A wonderful parent that I know mentioned the other day that her son had stayed by himself at an activity for the first time. Of course, there was constant supervision and friends would be there. However, his mom was not staying. Everything that he was involved in prior to this experience involved his parents. His parents right there…parents right there that very minute. Not this time…the time was right for a bit of separation. A fun birthday party was the ideal opportunity to let the child do a little growing up.
Growing up is tough when you really want mom and dad to stick around. When I first went away to college, I felt the same way…I sort of wanted my parents to stay a little longer. I guess that it took me a bit longer to be really independent. Our own daughter easily and happily waved good-bye after we moved everything into her dorm. She walked back in with her new friends…all talking at the same time. Every phone call was filled with excitement!
Our own son waved good-bye from his dorm room as we pulled out of the parking lot. When we came back a few weeks later for a visit, he knew everything there was to know about Austin. Every place to hike, to climb rocks, to canoe…he was so excited. I’ll never forget the words that he wrote in an email…”Thanks Mom and Dad for sending me to college!”…makes me have a few tears even today. Yes, it is wonderful to have a grown-up child.
It takes some help to get them to a more grown-up state of mind…either as a parent or as a teacher in the classroom. Children in elementary school (and perhaps beyond) can more easily grasp the meaning of growing up through books. Teacher read-to time is so very important for grasping any new knowledge. I intend to write about some excellent books during the next few weeks. When I was a brand new teacher, I would have loved for someone to tell me about some special books. Actually, I probably needed someone to say…”What? You haven’t read a book to the children today? What are you thinking?”…now I know that meaningful and real instruction should be based on an engaging book.
#1 Super Engaging Children’s Book:
I AM THE PEACH by Louisa de Noriega
In this book, a peach takes on a life of it’s own as a peach blossom becomes a real peach. By the end of the book, the peach blossom has become a big, strong tree. The birds come to the tree’s branches and sing to the peach blossoms. The illustrations are simple, yet powerful. Better yet, they are understandable to a child. The important part to me was that I could draw a few of the most important pictures on my white board easel. If I can draw these pictures, I am certain that you REALLY can draw them! Drawing pictures from a book and adding a few words to describe the illustration can encourage a child to make their own take-home book! Another something that I certainly didn’t realize when my teaching career began.
Before we made our “Peach” take-home books this year, we discussed our favorite pages from the I AM THE PEACH. The majority of the students in my class were from a Hispanic heritage. In the book, our “main character” peach is sold with all the other peaches at a market full of fruit and vegetable stands. The illustration is very colorful showing a market area with canopies over the displays. When I read this page, my class ALL called out…”THE MERCADO!” They saw a place that is important in their own lives! My favorite sentence in the book comes on the next page…”A boy came to my stand and from among all the peaches, he chose me!”…a real confidence builder!
I AM THE PEACH…#1 Super Engaging Book!