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Jen Robinson
San Jose, CA
Dedicated to growing joyful learners: bookworms, mathematicians, scientists, artists, + more
Interests: joy of learning, education, children's books, hiking, reading, walking, red sox baseball, wine tasting, mysteries, literacy
Recent Activity
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A couple of friends have said something to me lately along the lines of: "So, [my elementary-age child] can read, but never chooses to read. What can I do?" I've shared various posts in the past with suggestions for encouraging reading from birth. But this is a more specific question. What do you NOW when, whatever you have or haven't done before, your child just isn't that interested in reading. Here are a few thoughts for parents about trying, after a late start, to ignite a joy of reading Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookList, #Dystopias, #FlexibleSeating, #GrowthMindset, #LearningStyles, #Literacy, #SummerReading, #Treehouse, #YA, play, Project LIT, reading, and science. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I'll admit that I tried to re-read the Green Sky books a couple of years ago (you can get them on Kindle), and didn't get through them. But I retain fond memories. I have re-read The Changeling and The Velvet Room and enjoyed them, though it may be that I love them SO much that I'm not objective, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I do hope that you like Willa of the Wood! Thanks so much for commenting. We were clearly kindred childhood reading spirits.
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Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty is the first book that I've felt compelled to review in quite some time. Honestly, not many books are capable of making me stay up late to finish these days, but this one did. It is suspenseful, beautiful, and thought-provoking, while featuring unique and memorable characters. The end brought a little tear to my eye. Willa of the Wood is set in the same Great Smoky Mountain region as Beatty's Serafina series (see reviews here and here), but features a brand new protagonist. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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The other day my daughter demonstrated a milestone in her understanding of reading. She's been a bit better over summer vacation about telling me which books she's read, so that I can add them to her reading list. (I don't push her about this, because I don't ever want her summer reading to feel like a chore, but I document what she tells me.) She put a stack of three books on the kitchen table the other morning. Then she sorted them into two stacks. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks, as always, for your support, Judy! I actually don't find making choices regarding my daughter's reading development difficult, because I have a guiding principal. I just always ask myself: "Will this help her to love reading?" If the answer is yes, I go forward. Now, I DO think that this will get harder as she gets to higher grade levels in school, if the system starts to work against her joy of reading. But I think that will mean that I have to fight harder, not that the decision of what to do will be harder, if that makes sense. Anyway, so far so good :-).
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this relatively light week include #BoardBooks, #BookLists, #ClassroomBookADay, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #Math, #ReadAloud, #STEM, adventure stories, book challenges, pensions, professional development, teaching, and vacation. Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Although she has of course been making inferences based on what she's been reading for a while, my daughter took a leap forward in this behavior last week. This post is a spoiler if you haven't read Harry Potter 5, and you should stop reading here. Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
If I ever go down to one basket, I think that the library basket will be the one to keep :-)
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week (and a few from last week, because I was on vacation) include #AP, #BookLists, #FlexibleClassrooms, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #HarryPotter, #Introversion, #LearningStyles, #PictureBooks, #play, #ReadingChoice, #ScreenTime, #SummerReading, #testing, Carol Dweck, Pernille Ripp, teaching, unschooling, and vacation. Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have a post about how I'm limiting my daughter's screen time this summer (in favor of books), and another that is an update on how that and my general push to give her opportunities to read over the summer are going. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and a quick post with a link to an interview that I did at Dani Duck's website. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks, Judy! I will certainly stay firm! Hope you are having a great summer.
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In recent posts I shared How I'm Preparing for my Daughter's Summer Reading and Some Thoughts on Limiting Screen Time (in part so that she would have more time for reading). Summer vacation is, happily, still young, but I wanted to share a few notes on how things are working out so far. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks for the support, Karen. It would be easier in some ways if my daughter had a sibling, but luckily she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, doing crafts, etc. It's a bit harder to get her to play outside on her own, but her indoor choices are still better than more device time. I just allowed extra screen time while we were away on vacation, so now I have to get her detoxed back to the 30 minutes :-). I'll keep the offer of talking to Claire in mind if I weaken, but I don't think I will ...
Thanks, Gretchen! I love the idea of "no electricity night". I can definitely see the candles as being a selling point. There's a picture book called Blackout about how a blackout in an urban area leads to a family spending such quality time together that even when the power goes back on, they turn the lights off again. You were wise enough to do that without prompting, which is awesome!!
Thanks so much for your continued support, Judy! I agree completely about the time spent on a device vs. time spent on everything else. I have seen the positive impact of our new policy on my daughter already. I posted on Father's Day because I was leaving the next day for vacation. Hence the delayed response here! Have a wonderful week!
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For the summer, my husband, daughter and I agreed on a policy of no more than 30 minutes per day of screen time for her (with long plane trips an exception). Right as school let out, I added a modifier to that. I said that the screen time could only happen after she had tidied her room and playroom, put away any clean laundry, eaten breakfast, gotten dressed, and brushed her teeth. Because my daughter is one who prefers to kick around in her PJs all day, eating a super late breakfast, this modifier has initiated some whining. BUT it's already been hugely successful in getting her to diversify her activities. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with this, Sarah. It's so frustrating as parents who have kids who want to read to see policies at school that threaten that. All through this school year my daughter came home from school with library books that were at her AR level. And nearly every time she took those back unread, because they weren't what she was interested in. Next year she starts having required AR tests (she did a few this year but it was more optional), and I'm not sure how that's going to go. I suspect I will be lamenting it here on the blog. What I do is reiterate to my daughter every chance I get that AT OUR HOUSE she can read whatever she wants. I supply her with piles of graphic novels from Amazon and the public library, I read aloud to her every morning from a book that we both love (we're on Harry Potter 5), and I talk about her reading level as little as possible. My plan for next year is to work with her to help her find books that she likes well enough so that she can get the minimum required number of AR points, and then continue encouraging her to read what she likes. She knows, as a rising third grader, that I disagree with the school's emphasis on AR (as I disagree with the focus on homework, but that's a topic for another day), but that sometimes there are things we have to do even if we don't agree with them. I realize that this approach is not for everyone (and for the record I LOVED her second grade teacher - my issues are with the larger school policies). But so far it's working for us :-). Your daughter's aversion to reading two books at once is a problem in implementing this approach, but I would try to find books that are fun and easy for her to read at home, where it won't be so confusing to follow a second plot. Or maybe read books that she is interested in, from above her "level" aloud to her at home. Reading aloud, even to kids who can read, is one of the best ways to promote a love of reading. I hope this helps!! I do share your frustration with this. But I also know that parents who love books are often pretty good at passing that along, and I believe that you will, too.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2018 on On Required Reading Time at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #AchievementGap, #BookLists, #ChildDevelopment, #curiosity, #GraphicNovels, #gratitude, #GrowingBookworms, #IntrinsicMotivation, #OwnVoices, #parenting, #play, #ReadAloud, #reading, #rewards, #teaching, Bill Gates, Donalyn Miller, and libraries. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
An interview that Dani Duck did with me is live at her blog today. Questions included: "Why is reading so important to you?" and "Describe your perfect reading area." Here's a snippet: "My favorite place to read is in a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include: #BookAccess, #BookLists, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #KidLitCon, #LoveOfBooks, #math, #OwnVoices, #play, #PoetryFriday, #SummerReading, #SummerSlide, #TeachersWrite, boys and reading, libraries, parenting, reading, willpower, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have one literacy milestone post (recognizing publishers) as well as a two-part series about encouraging summer reading. I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. These include tons of booklists, as well as suggestions from others about encouraging summer reading. I still don't have the motivation for writing full book reviews but I have included a bit more detail than usual here about the books that I've been reading. I'm also dabbling in quick recommendations on Twitter, to help get the word out about books that I like. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Last week I posted some tips for parents on encouraging kids' summer reading. My main argument was: Choice, access, and time are three key ingredients for a summer of reading. If you can provide all three to your kids, you will likely be pleased with the results. And you will be giving them a gift that can last a lifetime. Today I'd like to share a few more specific examples of how I'm preparing for my daughter's anticipated summer reading. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this busy week include #BookList, #DiverseBooks, #Grades, #GrowthMindset, #IdeologicalDiversity, #KidLitCon, #kidsneedbooks, #kidsneedmentors, #libraries, #OwnVoices, #play, #SchoolLibraries, #schools, #STEM, #SummerReading, censorship, growing bookworms, lego, math, mysteries, and reading choice. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I recently wrote an article for my daughter's school website with tips for parents on how to encourage summer reading. I'm sharing a lightly edited version of that article here. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page