I like writing when I have a theme of some kind, and I haven’t been inspired lately. It’s hard to come up with five ideas per week. I know that I don’t like the entry when I can’t think of a title – it means that I haven’t really written about anything. So today, I’m writing two unrelated stories, and will submit potential titles at the end, hoping that a theme emerges.
Story 1: We’ve been working a lot this year on narrating. We read a story or part of a story, usually from the Bible, and then have the kids tell us back what they heard. It’s a great task for working on three of the 7 Essential Skills described in Mind in the Making, reviewed here in October. You have to focus on the story to remember enough details to tell it back. You have to understand what the characters in the story were thinking at different points in the story. You need to think about what information the listener needs to understand the story, which details are unnecessary, and how to order the story.
A really cool technique we have been using is to give the kids copies that they can write on. They go through the story choosing two or three words from each sentence to write down on a separate page. Using only the page with the list of two or three words, they have to reconstruct the story. We’ve only done it a few times, but their ability to retell a story is definitely getting better.
Zach has always been especially bad at retelling a story. He’ll go on and on about the most arcane detail and leave out all of the critical plot. So imagine my delight when he handed in this summary from Chapter 9 of a certain book popular with 8-year-old boys.
the people at the school Were bad to the childrin. then toilets came to Earth. Captain Underpants Destroyed them.
So proud. Thinking about using it on this year’s Christmas card.
Story 2: Sitting on the toilet this weekend, Ezra says, “Mom. Go get Dad. I have diarrhea.”
“Why do you need dad?”
“To wipe my butt.”
“You can wipe it yourself, Ez. Daddy is busy.”
“But I’m not a professional butt-wiper like Dad.”
Another contender for this year’s Christmas card. Gonna be a tough call.
Possible Titles for Today’s Post:
- Unlikely Superheroes
- Prime examples of Tara’s and Jeff’s failure to teach even one essential skill
- Potty Talk (and other essential skills that never make into bestselling parenting books)
- Reasons Tara does not work for Hallmark
Feel free to vote for your favorite or suggest titles of your own.