The weather has been beautiful here since Hurricane Irene left town. We had one additional day of rain and then it’s been blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and a breezy 79 degrees.
It’s an early taste of fall. I know there’s more hot weather lurking out there, but we’re soaking up the days as they come right now. It’s been a little tough on my allergies and sinuses, but that’s what they make Advil for, right?
We had a great evening the other day. They played. Mr. Fix-It and the Ladybug picked up Chinese for dinner. Penny got to bark at some deer in the soybeans. (Ok, that part got old pretty quick.)
And we read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi before bed. You know, the real one by Rudyard Kipling. It’s about 12 pages long and our copy doesn’t have any pictures, but there’s more than enough excitement to the story to keep them interested. (And me!)
I’m on a real literature kick lately. We started with the Jungle book (which I’d never read before and didn’t realize was actually a bunch of short stories) and can I admit that I was a little embarrassed by how difficult I found it to read and follow?
I’m an avid reader, but I’ve been reading “easy” stuff lately. Modern stuff that’s written with our current short attention spans and small vocabularies in mind. Entertainment stuff. Busy-work stuff. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong. But tackling the Jungle Book and Swiss Family Robinson this summer has opened my eyes to what happens when you let your mind “vacation” too much. The first couple nights were a bit of agony for all of us.
Then we started getting into the flow of the stories. We’re getting the hang of really listening without worrying about pictures. (We’re developing patience to wait and see instead of interrupting with questions!) And we’re reading a chapter a night instead of two pages a night.
How tickled was I when my 4 year old took the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling for show and tell as his favorite book instead of Llama Llama (by Anne Dewdney) or Floss (by Kim Lewis)? We still like our fun, easy stories with pictures too and I highly recommend both of those authors!
But we’re going to start Treasure Island soon too.
I was inspired to this classics kick by a post over at Raising Arrows on Training Minds Away from Twaddle. How true are her words for all of us? How often are we trying to dumb down the information rather than raise our understanding?
These days, let’s be honest, how many of us can even read and understand the Declaration of Independence without a dictionary in one hand–much less speak and write like that ourselves? Not to mention the treasures of morality, the strength of convictions, the dedication to the family unit and the greater good that we’ve discovered in those pages–man, I can’t even wait to get back home tonight and curl up together again.
Do you share the classics with your kids? I’m starting a book list–do you have any recommendations?