Saturday, April 16, 2011

Depending on the Mood

On top of all the books I read with the kids I also try to fit in a little reading just for me. I almost always have a few books going at the same time. What I pick up depends on the mood I am in and how much time I have or how many distractions I know I will have while I try to make my way through the pages.

This is what I have been bouncing between when I get some time just for my own reading.

The Student Whisperer is the latest from Oliver DeMille.  I love the principles of TJEd. I feel inspired when I read books about how to implement those principles but they also somewhat depress me. Depress may be the wrong word, perhaps uncomfortable may work better.  I know these are written to inspire and help those that wish to follow this method but often they make me feel like such a slacker.
I remember reading the TJEd Home Companion a few years ago and feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much I needed to change and implement in order to feel like I was doing things even remotely as described. This book, The Student Whisperer,  has me feeling much the same way except this one so far is just making me more and more aware of how shallow my education has been and how much farther I need to go before I actually feel like I am an educated, thinking, analyzing person.

I haven't even read through the first half of the book yet. I haven't even gotten to the part where Oliver teaches how to mentor. I am only reading Tiffany's experiences from her commonplace book about her experiences being mentored. Wow! It would be so great to be mentored like that. I just don't know how these people find the time. With 4 small kids, a husband, school, home and church commitments I just don't know how to do more and fit in more than I already do. I guess that is where the inspire comes in. These books help me see opportunities to improve even if my steps are very small. So I am a slacker but I am inching forward.

I borrowed To the Rescue from my brother a few weeks ago and have slowly been making my way through the life of this great man. It has been very interesting to read through his early life and look at pictures from his childhood. I feel like I already know so many of the stories that are shared because President Monson has already used these events to illustrate points he makes in the talks he has given. He really has had an interesting but at the same time ordinary life.

I would say this is my light reading at the moment. I read this when ever I can find a few moments in the day between the many activities and things going on around me. 
I have been having lots of trouble with Henry lately. We have had trouble getting him to do his chores, trouble helping him understand why we don't just watch movies or play the Wii all day. There have been lots of long drawn out tantrums and lots of missed privileges but nobody seems to be winning. So I a turning to books to see what I am doing wrong. What has worked in the past with the other kids doesn't seem to work with this one. So far I have only determined that indeed Henry is a "Strong-willed child". I really am hoping for some help or ideas on things to try so I can direct this behavior in more productive ways. The last few weeks everything I seem I try has only led to us butting heads, anger, loud screaming, and some crying on both our parts. I am feeling desperate for some understanding and I have heard good things about this book.

So I don't actually have a novel going right now. Usually they are my reading of choice. I love getting lost in a great novel but at the moment I guess I need some direction.  I am reading things that inspire me to do better and shoot a little higher than what I am already doing. 


Bibliophile said...

It looks like you're reading list is quite inspiring. The book about President Monson made me more aware of things I should be doing to help other people. He is a good role model. The book on handling difficult children is one that should help you corral him a bit. He certainly wants to do things his own way!

Cellista said...

Just had to comment and say you are not a slacker!!!!
I totally understand the feeling though. I think you, like me, are at that stage with four children who are just needing to learn so many basic skills right now. I feel like so many hours of our week are going towards learning how to write, how to spell, how to subtract, just basic (yet very important) foundational skills and it's not all that inspiring some days! It's hard work to build those foundations. I think all too soon we will be to the point where our students are much more independent and a lot of these skills will just be second nature to them and we can focus more on content and on inspiring mentoring.

I too have a long ways to go before I'll really feel educated. I didn't get the education I want my children to have, but the nice thing is that I'm learning right along with them and maybe by the time A is in high school, I'll feel like I'm right there with him knowledge wise. It won't come overnight though.

Having a baby has really put a crimp in some of my self-educating (which I don't regret at all!) but I do miss those days when I could read more and listen to Teaching Company lectures when I was awake enough to understand them. :)

Have you ever read The Well-Educated Mind? It's a guide to self-educating and has some good ideas in it for improving your own learning.

Malissa said...

Looks like a great list of books. Although I haven't read this TJed book, I usually just skim them for ideas to incorporate into our family. They are fantastic, but like you, I just don't feel like I can do everything. Let me know how the strong willed child books turns out. I have 3!! I'm always looking for great ideas :) Thanks for posting!

Angela said...

I have to agree with are far from uneducated and slacker...ha ha

I am buying all three of these books that you recommend! Thanks for the tips!