Thursday, September 18, 2014

Super news at The Book Club!

Remember how I was feeling very let down last weekend because hardly any of the kids had read their stories? Like some of you suggested I thought an incentive would be a good idea. I welcomed the kids armed with a bunch of Perks and when I asked, 'So how many of you read the story today?' ALL hands went up. 

Each and every one of them. 

And they had drawn the Firebird too. Here are some of them. Take a look..

Such happiness. Oh I know next week they might not read the story again but that doesn't stop me being happy now.

Earlier in the day N and her friend decided to make 'posters' for The Book Club. The language is not all perfect but I liked the sentiment.

"I am mad for books"
"Reading is the best. I love reading" "Even if it is raining, still I will read"
Not sure what that means! :-)
Cute aren't they? 
And then H, the biggest TV addict in the family, pitched in at the last minute with one of his too.

And No, there was no prompting from me at all. I was amazed at how they echoed my thoughts from the previous post. 

The activity

We paired up the kids (except N, who wanted to go solo!) and played dumb charades of book names. There was plenty of whispering and giggling and laughing till they came up with their acts. After we finished one of the girls remarked, 'Aunty our book club is the best because we have the coolest activities.' I'll be satisfied with that for now and will wait for the day they say 'We're the best because we read the coolest books'. Yes, I'm ambitious.

The new story

Mercifully we had few disturbances (specially from H and N) and so could read most of the story. Titled 'Home' it told the tale of a Srilankan girl who has to move away from her small village to London. It talked about the concept of home and how it's not a 'place' but people who make up a home. I am hoping the lessons they pick up here will stand them in good stead later on in life.

The plan for this week...

...is to explore Srilanka a bit. And another story spinning session (with a difference).
And of course we'll have a brand new story, one on dinosaurs. This one has been chosen by H. In fact beginning this week I was thinking, once a month we could take turns to let the children share a story they've read and enjoyed.

Before I sign off - A huge thank you for keeping up with us and for your suggestions. Do keep them coming. Book/reading related crafts and activities or anything to enhance their creativity would be very very welcome. And of course if you stumble upon a good story do do let me know.

Monday, September 15, 2014

#Microblog Monday 1 - A book over the weekend

A well worn beanbag and a fun breezy book were the two things I had in my island of happiness this weekend. Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess is a great way to relax. What an absolute fun read! Wonder how I missed it despite having read a host of others by her.

The thing about it is that it's completely unbelievable in a very filmi kind of way. I mean what are the odds of someone giving up a high flying job (no matter how huge an error they make) to become a housekeeper? And mastering gourmet cooking over a weekend or two? Or having a handsome gardener at hand to ensure a happily ever after?

Yet it's highly relatable at some level. As in don't we all have 'to do' lists that remain 'to do' for ever? Don't we all have horrid bosses who hand over work just when we've something planned? And of course the cooking debacles! I too have tried boiling an egg in the microwave.

A weekend well spent!

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Stirrup Queens.

Friday, September 12, 2014

.. and we plod on

A let down

Book club Saturday began on a bit of a disappointing note (for me) because only two children had read the story and that was really sad. It's just five or six pages (and in 14 point size - that's huge) The thing is the kids like to read and they enjoy the story but once they're home, other things take over - TV, computer games, friends, but mostly TV... and the story lies forgotten till the next Book Club Meeting. 

I wish we had limited TV transmission. Yeah I know I know that's selfish and impractical and that TV has it's uses. Eight months of bedrest during pregnancy taught me that well enough. 
Wish i could put that on all TV sets!

It's just that it's SO ADDICTIVE!! Sigh! 

And then I reminded myself that it had been just a month. 

I was wondering if I should ask the moms to tell the kids to finish the story. I had not wanted to involve them because the moment there's any kind of pressure and the reading becomes a compulsion it loses it's fun. I'm still a bit undecided on this one. I certainly do not want the moms to push but maybe reminding and encouraging the kids would help. Or maybe they could get the kids to read just a page a day, before they sleep. It would hardly take five minutes.. yes five minutes, that's it. 

My other problem is H! He is completely disruptive, to put it mildly. No amount of talking is helping. He argues and wants to read first and hates to hear a 'No'. Help guys. What should I do? A bit at a loss here.

The meeting..

And so we spent the first half of the meeting finishing the story. Then we went on to talk about the Firebird and what it would look like. 'I don't know' was the first response. Then slowly they came up with wonderfully imaginative descriptions and together we made up a fantastic creature. And then we talked about other imaginary birds and animals... Centaurs, Phoenix and Unicorns.

A Turkish Story 

I was pretty excited about the story for the day. Actually I've stumbled upon a site packed with stories from across the world. I picked the story of a boy in a small English village. He has a Turkish father and an English mother. The story talked about cultural differences and how what's right in one country may not be so in another one. 

Time always falls short and we intend to continue the discussion today along with finding Turkey and England on the Globe. 

This Saturday ..

I have another lovely story called 'Home' about a young Sri Lankan Girl who has to move to London.

Wish me luck guys.

Friday, September 05, 2014

10 wonderful things I learnt at school

Like for most others, schooldays were perhaps the best days of my life. However, I like to think that my school was better than everyone elses. Yeah! yeah! you can say what you like and argue all you want but ours really was just that tad bit better. Today on Teacher's Day I'm sharing some priceless lessons that I got at my school.

1. The joy of singing in a choir

The skill and energy that the nuns put into teaching us hymns at school will stay with me forever. In fact when I had the twins I found myself singing 'Joy to the world' while putting them to sleep. And later when my son took up music and came home humming 'Give me oil in my lamp' I felt such a sense of home coming. Others might think of Rajesh Khanna at the mention of the piano but I will always remember Sister Alice Mary.

2. To say it with cards

We made cards for everything.. invitation cards, thank you cards, sorry cards, get well soon cards! A habit that has stayed with me and one I've tried tirelessly to pass on to the kids.

3. That punishment could be given creatively

We got some of the most creative punishments in school. We've been paraded before our younger siblings ('Look how careless your OLDER sister is!'), made to sing Edelweiss, made to stand inside a waste paper basket... 

4. That books are to be respected

'No bookmarks no books', was the rule in our library and I remain compulsive about bookmarks. The other day I'd gone to get a passage from a book photocopied and as the lady there turned down the corner of the page I winced so audibly she thought I'd hurt myself.

5. That girlfriends are the best friends

Aren't they? That comfortable feeling of being completely yourself, of being able to talk about 'anything' under the sun.. yeah girlfriends are special.

6. That cricket isn't the only game in town

Along with basketball, throwball and volleyball we played games like French Cricket and Danish Rounders. Heard of them.. anyone? For the record: We played no cricket.

7. That all religions are to be respected

I think it's a great idea to study in a school of a faith different from yours. It gives not just tolerance but love for that other religion. Growing up in Lucknow in a Hindu household, with Muslim culture all around and a Christian school... I think that was as good as it gets.

8. That it was perfectly normal for girls to play boys' parts in school plays

... and hilariously funny for boys to play girls' parts. 

9. That kids with raffle sheets deserve kindness

Those weren't the times of multistoried societies. Only I know how many times I have roamed around houses brandishing raffle sheets and trying to explain to people (very far removed from raffle sheets) what it was all about! 

10. To keep my knees together when I sit

Right from my earliest memory of school, I was never a girl - always a young lady. And there were some things that ladies never did. They never shuffled their feet when they walked, they always spoke politely and they kept their knees together when they sat.

So tell me what's special about your school people.


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