karonadrummond

Because We Love Children

A Little Christmas Gem of a Book

I was searching for some good books to read to my third graders when we had a few extra minutes to fill. It is tricky because I teach at a homeschool enrichment program. We only meet twice per week. I needed something short and sweet. And fun.

Enter Mr. Putter. If you have children who are learning to read, you’ll want to get to know Mr. Putter. He is the creation of Cynnthia Rylant (author) http://www.cynthiarylant.com/
and Author Howard (illustrator). http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Arthur-Howard/1515471

Mr. Putter is the grandfatherly gentleman who lives with his dear old cat, Tabby. Mr. Putter adopted Tabby because Tabby is old like him. But just because they are old does NOT mean that Mr. Putter and Tabby don’t have fun. In fact, fun is what they do best. And who better to share the fun than Mr. Putter’s kind, grandmotherly friend: a.k.a. next-door neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry. Mrs. Teaberry and her good (hearted) dog, Zeke, are always up for a new adventure with Mr. Putter and Tabby.

As I was looking for fun Christmas books to read to my third graders, I remembered Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake. Mr. Putter loves Christmas! But he has a problem: What to get Mrs. Teaberry? “Mrs. Teaberry liked strange things…like coconuts made into monkey heads and salt shakers that walk across the table. And (bleh) fruitcake.”

Mr. Putter had never in his life made a cake. But he decided to do just that for Mrs. Teaberry’s Christmas present. He would make her a “light, airy cake that would not break a person’s toe” (like a fruitcake might). And as for the rest,
well, you’ll have to read the book.

Even though Cynthia Rylant’s books are shelved with the easy readers in the library, they are still entertaining as a -third grader…or a thirty-forty-something-something. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you don’t have time to run out and get Mr. Putter Bakes the Cake before Christmas, you could still check your local library after Christmas and read it as you reflect on your holiday. Or go take a look at the other Mr. Putter books. The gentle humor and delightful illustrations will surely bring a smile to your child’s (and your) face.

Merry Christmas!

Karona Drummond

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To Be…”Um” Free

Okay, we um all have words we like fall back on when we, uh, talk or read. For us, it is the pesky little “um”.

I’m not sure when “um” became a member of our household. But lately, it seems, that annoying ย little “um” has become ubiquitous.
(I’ve always wanted to use the word ubiquitous. Maybe we’ll make it our homeschool word of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I knew “um” was wearing out his welcome when he began to creep into my child’s reading. “Um” was in every other sentence.
And my child didn’t even know “he” was there.

What’s a mom to do? We’re pulling out the “um” buster duster!

When that unwanted “um” creeps into my dear child’s reading, we will gently dust it and send it on it’s way.

Soon, we will have “um-free” reading! ๐Ÿ™‚ We need to celebrate. Out comes our laughter button: (These are available from Hallmark.)

When my dear child reads a paragraph and keeps that rascally “um” out, we celebrate with a push of the laughter button.
if we make it through the whole passage “um”-free, we can do the happy dance and maybe even go drum out a happy beat.

Are there unwanted “ums” (or other bad habits) in you child’s reading? I hope this ย post might be a spring-board for you to show those
“ums” the door with a smile on your face. Maybe instead of a feather duster, you use the soft end of a funny pencil. Maybe instead of a laughter button, you use Staple’s “Easy” button. Or a bell, or harmonica… The idea is to have fun with it and get those unwanted words out of your child’s reading.

Here’s to an “um”-free day with plenty of smiles! ๐Ÿ™‚

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