September is the first month of fall and the official start of the harvest season, as well as getting back to school time and Library Card Sign-up Month. It’s also a great time to visit your local farmers market, apple orchards and cider mills or just to take a walk in nature to appreciate the changes taking place. To look at how other cultures celebrate the harvest season you might consider reading We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer or to get information about gathering crops try Fall Harvests: Bringing in Food by Martha E H Rustad.
When we think of seasons we always look to nature for indications of change, but any person who goes shopping realizes that August and September are the beginning of the Back to School season with specials, sales and offers of all kinds on anything and everything school related. While you’re busy getting all the requisite supplies, don’t forget the most important supply: books! Not the notebooks, though you will need those, but the storybooks to keep the fun and the whimsy alive when homework begins to bog the kids down.
Some titles to consider with a back to school theme are:
Many of these titles are geared for the younger set just entering school but don’t let the older ones fool you into thinking that they don’t enjoy these too. There are many titles out there for older children as well that are just plain fun or that help with anxiety and stress or help to teach a valuable lesson. Check with your local librarian or local book shop for ideas.
And speaking of your local library, this month is Library Card Sign-Up Month so get the family together and head out to your library and get everyone a card and then peruse the books and check out some titles that interest. Perhaps even find a title that can be read aloud as a whole family such as The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Little Women or Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, or A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Start a family tradition of a chapter a night after dinner or before bedtime.
Though children head off to school and schedules become hectic, don’t forget the importance of reading aloud, even to older children. Many schools don’t fund libraries and teachers don’t always have the time to read aloud so keep reading alive in your house through daily read alouds.
Remember that reading aloud to your child helps:
What's happening in September?
7th: Labor Day - To honor the contributions workers have made to this country help your child explore careers. Some books to consider are When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic and the Barenstain Bears’ On the Job and Jobs Around Town.
8th: Poet Jack Prelutsky’s Birthday - With his innovative word play, Prelutsky’s poems are a must read for every child. Consider Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young and The New Kid on the Block.
Author Jon Scieszka’s Birthday - Nationally recognized reading advocate and the founder of the literacy program for boys GUYS READ. Share one of his picture books with your young one or for the older set a title from his Time Warp Trio chapter book series.
International Literacy Day - Helps to raise awareness for those who cannot read or write. Help your child understand how important reading is to life by reading Oh, How I wished I Could Read! by John Gile.
11th: 9/11 Remembrance Day - Honor those who were taken from us in your own special way.
13th: Author Roald Dahl’s Birthday - Who didn’t grow up with Dahl’s classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or James and the Giant Peach? Share one of his many stories with your child.
16th: Author H.A. Rey’s Birthday - Rey, with wife Margret, brought the delightful exploits of a mischievous and beloved little monkey to life, Curious George. Read about their remarkable journey to escape the Nazi invasion of Paris in The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margaret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden.
17th: Constitution Day – A day to celebrate our Nation’s Constitution. Consider reading We the People by David Catrow.
25th: Poet Shel Silverstein’s Birthday - Silverstein has delighted children with his poems and drawings for years. Among his notable works are The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends.
The Last Week is Banned Books Week - Celebrate the right to read by picking up your favorite book or a frequently challenged book. You can find challenged and banned book lists on the American Library Association's website.
Curiosity Day - Each year, sometime around the birthday of H.A. Rey, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) hosts an event called Curiosity Day. This is a day set aside to celebrate the magic of learning and discovery through reading, particularly the stories of everyone’s favorite curious monkey, George. You can find more information about this day and ways to celebrate on HMH’s official Curious George web page.
So, even though schedules are about to get much crazier, don't forget to make time to share books with your children and enjoy all of the delights that the beginning of the fall season has to offer!
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.