When I was a little girl my favorite hobby was reading. I loved it and would find myself staying up long after I was supposed to be asleep, reading in bed until my dad came in and shut off the lights forcing me to put away the book.
I read so little for pleasure over the school year. I have plenty of required reading that I do, but very little time to read just for fun. Summer is my time to catch up. I used to love the feel of holding a book in my hand and wouldn’t give in to the electronic reading, but as my tired eyes have gotten older, I am finding it much easier to read on the ipad. I can enlarge the print to help my aging eyes and the lit up screen makes it even easier. I have uploaded the nook and kindle to the ipad and throughout the year, I upload books that I can’t wait to read and then I try to catch up in the summer.
Neither of my boys like to read. It is so discouraging to me. I have tried to fill their book shelves with books that meet their interests but still haven’t been able to get them to feel the love that I have for books. Sadly, with television, video games, phones and computers, it seems like I see less and less kids reading and my own boys are guilty of this. There are just too many distractions. I can’t make reading a punishment. Nagging and bribing won’t work either. It is something they need to want to do. They absolutely loved being read to and when they were little, I did it all of the time. In fact, we would have to limit the number of books we could read to them each night.
Both boys have summer reading assignments and now that we are a month into summer vacation, they need to start working on them. I always admire those kids I see with books in their hand, reading whenever there is a free minute. No struggle or battle of wills happening there.
It is one of those things I wish I could have passed along to my own boys, but it hasn’t happened…yet. Maybe if they continue to see me reading and getting lost in my books, albeit on my ipad… they might just want to as well. Perhaps the idea of reading it on their own ipads will help. I won’t stop trying, even if I am losing the battle.
This evening, Drew shared a short video that he watched in school earlier this month. It was quite interesting so I thought that I’d share it here.
The four of us were crowded around the computer, all with our iphones nearby, an ipad laying on the desk next to the laptop…Who would have known fifteen years ago, when on a whim, I said to Dave, “let’s buy some stock in Apple because, I just love my computer,” how big it would become?!?! Five years later, we sold it, (for what we thought at the time was a HUGE profit,) never knowing what big things were in store for them! We can’t say we regret it. At the time, the profit was big and we were able to buy new windows for our house – a much needed improvement. Yet, every now and then….especially after seeing the statistics in this video, I wonder, “what if??”
In my blog yesterday, I briefly mentioned that we got Drew a cellphone over the weekend. The plan had always been to wait until he graduates from 5th grade and heads off to Middle School. Of course, we heard over and over, “but everyone else already has one”, (not true of course), but we had a “deal” sort of fall into our lap.
We went to a Verizon store to update the ipad mini that they gave me for my birthday. While we added the data plan to it, our sales representative pointed out that we were paying more than we needed to for what we already had, and could actually benefit by changing our plan and pay less. How often does something like that happen?? Getting more but paying less?!? So we decided to switch over our plan. While Dave and I were doing that, Drew was wandering around the store trying to decide on what phone he would get in June. Our sales rep, (quietly, so that Drew would not hear), let us know that they had “another deal” where the iphone 4 was free while supplies lasted. We were not going to go ahead with it, until we realized that with our new plan, even adding our ipad AND this new iphone we were still “making out” positively on this deal. So lucky day for Drew, as he walked out of there with his new phone.
We have tried to turn this into a learning experience for him. He is responsible for it at all times. While he is at school, (since he goes where I teach), he will leave it in my classroom from when he gets there until he leaves at the end of the day. He will have limited hours at nighttime and the phone goes off completely at bedtime.
He needs to show maturity and prove that he is responsible. He will have to show us “phone etiquette”. He may not ignore any calls or texts from Dave or me. He will not use profanity or use it in anyway that can get him into trouble. We have told him about the permanence of what is out there in the world of the Internet and once something is written and sent, it is there forever. Things can be spread and go viral instantly and he can and will have no part of that. No embarrassing photos, nothing that could cause another person to feel intimidated. He knows already that if he receives inappropriate texts or calls, he must let us know as well. Rules will be followed or the phone will be taken away. He knows that we are serious and will follow through.
He is so excited, and only two days into this, is already showing signs of responsibility. Will it last? We cannot say, but whether it is the “cool factor” of finally getting his own phone after his brother has had one for a while, or a new way for him to communicate with us, he is proving that he might be able to handle this.
My parents are members of the local Kiwanis Club. They have been Kiwanians for many years. Presently, they are vice-president and secretary of their local chapter. I know all of the great things our local chapter does for our community, but until tonight, (when I googled it), I did not know how it got its name. This is what I found out on Wikipedia:
The name “Kiwanis” was coined from an Otchipew American Indian expression, “Nunc Kee-wanis”, variously translated as “we trade”, “we share our talents”, “we make a noise”, or “we meet”. The organization’s founders translated it as “We build”, which became the original motto of Kiwanis. In 2005 the organization chose a new motto, “Serving the Children of the World”. Members of the club are called Kiwanians.
Serving the children is exactly what our local club does. Their biggest fundraiser each year is “The Annual Rubber Duck Race” which is held in our local park. The event raises over $20,000 each year, and all of the proceeds go right back into the community. The boy scouts, local libraries and schools are often the recipients of the funds. This weekend my parents received a special thank you on behalf of the club. A woman and her daughter were at the public library. They were using the new ipads that were donated to the children’s room this past Fall. The woman approached the librarian to tell how great it was to have them accessible to children and the librarian told her where they came from. The woman took it upon herself to send a personalized letter to the club, letting them know how much she and her daughter appreciated it. Going along with yesterday’s blog, The Kiwanis Club does not give to get, but that affirmation from someone who is benefiting from it, made all of the time and effort they put into what they do, seem even more worth it.