Some recent reads

"Parenthood by Proxy ~Don't have them if you won't raise them" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

I hesitate to say I enjoyed this book because in a lot of ways it made me very sad and frustrated with our current society. However I thought it was a good read because it reinforced in me again the important role I am playing by staying home with my kids. She includes many reports that show that while many in our government seem to think that early childhood education, more programs for children and more things of that sort will solve our problems, in reality that sort of thing is making kids worse. What kids need is their parents at home.

Here is a quote on being with peers that I found interesting:

"Parents today want their children to have the best opportunities to learn- so they enroll them in school programs almost from birth, put them in umpteen after-school lessons, or put them in day care so Mom and Dad can work for the goodies they believe are in their child's best interest. This seemingly well meaning behavior is destructive to the psychological health of youngsters.

The kids are busy, busy, busy, but they lack the closeness of a parent. Instead they are surrounded by other children and end up bonding with them. As the approval and attention of peers becomes more significant and powerful than that of adults, behavior problems inevitably appear. Studies show that the worst-behaved kids are those who spend the most time with other kids." (page 170)

The reports on Child care centers was chilling. Not really because the kids were abused, simply because they aren't loved in the way each child deserves to be. Love isn't simply holding and hugging and so forth either (though that is desperately needed) but truly loving a child means you train them and discipline them as needed as well. Busy day cares simply cannot do that to a lot of children nor does it work for those that are not parents to do much of that.

Reading the book made me feel very rich. Not because I have this great job that brings in lots of money but rather because we are able to make things work out so that I do not have to go out and leave my kids (One of the most important parts of our life) every day for the greater part of the day. In the book the comparison is made - If you had this very fancy car that you treasured would you park it in a garage each day to be used by various people all day who do not care for it the way you do? Of course not but yet millions of people are doing that with their kids.

I know I have known of parents that don't think they can do a good job of parenting in many areas and so are glad to have professionals to help them. The professionals may be better trained but they don't have what you have, You are their parent and they need you!

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

"We Like it Wild" by Bradford Angier

This is an old book with a copyright of 1963 but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a true story of a young couple from busy Boston going up to the wilds of Canada to experiment living away from civilization for a year. The experiment was Brad's idea because he realized that he was working at a job he didn't really enjoy, living in an environment he didn't like so that he could attain "success" which would include having enough money to be able to take vacations in the wilds of Canada. What I found to be the moral of the story is something I have generally thought and that is: Do what you love, don't look for what will make you the richest or most famous but rather something that you can enjoy each and every day.

In the book he explains a lot of the different things the did to live, from making a cabin, hunting, finding wild food and learning how to live in weather that is 63 degrees below zero.

Living out far from almost everybody is not what I dream about doing but it was fun to read about and I do share his love of living of the land, I just like to have more people around to fellowship with too.

"Fairy Island~ An enchanting tour of the homes of the little folk" by Laura C. Martin and Cameron Martin

We recently had this book checked out from the library for the second time. We thoroughly enjoy it! It is mostly a book of photographs of tiny fairy houses, gardens and accessories made out of all sorts of natural materials. There is a Farm house (complete with gardens, the cabbages are brussel sprouts and there are little tomatoes that I assume are wild cherries), a Sea House (full of fabulous stuff made out of shells and a rocking horse made from a Sea horse), A Japanese house and more.

We love looking through it and and oohing and aahing over the boots made of peanut shells, the cute little flower arrangements, the cups made from dried chili peppers and curtains made from kale leaves. There is a little bit of a story running through it as well and lots of botanical names of all the different plants used (so it makes it kind of educational!). This book has been lots of fun for the nature and fairy lovers in our family.

"To Root, to Toot, to Parachute ~ What is a Verb?" and "A Lime, a Mime, a Pool of Slime ~More about Nouns" by Brian P. Cleary

I recently found these at the Library and I think they are pretty neat. The thing is Parts of Speech are not my strong point. For some reason it doesn't seem to matter how much I study them, what they are goes out my head very quickly. At this point Mara (my 9 year old ) knows them better then I do. I am all about learning in fun ways however and who knows maybe if I read through these books enough it just might stick in my head. The only unfortunate thing is that the two books that I found at our library (the ones above) are about the only two parts of speech (Verbs and Nouns) that I can remember very well. But I figured that probably if these two had been written there were probably more out there too. Sure enough their are - lots of them. Somehow I hope to get the rest of them in our home too, whether it be through the Library or buying them.

The books are all in silly rhyming fashion, with lots of funny pictures so the kids found them very fun but they also very clearly get the message across that they are teaching about Nouns and what are proper nouns and so forth. I think if we read them several times even Megan (my 3 year old) would be picking things up.

The author has a neat looking website too with various learning games on it and resources.

What have you been reading lately? Do you have any great books to suggest? I would love to hear!