Ad-Libbing Read Alouds

We’re reading “Little Britches” by Ralph Moody…written in 1950…it’s like a Little House on the Prairie for boys…except my 8 yo loves horses so much it works for her too… An 8 yo boy and his family move west. City slickers who turn ranchers, with the help of good neighbors. All for the betterment of the father’s health. It’s one of my mom’s favorite books, and I can see why. The father’s role in the book is that of “idol” to his young boy, and he imparts bits of wisdom to his son every chance he gets. I recommend it, but watch out. One character in the book is portrayed a bit too realistically…swear words and all. I’ve always skipped things like this in my reading, and even in a pinch have substituted full sentences (like in LHOTP when Laura talks about how boring church is  *shame on that girl!*) to protect innocent ears. There is also a scene in LB where the hay hands get into a fight because one of their “town help” guys admires the back view of the boss’s sister and has the gall to voice his lude comments. ??? I hate this stuff in a book for kids…esp one written back when it should have been considered risque! Parents! Heads up out there…what are your children reading?

It’s too bad we can’t “fix” movies. How many times have you watched a movie and wished you could edit it to make it more family friendly? Or maybe the better question is, why am I wasting time wishing we could waste more time watching movies?

I’ll never forget one sermon a former pastor taught on what we allow said in our house via the TV set. He challenged us, saying would any of us allow a friend to come in and talk/act that way around our children? It was definitely food for thought. Dh and I used to always spend time relaxing together in front of reality tv and before that it was Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond. (That’s another bummer about tv, men are portrayed as stupid idiots. Without exception.)

Well, I’ll hop off now.


P.S. Have you checked out The Plug In Drug by Marie Winn yet?  Here’s a teaser…could the influx of tv viewing be at all related to the huge decline in SAT scores that began in the mid-sixties? Hm.

11 thoughts on “Ad-Libbing Read Alouds”

  1. That book is so good! She gets a bit tiresome, belaboring the same points, but still it was SO validating. Right now I’m reading Hollywood V. America by Michael Medved. I recommend it (he is however brutal honest in describing what really is out available for viewing. )

    Totally off topic–wondering if sometime you could post on your methods beliefs re: discipline. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the title/author recommend, I’m jotting it down…our library is pretty good to ILL things if they don’t have it in stock.

    I love it when I’m asked to blog about certain things, so sure, I’ll plan on sharing about it soon! Thanks for asking. 🙂

  3. my oldest is all about harry potter and the middle one is in to dragonslayor’s academy, but i don’t expect you to approve of those. lol.

    how about *because of winn dixie*? 🙂

  4. Honestly, my girls have no interest in Harry Potter. It’s funny, because when I was a child, books about witches were off limits and my parents wouldn’t expand on their reasons other than “because I said so”… Harry Potter has come up occasionally among their friends and mine, and in all the talking, my daughters have decided on their own that they want nothing to do with it. They base this on the fact that witchcraft is a very alive and well danger, and they don’t want to get interested in it. When they’re a bit older, I have nothing against reading it aloud together, discussing as we go.

    I’ve never heard of Dragonslayor’s Academy…


  5. well, i don’t want to get in to a harry potter debate, but what is actually depicted in those books has nothing whatsoever to do with whatever sort of witchcraft you believe is alive and well. it’s pure fantasy.

  6. Hi Mary. I have heard of the Little Britches series but because I saw that it contained foul language I have postponed reading it with my children. We are pretty careful about what we allow for reading material in our home and don’t own a television. Anyway, you asked for some book suggestions….I have all boys but they really enjoyed “Sword in the Tree” by Clyde Robert Bulla last night (anything we have read by Clyde Robert Bulla has been good so far) and we finished Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat the other night. It was funny and somewhat educational at the same time. My children LOVE the Happy Hollister series!! They are old fashioned (1950’s) mysteries and the children are polite and respectful toward adults. I have been able to find most of the books through the library and interlibrary loan. There is a Happy Hollister unofficial website so I find the names of the titles on there. The author is Jerry West. Hope that helps!

  7. Oh and don’t be put off by a couple of the titles like “The Haunted House Mystery”. There is nothing ever actually “haunted” in any of the stories and it is always discovered that someone is trying to trick people. You can (of course) just skip the couple of books that are like that if you want to.

  8. Thanks so much, Corrina! Mentioning the Happy Hollisters brings back good memories! I LOVED them too…and somewhere I should have at least 4 or 5 of them stashed! I also liked the Bobbsey Twin mysteries, also written way back when and about a family with two sets of twins, a very loving sibling relationship. I’ve never heard of the other books/authors you mentioned, but I keep a list by the computer and am jotting them down!

    You don’t own a television, now I think that is so wonderful! I hope you never get one, we’re “unplugging” ours for the second time because the first time made such a huge difference to our family relationships. I can’t even remember why we turned it back on again. Perhaps because it was there in the first place? Books are so much better, not to mention everything else that you do together when the TV isn’t an option.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with me, Corrina!

  9. I remember the “Haunted House” mystery… 😉 I’m going to run upstairs and see if I can unearth my HH books for 9 yo! Her current favorite are the Trixie Belden mysteries…also faves from my childhood.

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