I’ve been working with my 1.5 year old to help him learn some of his basics lately like ABCs, 123s, shapes, colors, animals and their sounds and body parts. I have gone through a few different teaching tools and games and I thought I would post a review so that other people might have an easier time finding good stuff. He is too little to really sit and learn anything, of course, but everyday I try to find time to play with him in an educational way and incorporate learning without it feeling like pre-school. I’ve listed my favorite 6 toys and the alternatives that didn’t work out so well to hopefully save you a little work 🙂
Someone introduced this book to me as one of the great books of American literature and I was surprised that I had never heard of it. I added it to the book list and finally got around to reading it recently. It was beautiful in a soul aching, real kind of way and even after reading it, I’m not sure why. The book itself is the story of one simple and totally complex man’s life, but it’s also a story of every man. I cannot tell you how the story of an unremarkable man, written without ornamentation reminds me of a heroic epic, but it does. I’m giving this book 5/5 stars because I can’t stop thinking about it a month after I finished it in a good way and its hauntingly clear and simple language. I think I will end up reading it again in the future – it has the book magic.
William Stoner is the son of two poor farmers when he is introduced to the idea of going to university to learn more about agriculture. His parents send him there at great cost to both them and him, but as he starts his coursework he is arrested by one of his general education requirements: literature. I think any book lover will understand why. So begins a lifelong love affair with books that will take him away from his small life and into an idealized life of scholarship and marriage to a “higher-class” woman, which turns out to be less than ideal. It’s the story of one man’s struggle with American society and false dreams, and his power to carry on and find a measure of unexpected happiness. His life is also a recording of great events in American history and spans both world wars. It manages to completely capture and comment on society during that time period in an unobtrusive way – you almost don’t even realize it until you’re done reading. The best part of this book are the characters, all of which are nearly tangible they’re so well portrayed.
“Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, and all that he had not read.”
“In his forty-third year William Stoner learned what others, much younger, had learned before him: that the person one loves at first is not the person one loves at last, and that love is not an end but a process through which one person attempts to know another.”
“In the University library he wandered through the stacks, among the thousands of books, inhaling the musty odor of leather, cloth, and drying page as if it were an exotic incense.”
1/5 – Awful / would not read again / maybe could not finish.
2/5 – Low quality work / some enjoyment / not worth the time
3/5 – Don’t regret, Don’t love / would add to my shelf if it is a piece of literature
4/5 – Would read again / Definitely would add to my shelf because BOOKS
5/5 – Would definitely read more than once / Must buy / Gives you the happy book love feels.
My son is quite a bit too young to be ready for any formal education, but my husband and I think that learning is so important and we’re really excited to start teaching him things – anything! We like to incorporate learning into as much as possible, that includes solo play time. Recently, I made a wall-hanging felt game for Charlie that he loves to play with. Right now, he can’t play with it the way it was intended, but he loves that the felt pieces come off and stick back on, the bright colors keep him occupied, and he’s being exposed to the idea of shapes and colors. When Dave and I see him playing with it, we often take a few minutes to sit with him and talk him through what color and shape he’s currently playing with. It’s fun for everyone and it’s so so easy to make!
This past week, I was going to put my grand new plan of going to the library every Monday into action. We ended up at the the library Thursday afternoon. We were supposed to be focusing on picture books to help learn colors. One would think that with an extra three days to prepare for our trip to the library, I would have had a list ready and some idea of the books I wanted to get…. but nope – winging it all the way this week. The choices ended up being a bit more random because I was unprepared, but Charlie is enjoying the books anyway and it was a good chance to really familiarize myself with my library’s children’s section (Or at least try with a busy 13 month old on the loose!) We took home six books and we’ve read them all multiple times except for one that is a little too old for Charlie right now, but I’ve put it on a list to come back to when he’s a little older.