Happy Me!

This post is so different from yesterday.

This is yet another post about me managing to wrangle children into the Guys Read book club that I’ve been going on about.

I was so impressed with one of my recruits. When he came over late in the evening, I explained to him what I expected of him, and he was off and running. He was excited to get the book and the other stuff that I gave him.

I explained to him that for every ten books he read, he needed to write at least two simple book reports. I also explained to him that he would get to pick a prize, which could either be another book, some stickers or some other stuff that I purchased.

He brought the book report back the next morning with his proud 8-year old self. I was so proud of him that I gave him an extra treat (a cup of peaches).

I am so happy with the way that the children that I have recruited (David, Phillise, my godson, two nieces and 3 of the children on the street) have responded. They are honestly excited about reading. This is like a dream come true. I expected to have to cajole, plead, and bribe these children with big bribes to read, but that has not been the case.

I am really so happy about this!

Blue, Confused, Contradictory & Melancholy Me, part II

I am sitting here wondering what’s wrong with me. I’ve been putting up these b.s. posts all week because I just can’t get myself to finish the 9 posts that I’m working on. It’s always like this right after school ends.

I pray and wish and hope for it all year long; then when it comes, I am so torn. I wonder if I will ever stop feeling this way. I hate it. I feel like such a wimp. I cried today because I was so overwhelmed with everything. Now I remember why I went to work in the first place; it’s hard staying at home. I am reminded of this every summer when I’m off with allll my children home.

But you know what, I’m going to keep it together, proceed with the book club and stay on top of things.

Wish me luck!!

More Reading Lists

I have been on a quest to find books for reluctant readers so I have been checking sooooo many websites that have book lists. I found one called the Reading Bag. I also found something on there about Moms screening a new show that will air in September. Here is the post directly from the site:

stacey_kannenberg.jpg Your Chance to Help Kids Stacey Kannenberg, award-winning author of Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten and Let’s Get Ready for First Grade is working with Mom Central Consulting on a PBS show for this fall. Stacey is looking for some moms who would like to sample a FREE DVD of a new PBS Show coming out in September. “We are looking for mother’s with preschoolers ages 2-5 who will view it with their kids and give us feedback in a short survey.” Here’s the link:

http://www.cedarvalleypublishing.com/Moms.html. (You may have to cut and paste to open link ) You can also learn more about Stacey at www.cedarvalleypublishing.com.

Check it out!

MasterCard Moment, part II

What with all of my children being home for the summer, plus a nephew=5, the post-a-holic anonymous meetings, and trying to keep my sanity, I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I am finally getting around to making the stuff for my Guys Read book club. It is taking the better part of three days.

I decided to put some other stuff together, in addition to everything else that I was doing. I got a plain brown paper bag and some stickers that I let them decorate their bags with, the Guys Read bookmarks and stickers, and a snack.

I laminated the bookmarks. I hit a snag when I couldn’t find my Xyron sticker-making machine, so I put double-sided tape on it. Problem solved.

The pièce de résistance was the free book that I gave them for joining.

The kids were so impressed, while I was thinking that I could have done more.

All totaled, I spent $7.58 for books at the .99¢ Store, $6.51 for the stickers, $1.19 for the peanut butter and jelly cookies, .99¢ for the plain brown paper bags + a couple of cents worth of ink to print out the bookmarks and stickers.

Grand total for launching my Guys Read book club= $16. 27 .

The price of instilling in a child the love of reading= Priceless

I will post the pix later.

Reluctant Readers, Part II

This Guys Read stuff has taken on a life of its own. I have gotten comments from a couple of people and I thought about how it connected to the larger picture of my wanting to motivate unmotivated learners. If I can learn to get reluctant readers to read, then maybe I can get unmotivated learners to learn. I have many plans for the continuation of this. Stay tuned!

On the Hill by Lisa Jahn-Clough

I found this adorable little book for Phillise at, you guessed it, the .99¢ store. The drawings are very simplistic; enough to catch the eye of a five year old.


The Houghton Mifflin website says that this book is for ages 5-8, but I think that it’s too babyish for 8 year olds. I would only say that it’s for 5-6. Phillise liked it. I liked it because when it came to the part of the book where they had to solve their problem, she correctly guessed what they would do.

It’s not a page turner, but it’s a cute little book that a little girl will enjoy looking at.

Title: On the Hill

Author/Illustrator: Lisa Jahn-Clough

Age: 5-6

Synopsis: Camille, who is lonely, lives on one side of the hill. Franzi, who is also lonely, lives on the other side of the hill. Neither one knows the other is there. They set out to find someone to talk to and dance with with. One goes one way, while the other goes another. They miss each other two times. Of course, the third time’s the charm. They find each other and decided to live together. It doesn’t work because their houses are too small. They move apart. They miss each other, so they have to find a solution. What do they do to solve their problem? Read the book and find out.

You can get this book from the library, Amazon.com, half.com, or simply go to the .99¢ store.

Check it out!

You Be YOU, part II

I’m 36, 5’0 tall and very curvaceous. My niece, Jayelle, is 14, almost 6 ft. tall and as thin as a rail. I stopped growing up, but not out at twelve; at fourteen and almost 6 ft. tall, she is still growing upPPP. Suffice it to say that I am shaped like most black women (junk in the trunk, big thighs, etc..). My niece is not. She hates being tall and thin. She mentioned this the other day when my husband and I were taking her to school.

What do we have in common? The fact that at 14 we both hate(d) ourselves.

This is our conversation:

Me: “Do you want to be short like me, Jayelle?” I asked

Jayelle: “Yes,” she said.

Me: “Can you be short like me?”

Jayelle: “No.” she sadly replied.

Me: “So, are you wasting your time wishing for that? Is that even a realistic wish?” I asked.

Jayelle: Yes to the first one. No to the second. (Me paraphrasing).

Me: So stop wasting your time. You only get one YOU. You are almost 6 ft. tall. You cannot change that. You can’t be short like me; as much as you want to, you just can’t. So you have to stop wasting your time hating yourself. You HAVE to love you. You have to be YOU. You are the only YOU you will ever have. Start loving you.

I know that it went in one ear and out the other. Heck, it probably didn’t even go in. Nothing that anybody told me when I was younger sank in until I was much older.

According to Hollywood standards of beauty, I would definitely not fit into the beautiful category since I wear a size 12 and I’m only 5 ft. tall. But you know what, you can’t tell me nuthin’. I know that I am all of that. I can only wish that she grows to have the confidence that I have now. It took me a while to get here though. But she has one thing that I didn’t have at this age- an older, wiser, caring, loving, beautiful auntie like me.