Recently, the Kids’ Book Club got off the ground in our house. I don’t know exactly who started it—though both claimed credit—but it’s a marvellous idea: Three days a week, from 2:15 to 3:15 (barring any unexpected appointments), the Girl reads a chapter or two to the Boy. (He’s pretty confident about reading simple books to himself, but lately, he’s taken an interest to having longer chapter books read to him.) Right now, the inaugural book for the Club is Because of Winn-Dixie. It’s pretty cute just to see them together on this project, reading quietly in the bedroom. But then it got even better, when the Girl introduced the school lessons.
Taking a page out of my book, the Girl has started playing teacher for the past couple of years. When the Boy was about two years old, for example, she spent quite a bit of time preparing counting and addition “kits” for him. For example, for one of the kits, she cut out round pieces of paper representing cookies, and drew chocolate chips on them. Then she would instruct him on how to count the chocolate chips or add them together. Thus began her first attempt at being schoolmaster to the Boy.
And now, with the Kids’ Book Club, she types out mini-lessons for him, just like I have done over the years with her. She diligently flips through the book and prepares questions on comprehension and vocabulary, and then helps him write out the answers. To see the completed worksheets in their handwriting—his as short answers and hers as teacher’s markings—makes me extremely proud. And of course, I love that I now have a teacher’s assistant helping me with lesson-planning for the younger grade.
I like to think that she has got her ideas from me, and is offering me the sincerest form of flattery. But really, I know that my Girl has the makings of a wonderfully patient, nurturing teacher, all on her own. She’s just the type of teacher that every kid wants to have, and just the type of sister that every boy deserves.