Growing Bookworms Newsletter: Catch-Up Edition

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will (finally) 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, especially bookworms.

The newsletter is normally sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. However, during the COVID-19 lockdown I've found my time for blogging to be severely limited. I always work full-time from home (in a job unrelated to the blog), but doing that with my 10-year-old daughter here has been more challenging. Now that she's done with  distance learning for 4th grade, I find myself with a bit more time for blogging. I'm not sure what my motivation level will be going forward, but I'm here today. I hope that all of you where are reading this are safe and well and finding plenty to read during your unprecedented time at home. 

ReturnToGoneAwayNewsletter Update: I'll be including one post rounding up my Twitter links for the past month or so. You can find others on my blog if you are so inclined. I also have a Bookworm Moments post about a book-inspired declaration that I am the best mommy in the world, and a post about the joy of re-reading a favorite childhood book series. I had only one other post since the last newsletter (besides the links), about home learning in the very early stages of the shutdown. I find it's a bit dated, so I'm not including it in the newsletter. 

Reading Update: I wasn't reading much early on in the shutdown. I had trouble concentrating (as others reported), and had no appetite for things that were bleak. While my concentration has improved, my reading preference has leaned toward lighter fare. Lately I've been re-reading some old favorites, and I expect that to continue. Overall I read eight middle grade and 14 adult books. I read/listened to: 

LemoncelloI read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library aloud to my daughter early on during the lockdown, and also read aloud one of the books that she was assigned for school. It turned out that reading about the San Francisco earthquake during a time of personal anxiety was a challenge. The only way I could get her to read The Earth Dragon Awakes was to read it to her. We also read the newly published book in the My Life series, My Life as a Coder. I tried to read How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin to her. It was a book that I had really enjoyed a few years earlier (my review was even blurbed in the paperback copy), but we ended up stopping half-way through as she lost interest. I also tried to read Gone-Away Lake aloud to her, but (sigh) she wasn't interested. We are currently between reads together, but I'm sure we'll find another one soon. My husband just started reading her The Hobbit, and I hope that one takes. 

DonutOn her own she's been reading and re-reading the Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer, the Candymakers books by Wendy Mass, and a variety of  Scholastic Wish novels, mostly the ones by Suzanne Nelson. She continues to re-read graphic and notebook novels, mostly while she's doing something else (eating, riding in the car, etc.). She's in need of her next big series, but hasn't found it yet, despite my best efforts. She misses being able to browse in her school library and pick things out for herself. The stacks of books that I hopefully pull from the stacks for her lie mostly unread. That's reading choice for you! I'm sure she'll find her next thing soon. I've been very grateful during this time that she enjoys reading. You can find her list of reads for the year here

That's all I have time for today. I wish you all well and hope to be back soon. Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: June 19: Catching Up on the Past Month

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from links that I shared on Twitter over the past month @JensBookPage. Although blogging got away from me over these past two months, I did continue sharing links as I found them on Twitter. Fewer than before (I pruned my blogroll significantly due to time constraints), but still lots of good stuff. 

Below you'll find articles on #AchievementGap, #AntiRacism, #BookLists, #ClassroomLibraries, #Coding, #DistanceLearning, #EdTech, #EducationalEquity, #HigherEd, #Introversion, #JoyOfReading, #Lockdowns, #MentalHealth, #Play, #RemoteLearning, #ScreenTime, #Statistics, #SummerReading, and #writing. I went back about a month - beyond that things started to feel a bit dated. I hope that some of these links are still of interest. Happy reading and happy weekend!

Top Tweet of the Month

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During #RemoteLearning? | @NoraFleming1 @edutopia | A sub-set of kids are benefiting from more sleep, less distraction, self-pacing, etc.  (This one had far, far and away the most engagement of anything that I shared over the past two months.)

Book Lists 

13 #ChapterBooks To Tickle Funny Bones | #SummerReading 2020 #BookList from @sljournal | As found in the @Scholastic #KFRR, kids love #FunnyBooks. Nurture #JoyOfReading when you can.

12 Books All About #TreeHouses – Perfect #SummerReading #BookList from #Literacious

Here are the 2020 #EisnerAward Nominees! — @GoodComics4Kids @sljournal #comics #GraphicNovels #kidlit

For anyone who might need them: 15 Children's Titles About Grief – #BookList from @literacious #MGLit #PictureBooks

Anti-Racism Resources

#Antiracist Resources and Reads: Lists for All Ages — @fuseeight #Kidlit #BookLists, various links + @brownbookshelf Rally for Black Lives today on Facebook Live

Taking Stock and Taking Action to Educate Ourselves + Design #AntiRacist Curriculum | Another great, timely roundup of resources for teachers from @kegancunningham @clssrmbkshlf

Just Read This: #Literacy + #Reading News, May 2020 @TheReadingTub focuses on how books can help kids understand #AntiRacism + #SocialJustice | includes sample questions for parents to spark discussion + links to #kidlit #BookLists

Events, Programs + Research

RT @TheReadingTub: “Children need to laugh, too, and to feel free to read whatever.” ~ Jacqueline Wilson, former British Children's Laureate. 2020 #SummerReadingChallenge theme: focus on funny books.

Katherine Paterson shares a free short story and #SummerReading guide for kids - The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance

J.K. Rowling Introduces #TheIckabog (a free online serialization of a children's book she wrote as a #ReadAloud for her younger kids) | @jk_rowling | My favorite part is that she's asking kids to submit illustrations for the print version

Beloved San Jose children's bookstore @Hicklebees fighting for survival, launches funding effort | I met @RickRiordan + @Jon_Scieszka both here, in small group settings, back in the day + will be donating to the cause.

This is neat. The @uscensusbureau #StatisticsInSchools program uses #census data to create free learning resources. This page has #DistanceLearning activities for kids of all ages:

I missed this news when it came out last month: James Patterson Pledges $2.5 Million in Grants to #Teachers for #ClassroomLibraries | @sljournal via @ProfessorNana @JP_Books @Scholastic #PattersonPledge


College Inc. Faces a Sticker-Price Reckoning @Spencerjakab @WSJ #HigherEd | #Coronavirus + #DistanceLearning -> problems for "traditional schools because of their huge fixed costs" + business model

This resonated for me: On Realising One Might Be an #Introvert @TheSchoolOfLife via @susancain  "We adore staying home... with some books"

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

The Upside of #Lockdowns: Finally Time to Read ‘War and Peace’ @JAVerlaine @WSJ | Not quite the same, but my husband and daughter are #reading #TheHobbit together

#Teaching for Collective Well-Being as Summer Approaches @kegancunningham + @KavitaTanna @clssrmbkshlf #JoyOfReading #Gratitude #Writing + more

Could #COVID19 Mark the End of the Physical #Galley? — Interesting question for book reviewers from @FuseEight | #PictureBook #eGalleys are particularly painful.

I can relate this post from @literacious | Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I Love #KidLit | I especially like "My people"

Useful reminder + tips for content creators (writers, illustrators, etc.): “Pay Me” is not an offensive term @dawnafinch @AwfullyBigBlog

Parenting, Screen Time, Play = Mental Health

You Don’t Have To Be #ScreenFree To Be Successful as a family this summer, says @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU | Me, I'm working towards my daughter spending less time on screens, but none would be unrealistic

The Toll That Isolation Takes on Kids During the #Coronavirus Era. Playing with peers has important developmental benefits + doctors worry that kids are missing out @andreaapetersen @WSJ #MentalHealth #Play

Save Your Kids From Covid’s Digital Deluge - @ArlenePellicane @WSJopinion | In my house the #lockdown induced #ScreenTime bounty has to go. My 10 y.o. is showing signs of addiction (irritability, etc.)

#Reading Before Kindergarten- Is It Really Necessary? – @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU says it's not bad, per se, but only if kids lead the way. Pushing kids to learn to read too early can destroy #LoveOfReading

Schools, Libraries + Distance Learning

In the News: The #Coronavirus Has Made It Obvious. Teenagers Should Start School Later. @EducationNext @nytimes | #Schools #SleepHabits

The Results Are In for #RemoteLearning: It Didn’t Work, say many students, teachers, parents + administrators @Tawnell + Lee Hawkins @WSJ | #LearningGaps, #Inequity + absenteeism among problems discussed

Only 1 in 5 #K12 Schools Offered 'Rigorous' #RemoteLearning, @AEI Study Says - @MarkALieberman @EdWeekEdTech | Disparity worst in high-poverty + low-achievement districts | #EdTech challenges a factor

Survey by @educationweek finds 65% Educators Want #Schools to Stay Closed to Slow Spread of #COVID19, even as 82% of teachers think they're more effective working in a school vs. #DistanceLearning

Interest grows in mastery-based #learning during pandemic, though evidence remains thin - @matt_barnum @Chalkbeat

#SummerReading and Learning for Teachers by @ClareLandrigan & @pennykittle @nerdybookclub | The #BookLove Foundation will focus this online #BookClub on #GraciesList, honoring @AS_King's daughter

Stay-at-Home School Idea: @TheReadingTub suggests DIY Virtual #Yearbooks to capture + share this unique year | #literacy #DistanceLearning

#AchievementGaps Increase The Longer Kids Stay In School, says @natwexler @Forbes | Recent data on #SummerLearningLoss differs from older studies, finds gaps growing during the school year

Depressing but important: The Pandemic Sent 1.5 Billion Children Home From #School. Many Might Not Return. US + European authorities try to stop kids from #DroppingOut permanently @WSJ #EducationalEquity


Encouraging More Girls (and Boys) to Explore Engineering, Technology and #Coding @TrevorHCairney #STEM #GirlsWhoCode #GenderGaps

Studio Spaces: #Art as a Way of Seeing, Feeling, and Sense-Making: Teaching Ideas for the Virtual Exhibit at the @carlemuseum @ErikaDawes @clssrmbkshlf @sljournal #CarleArtInPlace

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

The Gift of a Love of Books: Revisiting Gone-Away

GoneAwayIn these conflict-ridden times, a love of books is a gift. If you have a book that you love, no matter what happens in your regular life, you can always go back to visit. You just have to open up the book. Here are a few places I continue to visit every so often:

  • Gone-Away Lake (and Villa Caprice)
  • The Four-Story Mistake
  • Pemberley
  • Dunnian (and the town of Ryddleton)
  • Hogwarts
  • The Velvet Room
  • Green Sky

I own most of these books in multiple formats. Just in case.

There are other places I haven't visited in a while, but I still like knowing they're there:

  • Kirrin Island
  • The Secret Garden
  • Sara Crewe's attic room, post-transformation
  • The Little House in the Big Woods
  • Maida's little house, shop, and village

This week I visited Gone-Away Lake, sitting outside in stolen summer moments to re-read both books. I'm happy to report that Gone-Away is still there, still the same, and still wonderful. I took my time with both books, because reading them made me so happy. Even though I knew word for word how the second book would end, I still cried a little bit. In a good way. 

My daughter asked me how many times I had read the books, and I couldn't even tell her. Many, many times, over the past 40 years or so. I tried to read Gone-Away Lake aloud to her, but it wasn't to her taste. That's fine. She's been re-reading several Wish books by Suzanne Nelson and the two Candymakers books by Wendy Mass. Perhaps 40 years from now she'll pull them out and jump back into her own childhood. 

This is a perhaps unappreciated benefit of growing bookworms. If you raise your child to love books, some day long into the future, he or she will have beloved places to visit, too. The love of books is truly a gift that lasts a lifetime. I'm more grateful than I can say to the people who nurtured that gift in me. 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: April 29: #HomeLearning, Online Resources, Virtual Field Trips + More

TwitterLinksI hope this post finds you all safe and well. I'm doing fine here. However, I haven't been blogging very much lately, as I balance work and family responsibilities. I have continued to read a few newsletters and blog posts, and I've been  sharing links that I think are useful as I find them. Here are highlights from my twitter @JensBookPage.

Topics include #BookLists, #conversation, #DistanceLearning, #HarryPotter, #HomeLearning, #Homeschooling, #IdeologicalDiversity, #JoyOfReading, #MentalHealth, #MTHAdventures, #OutdoorPlay, #Podcasts, #ReadAloud, #RemoteLearning, #SocialIsolation, #StorySeeds, #VirtualFieldTrip, #writing, events, parenting, reading, and research. 

Stay safe and keep reading, my friends!

Book Lists, Podcasts + Online Resources

#PictureBooks About Libraries - This #BookList from @housefullbkwrms has some of our family faves

Some appealing-looking titles here: #PictureBook Roundup #4 from @abbylibrarian #BookList

Here's an escapist #BookList that might appeal right now: #YALit Adaptations of Jane Austen Novels @momandkiddo

7 #Podcasts for Stir-Crazy Kids - @emmdib @nytimes | Topics range from #science to #meditation to #BookClub

I've written about the fun new #StorySeeds #Podcast for Kids before. Now, learn all about it from host @FuseEight inc. new downloadable activity eZines @LitSafariMedia @DanGutmanBooks

This is neat! Julie Andrews’ New #Reading #Podcast Means Mary Poppins Is Leading #StoryTime - @PureWow via @TheReadingTub

This sounds fun: new #MagicTreeHouse Home Adventures from @randomhousekids + @MaryPopeOsborne is a virtual program to educate + entertain kids at home w/ videos, activities, crafts + games #MTHAdventures

This Open #BoardBook by @lorieanngrover is super-cute. It's about what preschoolers can do during #Covid19. See Color Sketches here:

Events, Programs + Research

It’s Time for a #VirtualFieldTrip to the #EverywhereBookFest! by Anna E. Jordan | @nerdybookclub | Online speakers + panels will feature tons of diverse #kidlit authors + illustrators on May 1-2

Links to #COVID19 Financial Aid For Writers And Artists from @gail_gauthier, who highlights two of special interest to children's authors + illustrators #writing #kidlit #EmergencyGrants

My daughter and I donated this week to the @Hicklebees Children's Bookstore & @SCCOE Keep Kids #Reading #BookDrive, which is putting books into hands of students in need during #covid19

Study finds male teens scored much higher than females on self-assessed intelligence, narcissism, extraversion + life satisfaction. But "there was no gender difference in objective intelligence." @ResearchDigest

This is useful, I think. The Right Way to Talk across Divides - research on improving conversational receptiveness + reducing #polarization @sciam @francescagino #IdeologicalDiversity

On Reading + Writing

Bringing Harold Home: The Transformative Magic of #ReadingAloud by @karalareau @nerdybookclub | w/ #BookList of favorites + discussion of ideal #ReadAloud characteristics

Reading Joy in the Time of #Coronavirus | | @donalynbooks @sljournal has some tips for getting out of a reading funk + recapturing #JoyOfReading

Why #HarryPotter Is the Ideal Quarantine Read - @anna_russell @WSJ | #ComfortReads #kidlit

Could #DrSeuss Help us Deal with the #Coronavirus asks @TrevorHCairney | What other books help kids deal w/ challenging time while growing as people?

This is useful: Steps of Teaching Young #Writers to Paraphrase @thisreadingmama | I'm working on just summarizing w/ my 10 y.o. right now, which is similar

Pursuing Meaningful, Authentic, Student-Centered #Writing During Precarious Times | Nice roundup of resources and ideas @clssrmbkshlf #DistanceLearning

Parenting, Home Learning + Play

One family on why they opted against #RemoteLearning during #Coronavirus | @indyfromspace @TIME | #OutdoorPlay #IndependentLearning

This doesn't surprise me: Why some kids are happier right now @CNN | Time to slow down, more free #play, less structure, more parental attention

Don't turn your home into school ... the #Lego professor of #play on #LockdownLearning for younger kids @DonnaLFerguson @GuardianEdu

Terry @TheReadingTub has a Stay-at-Home School Idea: Driveway Games | She recaps some classics and adds curriculum fits and book suggestions | #HomeLearning #play

Stay-at-Home School Idea from @TheReadingTub : Let’s Play in the Dirt! | Curriculum fit ideas and a #BookList

A reminder from @thisreadingmama that what parents are doing now is different from non-quarantine #Homeschooling in essential ways, and that the real thing in normal times has advantages not evident now

How Will #SocialIsolation During #COVID19 Affect Our Kids? - @hechingerreport @MindShiftKQED | There's little research on impact of taking kids away from peers + teachers, it's an experiment in progress

How Parents Can Help Their Kids While Managing #DistanceLearning - @LindaFlanagan2 @MindShiftKQED | “This isn’t just a ‘Mom’s’ job", keep it low-key + other reminders

I like this suggestion from @momandkiddo | Making and Keeping a Hobby Book | My daughter's would be about LEGO | #parenting #HomeLearning

This may resonate, my zoomed-out fellow introverts: An introvert's plea: Let me socially distance in peace - @CNN #coronavirus

Schools + Libraries

Midday Yoga, The “Mute” Button, Easier Differentiation + more sleep for teens: Silver linings from one teacher regarding #DistanceLearning - @EducationNext (Yes, she notes negatives, too)

Connecting Kids to Digital Books While #Library Buildings are Closed - @abbylibrarian at #ALSCBlog #eBooks

Students will go back to school eventually. Here are 5 concrete ideas for helping them catch up, readjust @matt_barnum @kalynbelsha @Chalkbeat | #Schools #coronavirus

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

#BookwormMoments: The Best (Bookworm) Mommy in the World

SmileMy daughter ran across a brand new copy of Raina Telgemeier's Smile that I had stashed on a shelf where I keep potential gifts. (You never know when  you might need a solid graphic novel for a short-notice birthday gift.) Here's the conversation that followed:

Daughter: "Can I read it?"

Me: "You already have a copy of Smile."

Daughter: "PLEASE!? I don't know where my copy is."

Me: "Fine. Go ahead."

Daughter: "You're the best mommy in the world."

Me: "That's true." (Best bookworm mommy she'll ever have anyway)

I haven't been very motivated to blog of late, but thought that readers might enjoy this small window into our coronavirus quarantine. Thanks for reading and for growing bookworms! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: April 14: Resources and Reflections on #DistanceLearning + Shelter in Place

TwitterLinksI hope that you're all safe and well and finding some silver linings in all of this coronavirus shelter-in-place craziness. I've been having trouble sticking to my regular schedule for these roundup, as I juggle my work and having my daughter at home full-time. Nevertheless, here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter recently @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookWeek2020AtHome, #coronavirus, #DistanceLearning, #EducationalEquity, #OnlineLearning, #Play, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, #SocialDistancing, parenting, reading, and teaching. I hope you find something useful here. Stay safe, my friends!

Distance Learning

How #Teachers Are Coping With Coronavirus #SchoolClosures @NPRCoryTurner @ElissaNadworny + Diane Adame shares common themes from talking w/ educators re #DistanceLearning

How Online Book #ReadAlouds Can Help Students' Literacy and Connection During Social Distancing - @HKorbey @MindShiftKQED @pernilleripp #JimTrelease @dollyslibrary + more

This Online/Pandemic Learning Journey (so far....) | How teacher @frankisibberson is finding ways to listen to and connect w/ her students in this time of #OnlineLearning

Sigh. 4 In 10 U.S. Teens Say They Haven't Done #OnlineLearning Since Schools Closed - @MindShiftKQED

Books as a Site for Connection and Comfort during #Coronavirus @ErikaDawes @clssrmbkshlf share ideas, structures, and resources related to #ReadingTogether for #teachers

How Will the #Coronavirus Crisis Affect Children’s Learning? Unequally. @PaulvonHippel @EducationNext predicts growth in score gaps based on #EducationalInequity

Events, Programs + Research

2020 Children’s Book Week May 4-10 Moves to New Online Format Amid Pandemic #BookWeek2020atHome @PublishersWkly

The #Loneliness of the "Social Distancer" Triggers Brain Cravings Akin to Hunger - @LydiaDenworth @sciam describes results of a fortuitously timed study #SocialDistancing

The Stubborn Myth of #LearningStyles - State teacher-license prep materials peddle a debunked theory @EducationNext

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

My New State of #Reading@pernilleripp enumerates the reasons she has been unable to escape into reading during #coronavirus quarantine. I can relate to nearly all of them. Wishing her well

#Coronavirus Has Turned Children’s Workbooks Into Bestsellers - @JeffreyT1 @WSJ | Not surprising. My daughter dug out a @Scholastic 4th grade workbook that I had purchased last summer

Parenting + Play

Lower Your Expectations + Other #Parenting Advice For The Era Of COVID-19 | @COPublicRadio via @MindShiftKQED | Includes advice on dealing w/ your own or your kids' #anxiety | "remember fun is the antidote to fear"

#Coronavirus Tag + Other Games Kids Play in a Pandemic - #Play is children’s language, so parents shouldn’t be concerned w/ this @TheAtlantic via @MindShiftKQED

Agree w/ @laurenweberWSJ | My New Office Is a Bunk Bed (or How I’m Now Juggling Work and Family) "The fragile... structure that had made my hectic life workable has now collapsed. Now I’m a stay-at-home mother and a work-from-home mother at the same time"

Put Down the Phone: 100 (Nonscreen) Activities to Occupy Your Kids in Quarantine - Lots of good stuff here, but you unfortunately need to create a free @WSJ account to view it #ScreenFree #play

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter: April 4: Advice for Teachers + Parents for Managing Coronavirus Distance Learning

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #ALMA2020, #BookLists, #Homeschooling, #LoveOfReading, #NationalPoetryMonth, #OnlineResources, #RemoteLearning, #Resilience, #SmallBusiness, #TomieDePaola, parenting, and writing. 

Top Tweet of the Week

A perspective: #RemoteLearning is turning out to be a burden for parents "This should be a time of baking banana bread and listening to mildly educational podcasts. This shouldn’t be a time of overscheduling" @karol

Online Resource Collections + Advice for Teachers

'One big virtual love-in': how children's book authors are creating online sanctuaries @guardian via @tashrow #RemoteLearning #kidlit

Resources for coping w/ stress, managing #OnlineLearning + shopping while stuck home – @larrymagid

Ideas for Celebrating #NationalPoetryMonth From Home from Katie Cunningham @clssrmbkshlf @sljournal | #Poetry #Homeschool

Just Read This – March 2020 #COVID-19 edition | @TheReadingTub has retooled their monthly #literacy roundup into "a bookmark-worthy collection learning-at-home resources" | Lots of great stuff for #Homeschooling

#DistanceLearning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers | @cultofpedagogy #OnlineLearning #teaching #COVID-19

#Coronavirus / COVID-19 - 4 Free #Writing Resources for Stay at Home Parents, Kids & Writers @Write4Kids

Combating #SocialIsolation When Using #RemoteLearning | @Catlin_Tucker | Help students feel less alone + get them more engaged in #learning

3 Ways to Use #VideoConferencing with Students for #RemoteLearning | @Catlin_Tucker | Small group instruction, discussion + conferencing | #teaching

14 Crowdsourced Tips For Helping Students With Limited Internet Have #DistanceLearning - @MindShiftKQED #EducationalEquity

The New Normal… | @smithsmm argues that educators should focus on supporting families to find a home balance, vs. pushing everyone for full-time at home education #RemoteLearning

Advice/Perspectives on Homeschooling for Parents

Crisis Homeschooling | Great advice from @semicolonblog "you DON’T have to do all the work the public school is sending you for your child to complete" | Spend time doing things that enrich your kids, like reading + art + play

Comic: How To #HomeSchool During The #Coronavirus #SchoolClosures : @theLAJohnson @anya1anya @NPR | Don't force it if it's going to cause severe emotional distress + other advice

Ideas for 'Doing' School at Home During the #Covid-19 Virus from @TrevorHCairney | See especially "Tension Breakers" section, w/ suggestions for "Sure Fire Mimes" | #Charades #Homeschool

Look For The Rainbows: A Few Positives Of #COVID-19 from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU | I've been calling them #SilverLinings but it's the same idea. They are out there.

Other Bookish Links

#TopTenTuesday: 10 Signs You're a #BookLover @literacious | I can claim 7 of these, how about you? My fave is the one about mispronouncing words | #LoveOfReading

Best Children's Books about #Resilience for Ages 4-12 | #BookList from @momandkiddo | #PictureBooks + #MGLit

A Nicer Guy You Couldn’t Hope to Meet: Saying Goodbye to Thomas Anthony “Tomie” dePaola — @FuseEight | May he rest in peace | #kidlit #PictureBooks

A Small Way to Support #IndieBookstores during #Coronavirus | @StaceyLoscalzo suggests changing your Audible membership to @librofm | #SmallBusinesses

South Korean author-illustrator Baek Heena @heenastory Wins 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award #ALMA2020 @AlmaAward #kidlit

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

How We Are Managing Home Learning (or not) during the Coronavirus Quarantine

LandOfStoriesWorldsI hope that you are all safe and healthy and managing coronavirus quarantines reasonably well. My sense this week is that the outpouring of online resources to help families keep kids learning has peaked (though many wonderful teachers, authors, and illustrators are continuing to produce and share wonderful resources - I'll have a link roundup tomorrow). I'm seeing a bit of a backlash among parents, who are finding that working from home and managing requirements for kids' distance learning is a challenge, to say the least.

My daughter doesn't have schoolwork formally required yet (or so she tells me), while her district works out some device and internet access issues. Her routine starts with sleeping late and reading in bed for a couple of hours before eating what's become brunch. She then spends the daytime hours, while my husband and  I are working, doing a mix of Minecraft, LEGO building, writing, drawing, iReady (a learning app that her school was already using), and Zoom sessions with friends (including some online Monopoly).

She's been typing away at an old electric typewriter, her current preferred tool for writing, and she is dabbling in a 4th grade workbook from Scholastic that I purchased last summer. She's consumed by Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series, and I have a couple of spin-offs on order (no, I still haven't given in to having her read on a device - she likes print, and I like it for her, too).  I'm also reading a couple of different books aloud to her, one of which we are discussing with friends via Zoom book club. 

My view is that all of this is more than fine for now, as we adjust to this new reality. Yes, at some point she's going to need more formal learning. But right now, spending her mornings immersed in a land of stories feels right to me. Of course every family should be able to figure out what's right for them in this difficult time. I wish you all well with the challenge! 

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 28: #Podcasts, #HomeLearning Resources + Sustaining the #JoyOfReading

TwitterLinksI'm a day late on this post because I've been surprisingly busy, for someone confined to home with no outside social activities or trips. I'm still working, and grateful that a) my work is from home and b) my company still has business. But juggling that with keeping my daughter occupied has been keeping me occupied during the week.

I'm glad that she likes to read, that's for sure. She re-read the second Candymakers book by Wendy Mass (see this post for details about her first read), and that kept her busy for a couple of days. Apart from that she is doing a small amount of online work for school, doing virtual chats and games with friends, and playing endlessly with LEGO. This is a tough time to be an only child, but to be an only child who reads, in a house full of books, is a blessing. We are, when I can find the time, working on organizing said books. Hopefully I'll have time to write more about our journey soon. 

Meanwhile, here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookADay, #Homeschool, #LoveOfReading, #OnlineLearning, #Podcasts, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #Resilience, #SchoolLibraries, #ScienceOfReading, #STEAM, parenting, writing.

I hope that all of you are safe and healthy and managing as well as you can  in all of this. I remain deeply appreciative of the efforts and encouragement of my (now wholly virtual) communities. 

Top Tweet of the Week

ET0inD_WkAM8PubThis is neat. My daughter + I are mentioned in this @nytimes piece: A #Podcast Playlist to Help Distract You (for the Most Part) | Thanks @phoebelett | @LitSafariMedia @FuseEight @pantsonfirecast [Some recommendations for kid-friendly podcasts that we shared on Twitter were mentioned in the article. Image to the left created by @LitSafariMedia]

Home Learning Resources

Another good one-stop resource: A Roundup of Pandemic Resources for Librarians, Teachers + the Parents That We Serve — @TLT16 @sljournal #COVID-19 #OnlineLearning #Storytimes + lots more

Organized List of Educational YouTube Channels for Kids - @thisreadingmama #OnlineLearning

This is helpful. For as long as schools are closed, @audible_com is giving kids free streaming access (no account or p/w needed) to a collection of #audiobooks in 6 languages | Mostly classics + audible originals but some other choices, too | @amazon

Tips for Using Online Museum Resources for #Literacy Learning, w/ list of virtual tours | @MA_Cappiello @sljournal #OnlineLearning #writing #STEAM

Google and YouTube launch new #RemoteEducation resources - @TheVerge #TeachFromHome #LearnAtHome

Fun resource for #GraphicNovel fans. Starting today, @CeceBellBooks will be sharing a chapter-by-chapter deep dive into the inside story of El Deafo! on video | #OnlineLearning

Tips for Building #StressRelief into Your #Homeschool Schedule - @MarlaSzwast | Stressed out kids can't learn anyway. "5 fewer minutes of math won’t ruin your kid's chance of" anything

Dana Murphy shows how tips for encouraging #LoveOfReading in young kids at home can be extended to #Kindergarten Classrooms @ChoiceLiteracy | Good advice for parents, like "no book shaming"

Remember, #OnlineLearning Isn't the Only Way to Learn Remotely | Kate Ehrenfeld Gardoqui @educationweek | 5 ideas for renewing #JoyOfLearning in kids stuck at home | via @MindShiftKQED

5 SIMPLE At-Home #Writing Help & Tips - @thisreadingmama I especially like: "Read good books out loud to your child"

Parenting + Play

As Children Face Disappointments due to #Coronavirus, Parents Can Help Them Develop #Resilience - Alina Dizik @WSJ #parenting | A long-term silver lining in all of this may be that our kids come out of it stronger

Slice of Life Day 24: #JigsawPuzzle to the Rescue – @literacious finds something that takes her mind off #COVID-19 | I need to get my daughter doing puzzles while listening to #audiobooks

On Reading

#Reading or Not, Here We Go: A Social Distancing #Bookaday Challenge by @donalynbooks @nerdybookclub | Clearly many of us are having trouble focusing enough to read. Donalyn suggests community

Why Books Are Comforting in the Era of #Coronavirus - Michelle Slatalla @WSJ #LoveOfBooks

Schools and Libraries

If You're Going to Write About #ScienceOfReading, Get Your #Science Right | @DTWillingham challenges a new report / policy statement from NEPC, point by point

Guest Post @FuseEight | Wrestling w/ #SchoolLibrary Closures by J. F. Fox — | "Every school deserves a library with a qualified librarian" w/ reasons why

At Schools Closed for #Coronavirus, Online Work Won’t Count - @Tawnell @WSJ on why most work at home during public #SchoolClosures is optional | #EducationalEquity = not all kids have online access + some have #LearningDifferences

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Resources to Help Parents, Teachers + Kids Get through the #COVID-19 Quarantine

TwitterLinksOne of the things I've been grateful for in all of this coronavirus quarantining is knowing/following quite a few authors, illustrators, homeschooling parents, and teachers. Many of these people have been generous with their time and experience  and are offering useful resources and/or perspectives. As I have run across things that I think are interesting or useful, I've been sharing them on Twitter @JensBookPage and on my personal Facebook account. I usually round  up shared links once a week on this blog, but these are not usual times. Here are the links that I rounded up and shared  earlier in the week. Today, I have some new resources that are well worth a look. 

For what it's worth, the two online resources that my nearly 10-year-old daughter has found most useful are these two (oddly, both from people named Jarrett):

Draw Every Day with JJK - Every weekday at 2 pm ET @StudioJJK will host free webcasts to help parents get kids "creating, drawing, using their imagination" - #SchoolClosures #homeschool. My daughter doesn't need me to remind her about this one - she's been asking for it every day. She participated in the first one live, and got a kick out of knowing that at least three of her friends were participating at the same time. Since then, she's been using the archived version because she's not a big fan of schedules, but she LOVES these webcasts. 

Author/illustrator @Jarrett_Lerner has posted a bunch of free activities for kids, from blank #ComicPanels to incomplete comics to story prompts. I have printed several for my daughter #creativity #homeschool. My daughter was hesitant about these at first, and only asked me to print out four of them. But a day later, without any prompting from me, she had me go back and print them all. She likes the incomplete comics best. 

For Parents + Teachers

This is my current favorite of the new links: A message for stressed out #parents: You Really Don't Need to Formally #Homeschool to Keep Kids Learning During #SchoolClosures | Let them read + learn via #play @parentsmagazine @KristiPahr

This is also very cool. For as long as schools are closed, @audible_com is giving kids free streaming access (no account or p/w needed) to a collection of #audiobooks in 6 languages | Mostly classics + audible originals but some other choices, too | @amazon

Solid roundup of resources here: How to #homeschool during the coronavirus crisis @lisatolin @TODAYshow via @litsafari | webinars, online #ReadAlouds, #podcasts + more

Suddenly #homeschooling? Don't try to make it like school. Longtime homeschool mom + author @melissawiley shares tips + encouragement | Let them follow their interests, give plenty of downtime | #coronavirus

"Experts suggest keeping things simple: Invest in two 30-minute high-quality #reading sessions a day + engage in #math exercises" | Keep those skills up @yoreekoh @WSJ @khanacademy #RemoteLearning #Homeschool

Some tips for Emergency #Homeschooling from veteran homeschooler @MarlaSzwast | #ReadAloud, find #Podcasts, give kids #ScreenFree free time, make a routine + lots more

Basic Principles for Parents Coping w/ #SchoolClosures from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU | talk, read, write, sing, and #play

RT @MrsPStorytime: I have a FREE way to entertain & educate kids too! Check out my website and YouTube channel for free stories and resources for #parents and #teachers [This is a great resource  that I recommend  year-round, not just now.]

Resources for teachers to share w/ parents during #COVID-19 #SchoolShutdowns@McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU @The_Pigeon @ProvoLibrary + more

RT @lynchem1: You might have already seen this, Jen, but here’s a link...great place.: RT @NYWolfOrg As schools are closed to help slow the spread of #COVID19, the Wolf Conservation Center aims to do its part to help keep students engaged + learning by offering FREE distance learning programs to classes nationwide.

Other Stuff, including Libraries + Book Lists

Latest Hot Spot for #Coronavirus Hoarders: The Public Library - @JamesRHagerty @WSJ | One librarian "was relieved to find that people would rush to stock up on books, not just tuna fish and toilet paper"

Well this is good news for #libraries (and anyone checking out digital books from home): @MacmillanUSA Abandons Controversial New Release Library #eBook Embargo | #BookAccess #coronavirus

South Asian #Kidlit Roundup for Spring 2020 from Darshana Khiani #DiverseBooks #BookLists

As #coronavirus concerns shutter #schools around the world + #homeschooling ramps up, will poor students be left behind? asks editor @L_willen @hechingerreport #EducationalEquity

For more, see my post from earlier in the week

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Weekend: Online Learning and other Resources during #Coronavirus Quarantine

TwitterLinksI shared quite a few online resources this weekend on Twitter @JensBookPage  and on my personal Facebook account. I thought it would be worth rounding them up in one place as a resource. It's great to see so many individuals and organizations stepping up to help keep kids entertained and/or learning in this challenging time. I've been looking for silver linings in all of this, and the way people are stepping up is definitely one of them. 

Topics below include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #FakeNews, #gratitude, #Homeschool, #literacy, #OnlineLearning, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #SchoolClosures, #STEM, libraries, parenting, and writing.

Stay safe, my friends! 

Top Tweet of the Week

Draw Every Day with JJK - Every weekday at 2 pm ET @StudioJJK will host free webcasts to help parents get kids "creating, drawing, using their imagination" - #SchoolClosures #homeschool [This is mostly the top one because it's the one that my own daughter is most excited about.]

Resources for Parents (Online Learning, Boredom Busters, etc.)

Worried about being cooped up with bored kids for the next few weeks? Just Get Out a Puzzle says @MarlaSzwast | #Puzzles exercise the brain, are good for your #MentalHealth too

For all you kids stuck at home… @terrilibenson has suggestions for #ScreenFree fun times (read, play games, go outside, etc.) | Plus excerpt from her upcoming #BecomingBrianna #GraphicNovel

Timely compilation of #Coronavirus Boredom Busters for kids from librarian @literacious #SchoolClosures #OnlineLearning

This looks like another good resource: @Scholastic Creates Free, Open-Access Digital Hub to Help Keep Students #Learning While Schools are Disrupted by #Coronavirus #literacy #math #science

Compilation of links to videos of #PictureBook creators #ReadingAloud their work from @pernilleripp | #ReadAlouds can calm and bring people together

Here's a useful resource: #Coronavirus Support: Teaching Resources for K-8 #OnlineLearning @sljournal #homeschool #SchoolClosures | Online #libraries, author/illustrator resources + more

What? #HomeSchool? @litsafari shares her prep strategy, from a #gratitude list to activities for home school orientation weekend #SchoolClosures #parenting

Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite #kidlit Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for #Learning Anywhere in preparation for possible school closures. Collected + hosted by @KateMessner | #STEM, #poetry + more

Resources for Teachers and Librarians

Keeping #Learning Going When We Aren't Gathered at the Carpet | Thoughts from @CathyMere on technology, routines + maintaining connection during this #coronavirus #homeschool time

Keep Calm and Read On | #MiddleSchool #Librarian @MsYingling shares her recommendations + plans for coping w/ a #SchoolShutdown | "This is an opportunity to learn about a lot of things, and read a lot of books."

Other Timely Information

Tools to help identify real vs. false online information (in general + about #coronavirus) from @larrymagid @mercnews @NewsGuardRating @NewsLitProject #FakeNews #InformationLiteracy

A Few Coronavirus Cancellations In Childlit, rounded up by @gail_gauthier | Sorry to see #KidLitCon cancelled, but it was inevitable

Other Links Still Worth a Look

Good Books to #ReadAloud to 12-Year-Olds and Start a Conversation! #BookList from @momandkiddo | This seems like a good time to read together if you ask me...

Ghosts of #NewberyAwards Past, Present and Future? Welcome to This Year’s Online #90SecondNewbery Film Festival — @fuseeight #kidlit

What Makes a Successful Writer? One Author’s Approach to Instilling a #LoveOfWriting by @carmenoliver @nerdybookclub | Invite students to read a lot + write about what interests them

Help Wanted: Librarian Blogger(s) to contribute to @TheReadingTub this summer | Share your expertise in #kidlit + #literacy + introduce parents to the wonders of today's #libraries

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 13: Just Stay Home and Read If You Can Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #Giftedness, #GirlScouts, #JoyOfReading, #LearningDifferences, #LEGO, #OnlineLearning, #play, #ReadAloud, #recess, #STEM, #Studying, and schools. Stay healthy, my friends!

Top Tweets of the Week


Good news here: How #play is making a comeback in #kindergarten classrooms @jackiemader @hechingerreport @NBCNews | Has the pendulum started swinging back?

I think that BLOOM, the first of a new #ScienceFiction / #thriller series for kids by @kennethoppel is going to be a huge hit. I picked it up just to check it out and couldn't put it down until I was finished. @randomhousekids

Book Lists

10 #Nonfiction Children’s Books That Humanize Mathematics - @MindShiftKQED #BookList #PictureBooks #STEM

Funny books encourage #JoyOfReading for kids. I like this #BookList of Funny Realistic Fiction Novels for Middle Grades by @ariannecostner @nerdybookclub #MGLit

Events, Programs + Research

This warmed my heart: Teen #GirlScout is setting up hospital libraries so babies born early, as she was (+ my daughter was), can hear their parents #ReadAloud to them in the #NICU @CNN

These Two Revision Strategies Can Prepare You For An Exam Much Better Than Just Restudying Your Notes – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest #testing #studying

Growing Bookworms

#Reading IS the Best Intervention: "our most fragile readers need to have texts of appropriate difficulty in their hands all day long" (Allington), not worksheets + short passages that kill #JoyOfReading @LRobbTeacher

What #ChapterBooks Are You Reading Aloud to Students? Survey for K-8 Educators in the US from @pernilleripp #ReadAloud #JoyOfReading

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

A New #Podcast for Your Children: #StorySeeds Is Live! Host is @fuseeight @LitSafariMedia @litsafari | Note special PSA on #coronavirus by @JasonReynolds83 | I have subscribed

This is fun: Dutch Artists Paint Giant Bookcase On An Apartment Building Featuring Residents’ Favorite Books | @boredpanda #JoyOfReading

The importance of #YAF by @VanessaHarbour @AwfullyBigBlog | "Get out there are and write the best (non-didactic) young adult stories that can make a difference." #YA #kidlit #writing

Parenting + Play

Interesting: LEGO Is Probably The Biggest Education Company On Earth #Learning through #Play @LEGOfoundation

Sounds worth trying to me: Doubling #Recess Time to Put #Play Back in the School Day - @AlysonRKlein @educationweek

Schools, Libraries + Covid-19

#Coronavirus closing your kid’s school? One parent’s plan for #DaddySchool | @educationgadfly | I especially like "gym" for 90 minutes/day, + keeping regular recreational #ScreenTime limits in place

Amid #coronavirus fears, the #CDC told schools to plan for #RemoteLearning. That’s harder than it sounds. @Chalkbeat | Most aren't ready + research generally shows online instruction less effective than in-person

Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite #kidlit Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for #Learning Anywhere in preparation for possible school closures. Collected + hosted by @KateMessner | #STEM, #poetry + more

Letting Go of Labels, whether of #LearningDifferences or #Giftedness, that impede #Learning - @MarlaSzwast | "I worry that our cultural obsession with labeling abilities gets in the way of providing sound development for our kids"

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage