July 20, 2014

Summer Reading Ends July 31. What?

Summer Reading Ends July 31.  That's what the sign says at our library.  I am not a fan of the current trend of abbreviating summer and starting school mid-August and I'm certainly not happy with the message this sign is giving readers of all ages.  That being said, I know that June and July is when my own reading behavior is most prolific.  My sons read about the same amount as they do during the school year.  They just have more genre choices and different reasons for picking up a book in the summer.
Let me recommend our favorite audio book of the summer:  Petite Rouge Riding Hood by Mike Artell.  I know this link is for the softcover version, but if you can get the Recorded Books audio cd at your library, run don't walk to check it out!  The narration by Vernel Bagneris will transport your children on a one of a kind Cajun caper.

Speaking capers (this one much more sinister), I am attempting to finish The Map of Lost Memories set in 1925 Cambodia.  The main character is more real than likable but I find myself wanting to continue her journey.  The supporting characters seem a bit more interesting and forgivable than the protagonist but I'm enjoying her a bit more as the plot begins to spiral.  The story is not condescending nor predictable and I appreciate that.

Also from the library, I picked up this brand new book:  The Dolphin Way: A Parents Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, Motivated Kids.  The author explains how to develop self-motivation and help children follow their inner compass.  The key is CQ; a focus on four traits that foster 21st century skills. The author's point is that if kids don't grow up with CQ, their IQ will only get them so far.  In reality, I believe these four characteristics have been valuable and led to personal success throughout history.  I can't imagine a parent looking at the list in 1901 and saying, I'm not going to focus on nurturing these traits in my child, he'll never get a job.  I'm pretty sure the generation that survived the Great Depression and the generation that lived through WWII  had CQ in spades. 
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
The truth is, it wasn't difficult for Dr. Kang to convince me to concentrate on teaching these skills instead of academics.   I don't much care about standardized test scores (unlike Arne Duncan, I already know my children are brilliant).  I want to see growth in skills that will assure that they have the keys to doors they want to open.  I don't want to prepare my sons for a predicted career path, I want them able to select the endeavors and adventures that make their hearts sing and their minds wonder.  If they meet with that particular success, I believe they will make the world a better place no matter what they score on the ACT.

One thing is for sure, we won't stop reading around here no matter what the calendar says!

1 comment:

  1. CQs are very important traits for sure. I am so grateful we are finally in a place that I can read while Elena plays, or she'll crawl up & read with me.