Happy Reading — K-1

~~ a new blog post ~~

by tkbrown

Reading is the first foundation cornerstone of learning. If strong reading skills are not instilled early, as this foundation is being developed, later learning will prove to be far more difficult. It is important for a child to read during the summer and during the school year in addition to classroom requirements. This helps to increase his knowledge base regarding differences between his life and the lives of other children. It also provides ideas for activities she might want to engage in. The department of education in your state or country typically provides a list of books that are recommended for each grade level from Kindergarten through 12th Grade and beyond.

These books strengthen the child’s personal, academic, and social learning. They increase the likelihood of success in college and career endeavors. They encourage her to explore areas of study beyond specific interests and allow exploration to be completed without directly impacting classroom grades. Extra reading also increases scores on aptitude tests, and in a general sense the daily grades, due to increased exposure to words in the written story format.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try a new blog post format each week about a book that is recommended for children in Level K-1. I will give preference to award winning books. There are many different types of awards given; to name a few: Caldecott Medal, Newberry Medal, Theodor Seus Geisel Award, and the Legacy Award. While other countries surely have their own special awards for children’s books, these are the most notable in the United States.

Next week, I will briefly review a children’s book whose name appears on the recommended reading list for children in Kindergarten and First Grade. As mentioned above, I will typically give special attention to the award winners. However, there may be other books on the grade level list that warrant special recognition too. Now that school years are coming to an end, the summer weeks will be an ideal time to begin a daily reading time with your child. Please allow him to read if he is able. If not able to read yet, involvement can be achieved by asking her to describe what is seen in the pictures as the book is being read–or as an “afterthought.”

If you like this idea, please scroll down and click the “Like” button. Then, please leave a comment about my new blog post idea in the Comment section further down.

So, “tune-in” again next week when we will review one book from the typical K-1 Reading Level on the Recommended Reading List. Happy Reading!

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My Morning Do . . . In Memoriam

Mac Davis and Helen Reddy

~~ by tkbrown

30 September 2020 — Two very potent Singer-Songwriters in the United States Country-Pop Genre of the 1970s have died: Mac Davis and Helen Reddy. I graduated high school in May 1972 and married in June 1972. I am a country girl through and through with a bit of pop, Rock ‘n Roll, Jazz, Rhythm ‘n Blues, Hard Rock and even Heavy Metal; I guess the biggest influence on me as a person has come from Christian Hymns. I grew up in the country, and like Barbara Mandrell — “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” With all of this musical influence in my life, how could I help but write poetry and song lyrics too?

The influence of Helen Reddy’s song, “I Am Woman,” cannot be ignored. I think she stirred a tiny bit of rebellion in me. Her song made me realize I was strong and could survive whatever came along! I remember cooking and cleaning while singing this song when my children were young. She was among the first women to write and sing about the strength women possess.

Mac Davis’ “Lord It’s Hard to Be Humble,” was a song I heard at least several times a week. He wrote at least two of my favorites recorded by Elvis Presley: “In the Ghetto,” and “A Little Less Conversation.” He wrote for many of the top names in Country Music; so, many of his tunes were among those I sang regularly at home.

For the two of them to have died on the same day is a bit uncanny, and it touches my heart. I have always loved to sing. I grew up with sisters and a mother who all loved to sing; so, we turned on the radio, and we sang. I love the oldies. I love the songs my Mama loved. I love the songs my Daddy loved. I love the songs my siblings loved, and I love the songs my children and grand children love and have loved. So, the deaths of two of my favorite Singer-Songwriters creates a bit of nostalgia for me. I guess I am getting old, huh???

Thank You all for putting up with my memories today! Blessings!!!

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My Morning Do . . . “Losses”

~~ by tkbrown
19 September 2020
Midst all the grieving and lamenting
with such intensity the heart doth ache.
Whom can I trust? The pain, the not feeling
is more than this old, feeble soul can take.
One disaster hits, and then another.
Before I can stand up straight, I smother
the screams of anguish inside, and I hide
the pain because my neighbor cannot find
half of her belongings. How can I scream?
I need to be strong and help mend the seam
the storm ripped open before something else
renders it irreparable. Immense
are the threats to my survival, but I
am not important right now, and I sigh--
deeply, longingly--and look to the sky.

There is death and dying all around me.
Ash and charred wood, far as the eye can see
and I wonder, how will it ever be
the same; and I just want to run, to flee
and forget the loss stretching, engulfing
all. No home, no  business, no feeling
to express the emptiness entrenching
the dried riverbed; ash coating, drifiting
between the stones--gray, forlorn, seemingly
afraid to hope for better day. Achingly
eyeing the chard remains, desperately
recalling beauty--incongruently.
This is not a scene one would ever want
to revisit. Even new growth could not
erase the scars, the memories so scant.

As I contemplated the losses our country
and my fellow-citizens have experienced this week--
from fires and storms,
I grieved with them--for them;
and I penned these words
as an expression of my condolences.

To those not suffering loss at this time,
if you are ever in the path of such powerful forces,
evacuate!

Leave hearth and home!
No material belongings are worth your lives!
This cannot be stressed too much. 

The country, the world is already reeling
from unfathomable loss,
and the grieving process has begun.

The five stages of grief:
Denial,
Anger,
Bargaining,
Depression,
and Acceptance
have begun.

No two persons experience them in the same order
or to the same depth.
Oftentimes more than one can be seen at the same time.

Therefore,
no two countries will experience them the same.

Denial is not yet past--for us--
here in America!
The Anger has begun,
mostly in the form of rioting,
looting,
violence,
and mayhem
focusing on other areas
rather than the death and dying
all around us
directly related to coronavirus--

in our families
and in society.

So, the Denial has not passed.
It is still going on
along with the Anger,
and some Bargaining.

Expressions of Anger are being blamed
on events not truly related
to society's loss from the pandemic.

It is hard to separate personal loss
from societal loss.

Is that even possible?
I don't think so. 

Be strong enough to feel--more than the anger!
Be strong enough to heal--more, more than yourself!
It will take introspection refueled
to collectively grieve and to rebuild.

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Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

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Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).

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My Morning Do . . . “Loss and Grieving”

~~ by tkbrown

18 September 2020 — The loss being felt by every person in America is unmistakable, but indescribable. The amount of economic security that existed, for the most part, prior to the onset of coronavirus was more than ever known. A mental review of our nation’s good times–and bad– show an economy never so fully engaged with the world. Now, the trust linking countries and economies has been severed in many cases. Some–stronger–are weathering the storm, but so much worse for the wear. This loss is not limited to that of individuals within the country. This loss is of the country. Our nation is hurting right along with every citizen, resident, and alien. We are not alone in this loss. Every nation in the world is reeling with us.

The sheer number of deaths in the six months since the pandemic struck American soil are unprecedented. For many, there has been no time to truly grieve for want of trying to survive. Those in the health professions have been too busy trying to save lives to properly grieve losses in their private lives. The illness is so insurmountable, neither individuals suffering from the virus nor those caring for them have been spared the trauma of long-term suffering. Post traumatic stress disorder is a given for many of the survivors and for their caregivers.

Here in America, a “lockdown” perse could not be implemented. Such is the cost of freedom. Most other countries do not enjoy “freedom” to the extent Americans do. Our constitution engenders the right to refuse such imprisonment, and our citizens did just that. The consequence of that refusal has been the insurmountable death toll we are seeing because that refusal brought with it a spread of the virus not seen in other countries where true lockdowns could be enforced. Our government has told its citizens, “you are free to choose; so, you have the responsibility to choose wisely or suffer the undesirable consequences that accompany poor decision making”. The whole country has this freedom, and much of the country did not choose wisely.

The losses associated with preventive efforts, such as self-quarantine, has been the closing of many thriving businesses. Even with efforts to minimize the impact, the individual lives scarred by sacrificing all will never be the same. Jobs, businesses, schooling, production, productivity as a whole has been limited to such a degree it may take years to overcome the setback.

No one saw it coming. No one had a plan because there was no guidebook. Nothing outlined before even came close to including all losses being experienced today. It is a “one step at a time” endeavor. We have made mistakes, but much has been done right too. For every choice, there is a consequence. When we do not know what the consequence will be for a particular action, we make regrettable mistakes. However, we do not have the time to moan and groan over those mistakes, and we do not have time to point fingers regarding mistakes. No one is immune; everyone has made mistakes.

The blame game wastes precious time. It is a form of denial regarding the true severity of the situation. Our citizenry must stop the infighting and admit the feelings associated with the losses without hurting self or others. The anger being expressed in the violence and rioting must stop. It is hurting innocent people, and it is hurting those inflicting the harm.

These societal losses are experiencing the same stages of grieving seen in individual loss, but on a much larger scale. The anger is a symptom of being ready to address the underlying feelings. So, it is time to begin communicating those underlying feelings. To do this, it is necessary to understand the stages associated with grief. Our society, as we knew it, has died–worldwide–and it is left to us to pick up the pieces, one at a time.

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Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

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Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).

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