6

"A Rhyme is something without which I would probably be in the dry-cleaning business."  ~ Theodor Geisel

Indeed, one wonders if we didn't have the talents that God gave to us, where would we be?

Maybe I should have saved this post for March.  That is, after all, the birthdate of this brilliant man.  Have you heard of the name Theodor Geisel?  How about Theo Lesieg?  If you don't know him by those two names, then perhaps Rosetta Stone or perhaps the name  Dr. Theophrastus Seuss which he used in college may at least ring a bell... for  surely you know him by his most popular pen name, Dr. Seuss.  If you haven't heard of Dr. Seuss....well... you need to go buy some books!

Dr. Seuss published 46 children's books for which he is well-known for.  His first published book was actually And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street though he is probably best known for The Cat in the Hat, a book that he wrote when given a list of 348 words that every six-year-old should know. The book contains 236 of the words from that list... this was no small feat. This accomplishment took talent....and several ideas which he ended up scraping!  This book is a wonderful beginner book - a book that I used myself in my classroom as a teaching tool for learning support children when I taught in the public schools and will no doubt use with my toddler one day soon!  He already loves the story!

Ruth K MacDonald, an author,  claims that without The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss would not have been the acclaimed, well-known author that he is today.  Perhaps, but I sort of doubt that.  My personal opinion is that yes, The Cat in the Hat does seem to be his most popular book, but Dr. Seuss  has many, many popular books.  Theodore Geisel wrote most of his books in a poetic meter termed anapestic tetrameter which was used by many poets and is often suggested as one of the main reasons Geisel's writing was so well embraced by children and their parents.  Indeed, in the quote above, Geisel knew how much he relied on his ability to use rhyme!

Rhyme was truly a talent of his...as was his vivid imagination.  And vivid imaginations is important for any writer.  without imagination, we have no business even attempting the field!  One does need a skill or talent in any area one decides to perform or take part in.

My dear daughter is majoring in criminology.  Whether she sticks with the major or not is to be determined... so far so good!  It is a major that fits her.  She has always had the curious mind to know what makes things tick.  What makes people do the things they do?  Why do people stray from the rules?  In her elementary years in the public school, she often got into trouble for reporting on what others were doing which was not according to the rule book!  I wonder what her teacher, Mrs. Wilson, would say to know that she is now a criminology major?  My point is, whether your talent is rhyme, observing others and details, math, environmental awareness, cooking or educating, then that is what should lead you in life.  That is the skill God gave you to make use of.  Your choice in life should lead you to say.  "Without this ___________, where would I be?"

Dr. Seuss said he'd be in the dry-cleaning business.  Something he would obviously find dull and not as uplifting.  Where are you today?  Immersed in the rhyme of a field that uplifts you?  Or are you stuck doing someone else's dry cleaning?  Everyone's story is different.... but if you are finding yourself stuck... is there a way out?  There usually is, though harder for some than others.  But why do dry-cleaning just because it puts dinner on the table if you can do the same thing and use the talents that God gave you?  Just some thoughts for this Saturday....  and here's a few more;)

Random Thoughts For Saturday:

  • A person is a person no matter how small.  ~ Dr. Seuss in Horton Hears A Who
  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • Snow is cold.      I know - you already knew that.
  • Getting daily sunshine is more important than most people realize. 10-20 minutes out in the natural sunshine without sunblock should be part of your daily routine (I'm trying to work on that one myself...)
  • I believe blocks, or any type of building toys,  are the most brilliantly creative toy a child can possess-  it is amazing what a creative mind can do with blocks!
  • Students who read widely and frequently are higher achievers than students who read rarely and narrowly.
  • Ketchup is supposed to be a condiment, not the main course.
  • Those moments of challenge that we are offered whereby we do NOT become unglued are moments of grace offered to us by our Lord to show us that we CAN choice to be merciful and calm... Becoming unglued is something we CAN overcome.
  • Rhyme is awesome!

4

My son is in those beginning stages of reading.  He's 3 1/2.  It's so exciting!

While I can't say I've sat down with him to do actual reading lessons on any sort of daily basis, I've done some things with him that I think are pretty important for parents to do.  And the first and foremost thing to do, of course, is READ!!!

My son's shelf is full of books!  Well, actually, my house is full of books.  He has picture books filling his shelf in his room.... two really.  One full of board books and those less expensive books from the dollar store and garage sales that I don't mind him bending or tearing pages of that he can have access to at all times.  Another, higher shelf that has the picture books that I'd rather not have torn quite yet.  And, of course, there's a basket of books in the living room and the stack of library books are, well, I think they are scattered at the moment!

I can't say it enough.  Reading is so vital.  We actually began reading to him when he was in the womb.  And that actually wasn't me.  That was my son. (The teenager 🙂 )  He would talk to him and sometimes read a well-loved Dr. Seuss book.

I don't know that reading to children in the womb is necessary for good reading skills.  I'm betting not.  I think that helps though to recognize voice patterns and the tones of those in their environment.  And it certainly can't hurt.

Usually reading starts after birth.  Of course we just started with little plastic books and board books that he could finger with.  He loved books with bright pictures and books that had some texture...and apparently they didn't taste bad either. 😉  In this stage, it's just pointing at pictures and telling him colors and names of objects and maybe telling him what the objects do.

I would say as soon as he was able to really sit up in my lap is when I started the ritual of bedtime stories.  Of course it was very simplistic at first.  Just looking at one of those simple books with the pictures and talking about it.  Then we moved on to simple board books that told a story but were short and sweet.... like Where's Spot?

By the time he was a year old, we were reading 3 times a day.  While I'm not sure he really retained the 'stories' from his bible story book, he did listen and look at the pictures and I'm sure it helped him recognize terms (God, Jesus, angel, etc.).  We continue to read these and as time goes on, he is pointing to various pictures and showing recognition of the people in them.  We also read at rest time and at bedtime.  My goal is always a minimum of 7 books a day in addition to his bible storybook.  No particular reason for the number...it's just what I decided on.

Reading is of vital importance.  Daily reading is essential.  If you don't know why, let me share some interesting tidbits with you:

  • Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and literacy development and, later on, achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school. Yet, recent studies on family reading suggest too many youngsters go without the benefit of a family member reading to them.  (RIF.org)
  • Reading builds a stronger relationship between you and your child.  While it's obvious (at least to me) that reading prepares the stepping-stones to academic success, it may not be as obvious that it gives opportunity for you and your child to bond.  There is usually close proximity between the reader and the child, whether it's the child sitting in the lap or very close by.  There is interaction between the reader and the child as the child may ask questions and the reader clarifies or comments and as they both laugh together at the antics of fictional characters.  The reader and child are able to talk about their observations and feelings about what they are reading and share about things that may not come up in other daily interactions.
  • Reading does prepare stepping-stones to academic success.  The child is introduced not only to sounds and new vocabulary, but to the basic process of reading a book.  The child observes how the book is opened and left to right progression as the reader turns the pages and it is good to point to the words as you read again demonstrating left to right progression and you may be amazed at how quickly the child can pick up on common sight words they see over and over.  My son's first recognized word was STOP.... from the delightful book Go Dog Go by Dr. Seuss.  He loves to shout that word out when we are on the right page and he started pointing out this word on Stop signs all on his own.
  • The Children's Reading Foundation suggests reading to your child at least 20 minutes a day.  They state that reading to your child from birth literally wires brain cells together in networks that later facilitate independent reading.

So....  we read to our children.  (Yes, I actually still read to my teenager...he enjoys it.  I love it!)  It's the part of the day I enjoy the most.  And yes, he(our toddler) does know quite a few words already.  This doesn't mean every child that's read to will recognize words by 3.  But just because he or she doesn't, does not mean that the time you spend reading with your child doesn't matter because it does!!  So grab a book off the shelf and start reading!!  🙂

I want this T-shirt!!! But I couldn't find anywhere to actually purchase it...  🙁