Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eating Cookies Makes You a Better Reader

Just kidding. Here is the real article title:

An Orderly Home Affects Early Literacy Skills, Study Says
By Debra Lau Whelan -- School Library Journal.

If this is true, my child doesn't have a chance. With two cats in an old house that has forced-air heating, we're very dusty. Wait a minute.... Oh good! There are other factors, too, as examined in the article: home literacy and maternal reading ability are important as well. However, I had to snort when I read this passage:

[Anne] Martin [of Columbia University] notes that perhaps the same mothers who are above-average readers are also those who are more likely to keep a tidy home and to implement daily household routines.

I crave tidiness. You wouldn't know it to look at my desk, but I do. Two weeks ago, I sorted the items on my desk, recycled some papers, shoved a bunch of "to be dealt with later" items in a bag and stacked it on top of my other "to be dealt with later" bags in the bedroom. The insidious clutter has come creeping back. I wonder if my daughter will ever pick up the desire to be tidy. When I was her age, that is, almost six, my bedroom was a wreck, but I had my paperdolls sorted into envelopes I'd made with construction paper and staples. My dollies were all dressed and sitting on their shelves because I didn't want them to get cold, and I certainly didn't want them to feel bad by leaving them lying on the floor. This reminds me of a regular conversation I have with my daughter:

Me: Please pick your dollies up off the floor, They're cold and lonely.

Lucia: Dollies don't get cold! They don't have feelings!

Me: It hurts their feelings when you say that.

Regarding the title of this post, I bought two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies today, even though tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I had a few cookies today and I'm storing the rest in the freezer until Easter.


Becky said...

I love this post's title! It had me clicking over immediately :) That being said, it was a great post regardless. Being tidy doesn't make you a better reader, it just mean means you're tidy. Reading makes you a better reader. :)

And dolls *do* have feelings.

Charlotte said...

Um, what's a routine?


an above-average reader.

Charlotte said...

ps. What flavor? thin mints? I am not buying any this year, because, lacking Routine, I eat the box all at once, just about, while reading.

The only routine I have is to invite people over at least once a week so as to force clean-uping.

Lone Star Ma said...

There's a Samoa on your blog!

I shiver when I read articles like that because we are way, way past untidy. I crave tidiness but not more than family time, rest and recreation apparently (oh, for help!). Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Girl find my standards impossibly high, which I think is scary, because I am pretty sure I would not want Child Protective Services taking a look at my tidiness standards. The Lone Star Baby is better - not tidy exactly, but like me - possessing some vague idea of standards. She wants to invite a friend to her birthday party whose family runs her Montessori school , though, and I am not sure how to tell her that we really cannot allow the school to see the demon clutter amidst which we live...

We all read rather well, though!

Timothy Carter said...

I felt the same way about my stuffed animals. Each one had his or her own personality, and would definitely be cold and lonely if left on the floor!

When it comes to Girl Scout Cookies, I love the vanilla ones. I wish they'd make boxes of vanilla only ones.

I do most of my reading on the bus, so tidiness isn't a factor. Thank heavens.

The Library Lady said...

This is the only worthwhile part of the article:

“Cultivate an interest in reading through role modeling, visits to the library, and finding new and attractive books that are age-appropriate,” she says. “And minimize distractions while you're reading together, and let the child spend time alone with books if he wants to even before he can read.”

And, I'd add "worry less about tidy houses and tidy teaching of reading skills, and more time just ENJOYING your kids and the fun of reading together!"

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

It seems we struggle with similar things: a craving for Samoas (all too easily filled) and one for order (not so much).

And I used to organize my paper dolls, too! Almost as much fun as playing with them.

Saints and Spinners said...

Becky: Amen to both points! I'm glad that my crafty, deceptive plan to catch attention worked, too.

Charlotte: I bought Thin Mints and Samoas. Half of the Thin Mints are gone, and now I am thinking about them. Ho boy.

LSM: The times when I am tidy are the times when tidiness is the end goal. I only have to look at my embroidery box for the threads to get tangled. The tidiest houses I've ever been in are the ones where the owners can bring in house-cleaners.

Timothy: I am glad you take good care of your stuffed animals. When I took the bus to work, that's when I got most of my reading done, too.

Library Lady: No kidding. I often mute the phone when reading to my daughter.

Anamaria: Yes! Organizing the paper dolls was so much fun. Each envelope was a room or a house.

Philip said...

The tidiest houses I've ever been in are the ones where the owners can bring in house-cleaners.


Saints and Spinners said...

Phil: I was thinking of houses where kids live! As a mutual friend said, your toilet is cleaner than most people's sinks.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

And those are the BEST Girl Scout cookies of all!

Anonymous said...

Aren't the above-average readers too busy READING to keep things all that tidy? I certainly am.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think most of us above average readers would let a kids' room get seriously pigsty, if that kid was asking for more reading time! Dust? Please--the next Rick Riordan's out!