This monday a major event began at my son’s school…the Reading Rally. What’s “reading rally”, you ask?
Think of a jog-a-thon…but instead of getting sponsored to run laps around a track, students are sponsored to read books (1-2 cents/minute). Each student sets a reading goal for the month. There are medals to be earned. Big stuff people.
Of course, for Quade there was no other option but go for gold. Which means we will be reading at least 3,000 minutes this month. Whew.
He’ll read aloud and I’ll read aloud and Bruce will read aloud. It’s gonna be epic.
I figured since we would be spending so much time reading it’s the perfect time to start a new series…
Being a speech-language pathologist (SLP), I know the importance of reading to your children. But it wasn’t until Quade started attending a Classical Christian school that I understood the difference between quality literature & “twaddle”.
As an SLP my requirements for a “good book” were: simple sentences, theme-based vocabulary, and interesting illustrations. I looked for books with few words per page, ones which allowed me to ask good “Wh-” questions, facilitated further conversation and helped teach story prediction skills.
Now I have new requirements for books we read. I want books which instill values, demonstrate desirable character qualities, encourage creative play, and affirm importance of nature, animals & older generations. The richer the characters, the imagery, the story line…the better.
“What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” -Thomas Carlyle
Thankfully his school provided a wonderful list of books which fall in this category of quality literature.
For the “What We’re Reading” series I will share a book a week, give a quick synopsis and share why we like it. (maybe someday it will become a link-up?)
Our first book is one we love to read while eating lunch on our back porch or at the park.
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran (for ages 3 to 8 years old)
Across the street on a rocky hill children found old wooden boxes, rocks, cactus, and thorny ocotillo (you’ll learn what those are in the book). Adding imagination to these simple materials they create a wonderful world, called Roxaboxen, with homes, ice cream shops, and a city hall. Rocks became currency. Twigs became a steering wheel for a car. A stick and string transform into a horse. Those ocotillo’s become weapons in the great war of boys versus girls. Best of all, no matter the season or the passing years, “Roxaboxen was always there.”
Why we like it:
Having grown up with several acres of woods behind my house, I love the idea of creating a world with natural elements. I remember my best friend and I found trees full of vines and imagined an entire carnival and town in those trees.
This book reminds me of simpler times. All a child needs is a stick and his imagination and unplanned hours of play. Fun to give my boys a vision of what they can create when they play outside.
What are you reading? (have you ever read “Roxaboxen”?)