Nothing like endless pictures of devastation and nature's wrath on the news and in the paper to remind you that you really should put a disaster preparedness plan together to ensure that your child's special needs can be accommodated in the wake of the unexpected and unforgiving. It's the kind of thing that's easy to put off when you can't imagine where to start, so I've assembled a list of links to resources around the Web that will inform you of all the stuff you need to worry about and help you figure out the who and what and how of getting as ready as possible. There's also a Readers' Respond page on which you can post your effective ideas and cautionary tales. If the emergency at your house right now is finding a way to explain scary news stories to your child, read Talking to Children With Special Needs About Tragedy.
A post by About.com's guide to Children's Books points out that it's Mary Pope Osborne's birthday today, and that reminded me of the many summers I was frantic to find books for my kids' summer reading routines, and how well Osborne's Magic Tree House books filled that slot for a time. They're a great option for struggling readers of a certain age -- chapter books, so you don't have to be shamed by still reading picture books, but simple enough in plot and language to get through with a clue as to what you read. And of course, there are a ton of books in the series, so if you find success with one the library or bookstore has many, many, many more.
The Magic Tree House books are included on my list of book series for kids who can't hack Harry Potter but still want a little magic in their reading. See what else is on the list, and use it as a start for your own summer reading planning. (Another good source of ideas, for parents of reluctantly reading boys, is the site Guys Read. Adventure books by Max Elliot Anderson are also good, straightforward, blessedly easy-to-read boy-book choices.) How do you inspire your reluctant reader? Share your ideas the Readers Respond page, and download the bookmarks pictured here for some extra inspiration.
Stop by here every Saturday for a family activity, a site for the kids, a shopping site, a site offering humor or inspiration about parenting children with special needs, and a site that's just silly or fun, all designed to get you through your weekend with kids amused and spirits intact. Today's list:
- Activity: Scratch and Sniff Painting
- Kids' Site: Highlights for Kids
- Shopping: Strider Bikes
- Inspiration: "Celebs Honor Teen With Terminal Cancer By Performing His Music"
- Just for Fun: Top Baby Names