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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why Teach Children to Read and Welcome April Poem a Day!!!

March was a very busy month for me and I was away from my computer a great deal. So I didn't post, but thank goodness, except for a few weeks of bronchitis, my husband's health has been steady. So he has been working and I have been accompanying him, because his work is in a court that is two hours away from us. 

So as you can tell it is April Poem a Day and I am once again posting on Poetic Asides. Though I missed yesterday. As usual, I will be posting my poems here too. Also, great news for anyone who is following this, I have finally gotten my second novel ready to send and all I need is a day to do it.:) Yeah!! I can't wait to send it out and see if my publisher wants it. I hope so. Fingers crossed.

One other thing before I introduce you to my guest post today. I want all authors to know about Indie Authors for Sandy Library Relief. It is a group that is donating their own books to help these libraries that were devastated by Sandy. I am going to be donating my books and if you have any books to spare this is the place to send them. Click on the link and you will learn everything you need to know.

A month ago I was contacted by this group called Guest Post U and they asked me if I would post something one of their writers had written on my blog. Being the lazy person I am, I said sure and they send me an article for the topic I had chosen. This is something I haven't tried before and I hope you find the article informative and interesting. Information about the author follows the article. As I said, this is a first for me and I would love your comments.

The Benefits Of Encouraging Kids To Read
We all know that reading is a worthwhile hobby, but few realize that it's true inner worth goes well beyond the obvious. This is especially true when it comes to your kids. The benefits are essentially endless, but here are the most valuable.

1. Less Stress
This only counts for fiction, but active readers tend to lose themselves in the world that the author has created for them. This escape from reality can be especially beneficial to teens and adolescents who are particularly stressed. It's also valuable on the most basic level - a welcome distraction from the routine of daily life, whether that includes soccer practice, violin lessons or school.

2. Vocabulary
If you know your child will eventually be taking the SAT or perhaps need assistance in Language Arts, then rest assured that reading increases the vocabulary of the reader. In reading many books, kids are introduced to new words and phrases that they have never seen or heard of before. This is even more true if your kids are reading books from new genres or selecting a challenging book a bit above their normal reading level.

3. Frugality
Simply put, reading is an inexpensive form of entertainment-. Some readers can go through a large number of books, so having a library card is still a very inexpensive way to pass the time  If your child likes to shop for books, it's a piece of cake to find free novels at libraries, garage sales, perhaps even online (well - you might have to pay a penny or two on Amazon). Next time your child wants to go to a movie, make a deal that for every movie you go to, they'll read a book.

4. Diversity
If done right, reading allows children to see into the lives of people of other ethnicities, lifestyles, religions, nationalities, etc. The younger your child is (and the more control you have over what they read), the more beneficial this is. Who knows? They might even pick up some words from other languages!

5. Brain Health
The brain works much like a muscle, in that it needs to be exercised. In effect, 
reading improves both long term and short term memory.  Whether reading for twenty minutes once a day or an hour every other day, reading will do the trick.

6. Bonding
If you struggle with relating to your child, then consider reading something together, because shared stories are a great topic of conversation. It's also easy to branch from this conversation into other books you might read in the future (more bonding!)

7. Leg Up
Books are multi-functional - they can be used for a variety of things. They are most often used for entertainment, but they can also be very educational (hopefully they're both at the same time). Keep this in mind if you're still choosing books for your kids - you could choose a book that will teach a new skill or about an important topic they will learn about in school someday. Proper planning could ensure that your child has a leg up on the topics they'll be learning about for the next year or two.

Taylor Jordan writes about parenting and education. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and lives in Iowa City, Iowa. She has a four year old son and is working on an MA. Her best work is on the Top Online Masters in Education Programs.When she's not writing, she enjoys watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Breaking Bad.

Now for April Poem A Day!!!

April 1, 2013
Prompt: Write about a new arrival

It was there in the mirror
on the face I saw everyday
Whose crevices I know so well
Next to my left eyebrow 
as if someone had etched it on
overnight with a fine edged tool
Deep, a permanent furrow
blooming like the first crocuses of spring!
Unlike my gray hair I couldn't pluck it from its pores to leave smooth skin.
It reminds me that my facade like the
roadways battered by snow and rain is beginning to crumble and age.
As I gaze at my familiar face I ponder the question of how this makes me feel.

copyright 2013 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 2, 2013
Prompt: Write 2 poems, one bright and one dark.

Bright poem
Spring has returned
Crocuses bloom on grassy hills
People shed their coats and ignore
winter’s freezing breezes that
hang around making it harder for the
searing sun’s rays to warm us
Yet with spring comes hope and the
rebirth of long stagnant poetic juices
bubble to the surface
erupting in lines of words
Creating a symphonic blend of
voices as all rush to fulfill our destiny
And I rejoice in each one’s melody.
copyright 2013 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Dark poem
Spring has returned with its misery
The birds tweet at 2:30 AM
My eyes, nose and throat are
assaulted by the fresh growing new grass
and the pollen of every growing plant
flies in the air with its inevitable consequences
Not that I don’t love flowers
Their beauty and fragrance can transform me
Why do they need to send their pollen into the air?
Yes, I know the whole birds and bees thing and the
answer to the why
But being on the receiving end it is really like
being in a war zone as the plant world awakens
All I want is to be in a sealed room
Too much of a good thing is Spring!
copyright 2013 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time, I will be posting the next couple of days tomorrow on this blog. 
April is pretty empty, but I am hoping to have some more guests on this blog. In May I am hosting Penny Ehrenkranz with her new picture book. Please leave a comment about this post.
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