The Simple Life - Reading Matters
- The Simple Life
~~ Quotes for the New Year ~~
Our small efforts at kindness can change people's lives more than we
will ever know. Since it takes so little time and energy to change
the world for the better, why not make an effort to do it every day?
"Happiness is making the most of what you have."~~Rosamunde Pilcher
~~~ Reading Tips for Kids ~~~
Visiting our grandchildren, Teanna, Jonte, and Tony, they
proudly showed us their report cards. They are making great
strides. Our daughter Amy is due some credit here. She, for the
past year has been implementing an hour a day of reading. After the
reading is done, the kids are rewarded with computer game times, and
other fun activities. Amy is a smart mom. She knows that if a kid
can read well, he or she has a big boost in all their other school
work. In this day and age, it's hard to be a strong parent and do
what is right for your kids. There is a lot of "kid pressure". All
kids learn the art of whining, complaining, and guilt trips to keep
their parents from doing exactly what they should be doing
encouraging kids to learn. I can just hear them "Mom, nobody else's
mom make them read every day!", "Mom, I hate reading," or "Mom, I
just don't feel like it today." Of course, they probably miss a few
days now and then, but they wouldn't be making such great progress
if they missed many.
Here are a few suggestions for making reading a great program in
~Kids usually need to run and play for a while after school, so
reading might be good right before or after dinner, or an hour
~ Try reading with your kids. Find an exciting book that the whole
family loves, such as "Swiss Family Robinson" and read a chapter a
~ Let your kids see that you can shut off the television and spend
time reading while they are reading.
~ All kids like to trade off reading every other page with their
parents, especially while learning to read.
~ Make a family tradition of going to the library once a week. When
a kid gets to pick the books he gets to read, he is much more
~ When getting started, there will be protests. It will take a
month for a new idea to become a habit. After that, the protests
will, for the most part, die. Hang in there, parents!
~ There are great children books that parents will want to read to
your children and that will become family favorites. I can think of
several that my kids and I read over and over, and we never tired
of. One book, "Where's Andy", was about a little boy who was
following his mother around while she looked for him, pretending she
didn't know he was behind her. This became a fun family game.
Another book, "Love You Forever" was a favorite.
~ There are books for every reason. When someone in your family
dies, look for a book that helps children understand death. If your
children is experiencing sickness, death of a pet, a bully, or loss
of a friend, how to do "anything", there is a book about that.
Books are tools to help families talk about all sorts of things.
Use them! If you can't find a book you are looking for, as the
librarian, she will be able to find just the book you are looking
~ Fun is the most important idea. The better the reader, the better
your child can do ANYTHING. When they see reading as fun, you know
you have won the battle.
~ Winter is a great time of year to get started, when playing
outdoors is not always and option, and daylight hour are short. Get
started now and by the time summer is here, kids will be reading on
~ In the beginning, you might want to try rewarding the children for
not complaining, good progress, or finishing a difficult book.
Rewards might vary by getting to pick the next family book to read,
help cook a favorite meal, or other special treats.
Be the #1 teacher in your child's life you already are!
Delicious and Easy Eclair Dessert
My grandmother loved to make Eclairs. They really aren't that
hard to make, but here is an easier version your family will love!
2 packages instant French vanilla pudding mix 2 c. milk
1 box graham crackers
1 (9 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed Frosting:
1 square unsweetened chocolate
3 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 T. milk
To make cake, butter a 9x13 inch pan. Place 12 graham crackers on
bottom. Mix together milk, pudding and whipped topping. Once
thickened, smooth half on crackers. Place another 12 crackers on
top. Spread with remaining mixture and another layer of crackers.
For frosting: Melt chocolate over low heat. Add butter and blend
until smooth. Add sugar, milk and vanilla; mix together until
smooth. Pour frosting over the graham crackers and refrigerate. Best
if made the night before.
This is the time of year to get a great start on gardening.
While you are sitting by the fire pouring over the seed catalogs,
keep a list of seeds or plants that you would like. Research their
growing requirements. Make sure they will work in your area no
sense wasting money on plants that are zone 7 if you are zone 4 or
5. Divide the plants into groups that like sun, shade, moisture,
can tolerate dry conditions, etc.
There are lots of on-line gardening groups that have seed
swaps, or check with your friends and neighbors. Start a gardening
club. Get together once a month and find out what you can trade.
Bring a salad and really have fun!
Take pictures of your garden at different times of year. Keep
them together so that you can remember where plants bloom, colors,
and when they bloom, etc. These pictures will also help you
remember when your plants need to be divided, or fed.
Keeping it Simple,
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