Author Topic: Read A Little Dream For Me.  (Read 302 times)

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Online EC

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Read A Little Dream For Me.
« on: January 07, 2014, 04:13:31 AM »
A GOP Briefing Room Exclusive

Mark M.

They say inspiration comes from anywhere. It is true. A comment by our respected (and usually respectable) mod, Rapunzel, set this train of thought off:

Reading literature takes you to a place where you can dream of the possible...... reading dull manuals puts you to sleep and teaches you nothing.

Like most parents and grandparents, I walk the fine line. Teaching the kids useful skills and how things work without crushing their creativity and sense of wonder about this most amazing universe we share. It gets difficult at times. Throwing something into the air and watching it fall to the ground is an endless source of amusement to a one year old.


A Newton's Cradle is proof that Mommy or Daddy is a wizard, and is handy for enforcing bed times.

But, by the time they are three, they want to know why. Not only want to know, but demand to know. You are on the spot now. Your kid thinks you know absolutely everything about everything and trusts you completely when you explain things. Think work pressure is bad? Try the sad look on their little faces when you say those three words, terrifying to a child: "I don't know." It is a crisis of faith, worse than any monk or nun has suffered, since their all knowing God is right there in front of them. The person they rely on for food, tickles, silly songs at bath time, and to deal with the monsters under the bed is no longer perfect.
It's harsh. Tempting to put it off or brush it off. "You'll understand when you are older" has prompted more than one child to to invent a time machine out of a cardboard box and various toys in order to get to the magic age where they understand all things.

You got a choice here. You can lie. You can study all night and work out how to explain infinity to a three year old. Or you can teach them magic.


Not this type

If you think about it, reading is a form of practical magic. Depending on the book you pick, a person's hopes, knowledge, dreams or nightmares is piped directly into your brain. No speaking needed. It is right there, their voice in your head from miles away and years past. Ink squiggles on pounded wood have the ability to whisper to you. Tell you things you never knew, take you places you have never seen, show you emotions you will hopefully never feel. You breath a sigh of relief. Your kid can read, and beyond asking what the odd word means, you are free and clear. No more worries about explaining things.

Yeah, right.

The "why" trickle just became a fire hose, blasting questions at you mercilessly. Kids don't have filters. The idea that the sun is a big ball of nuclear explosions and the idea there are sharks that can fly are both equally valid in their eyes. Sure, you can flat out tell them "This book is real, this book is for fun and not real." Do that, you may as well park them in front of the TV for all the good it will do.

One of the favorite games we have is to read something out loud. The person reading is terribly proud of themselves. Sometimes they stumble on the big words and get prompted with a quiet whisper, but everyone listens. It can be absolutely anything. A fairy tale, a local newspaper article, a chapter on grafting fruit trees - anything. Then the paper, pens and crayons come out. The only rule is it has to be related to what they just read or heard. It can be writing, drawings, blueprints. Whatever they want. Just to keep the balance between creativity and information alive.
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

You are the result of 3 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.

Avatar courtesy of Oceander

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink

Offline massadvj

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Re: Read A Little Dream For Me.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 11:22:43 AM »
Today's kids don't get read to enough.  I mean READ TO.  Like Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or something equally long and challenging.  Instead, they are treated to quick bursts of stimulation, and that leads to low attention spans and the loss of capability to really understand complex things.  I see the manifestation of all this in my college students.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Read A Little Dream For Me.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 12:29:04 PM »
Today's kids don't get read to enough.  I mean READ TO.  Like Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or something equally long and challenging.  Instead, they are treated to quick bursts of stimulation, and that leads to low attention spans and the loss of capability to really understand complex things.  I see the manifestation of all this in my college students.


I read like a fiend from the time I was three years old.  I can vividly remember sitting on the floor in the hallway of my grandmother's home reading to my little sister.  I would spend hours in our school library reading.. biographies were my favorite.. in my young mind I was everyone from Amelia Earhart to Thomas Jefferson.  Now I observe as people are content to just sit their child in front of the television or computer to watch childish video's or Sesame Street to Dora the Explorer.  No imagination or creativity required, just mindless babysitting while you blog or text or whatever else an adult can do to not personally sit and talk or interact with their child these days... we expect electronics to entertain them at home and teachers to baby sit them at school.  Most parents NEVER get involved in PAT to find out what their schools are really doing and when they do we've seen on YouTube how they're treated.  The schools have been given total control by parents and have run with it.   
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline olde north church

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Re: Read A Little Dream For Me.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 02:29:49 PM »
I can't read as much as I used to, it's something I enjoyed.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Online EC

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Re: Read A Little Dream For Me.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 02:31:18 PM »
Don't remember not being able to read.

Mom says I started about 2 years old, but I really don't know. Being able to read was glorious.

Mom and Dad would encourage both of us to watch some TV. No trash, but nature documentaries, educational children's shows, classic series (Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes!!!!), Dr Who. Cartoons on a Saturday, because children are insane and the world is also insane as far as they are concerned.

But .....

We had to talk about what we watched, usually over dinner.

Dad would read to us every night. He never missed a single night until I were 7 (Sis is 5 years younger I read to her).
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

You are the result of 3 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.

Avatar courtesy of Oceander

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink


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