Serendipitous Magic in Vermont

A late postcard from the holidays. My family travelled up to Vermont after Christmas to visit family – my wife’s sister’s family – including their three grown-up children – all home from college and entrepreneurial heaven. On the way up – 13 hours – we listened to a little HP 3 (Harry Potter and the [...] Read More

Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One

Yes, you can dare to read a high quality, 500-page contemporary novel with your middle school child.  You can.  You can read to them.  They can read to you.  Most importantly – you can share it together. I might recommend any number of novels.  The range of books you can read or share w/ a [...] Read More

Watch a Child’s Face

(or: Why you must read picture books…) This was penned mid-summer, while watching my wife read a picture book to our 2-and-a-half-year-old son. (We have three grown daughters – grown, as in teenagers, that is – so bringing the picture books off of the shelf is allowing something of a renaissance for us – and [...] Read More

Managing Media

A guest link from Scott Simon in the Wall Street Journal: OPINION AUGUST 23, 2011 The Joy of Reading ‘Pinocchio’—On Paper He’s a puppet-boy in a book my daughters run to find each morning, not digits in a download. By SCOTT SIMON We blundered into the bookstore between the pizza place and the gelato spot [...] Read More

Vocabulary Acquisition in Real Time!

First of all – a disclaimer.  My recent posts have principally concerned reading to older children – high elementary school, middle school, even high school.  Mainly because my own daughters have been growing up and my most recent experiences have been with them.  This blog receives input from moments of current inspiration and that’s where [...] Read More

Panera Bibly Study

On a recent Saturday morning I had a curious, unexpected experience – I witnessed something delightful and intriguing. It has stayed with me and I feel the need to share it with you – let you ponder it a little. My daughter had some early testing for high school so I was up before the [...] Read More

Daring to Challenge

Several years ago I was preparing to speak before my children’s elementary school. It was the first time I was asked to speak at the full PTA meeting (the one where half the parents are just there to see their children perform during the entertainment portion of the evening). I had so much to say. [...] Read More

Pondering Resilience

“Fostering resilience in children requires family environments that are caring and structured, hold high expectations for children’s behavior, and encourage participation in the life of the family.” Sounds like social science boilerplate, doesn’t it?  What is resilience anyway? But let’s take a step back from cynicism and think about what this sentence really means.  Because [...] Read More

Passing on Info

So I’m reading the Iliad with my two oldest daughters.  No, don’t roll your eyes.  That’s not what this post is actually about.  It’s just the premise.  (Why and how we’re reading the Iliad is perhaps an interesting and worthy subject, but I’ll leave it out for now because I’ve been writing too much about [...] Read More

A Lesson from The Hobbit

I recently found this brief anecdote – in document form – from 2003.  But the lesson is still valuable in any year… 3 lessons from reading The Hobbit last night: 1) Take pleasure in the words. 2) The qualitative experience is more important than efficiency. 3) They appreciate things you don’t. – Last night I’m [...] Read More