Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting Kids to Talk to You through Reading

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day -- we went and joined the Texas Rowing Club downtown, and it was a fun time to be together as a family. Kayaking is harder than Matt, Ben and Sam had envisioned...but they had a blast nonetheless.

Later, we were with friends at their pool and the subject of teenagers (let's just say kids in general) opening up and talking with their parents.

I am a novice at this, but I do know that kids in my classes have opened up and shared things in their journals and in discussions based on books we're reading. It is a perfect avenue to open up talk without putting them on the spot or making it a question/answer session.

And children's authors have risen to the occasion to give us a plethora of subjects that relate to them right now.

One book I love for my third graders is Barbara Park's (yes, the Junie B. author) Mick Harte Was Here. The main character is Phoebe, a young girl (late elementary/early middle schooler) who has lost her older brother in a bike accident -- because he wasn't wearing a helmet. It is a bit intense to hear her grieve, but the way it is written is completely honest and with words a girl her age would say.

I read it with Matthew, and now he wears his helmet no matter what. Instead of me giving a huge lecture about being safe, etc...he now knows the reprocussions of not wearing it. He knows how it will affect others if he gets injured or killed.

Could I have brought up the subject? Sure, but this was a much better way.

So search books by subjects...and open up the lines of communication.

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