Homeschooling Update: Plans after Finishing Core P 4/5

Sonlight Core A Readers 1When I first drafted this post I thought it’d be running before we finished our 36 week schedule for Sonlight’s Core P 4/5. Instead, we’ve just finished what was supposed to be the framework for G’s kindergarten year. As you might guess by our finishing it this early in the year, it went VERY well. So well that the last six weeks of it was completed in a much more rapid pace than I originally expected.

So what will we be doing next? We’re definitely not going to take a months-long break to stay lined up with the local school calendar, that’s for sure. *

The main disadvantage of doing it this way is it starts getting confusing to me as to what to say when someone asks what grade G is in. He’s finished what we planned for Kindergarten, and we’ll be moving on to what we planned for 1st grade. But it’s still the school year when he’d be in K. So I while I’ll still call him a Kindergartner, in this post I am writing about curriculum for 1st grade, more or less. Or maybe I’ll think of this as his K5 work. Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all, except for signing up for things like Awana or VBS. :)

Core A books on bookshelf

Anyway, I’ve already mentioned that we plan on continuing with Sonlight, moving up to Core A. It’s been lined up on the bookshelf, waiting for us. That’s what G was seeing waiting for him and why he got so excited to finish P 4/5 – he wanted to dive into those new books! And the day after we finished it, I pulled them all out and spread them across the table. He had a fun time looking at them all, and flipping through a handful that he couldn’t resist (the most tempting one? That encyclopedia!)

Language Arts

Along with Core A I’ll be using Language Arts 1. Originally I selected LA 2, and while the readers would be fine, the writing part is too much, so I moved down to LA 1. The reading portions will be easy, but that’s ok. If nothing else, that helps him be super confident with that, and I can get him additional readers from the library that might challenge him a bit more.

LA 1

We’ll continue on with All About Reading, and will move on to level 4 once he finished level 3. No real guesses yet as to when that will be, but his recent pace has been to complete 2 – 3 lessons a week.

All About Spelling Level 1 is all but finished, and Level 2 is waiting for us. I assume he’ll finish it this year, and that we’ll begin level 3 at that point. I’ll probably order 3 when he gets about 2/3 of the way through 2.

Because I’m a bit ridiculous and am also looking for more as a way to stretch Core A as well as fill up our hours (remember, it’s all little kids here; I don’t expect that to be a need once they get older), I’ve got Language Smarts B. It looks like a fun workbook, and that it’ll work with LA 1 well as reinforcement and a more explicit way of teaching some grammar and language details. We can do one page a day and easily finish it up along with this core. And if he hates it? I’ll put it aside, in case maybe one of his sisters likes it.

For Handwriting I’m planning on switching from Handwriting without Tears. G hates it (no tears, but it is the most despised subject for him). While I don’t think it’s *just* the writing program, he does hate HWT’s smaller lines, and always switches to the “other” side of the LA worksheets instead of the HWT-aligned side. I’ve got Getty-Dubay’s Book A for him, and he’s already looked through it. He really liked what he saw, and is anxious to start it. We’ll see how it goes.

Math

For math, I have Mathematical Reasoning B, and as I recently mentioned, last month I got the downloadable version of Math Mammoth. So I can use both of them as seems best, and move along at his pace. He’s also very excited about that, and was super anxious to finish up the other book and get started with the new ones. We’ve already begun that, and he’s liking them both.

I’m also considering making another effort with Miquon. I got a very nice email after my post bemoaning how confusing Miquon is, with some suggestions on how to use it. We’ll see. :)

Science

Science AFor science, we’ll be using Sonlight’s Science A, as well as probably finishing up the Apologia Astronomy book. We’re about halfway through astronomy – we took a long break from it because I couldn’t deal with the experiments and a new baby – so I’m assuming we’ll finish it up this year. Depending on his interest, we might move into the Apologia Botany book, or possibly try Science in the Beginning, which looks interesting. Or we may not add anything extra beyond nonfiction books from the library. Or maybe we won’t even add that, and Science A will be it – it’ll all depend on how things are going, and what it seems like G wants to do.

Extras

We have lots of maze and dot to dot books – G ADORES them, and can’t get enough of them. I figure those are good fine motor skills practice. :)

Physical education is still taken care of with Taekwondo. G is a new orange belt, and working towards his senior orange belt. He’s now in the regular classes, which are 45 minutes long. I’m not sure that we’ll get there for all 6 classes they offer in a week, but I’m aiming for at least 4 of them, and possibly 5. We’ll also do swimming again this summer – they’re all signed up again with the same teachers as last year.

G sparringI’m considering some options for a foreign language. I’d assumed I’d start with Song School Latin, but G has requested Spanish (his cousin is learning it). Any advice on a little-kid friendly and effective Spanish curriculum? I’m all ears. I’d thought about just getting Rosetta Stone, but reviews seem to be very mixed-to-negative about how effective it really is, and I don’t want to waste time and money on it if it won’t do any good. I also just missed a big sale on it, so I don’t want to buy it until I spot another sale. It seems like they do run sales fairly regularly, so next time around I want to be prepared if it’s one we should use.

I’m also still mulling over what exactly I want to do for art (appreciation and application) and music (appreciation / awareness, not so much application right now), so if you’ve got something you adore for either of those, let me know please!

Follow Along on Pinterest

I’ve set up a Pinterest board with all of these things, and am planning on adding the books I use to supplement. Sonlight does have a lot of books, but it’s still not enough for me. Especially since I want to stretch Core A!

I also set up a second board with other ideas and possibilities. These are things I’m considering, and if I end up using them I’ll move them to the other board. Don’t worry that I’m going to overload my son by trying all of the things on this board – I’m won’t; these are just for ideas. I’m likely going to try *one* thing for art, but I may have three or four pinned as I consider the options. The same for all the rest of the ideas pinned there.


* And a point of clarification: In Indiana, Kindergarten isn’t required, so I don’t have any state regulations to worry about satisfying. No minimum-number of days of instruction, no topics of instruction, etc. So if I’d wanted to I could have taken off between now and next year, at least as far as the state is concerned.

What the Kids are Reading (in February 2015)

Mommy Is a Soft Warm KissMommy Is a Soft, Warm KissMommy Is a Soft, Warm Kiss by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Maggie Smith by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Maggie Smith

Picked out by my daugher, and we read it every. day. until it “had” to go back to the library. Had to, because I didn’t try to renew it as I was tired of reading it. My love for it is not as strong as my daughter’s, who has already stated that she wants to get it again.

Pink Cupcake MagicPink Cupcake MagicPink Cupcake Magic by Katherine Tegen, illustrated by Kristin Verner by Katherine Tegen, illustrated by Kristin Verner

Also picked out my daughter (if there is a pink cover, she grabs it). Another one that will be going back to the library without being renewed. This one does keep her brother more entertained however, because of CUPCAKES!! And the big brother getting his reward at the end. ;)

CorduroyCorduroyCorduroy by Don Freeman by Don Freeman

Somehow we’d never read this classic before. Now we have, and both kids liked it. Neither of them requested it again though.

Sir Cumference and the First Round TableSir Cumference and the First Round TableSir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan and Sir Cumference and the Dragon of PiSir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan

I get a kick out of these math-themed books. The illustrations are wonderful too!

Green Lantern vs. the Meteor MonsterGreen Lantern vs. the Meteor Monster!Green Lantern vs. the Meteor Monster! (DC Super Friends)

This one is bad, but unfortunately it was one my son picked out. He does love his superheroes! I don’t mind the superhero books so much when he’s the one reading them, but this one isn’t one he can manage. It’ll go back to the library next time, as I hid it back into the library bag after only one reading – it’s just that bad.

Bedtime MathBedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up LateBedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck, illustrated by Jim Paillot by Laura Overdeck, illustrated by Jim Paillot

This is a work in progress, and my son loves it! We don’t read it at bedtime though. I like how it’s structured, and how there are different levels of problems – one of the levels always works for my son. Sometimes it’s the “wee ones” and sometimes it’s the next level up, but it’s fun.

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How I Decided To Homeschool and How I Decided on a Curriculum

Sonlight is having a monthly blog linkup this year, in honor of their 25th anniversary. February’s topic is to share how you first decided to homeschool, and how you decided on a curriculum?.

I mentioned last month that I dreamed about homeschooling even before I had children to homeschool! It took us a long time to successfully become pregnant, so there were a lot of years of daydreaming about maybe-someday and what I’d like to do.

Homeschooling appealed to me for many reasons, but one of the biggest is because of the ability it offered to customize their educational experience. I was so bored for much of my schooling, and I wanted to be able to make sure that any children I was able to have would be stretched, but would also be able to pursue their own interests (to a degree at least; I’ll never be a complete interest-led schooler).

Why Sonlight?

Sonlight was what I wanted to do as soon as I came across it in my online searches pre-children. I loved the idea of it, and I loved all the books. Not just “all the books” as in they use a lot of them, but many of the specific titles. I’m a major bookworm and a former librarian, and I’ve read many to most of the titles in every core. I found myself nodding in agreement to the books listed – “oh, that’s a good book. Yeah, that one is great too. Love that one!”

Deciding on Curriculum
(Look at all those books we’ve read this year – of course I was interested in this curriculum!)

Almost from as soon as I knew I was pregnant with my first I was eyeing Sonlight’s catalog and website with new intensity. When exactly could I get started on this adventure? It’s been hard holding myself back, but I don’t want to rush my son (who is 5 1/2) into more than he’s ready for. As it is, I got the P 3/4 core when he was 3, and then took as long as I could with it before ordering P 4/5. I’ve also tried to go as slow as possible with that one, and we finished it last week!

While I don’t really know what the future will hold, or what we’ll do in later years, I still find myself looking ahead at their book lists and thinking “oh, that’s a great book. And I loved that one, and that one, and that one…”

On Friday I’ll be posting about our plans now that we’ve wrapped up P 4/5. Yes, we’re moving on to Core A, but in an effort to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out more, I’m adding to it also. Plus, all the other things for homeschooling beyond what’s included in a Core.

sonlight-blog-party-large

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Finding Spiritual WhitespaceFinding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to RestFinding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray by Bonnie Gray

I’ve been sitting on this review for ages, because I wanted to like this book. I liked the idea of it quite a bit, and I liked getting to know the author through the story she shared in the book. Her writing is compelling and engaging, and it’s easy to root for her as she works through her traumatic upbringing.

Despite all of that, I didn’t care for the book all that much. Most reviewers seem to adore it, so I recognize that I’m in the minority here, but it felt like two books in one, and that dual structure didn’t work for me. It’s a book about creating whitespace in your life, but it’s also (mostly) a book about Gray writing a book about creating whitespace while dealing with panic attacks brought on by PTSD. I’d happily read a memoir if Gray ever writes one, and I’d probably read another book by her on rest/whitespace/breathing room. This mish-mash of the two caused them both to suffer from neglect and a meandering theme which ultimately resulted in a disappointing read. [Read more...]

New on Your Stack (Volume 1)

Earlier this month my new linkup “New On My Stack” debuted, and thank you so much to everyone who linked up! Now I want to highlight a few of the books I discovered that are new on YOUR stacks, that were the most intriguing or I-Need-To-Read-This-Now-compelling.


Rasmus and the VagabondAs I continue looking for fun readalouds for my kids (especially my son), Erika reminded me that Astrid Lindgren wrote more than Pippi Longstocking. Rasmus and the VagabondRasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren is newly reprinted and sounds like it’ll be a great fit for my son. I’m tempted to add it to his birthday list, as that’ll help force me to hold off on it just a few more months while also guaranteeing that I’ll read it to him. :)

Also, Erika’s book club is going to be reading The Girls of Atomic CityThe Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan, which is SUCH a great book. So great I included it in my 31 Days of Great Nonfiction picks in 2013. I hope your book club enjoyed it as much as I did Erika!


Surprised by MotherhoodJessica reminded me of some books I’ve been considering for ages: First, Lisa-Jo Baker’s Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a MomSurprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom by Lisa-Jo Baker, because it sounds so much like one I’d enjoy. I’ve only not read it after being burned a bit by blogger’s books that end up being regurgitated blog content without an overarching narrative or flow. Quick, Jessica, read it and tell me if I should! ;)

She also listed The Blood of OlympusThe Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan by Rick Riordan, which reminds me that I am way behind on reading the Percy Jackson series and perhaps I’d like to get back to it someday. Or perhaps I’ll just wait until I can read it to my kids? More big decisions.

And then Jessica also brought some other books to my attention: both The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel by Rachel Joyce by Rachel Joyce (so tempted by this one – it’s only $1.99 for the Kindle version, and it sounds like it could a good one to consider for book club next year…) and Susan Hill’s mystery series. She is doing bad things to my TBR list!


Fierce ConvictionsI thought perhaps that Tujia would manage to not add to my TBR stack, if this had been a month when all of her new books were in Finnish, but no, she’s got plenty of titles in English too.

Included in those titles, she also reminded me of a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages. She added Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior by Karen Swallow Prior to her stack. Prior is also the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of MeBooked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior, which yes I want to read that! Also, I now want to read Fierce Convictions. The TBR mountain, it grows.


If I Had Lunch with C S LewisI’d never heard of Alister McGrath’s book If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of LifeIf I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath until finding it in Teresa‘s post. I’m very intrigued by it, but it also sounds like one that might take more brain power than I have right now. It’s going onto the TBR list, but not at the top. Maybe by the time it works its way there I’ll have more mental energy to devote to it. :)


The SilkwormAlisa‘s post let me know that Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J. K. Rowling) has a second book out featuring Cormoran Strike – The SilkwormThe Silkworm (A Cormoran Strike Novel) by Robert Galbraith. Which reminds me that I never read the first Galbraith title, The Cuckoo’s CallingThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith, and I really did want to try it.


Rhyme SchemerStacie mentioned two middle grade books, and Rhyme SchemerRhyme Schemer by K. A. Holt definitely caught my eye: part of the book is written in verse, and I’ve loved previous books written that way. I’m hesitating just a bit on this because of the bullying theme, but may still have to give it a try because of the format.


The Virtuous Jane AustenCristina has a lot of interesting books listed, especially Lenten resources (I know, Lent has already started. They still look good, especially one that’s a reflection on Jane AustenThe Virtuous Jane Austen: Short Reflections on Character by Rhonda Ortiz.) I’m also considering the writing ebook she highlighted – Active Patience: A Simple Guide to Productive WritingActive Patience: A Simple Guide to Productive Writing by N. C. Harley. The title makes me curious!


Want to join in? The next New on the Stack linkup will be next Tuesday, and every month after that on the 3rd!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Seven Quick Takes on My New Orange Belt, Crafty Kid, and Non-Sleeping Baby

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

G tested for his orange belt early in the month. I wasn’t there, and when I asked him how he did, he said “bad on the first try, better on the second, and best of all on the third.” Pretty self-aware, as that matched up with what daddy reported to me. And, good enough to pass, so he’s now an orange belt and in the “big kid” classes. Which is good; he was definitely ready to move out of the tot classes, but it’s also bad in that it now means I have to take the kids to two different classes. I’ve got to refigure our schedule and how to organize our days. And our meals – G’s classes are all in the evening, so dinnertime just got that much more complicated.

The best part about being an orange belt as far as he’s concerned? Sparring! He loves it!

G sparring

— 2 —

G was never much into crafts or anything art-related. He hated coloring, and never was interested in anything related. H though, *adores* coloring, painting, play doh, gluing her creations, anything and everything. I need to up my parenting game and get some more supplies for her as I’m running out of the limited options we had on hand. It keeps her happily occupied for hours, so yes please to that!

— 3 —

I’m dealing with some serious sleeping issues with the baby lately. I’m hoping it’s just because she’s had a mild cold for what seems like forever – not enough to really bug her, but just enough to make her stuffy and make sleeping more difficult. I need some more sleep at night, and I especially need some more non-fragmented sleep!

— 5 —

It’s only late in February, but I finally got my “Books Read in 2015” Pinterest board up and have been pinning the books to it as I complete them. The “Children’s Books Read in 2015” board is also up. And apologies to anyone who noticed me pinning like crazy earlier this week as I tried to get caught up with these boards. :) Hopefully I’ll keep up with it as I go along now, instead of getting a backlog.

I also started a new board titled “We’re Going to Disney World!” Because we are! Not for awhile, but I know I want to be ready for it. Any tips for going there with little kids? I’d love to hear them!

— 6 —

This month’s essential oils order was a small one: Frankincense, Cedarwood, and massage oil. The massage oil was on backorder so it won’t arrive until tomorrow and isn’t in the picture. :) Let me just say that I am *so* happy that Frankincense is (was?) back in stock for me to get some more – I was running low on what is probably my very favorite oil!

February YLEO ER order

— 7 —

I barely finished any books in January and then in early February I went on a bit of a tear. It was nice, and the fact that the weather was nice enough to let the big kids play outside by themselves was not coincidental.

The best book I’ve finished recently was As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess BrideAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes by Cary Elwes. I loved it! And it made me need to watch The Princess Bride (again) just to see some of the things he mentions in the book.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links, but none of the others are. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Superhero Fun with Early Readers

Superman Escape from the Phantom ZoneMy son is trucking right along learning how to read, but he still can’t just pick up any book and get through it.

This month, he’s gotten two superhero-themed readers to tackle. One from the library, and one was a stocking stuffer from Grandma. That made him *very* excited. They were an excellent balance between readability and high interest.

Grandma gave him Superman: Escape from the Phantom ZoneSuperman Classic: Escape from the Phantom Zone: I Can Read Level 2 (I Can Read Book 2), and it was a great gift for him. It’s right at his reading level (with a bit of help for a couple of words in the text, but most of it he could handle independently), and he loves Superman and Batman, so he was highly motivated to read it all.

Batman Dawn of the Dynamic DuoThe library book he’s read is Batman: Dawn of the Dynamic DuoBatman Classic: Dawn of the Dynamic Duo: I Can Read Level 2 (I Can Read Book 2), another level 2 book and another one that’s ideal for him. Not that challenging, but it gives him confidence as he reads, which I think is a good thing. Another one that was a big hit because, well, it’s Batman!

These aren’t the sorts of books I want him to spend all of his time reading, but he gets a lot of higher quality books as well and will continue to do so. These worked well as motivation and just fun reading time. I’m fortunate that my library has so many early readers that I’ll be able to get lots of variety, in addition to the ones we own through his school items.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Ender’s Game

Ender's GameEnder’s GameEnder's Game (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card by Orson Scott Card

I’ve been telling myself for years that I should read this one in my attempts to branch out a bit and try new genres. Science Fiction isn’t my favorite (although I did find a series last year that I enjoyed) and this seemed like a good one to try, as it’s a classic and multiple award-winner.

And it was ok. I finished it quickly as I wanted to find out how it all wrapped up, but it’s the first in a quintet, and I have no real desire to read any more in the series.

Many of my complaints with it are probably directly connected to the genre, so it’s a bit unfair of me to be annoyed at the book for what it is. I’m just not the best reader for a book so focused on this sort of thing. The battlerooms and details of tactics bored me, as did the descriptions of Ender as commander. Whoops, that might be a spoiler but I can’t imagine anyone reading it didn’t know that he was going to become the commander he was being trained to be. I mean, where would the book have been if he didn’t?

It’s also surprisingly brutal at times, in a way that had me cringing. I know why it is, but that doesn’t mean I want to read it. The fact that my son is fairly close in age to Ender’s when the book began doesn’t help much either – I kept imagining my “baby” in those situations and it was heart-wrenching.

No, I wasn’t much of a fan, but if you do like science fiction don’t let me put you off trying this one if you already haven’t. If like me, you also dislike most science fiction, I don’t think this one will convert you.

Publisher’s Description:
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Book Details

Title: Ender’s GameEnder's Game (The Ender Quintet) by Orson Scott Card
Author: Orson Scott Card
Category: Science Fiction
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

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I Need Some Help Here

I Need Some Help HereI Need Some Help Here! Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to PlanI Need Some Help Here!: Hope for When Your Kids Don't Go according to Plan by Kathi Lipp by Kathi Lipp

Don’t pick up this book based on the cover and think it’s going to focus on parenting younger children. Pay attention to that subtitle and the description because it’ll give you a more accurate idea of what the book actually discusses. The book cover is eye-catching, certainly. It’s just misleading.

(In other words, don’t be like me, and think it’ll be “I Need Some Help Here!” because my kids are flinging themselves down the stairs in a laundry basket and I’m going to lose my mind since dealing with this age is not my area of giftedness.)

If however, you’ve passed beyond the stage of parenting young children and now you’re hitting the stage where many issues and consequences are more serious? This is an excellent choice. Lipp gives encouragement, but mostly she gives prayers and hope no matter what the situation you’re facing. There are quotes from other moms, telling their stories, so you know you’re not alone. There are lots of Bible verses, and the emphasis on Jesus is fantastic.

While the description below suggests that there is guidance on praying for your kids no matter the age, most of the prayers are more specifically applicable to older children – tweens and up through adults. It’s not that this is a bad book to read if you only have toddlers or elementary school children, just that it’s not going to be as valuable.

Recommended, even if my children are a bit young. And hopefully none of it most extreme situations never apply, but eventually some of it will. After all, I can’t imagine that there is ever a child who doesn’t end up struggling in some way. The levels of struggle and poor choices may vary, but it’s going to apply still.

[Read more...]

Reading after Having Children

Reading After Having ChildrenI read a lot. This is nothing new in my life, but I remember feeling aggravated pre-children when I would get condescending metaphorical head-pats about how that was all going to change once I had my first baby. I’d NEVER read again.

It’s hard to argue with someone who is so convinced they are right, and that you will never know until you join their club. I’d usually just say something about how I couldn’t imagine not reading at all, and that I grew up with the example of a mother who was a devoted reader, despite having three children. I had proof throughout my childhood that being a mother did not require putting aside your own books!

Sure, my reading habits have changed – I don’t read as much, or for the long stretches of time that I once did. And yes, binge reading is a very rare thing, but I’m still reading. Now at least I can offer an alternative viewpoint if anyone tries to claim it’s impossible to read once you’re a mom. It’s not: if it’s a priority for you, you’ll still read. And I think that’s the key to it – it has to be a priority.

Why do I feel so strongly about this?

Partially because I don’t agree with the thinking that becoming a mom automatically means never spending a moment on something you enjoy ever again, but also because I adamantly believe it sets a good example for my kids.

Reading is important, and if they see me reading it will hopefully mean more to them than if I just tell them that it’s a good thing to do. If all I do is read to them, and encourage them to read, but never do it myself, it seems like that is more likely to produce adults who think reading is only for kids. That’s not at all what I want!

Simply from a parenting perspective, I think it’s important for me to read my own books when they can see what I’m doing, not only when they are asleep or otherwise occupied. Quiet reading time for everyone! (ok, we’re not there yet, but I can dream.)

It’s nice that something I feel strongly about from a parenting perspective (promoting my children reading) aligns with something I feel strongly about for myself.