Monday, May 6, 2013
Year of Little Lesson Plans (Courtney Loquasto)
One of the things that puzzles some people about my library is why do I own parenting and children books when I do not have children of my own...gee, I married a school teacher, and am best friends with someone who writes children stories--of course, I am going to have a certain amount of children and parenting books in my library. There is also the little fact that I occasionally need to remind myself of what certain age groups would know or be learning--it is called being a writer.
That is why I entered a Goodreads contest for the book, Year of Little Lesson Plans: 10 Minutes of Smart, Fun Things to Teach Your Little Ninjas Ages 3-8 Each Weekday (by Courtney Loquasto).
Overall, I agree with the concept of this book. One of my fondest memories is my father teaching me to count change at the dinner table (or was he teaching my sister?). Later in life, working as a cashier, people occasionally were amazed that I can do simple math in my head (in my universe, being able to figure out the correct change without punching it into the register is simple math). And I credit that ability to my father spending time to make sure that I liked learning things. Therefore, I encourage parents to buy books like this.
Now, I did let my wife look at the book (she is a school teacher). She pointed out that a lot of these things were being taught to children in school; she also noted that re-enforcement by the parents was a good thing. But she also spotted something that had made me uncomfortable already--the occasional mention of God and Jesus--please remember that I am a non-Christian; no amount of lessons from my mother changed the fact that my heart belongs to another religion. And the history major in me shuddered occasionally at some of the American myths that were suggested as conversation starters. So with the good things that I see in this book, there is also some things that I feel strongly against.
This book is more good than bad. I think that the lists of subjects and starting points for conversations are good for parents to have. But I do object to the conservative viewpoint (and anything that encourages it) that re-enforces the view that America is the greatest county in the world, and that the only real religion is Christianity--especially for the future generation that has to cope with a global world where America and Christianity are simply one way of looking at things and not the only possible way.
[If you missed it, I won this book in a Goodreads contest.]