"...give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime...” -
the quote spans many cultures and religions; ever thought however, how true that is of instilling a love of reading?
Classroom doors turned into giant books
(Some of these pictures are from our school newsletters; if this is not ok someone please shoot me a note and it'll be gone ASAP)
The culmination of Rockstar's school Book Week is Dress-Up Like A Book Character Day, and Rockstar went as one of the Malfoys from the Harry Potter series.
This was taped to a pillar when I went to pick him up at the end of the week...
So this is Scorpius munching a chicken sandwich on the way to the bus stop
(These are the "real" Malfoys on Broadway) - pic from Brit.co
Now, Cursed Child is a relatively new screenplay Rockstar picked up over Christmas, having finally gotten into the world of J.K Rowling via Fantastic Beasts, also a screenplay after the hit movie...
(pics from mentalfloss.com)
(Speaking of which, at least one kid apparently came as Newt, while there were several Harries, Hermiones and a Ron Weasley, according to Rockstar).
Btw this is the "real" Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne - no. 11 in this Eton Alumni pic, while Prince William, future King of England is no. 20 - pic from Dailymail.co.uk
Anyway, when Rockstar comes home remarking that almost every kid he spoke to in his year made the distinction he was Scorpius,
Malfoy I am impressed - there are 8 preceding novels - awful thick things of convoluted storylines, where Harry Potter's nemesis Draco features prominently. Cursed Child then features also various alternate realities thanks to time travel, picking up on multiple threads from the first 8 books. There is a movie that isn't out til next year... and almost every Y5 kid Rockstar spoke to has already read enough to differentiate Scorpius-the-protagonist's role from dark Draco's, from the >300 page screenplay?
How much and how quickly are kids reading nowadays?
(And btw this is Rockstar's current reading for Chinese. No he is not in the strongest stream designated for native Chinese speakers.)
Rockstar brings home 4 books every week from the school library (albeit he always picks one for Queen E and it's usually about caring for hamsters or horses or earthworms or dragons - while Queen E has her own Kindy Library Time and Quiet Reading (I think every single day) after free play, the gesture of having her older brother bring her something - and a book -
is a biggie for her.) Anyway. Rockstar's library activities - not inclusive of class-prescribed reading couple times a week with a book based on the child's reading level and for which parents sign their reading diary.
In other words, nowadays if your kid doesn't like to read, they're in for a pretty miserable childhood
. You can send them to umpteen tuition classes (probably making them more miserable), o-r you could really appreciate when your child's school has Book Week. Welcome to the world of:
Rockstar: ...so (Little Bus Buddy) apparently really loves planes now. So he wanted to write a story about all these plane characters. We're calling it "Planes!" Isn't that cute?
Me: (and I notice Queen E has perked up) Yes - (Rockstar interrupts to keep talking about the storyline they're developing)..... Did you know there is a "Planes" movie?
Rockstar: What? Really? No. Why would I know that?
Me: So you learned something new from Little Bus Buddy.
Queen E <authoritatively>: There are a few movies, Mum-may.
Book buddy system (older kids working with their Y1 buddies to make/ write books and stories)
- Otherwise Potentially Nerve-Wracking (particularly in the heavily oversubscribed Dragon Zodiac Year) Admissions Interviews being conducted by Wally, various pirates and cowboys
Ok this is not an admissions interview, but I think this is another enthusiastic teacher hamming it up during a Book Week activity..
Rockstar tells me this is additional story/reading time at Break, which from the looks of it are quite popular (I don't see any chains or cuffs on the kids so I take it this is voluntary :D)
(and again - say the word and it's GONE immediately if the pics are not ok...!)
Big Book Swaps... which allow the kids exposure to many other books and authors amongst their friends
Rockstar tells me there was a big Teacher vs Student book quiz, where <ddrrrruum-rollll> the students won. Naturally ;D
ps: If you're gonna read J.K. Rowling's work, you might want to also read the transcript of her speech at Harvard, The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.
Her Royal Imaginative-ness at Harvard
You may know her first and foremost as Fantasy Author Extraordinaire, but in the speech she is also candid about her less-than-stellar moments. How decidedly un-glamourous poverty is, from struggling to make a living of what you really
want to do.
Yet there is another story to tell - instead of well, retiring on the warm sunny beach of some island, to be served a drink with a little umbrella in it, she went on doing something she loved.
(In fact, she could probably have bought herself one. Island that is, not little umbrella.) She just kept getting better at what she did. That's the true goal isn't it, not just competing to be the best - finding a way to make a living, potentially an unconventional one, from what you're good at, from what you love.
Each time Rowling went back in to write something, given her past successes, she risked facing "failure". Coming up short. The higher you fly, the harder you can fall, and all that. She did it anyway.
10 years after telling the Harvard kids the importance of failure, she's still a risk taker.
Now go back to Book Week. One small step for a little kid who's trying to decide if reading is a joy or chore. Friends who challenge them, have fun learning, gift them meaningful books they themselves enjoy. Teachers who put on dog ears and a funny voice.
900 kids in a school. Maybe 899 who range from rabidly book-loving to meh about reading. One who maybe becomes the next Rowling.
Ever wonder if the future King of England looks back at his school year book photo and thinks Wow, I Went To School With Newt Scamander?
Thought for the mid-week, dears...