Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our Books.

Connor took this shot a while back of the books that we have on the dining room bureau. There's one for each person. In them we write nice things about that person, as a record they can keep.

I'd like to take credit for the idea, but it's one I saw when I was teaching at a primary school in Clarinda for the day, before I got the job I have now. They'd been having trouble with bullying, so they called in a team of youth workers, and this was one of the things they did with the kids.

We've been doing it since April '04. (This isn't something I know off by heart. I just had a look at the first entry in my book.) They don't get entries every day.... sometimes a couple of months might go by... but gradually gradually the pages are being filled. Connor is the one who especially loves them. He writes in mine a lot, and gets downcast if his book stays untouched for a while. He wrote in mine last night. All spelling mistakes are his:

"Mum. You are the best mother anyone could wish for, and even if they don't wish for you they will still want you as a mother anyway. But there are some things that are bad about you.

1. You could kill someone by making them laugh and run out of breath.

2. Does their need to be a number two?

3. Same as number 1.

4. I can't say anything bad about you. that's why your really bad I can't put you down.

By the way congradulations on your blog. You should open a bottle of shampagne when you beat

Scott's total viewership.

Sorry Scott. I laughed my head off when I read it, but now I'm a bit worried that the friendly competition Scott and I have between each other is starting to rub off on the next generation. And any 'shampagne' about bloggishness will be opened in Scott's company. Or maybe we should make that a nice bottle of red instead?

His last entry was much shorter.
"Mum how can I say enough to thank you with all the help and support you have given us. I thank you for that."

How great is that? I don't remember what prompted it. Maybe I cooked something he particularly likes for dinner or something. But there it is for me to read when I'm an old lady and he's left home and forgotten all about me.

The rules of the books are simple, if anyone out there wants to try it. Each person has their own book. Only positive things must be written in another person's book. Things about what that person has achieved, great things about their personality, acknowledgements about funny or nice things they might've done with/for someone else... the list goes on.

When I took the three younger boys away to Mt Buller for a holiday while Jack was at Central Australia with the school, we took the books up with us. The kids read them in the car going up, and they had so much fun. They were laughing at the spellings their younger selves used, remembering things that happened and generally having a real 'warm and fuzzy' family time.

Well worth the effort of the initial set up.


maybaby said...


What a fab idea. I think I'll put that into play around here. You have lovely boys...what a good job you're doing!

widget said...

you should be proud of the beautiful, balanced children that you have. Well done!

Scott said...

Yes, yes, you're children are great, terrific mother, well done. Now, what exactly, Frogmeister, have you been telling your children about me that they should be so intent on seeing my downfall? And shouldn't they be referring to me as Mr Abode? I am flabbergasted - just remind them that I may one day be writing their school reports (BTW just finished Jordan's) or making decisions about their SAC marks and possible futures! Anyway, I'll join you in the shampagne (I'm impressed he got the 'agne' sound!) anytime!

Frogdancer said...

Thanks everyone.It's a little thing to put into place, but they love it. Widget, we'll have to talk about Jack and his singing. You've taught him so much in just over a term, and he loves it. I think I need to invest in some earplugs though!

Scott: the older ones call you Mr Abode, and regard you with the greatest respect.... indeed, it almost borders on awe and they revere you and the words of wisdom you say.
The younger ones have yet to meet you and realise the aura of grandeur that surrounds you. Perhaps Brennan will be fortunate enough to have you as a teacher on orientation day on Tuesday. Then your glory will be revealed to yet another of the boys.

lightening said...

Hey frogdancer - you should teach them to actually call him "Mr Abode" since I'm assuming that's not really his surname.

Oh, and are you aware that "Mr Abode" is *cheating* cos you can't read his blog in a reader????? Not unless it's just me that can't.....Maybe he's trying to tell me something??????

P.S. LOVE the book idea. Did you start that when all your kids could write? I LOVE the idea but my youngest is about to turn 4 and I'm wondering if I should wait until he starts school?

Frogdancer said...

try his blog again. When I discovered feed readers, I had a go at him about it, and he turned the RSS feed thingy back on, so it's now accessible.
I'd start the book thing for your family in the summer holidays. People can still write things in your son's book, and he could either draw pictures or get you to write what he wants to write on a piece of paper, and then he can copy it into the book. He'll get more of a buzz out of what's written about him, anyway, rather than writing about someone else. Little kids are very egocentric!!

lightening said...

Thanks Frogdancer - on both counts.

Have now added Scott to my bloglines reader which is a relief as he was my only blog not in there and I kept forgetting that I hadn't read all my blogs.

Will add some spiral notebooks to my shopping list for next time I'm actually near a decent shop. Should be before Christmas.

Suse said...

I'm seriously impressed with that book idea.

ps. has your wool arrived yet?