I’ve written elsewhere about My Bookhouse Books. When I was in Elgin in February I brought the parents’ guide to the set back to Bethesda.
The first of the two guides is called “In Your Hands: A Parents’ Guidebook” and features such quotes as “The child who reads is the child who leads.” and “…..Today is one fleeting moment…..A miracle and unrepeatable.”
The first part of the book is full of guidance to parents on raising their children to become readers which will help them become solid citizens with not only an appreciation of literature but also a firm grasp of language skills and a good character to boot. The rest of the book continues the guidance in a more age-specific way from birth through age twelve. At the end are chapters on how to use the book for holidays or seasons of the year. At the end of the book is a “Character Building” index for different parts of “My Bookhouse.”
Reading through this now, as dated as the photos and some of the guidance is, it does mention ideas that are still popular in current thinking about children and books such as “if your children see you enjoying books, they are more likely to enjoy reading”. Here’s what “In Your Hands” says about that:
Baby Reflects Your Attitude Toward Books
Children quickly sense your attitude and actions toward books as well as other things. You will find your child imitating the very things you do when handling a book.
Of course, most of the photos of a parent reading to their children are of women. There is one photo of a father and son, but they are standing outside and on a page with a poem titled “A Little Fellow that Follows Me.”
The second of the two guides is called “Your Child’s World: The Specific Approach to Daily Problems.” The first chapter, called “Some Ideas About the Home, the Family and Being a Parent” talks about how to make a creative home, how to foster security at home and why parents say “no.”
The rest of the book is packed full of scenarios that may occur in the home and tips to handle them as well as a discussion at the end.
For instance here’s one titled “What Would You do about Father’s Ill-timed Treats?”
What Would You do about Father’s Ill-timed Treats?
Evelyn, age six, and her brother, age four, rush up to greet their father upon his return from work and he usually has some candy treats for them. However, when they eat the candy this spoils their appetite for dinner.
If you were the parents of Evelyn and her brother, what would YOU do?
- Make them promise to save the candy until after dinner,
- Give the candy into Mother’s safekeeping until after dinner,
- Take it away from them and gie them none the next day if they begin on it before dinner,
- Let them have a little taste before dinner, saving the greater part until after the meal is over,
- Insist that they eat a certain amount of dinner “no matter what.”
- Have Father postpone giving them anything until after they have finished eating.
This issue is a matter for parental unity. The most efficient and reasonable approach is (f). All of the others represent needless compromise which is difficult on all concerned. (a) would be an acceptable first step if it works, and it may. However, if it results in broken promise, such punishment as is involved in (c) is not good. (e) would probably create more problems and larger ones than the orignal. (d) would cerate a lot of fuss and even a “little taste” may take the edge off the children’s appetite. (b) is not quite fair to Mother since it puts her in the position of withholding, and in addition, the sight of the candy may make the dinner less attractive. Father should be able to hold off with his largesse and, who knows,may he not in the long run be assured that they are running to greet him for himself and not for the goodies?
I don’t think my mom read much of these books, but I might be wrong. I don’t remember he going through the Bookhouse Books with me, but I do remember reading them on my own. Whatever the case, I am so grateful that she and Dad bought the books because I attribute my love of reading to them.