More Reading

 

Roots by Alex Haley, 1976.  688 pages.

I bought this novel at a bookshop called "Timbooktu" in Banjul, the capital of  The Gambia in West Africa.  I was on vacation there for three weeks and it is the country where the author of the book, Alex Haley, retraced his origins.  It is also where the first 150 pages of the book take place.  

I found this book to be deeply moving.  It tells the story of six generations of the author's family, going back to when one of his ancestors was brought over on a slave ship from The Gambia. The portrayal of the slave industry is difficult to read because it is hard to imagine that men could be so cruel to each other. What was most impressive to me in this story is that despite all the difficulties that the characters when through, they remained faithful to what they thought was important:  their family and its origins.   It made me realize just how important the role of being a father is - it is a role that will have even long after I am dead!

 

 

 

The Internet in School by Duncan Grey, 1999.  151 pages.

For someone just starting out teaching using Internet, I think this would be a good introduction because the book goes through all the equipment necessary, how to get a connection and what kind, how to publish a web page, etc.  In some passages, though, Mr. Grey makes it all sound so easy.  For example, he says that all documents can be saved as web pages and published on Internet or on an intranet.  If it's just text, he is right.  But if the document is a spreadsheet or a mix of texts, tables and images, it's not that easy.   

 

 

 

Montessori Read & Write:  A Parents' Guide to Literacy for Children by Lynne Lawrence, 1998.  153 pages.

This is a very well done guide for teaching young children to read and write.  It is full of games and activities, some which require a certain amount of preparation and materials but others which require no preparation and no materials and which can be done at any time.  

This book is also full of advice in terms of when to correct your child (for example, in early stages, spelling does not count as much as sounding out sounds and associating them with letters), what to say when correcting, and what kinds of books to read with your child (she includes a long list of recommended books).  

As a father of three preschool-aged children, this book has helped me to understand the activities they are doing in class.  I was also pleased to learn that the biggest boost I could give as a parent is to help my children develop a love for books and reading.  I try to read to them every day before they go to bed and sometimes when it's late and I'm too tired to read, they complain.  It is also important that children see parents read and write.  As Stephen Covey says in the book above, you cannot not be a role model.  Whatever you do, whether it has a positive or negative influence on your children, you will be a role model to them.

What I thought was going to be a boring part of the book turned out to be one of my favorite passages:  the history of Maria Montessori, a fascinating woman whose passion, compassion and determination have lead to a learning method used worldwide. 

 

A.W. Damon 2004

 

Last modification: 2004-08-31