

Should Parents Eat Lunch With Their Children at ? | I wouldn't. I wonder what thinks

Obvious but still good to see: "Pediatricians say that old-fashioned toys are better for small children than high-tech gadgets, says a new report" from |

Your Love is an Essential Ingredient to Your Child’s

Schools and Libraries

Authentic "Student Voice" Includes Skills via | need to teach how to use

This is very sad: Louisiana Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality. + |

This is encouraging: Learn to Put the 'Civil' in - via

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.


Literacy Milestone: Voluntarily Clarifying Vocabulary Words

LiteracyMilestoneAMy daughter and I recently started reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke together. She found a copy of Inkdeath on my bookshelf and became intrigued by the series, but she did understand that starting with the third book would be a mistake (I had listened to the first two on audio). Knowing that this would be a book that would take some time to get through, I purchased a copy. While Amazon lists the age range for Inkheart as eight to twelve, she gave the first chapter a try on her own and found the storyline and vocabulary a bit too complex to read on her own. So I started reading the book aloud to her instead. 

InkheartAs we read, we've been doing what her teacher calls "clarifying" in terms of the vocabulary, where she stops when she gets to an unfamiliar word, looks it up, and writes the definition on a post-it that remains in the book. Because we are reading together and this isn't for school I mostly just tell her the definitions and she writes them down. I don't have the patience to wait for her to look up the words herself. Funke uses a very rich vocabulary, and there are many words to look up. 

I have mixed feelings about doing this formal clarifying with an advanced read-aloud (vs. my just defining the most key words in passing as I go along, which is how we have handled previous books). Pages 6-7 of Inkheart required eight post-it notes between them, and we haven't gotten past Chapter 1. This definitely breaks the flow of the story.

On the other hand, my daughter is currently entranced and entertained by the process.  She was also very excited when I happened to use one of the words (sparse) in conversation and she recognized it from the book. She's dying to show her teacher our post-it-festooned copy.

What I really think is that doing this formal clarifying during read-aloud is fine as long as the novelty of it remains fun for her. Heck, I used to read the dictionary as a kid - I get having an interest in words. However, once we get further into the book (if we get further into the book right now), stopping frequently to write down definitions is going to become frustrating. 

Appreciating words for their own sake is a step on the path towards becoming a literate adult.  I remember, with a slight wince, a story that I wrote in junior high, and read aloud to my English class, that was chock-full of obscure vocabulary words. In my daughter's case, I think at least part of her interest in clarifying has to do with how much she looks up to her teacher. This is a further validation that we are fortunate in her classroom placement. 

Did your kids have a word-definition phase? 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 30: #ReadingAloud, Teaching #Writing + Encouraging #Play

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. Topics in this edition include #BookLists, #Bookstores, #drawing, #Giftedness, #grading, #GrowingBookworms, #introversion, #memory, #parenting, #PersonalizedLearning, #play, #reading, #STEM, #StudentChoice, blogging, libraries, schools, and writing.

Top Tweet of the Week

This is simply depressing, and the exact opposite of what I think should be about (kids playing w/ as little parental intervention as possible, so they can practice negotiating, etc. (and have fun!) [My response/RT to Parents article about how parents should supervise heavily during playdates + responses from @FreeRangKids and @JonHaidt]

Book Lists

ChristmasQuietBookTimeless Children's You Will Read Year After Year, from

Proven Books for a 13 year old boy: Teen-tested Top Favorites from

Events, Programs + Research

Update on Online Book Fair for Ballou HS & Charles Hart MS in DC from

The act of something has a “massive” benefit for compared with writing it down –

New Meta-Analysis Finds That Improves Our “Social Ability” | | While benefits shown in study were small, cumulative effects may be larger over time

The number of public students could fall by more than 8% in a decade due to declining births + immigration - reports https://t.co/GCVJb8gQpx

Another research paper reports that Black Improve Outcomes for Black Students | via

Teens' Habits and Experiences | New survey of U.S. teens finds that many young people acknowledge the unique challenges – and benefits – of growing up in the digital age https://t.co/u5XEMTeHEK

Growing Bookworms

EscapeFromLemoncello5 Reasons Why w/ Older Kids Is the Absolute Best | | I agree. Reading w/ my daughter has been a great joy!

How to Encourage a Love of Books and in | |

shares how she learned to love and value via

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PassionateReadersOn : "in our eagerness to make sure that students can write well, are we extinguishing their very urge to write?" asks | Not my daughter's teacher. She strives to inspire, too.

'I felt terrible': why are blamed when their child doesn't learn to read just from parent . Some kids need more explicit instruction, especially those w/ difficulties

Small are booming after nearly being wiped out -

For , "sharing our work and our reflections in a public space (by ) is one of the best ways to express for others" says https://t.co/F5jej9rEmC

This post from w/ 70+ places to publish + is the Most Important Resource You’ll Find This Month says https://t.co/vzvc6Bz0SU

Parenting + Play

ImportanceOfBeingLittle5 Tips for Raising Children With Active Imaginations by | | Ask open-ended questions + encourage "simple-but-complex"

in is Efficient b/c kids develop multiple skills at once |

Your child is identified as ! Now what? Tips for next steps, liking learning about local resources, from

Kind of sad that this needed, but still a fun idea: Host a MeetUp: Chat While Kids Go Off and ! -

Our brains benefit from . Here’s why, and how parents can help get plenty of it.

Schools and Libraries

Breaking the age barrier in K12 | Combining multiple grades in one classroom improves + , says article in https://t.co/p7U1kxoKCS

Where Will Lead responds to recent article

ArtOfScreenTimeThe Future Of ? Well, It's Personal : takes a detailed look at 2 approaches to , from plusses to developing backlash

What Giving Students Choice Looks Like in the Classroom | | 11 ways that can offer in

A Report on Reports + the difference that it can make when a responds to the specific needs of a young |

Why Matters to | It builds ownership + lots more |

A Strategy That Puts the Focus on From |

This post from made me smile: An Exhaustive List of My Pathetic Injuries | Ah, the challenging life of the elementary

FourTendenciesWhy the is a Rebel’s Best Friend by |

Reflection on from LBurkins | "My classroom library was built and will be curated from the vast identities of children who have entered through the doors of our classroom."

As an undergrad major, I appreciated this post by about a spectacular new in China, profiled in a CE magazine

Where in the world are most respected? Not in the U.S., a new survey shows, but in China + Malaysia they are seen on par w/ doctors. https://t.co/aZbt1mC7oO

STEM

CA take on with the help of college students | |

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 28: Reading Logs, Time Management and Thanksgiving Break

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have one picture book reviewtwo literacy milestones (appreciating biographies and identifying the elements of a good book). I also have a post about reading logs. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of reading- and education-related news. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished seven adult titles (plus a significant number of picture books). I read/listened to: 

  • Ben Sasse: Them: Why We Hate Each Other--And How To Heal. St. Martin's Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed October 31, 2018, personal copy. This is a well-written book about the decline in real-world community that has resulted from so many people moving about for their jobs, and living places temporarily. I read this as part of my quest to understand the divisiveness in our political discourse in the country. 
  • Nir Eyal: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2018, on Kindle. I read this mainly for work, but it did have some insights about what makes things addictive that are relevant to my day to day life, too. This book furthered my interest in reducing the time that I, and my daughter, spend on screens. 
  • MakeTimeJake Knapp and John Zeratsky: Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 11, 2018, personal copy. This is a quick, tip-based read more about prioritizing time than managing it. The basic idea is that every day you should have one "highlight" that you focus on for an hour or two, so that at the end of the day you have something real that you can say you accomplished (instead of just spending all day responding to email or whatever). I read this book, with two of the other titles below, as part of some soul-searching that I'm doing about how I spend my time. Some changes to the blog will be coming, once I get it all processed. 
  • Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Currency. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 13, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that if you put in small amounts of effort in lots of different directions you will never accomplish very much in any of them. But if you focus your best efforts on one thing, you can make a big impact. 
  • WreckageEmily Bleeker: Wreckage. Lake Union Publishing. Adult Fiction. Completed November 18, 2018, on Kindle. This was a page-turner about a woman stranded on a desert island after a plane crash that I read in a single day. It's not very realistic, but it was just the ticket to keep me reading. 
  • Margaret Mizushima: Burning Ridge: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 24, 2018, on MP3. This is the latest installment of a series that I enjoy, and helped pull me back into listening more to audiobooks again. 
  • Cal Newport: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 24, 2018, on Kindle. The idea of this book is that in today's world, full of digital distractions (texts, emails, etc.) we spend most of our time doing "shallow work". However, if we can re-train our brains for deeper work, this can have a significant impact on our productivity (and our brains). I do think that the author is right, and this is something that I'm working on. 

GameChangerI'm currently reading Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp in print, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf on Kindle, and Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly on MP3. I'm enjoying Game Changer very much, and am bound to write about it at some point. I do wonder why Amazon sent it with a signature required (have people been stealing this book?), but it's good stuff.  

My daughter and I started reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke together. It's a bit advanced for her, and has been slow going, but she is definitely intrigued. I'm working on a separate post about our experience with that, so stay tuned. We have been alternating reading Inkheart and continuing to read picture books together. We read a number of Thanksgiving-related books this month. We also both quite liked Drew Daywalt's latest (with David Spencer), The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick

CobaltPrinceIn terms of her own reading, she mostly read graphic novels and notebook novels over the recent Thanksgiving break. She particularly enjoy the first two books in the Five Worlds series, The Sand Warrior and The Cobalt Prince, and is saddened that the next is not yet available. We had had these books in the house for a while - not sure what made this the right time for her to read them. She's also dipping into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but taking it pretty slowly. I mostly try to just stay out of the way and let her read what she likes. This is working for us so far. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! Hope that all of my US readers had a lovely Thanksgiving. 

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook