These new literature-based e-books published through Amazon Kindle, both have to do with Gothic Literature. For only $.99 each, these are great little additions to any reading curriculum, or for personal education.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle (I don’t, either). You can download Amazon’s Kindle for PC for free and read Kindle books on your computer, or you can use Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader to read Kindle books online, without downloading anything.
This 5 minute video produced by The New York Times, takes a quick look at how pharmaceutical companies use advertising to promote ADHD medications.
Before I tutored other people’s children, I taught my own as a homeschooling mom. We homeschooled for three years, during which my oldest child went through preschool, Kindergarten, and first grade, and my second child went through preschool and Kindergarten.
We had a great time and I and the kids learned a lot. We took many educational field trips, they learned to read, and we were on a roll to continue when I was forced to give it up during that third year due to severe health problems with my last pregnancy. But I don’t regret it. We are very fortunate to live in an area with a fantastic Elementary school, and my oldest two are thriving in fourth and second grade.
There are a wide variety of reasons why parents choose to homeschool their child/children, and there are an ever-increasing plethora of resources, blogs, and organizations to help homeschooling families. I think it is fantastic that so many parents are willing to take a strong stand for their student’s education, but I want to let prospective home educators know that despite the growing trend, homeschooling is not easy. I don’t think enough proponents of homeschooling admit that.
Just like public or private school, homeschooling does require a tremendous amount of time, effort, money (though there are ways to adequately “shoe-string” certain things), and organization. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, and sadly there are no substitute teachers when you desperately need a break or are ill. Many times, home educators begin with enthusiasm and passion, only to burn out within a few weeks-months. While there are plenty of successful home educators, it is also important to know your personal limits. This doesn’t mean you failed. The goal of educating children is the priority and it requires strong parental involvement for students to succeed no matter where the setting is.
*Are you a home educator? Take a look at the Resources page for a few materials and links to help you out.
A very smart, twelfth grade student of mine shocked me by insisting that not only were books boring, taking an English class didn’t make sense to them because they already knew how to read.
I was a bit taken aback, but proceeded to dive into an animated lecture about books, plays, and good films being an important part of our culture, teaching us about other people, places, and times, enriching our vocabulary, making us smarter, more well-rounded individuals. I spoke about the illumination of human nature both good and bad, time-tested truths being revealed, literary experiments that succeeded and failed, and the toying with morals for better or worse. I fear she stopped listening at “books are an important part of our culture”, but maybe not.
I have such a deep-rooted love for the written word, I had never stopped to consider before: Just why should we read literature?
According to the article, Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer, by Annie M. Paul, “deep reading” (as the author calls it) is the “immersive” reading of literature, especially the tried and true classics, and fires up the brain in a variety of ways beyond the imagination. Paul says that “deep reading” elicits empathy and a better understanding of others, making us more compassionate, well-rounded individuals.
Your Brain on Books: 10 Things That Happen to our Minds When We Read, informs us that reading books elicits brain activity in the sensory, motor and visual areas, not to mention language. Reading also grows brains and attention spans. Reading really is brain food, but it takes practice and training to read “deeply”. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
My student asked a valid question, and I hope English teachers everywhere will begin to address it.
P.S. The book and film, Inkheart are both fabulous introductions into why books are awesome.
“Can’t, couldn’t do anything”, my Dad used to say. That may sound corny, but it is so true. How you perceive (or choose to perceive) something may determine the outcome more than the work you put into it.
If you look at a challenge and say, “Ugh. I don’t want to/I can’t/That’s impossible”, then you have created what’s known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are defeated without ever taking a step, and what’s worse you defeated yourself!
When you think or say those kinds of things, you have shut yourself down mentally, physically, and emotionally. I see people do that all the time and they even look suddenly as if a plug had pulled from their back. I want to stress this next part: No one can pull you out of that, teach you anything, or “plug you back in” except you. You must decide for yourself, and I also want to stress: It is never too late to plug back in.
On the other hand, if you approach challenges with an attitude of, “Sure! I’ll take that on”, with energy, enthusiasm, and a will to work, you have a much higher chance of success. That doesn’t mean hard work and a lot of time won’t be involved, but you will have bragging rights in the end!