Literacy Musing Mondays

Welcome to the #LMMLinkup! This is a place where we as book-loving bloggers come together to share our posts about literacy, books, blogging, and anything to do with reading and learning. Please join us! I’m excited to see the wonderful posts that everyone links up this week.


First let’s

Meet your hosts

Beth@Pages and Margins Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Leslie@Forever Joyful Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+

Mary@Maryandering Creatively Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+

Tami@ThisMomsDelight Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google+


Now let’s celebrate reading and learning by reviewing:

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

Letters to My Daughters

by Barbara Rainey: GIVEAWAY!

Leslie DeJarnette: Forever Joyful

letters-to-my-daughters

This book is a mother’s message to her married daughters about lessons she’s learned through her own marriage as well as those gleaned from years of ministry to couples. This review is a must-read although the giveaway ended last week. I hope you will check it out.

My Favorite Post of the Week:

The Bear and the Piano

by BenC @ A Bookish Life

the bear and the piano.jpg
This post features a lovely review of a picture book that I’m excited to get my hands on. The illustrations are beautiful, and the concept behind the book is intriguing. My son is attracted to anything humorous or out-of-the-ordinary, so I think this book will be right up his alley!

 

Remember to check out other hosts’ blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites.

Want to be the next to be featured? Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to link up with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow Mary Hill’s board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often.
LMM

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or written with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. I know as a blogger, you know how it feels to receive comments, right? Plus, you could be honored as our Top Commentor if you submit your report to Mary! Remember it is also nice to follow fellow bloggers on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!

To add your post, click on the link below:

An InLinkz Link-up

A Reading Life: Until my Son Learns How to Read

As a bookish person who is now also a homeschool mom, I’m eager for my son to learn to read. I know that in my own life, entering the world of books has opened up whole new worlds for me, and I’m excited for him to be able to experience this as well. I’ve seen kids who taught themselves to read at age three or four and who never seem to struggle to de-code the written word. I admit to hoping my son would be one of these kids—hoping that he would dive right into the world of books without a struggle or a backward glance.

This has not been the case. I know I shouldn’t be upset or worried. He’s only 5.5 and his progress is well within the range of normal—he’s sounding out three and four letter words (no, not those four letter words) and haltingly making his way through beginning readers. But it hasn’t been an easy process. It’s taken a lot of effort (and creativity in how to motivate him) to get him to this point.

When I feel discouraged by the process, I try to remind myself of my own story. Learning to read was not an easy process for me either. I have vivid memories of hating learning to read, and when my mom pulled out my old phonics book recently I had a visceral reaction of disgust when I saw it. Yet once I got truly comfortable reading on my own (and I didn’t pick up books on my own for pleasure until age 7 or 8), I took off. Ever since, I’ve read voraciously, and I feel lost if there’s not a book on my bedside table.

So I know it’s just a matter of time for my son. As I wait for reading to “click” for him, I’ve come up with some strategies for trying to keep my own impatience at bay.

Reading aloud. This is one of my favorite ways to share my passion for reading. And my son loves it. When people ask him what his favorite subject in school is, he’ll often say “read-alouds.” This is one of the most encouraging things to me as I wait for him to be able to read on his own – the fact that he already loves the world of stories.

Acting out stories with him. I was so encouraged the first time that my son started incorporating the stories from our read-alouds into his pretend play. Seeing him make up his own mysteries and solve them (like in The Boxcar Children) or converse with a spider on the wall (pretending to be Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web) makes me so happy. I try to encourage these interactions with the stories we read by entering into the pretend world with him—he loves when I join in his pretend games.

Listening to him tell stories. I’ve started incorporating a story telling time into our school week. Sometimes this involves pulling out a wordless picture book and letting him tell me the story. Other times I grab a notebook and write down a story that he tells me out of his head. I feel like this activity helps to give him a sense of ownership and belonging when he interacts with stories.

I know that reading on his own will come for my son. But as I stay consistent with the many literacy activities we do – phonics, sight word games, working through beginning readers, etc. – the things that help me most with my own impatience are the activities that encourage him to love stories. He’ll figure out the de-coding element in his own time. In the meantime, I want to fling wide the door to the world of stories and invite him to join me there.

curlicue1

Interested in being a guest blogger for the A Reading Life series? Submit your ideas here.

 

Literacy Musing Mondays – Emergent Literacy

Welcome back to Literacy Musing Mondays. Emergent literacy skills are so important and encouraging reading at a young age is central to insuring your child is a lifelong reader. This week we have a special guest post by a new mom who wants to make her baby fall in love with reading. Nabanita Dhar shares excellent insights on emergent literacy in infants. I hope you enjoy her post:

Emergent Literacy

How Do I Make My 4-Month-Old Fall In Love With Reading?

Author and mother who loves reading to her baby to encourage emergent literacy skills
Author and mother who loves reading to her baby to encourage emergent literacy skills.

By Nabanita Dhar

 

As I type this, my four-month-old daughter sleeps, blissfully unaware of the world she is in, with my kindle right next to her. Two of my most favorite things in the world, right where I want them. As I look at her, I wonder if she’ll also grow up to be like her mom, always a book, or now kindle, by her side. I wonder if she too will fall in love with reading and live her happily ever after amidst pages of written words. And then a question pops up in my mind.

How do I make my four-month-old fall in love with reading?

Call me crazy but I really, really want to show her this world of books. I want her to experience the need to read just one more page before turning in for the night. I don’t just want to introduce her to this amazing world of books but I want her to feel it, love it and connect with it too.

But, what can I do to make her see reading the way I do?

You have no idea how much I have pondered on this. All through my pregnancy and every day these past four months since I first held her in my arms. And then it hit me. Maybe the answer lies in my childhood. It was what you call the eureka moment.

If I remember correctly, I was about two and a half to three years old when my dad first started telling me stories while feeding me. It was his way to get around my tantrums while eating. The tales he wove were my reward for behaving at the dinner table. As days passed, I found myself eagerly waiting for meal time with dad. Not for the food but for the next new story that he had in his repertoire. I was hungry to hear more, imagine more. I think that was the whole reason books became my best friends when I was old enough to read. I wanted to hear more stories so I started looking for them in books. And I don’t know when but reading became an inseparable part of me. So, I think I know where I have to start.

Makes stories her reward. The sooner the better.

When my daughter is old enough to understand, I’ll start with telling her stories that I grew up on. A story or two while tucking her in, one while getting her to eat her food and maybe even while driving her to the creche. The point is to make her see stories as a reward, as a gift and make her yearn for it. So, every time she does something that deserves an accolade, encouragement, I’ll offer her a story too. Maybe then she’ll grow an appetite for more which in turn will lead to reading when the time is right.

To pique her interest in reading, I need to read in front of her, with her.

One of the things that children do always is take after their parents. They have a keen sense of observation and nothing escapes their inquisitive eyes. That is something I plan to play on to get the reading bug to bite her. I never ever go to bed without reading a few pages. This is my nightly ritual. Even if I’m dog tired, I do it. So, maybe when she sees me do it every day, she’ll do the same. It could be our mother daughter thing at the end of the day, read books together.

Introduce her to the amazing word of bookstores.

When you have kids, trips to the amusement park, the movie hall where, say, the Kung Fu Panda is being played or even the Dunkin Donuts, become a norm. These are things that kids enjoy and look forward to doing. So, I think along with these trips to bookstores, if done right, could also make introducing them to reading much easier. And to achieve just that, I plan to take my daughter to a bookstore at least once every month. It could be another of those things that we do as a mother daughter duo, just spend hours and hours lost in aisles of books, with books. So many stories under one room. That ought to entice her, right?

It’s not that I wish to shove reading forcefully down her throat. I want to do it right because I know how wonderful it is. And it’s not just discovering stories or leading many lives by virtue of these stories that I want her to grown fond of. There’s more to it. Reading equips you better for life, I feel. And I want that for her. I want books to be her friends too and we all know that’s a lasting bond.

So, tell me, do you have any suggestions for me? How can I help my daughter discover the beauty of this magical world of books and reading?

Nabanita Dhar blogs at Random Thoughts—Naba. She is a Blogger, Freelance Writer, Social Influencer, Daughter, Wife & a New Mother all wrapped into one. Oh, a Software Professional too! She has published two short stories in anthologies. You can follow her on Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Twitter.


You may have noticed we delayed our start of Literacy Musing Mondays to early Monday morning to honor the Easter Holiday. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family.

Now on to our weekly linkup! First let’s

Meet Your Hosts and Celebrate Literacy

 

Ashley @Circling the Story Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram

Beth@Pages and Margins Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Leslie@Forever Joyful Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+

Mary @Maryandering Creatively Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+

Tami @ThisMomsDelight Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus


Let’s Celebrate Literacy together now!

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

 

Who Was, What Was, Where Is Books for Kids

By Heather @ EncouragedatHome.com

Who Is, What Was, Where Is Books for Kids - Encouraged at Home
Heather introduces us to fun books to encourage children to read about historical figures and event. You will want to check out this fun post.

My Favorite Post:

CLOUDS ARE AMAZING! BOOKS FOR KIDS

By Linnae @ Of Books and Blooms

clouds.JPG

Linnae shares a wonderful list of cloud-related books, divided into three different levels: picture books, juvenile non-fiction, and middle grades. She has some charming and quirky selections interspersed with more scientific books. I found the picture book selections particularly delightful!

 

Want to be the next to be featured? Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow Mary Hill’s board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.


Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often. :)Literacy-Musing-Mondays- where we celebrate reading!

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or written with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger’s post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone’s posts. I know as a blogger, you know how it feels not receive comments, right. 🙂 Plus, you could be honored as our Top Commentor if you submit your report to Mary! Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.

 

Let’s Celebrate Reading and Learning together this week at Literacy Musing Mondays!

To add your post, click on the link below:

 

A Reading Life: Why I Read Books I Don’t Like

 

Sometimes you just need an easy read. A good comfort book you can curl up with before bed. Sometimes you just need to re-read Anne of Green Gables (yet again) or a re-told fairy tale you know you’ll enjoy.

I know, I’m exactly the same way.

But there are times when I want to challenge myself as well. I often view my reading life in a similar light as my fitness life. There are times for that light, predictable comfort read—just like there are times for that refreshing stroll through the park. But there are also times to stretch and challenge myself in my reading—just like when I challenge myself to run that extra mile or sink deeper into the yoga pose that I can’t quite master.

Stretching myself in my reading can look different at different times. It can mean taking the plunge to read a really long classic that I know will take a good six months to finish. Or expanding into a new genre I never really delved into before—picking up a graphic memoir or an anthology of poetry out of the library. It can mean reading a book whose content is emotionally difficult, but very important. Or reading something in a style that will be difficult to read quickly (or to understand without a dictionary nearby)—a Shakespeare play or a Faulkner novel. It can mean reading a book by an author who is coming from a very different perspective from me, or who writes about content that is difficult to swallow.

I’ve found reading books that stretch and challenge me to be very rewarding. Sometimes it can be difficult. Sometimes books make me frustrated in ways I don’t quite understand, and I have to set them down and talk about them with someone else. But reading books that challenge me forces me to think and wrestle with new ideas and perspectives, and I always gain something in return for my effort.

I’ve been inspired in the journey of reading books that challenge me by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk on The Danger of a Single Story. She talks about how confining ourselves to a single story about a person, a culture, or a place can lead to serious misunderstandings. She talks about how we give dignity to people and cultures when we seek to understand multiple narratives of their lives. As she puts it, I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.” If you haven’t already heard her talk, I would highly recommend that you do so. It was revolutionary in my thinking about this topic.

I’ve mentioned that just like tackling new fitness goals, there can be difficulties and challenges in this venture of stretching yourself in your reading. Here are a few of the practical ideas that have helped me as I’ve taken on this goal.

Read multiple books at once. If I only have one book going at a time, there is a high likelihood that it will be a pleasure read or a comfort read. I have to have a book for my bedside table—one that is predictable in how it makes me feel, and that I can read before going to sleep. I know this about myself, so if I want to have a challenging book going I know I have to balance it with an easier book that I’m reading at the same time.

Set aside some time. Particularly if I’m just starting a challenging book, I know that I need a certain amount of uninterrupted time to devote to it. I try to sit down with at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time in front of me when delving into a new challenging book, preferably with a notebook and pencil nearby to jot down notes, quotations, and thoughts.

Have someone to talk with. I find it very helpful to have someone to talk with about challenging books that I’m reading. New thoughts and ideas from challenging books get muddled in my head unless I take the time to sort through them by discussing them with someone else.

curlicue1

Interested in being a guest blogger for the A Reading Life series? Submit your ideas here.

A Reading Life: Why I Read

It was so easy to read as a kid. I grew up as an only child and I would spend hours—whole afternoons—lost in a book. Tucked away in a favorite chair or up in a climbing tree, I would enter the wardrobe with Lucy Pevensie, cross the Lake of Shining Waters with Anne Shirley, or explore the Phantom Tollbooth with Milo.

It’s harder to read as an adult. Life and kids and responsibilities get in the way, and it can be hard not to see my time reading as wasted time when other responsibilities press down on me. Yet I’ve realized that taking the time to read is just as important for me—if not more so— now than it was when I was growing up. Here are a few of the reasons.

Reading helps to keep my world big. As a stay-at-home mom living in suburbia, my world can sometimes feel small. I can get caught up in changing diapers or keeping the house clean, and something that happens halfway around the world feels unimportant in my life. But then I read a book like Half a Yellow Sun or Inside Out and Back Again and I’m transported to another place on the globe, where I get to know characters who matter to me. This opens me up to feeling like a part of another community and a larger world. Now when I hear a reference to Nigeria or Vietnam in the news, it’s no longer a random place I’ve never visited—I feel a connection to this place and its people because of the books I’ve read.

Reading gives me compassion. It can be easy to get caught up in my own story and to surround myself with people who are like me. Reading helps open my mind and my heart to people whose stories are different from my own. It helps me to see the world through different eyes and to understand different circumstances and experiences. After I get caught up in a story like The Nightingale or The Book of Ebenezer Le Page , I come away feeling that I truly know the characters. Their stories become embedded in me. And those stories allow me to better interact with the stories of those around me, and give me more compassion when the stories are very different from my own.

Reading helps me understand myself. Sometimes I just need perspective. Perspective on who I am now, and where I’ve come from, and how I’ve changed. Finding just the right book, whose author uses just the right words to describe something I know in my own life can be a magical experience. It gives me words to describe myself and my experience in new ways. I’ve experienced this with Gilead and The Snow Child . It’s the search for these kinds of books—the ones that describe specific moments in my life perfectly, using words I never would have put together myself—that keeps me reading day after day.

curlicue1

Interested in being a guest blogger for the A Reading Life series? Submit your ideas here.