Thursday, May 24, 2007

School Rules

Wow, I had a great time in school. Maybe that's where we really belong? I mean, starting a bookshop is not a very "adult" thing to do is it? What with the internet, supermarkets, chain bookshops etc - you'd have to be nuts or have the mentality of a child to do a thing like that wouldn't you!

But I'm straying off track. The school was great. It's another local primary, St Jude's. I felt very guilty about our Potter offer all of a sudden. There are so many great little schools out there and they all seem to have these libraries that, well, let's just say they could do with some new books...

Eileen Browne was there too. I was asked by a small child if I was Eileen the famous author. "No, that's her over there" I said, suddenly painfully aware I was the only man in the room. (Eileen? Oh well.)

Eileen was brilliant. After talking to the children a class at a time she spoke with some of their parents about reading to children. It was great. I learned that schools that spend more money on books achieve better results than schools that put the emphasis on computers. (YAY!) I also learned that the simple act of reading to a child helps their development in all sorts of ways. I thought Handa's Surprise would go over the head of my ten month nipper Finn but according to Eileen he would be fine. I read it to him yesterday and this morning and he did seem to enjoy it.

(When we read We're Going on a Bear Hunt there's a point where they go tip toeing into the cave. Next page the bear appears and they all go running off. Finn turns round to look at me when we get to the cave in anticipation of the scary bear noises I. Great fun.)

So school was fun really and I learned some stuff too.

Get reading to those babies folks - never too young...


  1. About the book versus computer thing... boy, does that sort of statement make my blood rise... because it shows that the schools just do not realise it's about content, not the medium. When they say book they mean content, the medium is paper. When they talk about computer they mean the medium, and thus show they have not a clue about the mass of creative and constructive learning content available. The reality is that children, even small children, use computers for gaming and communication, and very little for learning. Most teachers don't realise it is their responsibility to guide and motivate their students in good use practices of digital media.

    When Finn is a bit older make sure he feels comfortable using every form of media from a piece of chalk to a computer. If he doesn't get your guidance, he might not get it anywhere else. Sorry, I'm ranting.

    Glad to know your trip to the school went so well. Maybe you can slowly work on attracting a younger generation for your store...

  2. Let the wild rumpus begin!

    ...and of course, there is the Tiger who DRINKS ALL OF DADDY'S BEER

  3. Finn is already a computer whiz. By that I mean he is great at bashing the keyboard and trying to eat our mouse...

    I don't think he'll be able to avoid computers and (as you can probably tell) I do like computers! But that was such great propoganda in favour of books I thought it worth repeating.

    As for the Tiger Who Came To The Pub that was always one of my favourites...

    ...sadly Finn knows what to do with a beer bottle already. I have had to snatch them away a couple of times at the last moment!

    (BTW If social services are reading this I'm only JOKING)

  4. Have just read Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson - all about why computers are better for development than is commonly held to be the case. Fostering an enquiring mind and independent thought as users learn by trial and error and develop transferable meta-skills, nbot just a series of specific abilities.

    But I don't think the social, emotional bonding of cuddling up together and sharing time, space and sharing any number of fantastic book journeys (or probably the same one over and over again for a while!), can be beaten.