I can't tell you how much fun we have been having with his books! I have already blogged about the fun we had with The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. The boys absolutely loved the parodies and it inspired them to write their own (Jason's and Kyle's) . They were so thrilled to read what they had written on the internet! They still love this book…so much so that Santa just had to bring them their own copy.
I decided to check out some more of Scieska's stuff from the library and picked up Math Curse and Science Verse and Jason loves them! Science Verse is really funny. Scieszka takes commonly known poems like nursery rhymes, Casey at the Bat and The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and parodies them with a science theme. Jason has a few favorites that he likes to recite to friends now. There is also a CD that came with it where they mention the original poem. And Kyle was so cute…he kept repeating precipitation, evaporation over and over (from the poem It's raining, its pouring, the water cycle is boring. Precipitation, evaporation, precipitation, evaporation…).
Math Curse is a lot of fun and Jason really likes it as well. It throws in some interesting to think about math stuff along with goofy stuff like what is tunafish plus tunafish? Fournafish…Well, you get the picture. It really plays I think that he really is drawn to the cadence of the poems as well as the general silliness. His favorite part is where the main character is trapped in a dream of the ultimate math problem…she then revelationlation and breaks her chalk in half…after all, two halves make a whole and she can use this "hole" to escape! It totally appeals to Jason's enjoyment of plays on words.
And it gets better! Not only have these books sparked tons of creativity and interesting discussions…but Jason has been picking them up and reading them!! Jason did not start reading until last year around 8 (perfectly on time for him) and although he has "caught up" quickly, he still feels that he is "not good at reading". His words, definitely not mine. I have not worried about it because he actually reads quite a bit…his video games and manuals, the lego catalog and other miscellaneous things. But he has not shown any interest in reading books for pleasure despite his great love of stories. Partly because the books he wants to read (we are currently reading Eragon) are still above his level and he is a perfectionist. I know that once he gets a bit more confidence he will love reading on his own…so it is so cool to see him curled up on the couch reading to his brother!
And it has seemed to give him more confidence…today he picked up the I Hate Math Book we had gotten from the library (he saw it and had asked me to get it for him…yes…this is my kid who hates anything schooly who has never been to school!) and was reading me some of the math puzzles from it. He was still reading it on the couch when Jeff got home from work…needless to say Jeff was pleasantly shocked!
Scieszka also writes a series called the Time Warp Trio which is similar to Magic Treehouse (but so much better! Sorry…even though Kyle loves the Treehouse books I find them BORING!). Three boys find a magic book that takes them on all sorts of adventures. They are meatier then the Treehouse books, the kids are a bit more real (and not as annoyingly perfect as in the Treehouse books) and the topics are fun..DaVinci, the Brooklyn Bridge, King Tut, Pirates, Cowboys etc.
Just had to share. This really is why I love homeschooling. I feel like I did when Jason was learning how to walk. One step at a time. On his own time. Not saying that every kid will like Scieszka's books, but it is so much fun when you find an author that hits it off with your kid!
I have found that much of Jason's learning comes from reading books. He is much more into concepts then into details…so while he says he hates math, one of his favorite TV shows is Cyberchase on PBS which is about…you guessed it! Math! He does not like to do computations, but he loves playing around with concepts and problem solving. So for us it is about finding a good balance. And books are playing a large part of that. I think that one of the things that I most enjoy is all the great books I get to find and share with the boys. Another perk of homeschooling!