Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seeds of Ideas

Kellyann and Steve were probably both right in connecting my current lack of purpose to the transition from a very busy structured time back to the reality of my sparsely structured life.  But I do think I’m making a little progress in figuring out what to do next.
I will soon start giving piano lessons to 8-year-old Margalen, the daughter of the woman who used to clean our house.  Although I play the piano, I haven’t a clue as to how to teach someone, especially a child, to play.  We will be learning together.  The next step will be to come up with a reasonably priced piano so she has a way to practice.  But first maybe we’ll try a few lessons and see how she likes it.
I’m most excited about another idea having to do with reading.  Sometimes when we show up to read to the younger children at the shelter, some of our “graduates” look longingly at the reading room.  I think they miss sitting in that circle.  So I’m thinking of starting a book club for the kids who can no longer come to the Thursday night read-alouds.  I’m also considering a book club for the mothers of these children, some of whom really enjoy reading.
I’ve run these ideas by our coordinator at The Reading Connection and she is totally supportive, to the point of helping me figure out how to get the books.  I’m trying to recruit another volunteer or two.  But basically a book club simply requires the members to read the book and then show up to talk about it, so there shouldn’t be much work for anyone.
Do you have book suggestions for 4-6-graders?  How about moms living in a shelter for victims of domestic violence?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, you're already rarin' to go, with some new ideas! You're naturally creative. Hurray.

If you'd like any suggestions on how to use your time with the young'un, let me know...


9:26 PM  
Blogger lacochran's evil twin said...

One suggestion on the piano lessons... get her playing a short, simple version of a familiar song as soon as possible. Nothing kills the spirit more than just doing scales.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Anon F -- You are the perfect person to coach me on the piano-teaching venture. I will welcome all the help you can give me!

LA -- I don't intend to even introduce the concept of scales initially. I figure if I got along for 60 years without playing scales, she can wait a while to start. I want her to just love hitting the keys and listening to the sound they make. I'm really excited about this project. Can you tell? :)

5:25 PM  
Blogger e said...

These things are wonderful! I was denied piano because my mother was forced to take lessons and hated them. I hope you can be an example of someone who enjoys playing so that the little girl will learn that playing can be fun.

Regarding the 4-6th grade kids, you might speak with a children's librarian to see what books are popular with those age groups. Also, the children's librarian should be able to tell you which books the children are required to read for school since many of them check these titles out of the public library rather than buying them. You can also ask the kids what they enjoy and see what pops up.

As for the mothers book club, perhaps a large book outlet could be persuaded to donate the titles requested?

Best of luck!

1:45 PM  

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