Raising a Reader: Fostering a Love of Reading

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I love to read. Love, love, love. I'm not sure what went on in my early years, but my mama definitely did something right. When I was in first (maybe second) grade we moved to a house that was a skip and a hop from the library. Like really, I had to walk past one house and I could SEE the library. I have a lot of happy childhood memories at that library. At some point, I was allowed to walk there by myself which was very convenient for my voracious literary appetite. I'd walk back with a stack of books and make myself comfortable on the front porch swing.

It's really important to me that my child also love to read. Even if he only wants to read about the stock market and body building like his dad, I want him to want to read. I used to joke that I wasn't sure if my husband even knew how to read because I've never seen him pick up a book, but I guess novels aren't for everyone. Logging reading hours is good for your brain no matter the subject matter. (Well, with a few exceptions to that! LOL)
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So, how do we get there?
  1. Read to him every day from the beginning. Maybe not those first few weeks when you resemble a Walking Dead extra, but after that, you should definitely read to them. High contrast board books are great for newborns, or you could always just read aloud from whatever you're working on.

Beyond the Sidewalk: Finding Nature in Your City

Sunday, April 2, 2017

You probably know that I live in a suburb of Houston. Houston is not exactly known for being a hot spot for nature enthusiasts. You picture a concrete jungle, not a wooded swamp full of wild animals. When my son was born, I figured he would get nature exposure in the summer at my parent's farm and that would be enough. Slowly I have uncovered gem after gem in my city, and I've realized that you just have to look for them.
Finding tax-funded parks is the easiest. National, state, county, and city run parks can easily be looked up. The National Park Service has a search-by-state database. Both Texas and South Carolina have searchable state park websites, so I'm guessing every other state does as well. City parks are a little tougher to locate for me. City of Houston's website has a list, but each of the precincts also has their own list and I only know that because I randomly linked up to one. Who would have thought to search by precinct? I think of police stations when I hear that, not greenspaces. You can also search by counties and cities. There are an unbelievable amount of tax-funded parks. (Not a nature experience, but searching city parks when Everett was an infant led me to TWO lovely neighborhood splash pads that are city-owned and open to the public.)
Seabourne Creek Nature Park
Rosenberg, TX

DIY Garden Puddling Station for Pollinators

Friday, March 31, 2017

I've been researching ways to attract more bees and butterflies to my garden, and I keep coming across these puddling stations. It's essentially a very shallow bird bath for pollinators. At first I was like, "since when do bees drink water?" But apparently it's a real thing and completely adorable. Watch this and read this.

Books & Coffee, Spring 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I have got the nature bug right now! I started Last Child in the Woods and I haven't been able to stop.

In addition to those nature themed books, I'm also rereading No Bad Kids for the fourth time. This time my husband is also reading it. I just can't tell you how amazing this book this. If you find yourself yelling, using gimmicks like time out and counting to three, hitting, or just not liking your kid then you should stop what you're doing and read this book. (In case you're doing @mamawatters book club, this is based on the same science as The Whole Brained Child.)

I'm almost finished with The Handmaid's Tale on Audible! I have been reading this book for what feels like forever because I can't play it when Everett is awake. I had already started it when I saw the trailer during the Super Bowl so that's been at least since January. The show starts on Hulu in April and I.am.so.excited!

Still working on Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This was on my last list, I know, but it's basically a textbook. 

Send me your recommendations! What should I read this summer? I need a juicy novel. I'm considering reading the Canadian West series because I loved When Calls the Heart so much. (It's on Netflix!)
What's on your bookshelf?

Raising Monarch Butterflies with Your Kids, Part 1

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I get SO many questions about our butterflies. I'm working on a packet for homeschoolers learning about Monarchs, but, in the meantime, I'm posting this to get you started.


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