Raising a ‘Tween Daughter

 ‘Tween Books

The book that began her fascination with, Rick Riordan's writings.  (The Red Pyramid)
The book that began her fascination with, Rick Riordan’s writings. (The Red Pyramid)
Red Pyramid at Dahshur
Red Pyramid at Dahshur (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 The book was called, The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan.  Stephanie has been unable to find another author to hold her interest as much. 
She constantly reads and her 4th grade teacher used to punish her for reading so much.  “Because,” I was told, “she reads when she is supposed to be doing her homework, she has plenty of time to complete all homework while in school.” 
Well then, ‘that’s not really homework is it,’ I thought to myself.  That is time when, you are to be teaching the children.
I actually bought the novel-length book to see if it would hold her attention and it has, for a solid year now she has been reading many, many of Riordan’s books, sometimes 4 or more times. 
My daughter would check out books at the library and have at least one of the 100 page books read by the time we got home, about 5 miles away. That made no difference to Steph because every book she has ever read has been reread at least 3 up to who knows how many times?  Steph always enjoys them as if it were her first reading.  Stephanie has been reading and comprehending what she has read since the age of four (Stephanie is now nine). I’ve seen her disciplined reading at its peak, I think, when she got a book at the school library one afternoon, “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan, and the entire book of more than five-hundred pages was read before she had to go to bed that evening at nine!
Her computer fills most of her time, so how did she read that much? Her nose is constantly in a book, and many times while she uses the computer.  I ask her questions on the entire book and 99 percent of the time, her answers are correct!
Reading comes in as a close 2nd and is a most welcome diversion from the computer. Stephanie has always been like that, though, she is a strong beginner as shown with her piano and violin lessons, then as time wanes on, she tires of the practicing involved. But you know, books are never the same so she probably won’t get bored. And of course, I continue to learn about her day by day; but I do know this…never has anything captivated her as much as books. Buy one today and try it for yourself.

Always reading

Computer, books. Books, computer. Computer, books books, books

reading Ramona Quimby, age 8
Reading, “Ramona Quimby, age 8”

Once back in the states from her birthplace, the Philippines I had been told to read to my child, the younger the better. I did so every night and that became a nightly habit at age 1 1/2; when she was two she would look through the phone book page by page until she had finished that, in about two weeks time. Stephanie had graduated to the Bible, page by page. Now at age nine I still read to her occasionally when she asks; mostly she reads to me. Reading to your child can create a life-long love of books and teaches what the different punctuation means with only minor cuing from an adult.  I believe the kids boost their education and learning habits and after all, isn’t that the reason for grade school?.  A place with the primary concern on learning.  The knowledge gained in primary school remains with you always.

Stephanie’s penchant for the written word has exceeded all of my wants for the child’s learning hunger. Her enjoyment and blind concentration of what was written transport her to other times, places, and situations. I recall her younger days reading Junie B and how I had her read those books to me to be sure that she knew the correct spelling of the many, purposefully misspelled words. Stephanie proved to me that she not only knew their correct spelling but that she also knew their meaning.

I didn’t think and I still do not think that words should be misspelled – even if on purpose – to young, developing minds.  The kids are in an intense learning stage and absorb things like a sponge.  These books came with the recommendation of the teacher, who incidentally, had spelled a few words wrong in our correspondence. 

And, it’s difficult to correct a teacher because the child believes them infallible.  “Stephanie,” I would have to tell her, “That is not the correct spelling, your teacher probably just made a mistake,” then I would have to convince her with the dictionary.

Great Stuff on Amazon

Good reads for your child, tween

Rick Riordan is Stephanie’s main author this year, but past year’s have included – Barrows/Blackalls – Barbara ParkBeverly Cleary – Jim Benton – Rachel Renee Russell – etc.

6 thoughts on “Raising a ‘Tween Daughter

  1. I have also observed that being read to as a child – regularly and from a young age – generally translates to becoming an avid reader – it did in my case, anyway. Like Stephanie, I was an early reader (but not THAT early! I agree that she is unusually gifted in that arena).

    Violin? Keyboard? How I wish I had been introduced to playing an instrument when I was young – it is not within my skill-set as an adult. My downstairs neighbor is working on her doctorate, and seems to have taken up the piano. I hear her practicing daily and wonder, sometimes . . . but I don’t really have the patience (or the time), so I content myself to remain an appreciator of the music of others.

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –


    1. Thanks for your comment; it’s great to have such affirmations because I always question myself on whether or not I’m doing the right thing? I worry constantly.

      Stephanie had even mentioned that fact to me, “You worry too much Dad!”

      She got those words from, I think it was the landlord, who once said to me, “You are anal about your cleaning, and you worry more than a woman.”

      I am not overly concerned with cleaning, however; I tried everything to have the carpet replaced here. I even offered to pay for it myself and do it with a neutral color, and well nothing, it was not allowed.

      I must end here, sorry for writing this as a letter, but you deserve more than a mere “thanks for your comment”

      Steve (philippinewanderer.org)

      P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to you Madelyn. I visited HSN last night but and I did purchase my phone online, though, I am leaving for the AT&T store now to find out if I’d be better off adding her to my account or getting prepaid for her. Talk to you later.


      1. As far as I can tell, the only thing “you worry too much about” is commenting “correctly” ::grin::

        IMHO, “Anal about cleaning” is just one man’s way of projecting his fears that he’s a slob onto you!!

        My landlord would probably be thrilled if I were MORE “anal about cleaning.” Either way – THEY don’t live in our spaces, WE do, and we get to set the standards (or chronically fall short of them, as in my case ::VERY big grin::)

        I much prefer things clean, neat and tidy, but I run out of time before I run out of to-do’s, so I’ve had to adopt the following motto:

        NOBODY ever said, on her deathbed, “Darn, I wish I’d used more of my life to be a better housekeeper!”

        I enjoy actually enjoy grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking and decorating (especially for the holidays!), but that’s about IT where house chores are concerned. I’ve always said I needed a staff (and a butler to keep it all running) so I could simply focus on my strengths. (Cleaning up is not one of those, that’s for SURE!)

        I dream of the day when my biz is so successful I can hire out ALL chores – but its finally dawning on me that God may have other plans for my life. (nice dream, however!)

        As long as YOU prefer to keeps things ship-shape and don’t hate doing it I think its a great thing, even though I’m sure it runs you ragged some days. It’s a CHOICE, and you are entitled to have YOUR life *your* way.

        Don’t feel obligated to exchange comments in equal measure, either. I write easily and can be wordy (you might have noticed that ::wink::). Make it work for YOU!

        Have been up all nite & am finally crashing – so I’m off to bed for another day when the rest of my timezone is up and at ’em ::groan:: Trying to remain grateful I AM able to get high-quality sleep once it finally descends, remembering that some don’t even have that luxury.

        Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you and your darling daughter have a WONDERFUL day together.


  2. By the end of the school year she was the only child to have homework from her class; she was scolded by her teacher for reading too much! She was reading during the time given to do their homework. She is forever busy doing something from the time she wakes in the morning until she goes to bed at night, taking a nap is too boring for her!


  3. The violin and keyboard are in my closet (I’ll bring them out again next year) as she is now toying with the guitar and the recorder. Stephanie has very little homework, however, most of it that she does have is completed before leaving school for the day. Last year, I had to ask her teacher to, “Please give her homework because she gets bored without it.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s