We've also developed a love for poetry. There are zillions of good children's poetry books at the library! Several months ago we got one that came with a CD of Julie Andrews reading the poems aloud. The kids were familiar with the voice of "Mary Poppins" so that was one of their very favorites. She read one called "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven" that they still quote and laugh about. They wondered aloud at Thanksgiving if the turkey would indeed, shoot out of the oven. :) Some others we've come to love are "Maggie and Milly and Molly and May" by E.E. Cummings; "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out" by Shel Silverstein; and "Keep A Poem In Your Pocket". Some rhyming books we've also enjoyed recently are I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes. The illustrations are spectacular. Our favorite illustrators are probably Jan Brett and Steven Kellogg. They both show such detail. Pretty much you could understand the story just from the pictures, even if you couldn't read. Which helps the little ones who want so badly to tell the story but can't quite read yet.
Allie and I have two classics we're reading together aloud in the afternoons this semester: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
I remember in my classes in elementary education at Athens State, and in all the parenting books I've read, that the #1 absolute MOST important thing a parent can do with their children to develop their cognitive abilities and reading skills is to read aloud to them. It has become vitally important to me, and an integral part of all our days. My hope is that our children will have fond memories of reading at home with Mommy and will carry a love of reading on for the rest of their lives. I read these poems recently that really struck me:
The Reading Mother by Strickland W. Gillian
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold,
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a mother who read to me.
When Mother Reads Aloud - Unknown
When mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert’s gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle’s prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cloud mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.
When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do-
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems to easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.
As for me, I have several books I'm reading this year. As you can see, I prefer non-fiction when you get into the adult section anyway. :) Here's my list of 2012 reads:
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Food Rules by Michael Pollan
Vintage Remedies by Jessie Hawkins
Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl
Just Too Busy: Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical by Joanne Kraft
The complete Charlotte Mason Homeschooling series
Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Grace For the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman
the book with 365 daily celebrations/holidays
and, I'm reading through the Bible in a One Year Chronological NLT Bible.
So, I'm interested. . . . what good books are you reading this year, and why? Is reading important to you? Why or why not?