I grew up in a small town at the westernmost tip of our province. That is, the bus ends there, and if one traveled beyond the town proper, one ends up at the beach, and still beyond that is the China Sea. Our town is so small everybody knows everyone. And typical of a little, sleepy town in the Philippines back in the late-70s to early-80s, life.was.hard. Nobody owned a car except the mayor and the two doctors who had “owner-type” vehicles. (I don’t know if my non-Filipino readers have the faintest idea what kind of vehicle I’m talking about).
All schoolchildren in town walked to and from the public school. For me and my siblings, that meant we walked about 8 kilometers total, everyday. Life was so simple. And summer adventures consisted of climbing up the mountains to go blackberrying. As simple and stark life was, I found my way to the exciting world of — books! I wrote about my love for books here.
Middle of last year, my book orders from Barnes and Noble arrived, but sadly, my daughter Hannah has read fewer than three (!) books out of the more-than-twenty new books I bought online. To my great disappointment, she didn’t “inherit” my love for books. But when I talked to her about it, she told me she’s interested with books but not the ones I bought. Huh? During the school year, she had borrowed books from their school’s library weekly, books that, for me, do not teach character and value. I’m sure you’ve heard of Geronimo Stilton? She loves reading him (ugh!).
I am very careful with the books that I buy for my children. I choose the ones that are apt for their age. I read reviews and first few chapters before I make a decision to buy. I observed that if I let Hannah choose the books that she wants to read, she’ll be reading junk.
But I quickly recovered from my disappointment when a bright idea came to mind. I immediately talked to her about my plan. We were going to create a book club: Hannah and Mom Book Club. I told her that as a child, it had been my dream to have shelves full of books and to belong to a book club, but it’s never too late to realize my dream. So, we started our book club and began reading a book of her choice from the ones I bought (of course!).
As we read each chapter and discussed, her interest was piqued. She was comprehending the story and enjoying it. We also planned to make book reviews and post them in her blog: Hannah’s Net Journal. I allowed her to create her own blog to encourage and train her to write. I always remind her that the best way to gain English fluency in speaking and writing is to read good books where one learns new vocabulary and grammar, but never neglecting value and character development.
In these modern times, kids have a plethora of activities that they can engage in – including TV, the web, and endless games in cellphones – so much so that they are becoming overstimulated. I am so against these games apps. I mean, there’s a whole wonderful life out there to be lived by the grace of God, why live a virtual life? Instead, live a virtuous life!
Reading books is becoming more and more outmoded, so there is a great need to discipline and train our children well while they are young.