Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tiger Rising and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

We went to the literature group today totally unprepared. We had read up to chapter 4 of The Tiger Rising. We stopped for two reasons: 1) illness, and 2) I wasn't sure my daughter could handle the end and what happened to the tiger. She is an animal lover at heart so I tried to encourage the boys to read it on their own. I think it is a sad/bittersweet tale. Kate DiCamillo is an excellent writer, but her stories are sad I think. I had already read Because of Winn-Dixie so the book was not a surprise to me. However, I was surprised to find some of the other books she has written, specifically her picture books like Great Joy.

The good part is that J-Dawg reached over and started reading it again after some discussion about it had passed, and Princess turned around and whispered, "I want to finish it." So she probably will too. The Transformer (formerly S-man) was the only one that didn't seem so inclined which didn't surprise me---it isn't a good fit for his personality. I won't push it although I will read it aloud so he'll have the choice of listening or not.

Afterward, we were invited to attend a science fair but my boys didn't want to go. I have found that the boys really do not like to be surprised. It seriously knocks them off balance. If they had known about it yesterday, they probably would have been willing to go. On the other hand, Princess was disappointed about not going. She really enjoys group events, but her preference is to have her brothers close at hand with her. I think it's the comfort factor of not being alone. She was disappointed not to be able to participate in the discussion though.

Next time, we'll be at the art gallery talking about From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. That will be fun. I expect both boys will probably read it themselves although I think Princess will need help. We saw the stage play in Cincinnati a couple of years ago. Tomorrow we will be attending The Miracle Worker about Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher.

I've posted this twice and keep thinking of more to write. I'm tossing around ideas about an activity group and am now thinking about picking a country a month and having each family take one part of that country/culture and presenting it to the group. That was actually something an My Ice Cream Diary suggested. Something else that occurred to me was having a "Writing Circle" with historical literature being the basis---reading reviews of various pre-selected books and discussing and writing about them. That could meet weekly or bi-weekly (every other week). I really think it's important to learn to read, write, and discuss ideas, and while 2 groups could be a lot for me to handle, my kids would benefit! Lots to think about between here and there.


My Ice Cream Diary said...

One year I wanted to read through all the Newberry books with the kids but we stopped trying to read them all because so many of them are terribly sad.

If you do decide to do the geography club I have a lot of tips and worksheets to give =)

Jen said...

I don't like surprises either. Everyone thinks I'm nuts, but I like to know what's happening at least a few days, preferably a week in advance.