I was downright depressed when I realized that we were moving to Houston and I would be leaving behind my beloved literature curriculum that I helped create in fifth grade at Madison Crossing. I was on the roster as a Reading/Language Arts/Social Studies teacher, but I have always considered myself a literature teacher primarily. Reading is my love. But beyond that, sharing great books is where I truly thrive. It’s always an emotional experience for me when I see young minds immersing themselves in the worlds of the characters I introduce them to.
I felt I was giving up a great deal when I agreed to leave it all behind. I thought that it would be years before my own children were ready for thought provoking literature. I was wrong.
Until now, Emerson has only been drawn to juvenile chapter books such as Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Judy Moody, etc. I see now, that she needed those stories to engage her interest. She has become a lover of literature just like her mom. She carries a book with her everywhere. She loves fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. And I love her for it. Don’t get me wrong…Reese doesn’t not like to read. She just hasn’t entered into that stage where one reads for pleasure and seeks out literature that interests them. She is still learning the foundations of decoding. But she loves to listen to a good story. In fact, her deep thinking, analytical skills may surpass Emerson’s.
We began The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last night. I hesitantly began reading, what I feared might be a story that wouldn’t hold their interest. I feared they might not be ready for it.
I had to hold back laughter as I read the first two chapters to them. Their eyes were wide with anticipation over the land of Narnia that Lucy stumbled into last night. When I finished reading the second chapter, Emerson asked me to give her a list of books by C.S. Lewis. For he is her “new favorite author.” Reese is most enthralled right now with the Professor as he reminds her of Santa… Just wait until she meets Father Christmas. Emerson is most curious about Mr. Tumnus and how in the world he can have half a human body and half a goat’s.
I am just thrilled to begin this adventure. I still miss my fifth graders and the discussions over Lois Lowry literature. But I look forward with anticipation to the discussions I will have with my children. I have a list a mile long of all the books I can’t wait to share.
Encouragements of the day:
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
— Emilie Buchwald
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
— Jacqueline Kennedy