Sorry I missed you all yesterday! I had my first day at my new job! So far so good! Lots of general hospital wide nursing orientation this week – I honestly haven’t even been on or seen the unit I’ll be working on yet because of visitor restrictions due to COVID-19.
(Side note – I’m typing this in bed on my MacBook Pro – Carver tells me “I’m trying to run away from my shadow and me can’t!”)
The days are getting longer in more ways than one. Craig is in the field later and later. Honestly, last October I was SO BUSY with clinicals and work last harvest and Craig kept getting interrupted with rain that it didn’t seem so long or so hard going days without quality time.
This Spring we are already stuck inside because of the corona virus, the temperatures are finally warming up but it is SO SO windy here so we can’t really go outside, and I’m spending a lot more time at home with the boys.
The nights just seem long. Time ticks by past when Craig should be home. Then there’s a long stretch till bed time. I’ll keep Craig’s dinner set out for him and I’ll always leave a light on for when he gets home, just like I watched my mom do for so many planting and harvest seasons as Craig works the same land that my Dad did.
There’s one tradition I plan on carrying over too – that’s reading at supper time. My mom read us five kids so so many books. Even though I was so young at the time, it was my first taste of chapter books and books without pictures. It was usually an adventure book like the Francis Tuckett books and The Hatchet by Gary Paulson to keep the boys (my brothers) entertained.
I called mom and asked her about it. It is such a fond memory for me, I wanted to know where she got the idea.
“I wanted to make it special like we had something to do when we still sat at the table, even though Dad wasn’t there. I wanted you all to still feel like a family when we were together. I did it once at worked and you wanted more.”
She’s right – I can remember begging her to read just one more chapter – not just me but all four of my older siblings too. I think mom felt that long gap of time when Dad didn’t come home to interrupt it. This was something to fill the time too.
I asked mom if her mom read to her like that too – she said not at supper time but her mom read to her all the time. Mom was listening to chapter books like Indian Captive, When the Legends Die, and Black Stallion at a young age. It’s probably what sparked her love of reading and history at a young age.
I’ll be honest, I don’t LOVE reading to the boys, not like my mom does. My mom could read books to kids ALL. DAY. LONG. She once told me she has to make a mental note when she sits down to read books to kids at childcare to make sure she doesn’t get too far behind on the schedule. She would read books all day if she could.
So, the other night when we sat down to supper, I picked out a few books to read to the boys. They loved it. Gannon doesn’t have the patience to sit and READ a book so its one way to get his reading time in because he’s eating too. Carver adores reading, I read him the Ginger Bread Man book 3 times in a row (kind of a morbid book if you ask me) but more than that, I love that I’m carrying on a tradition.
I can’t wait until Carver is old enough so I can read Junie B Jones books to him – my FAVORITE and the first chapter book I ever read. Mom and I read them together, along with the American Girl series, and so so many other books.
Mom’s love of reading didn’t completely pass on to me, I honestly can’t focus long enough to READ a real book. I listen to so many books though. I’ve always been an auditory learner so that makes sense.
Hopefully this will help the boys and I develop a habit of reading and getting through the long days without Craig!
What chapter books were your favorite? Did you ever read at the supper table? Can you remember the first chapter book you read?
My whole life at home, Dad read a Bible chapter after dinner every single night without fail. I had 4 older siblings who read to me daily and by age 5 I was reading words myself. Hence, I have always loved reading. I have no idea what my first chapter book was. It’s not unusual for me to read 1-2 books a week still. I am keeping a reading list this year so I can make recommendations and I’m currently on #13 and most are 300-450 pages.
I love that you’re passing on the love for books and ritual to your children. Like you, they will never forget. 🙂
Enjoy orientation week!
The first books I can remember reading were the Bobsey Twin mysteries. I suggest the Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant and the Boxcar Children books.
The Mouse on the Motorcycle was a favorite of my boys when they were little! Hank the Cowdog is fun too. Even reading the visual books aloud is great for kids. Where the Wild Things Are was a huge favorite as well as Owl Moon. Wish we would have kept their books but we moved a lot and at some point we let them go.
I had a 4th grade teacher who was a big Winnie The Pooh fan. She read those books aloud to us in class. Fond memories I’ll never forget. Maybe your boys would enjoy them too.
My parents let us bring books to the table if we wanted to. I would turn the pages with my left hand and eat with my right hand. I kept the bookmark in if I had to cut food or something. I still do this.
I don’t remember my first chapter book, but I do remember reading the series about the Bobbsey twins, the Boxcar Children books, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. Less known probably, but about my favorite, were the books about the Melendy family by Elizabeth Enright. I loved those!
I’m sure my parents must have read to us a lot, since many of us were avid readers on our own.
Beverly Cleary has great books and kids love them. Charlotte’s Web. The Boxcar Children. Where the Red Fern Grows. Amelia Bedelia. The Indian in the Cupboard. Island of the Blue Dolphin. The Swiss Family Robinson. The Chronicles of Narnia. The Secret Garden. Magic Tree House. Nancy Drew. The Call of the Wild. My Side of the Mountain. Old Yeller. Shiloh. Bridge to Terabithia. Tom Sawyer. Dr. Seuss (but the pictures are so fun to pour over. Shel Silverstein, Robert Munsch, Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, and James Herriot are wonderful authors. Can you tell I went to school to be an elementary school librarian before I switched to becoming a teacher?? These are the ones I can remember from 20 years ago!!
Magic Tree House / Junie B. Jones were early favorites of my kids. Single books – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Ten Sly Piranhas.
I used to read to my kids all the time – even before homeschooling. I don’t remember what my favorite book was but I do know the kids loved My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet. I’m sure my mom read to me when I was little – it’s been so long ago but I have a feeling I learned to love reading from both my mom and dad. They always had their nose in a book! 🙂
Love and prayers
McBroom’s Wonderful 1-Acre Farm, Happy Hollister’s, Boxcar Children (vintage r best), Gone-Away Lake & Return to Gone-Away, all the Homer Price books, Encyclopedia Brown series, Swiss Family Robinson was a favorite!
Also, if you can find a used copy of “Bored, Nothing to Do” it is a riot, though just a picture book. You might need to set some perameters though. . .
Definitely try the Magic Treehouse series. I started reading them to my grandson when he was 3 and we “went” to so many history sites. It definitely was the start of his love of history — we were in a bookstore when he was about 8 and was asking for an approximately 800 page book of the Civil War. A male customer next to us couldn’t believe the number and high level of books he had already read. In second grade, he was reading at a 12th grade level and I truly believe the Magic Treehouse series was what created his love of reading and history.