I often write about how important reading is to me, and as a part of how I’m raising Harley. All the studies say that babies, toddlers and kids who are read to for at least 20 minutes a day perform better in school. But this goes beyond test scores and even beyond teaching a kid to read, because there are many things our kids learn – skills from reading that aren’t literacy.
This might seem a bit counterintuitive. I mean, the whole point of reading to kids is to teach them to read and get them literate, right? Well, not exactly. There’s a whole lot more that goes into it, like having a healthy bedtime routine. But there are also specific skills that kids use for the rest of their lives that can start with simply reading together.
I know, I know, I’ve sorta disappeared lately. I’m sorry for that. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I was committed to blogging a lot more regularly in 2018, and I really wanted to make it a priority to reconnect with all of you, to share what’s been going on, and all that good stuff. And it hasn’t happened nearly as much as planned. There are reasons for that, but no excuses.
So I want to give you all a bit of a peek behind the curtain, a look behind the scenes. You see, I know what I want to do with this blog going forward. I know the kind of content that I want to make and what I want to share with you all. I think I had a bit of a crisis of blog recently, and I’ve found my way through it. Maybe.
There are times when I’d love to be a minimalist. Have as little stuff as possible, eight items in my wardrobe, etc etc. And in a way, that’s how we moved from South Africa to the States, with almost nothing. I kept telling myself that it’s just stuff, and it doesn’t matter, but the reality is that sometimes it is the material stuff that matters.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I kept meaning to write about it but hadn’t gotten around to it. Then Jonelle from Tyranny of Pink wrote about giving up her gorgeous dining room table, and the emotional struggle of it all. And Ella shared in her Insta-story how bad she felt about losing her phone, and that she hated feeling bad about it, but she did. So here’s my current take on the material stuff.
(Disclaimer: Yes, there are some affiliate links below. But the editorial content of this post is still the same as it would be otherwise)
Even before we gave Harley her own tablet, we were looking for video content for her. The reality is that screen time isn’t 100% evil, and honestly, sometimes we all need time to zone out – her in front of a video and me without a two-year-old demanding my complete attention. That said, I still like to encourage her to watch things that expand her mind, teach her something, or are generally worthwhile. She found Dora the Explorer all by herself because toddlers are terrifyingly brilliant creatures, and here’s what I think about it.
Before we got ready to move to Arizona, I joined the local Arizona Blogger group. I was mostly lurking on there, but I figured it was a good place to sign up so that I could get a sense of what was going on in my local blogger scene. The South African blogging groups are usually filled with daily promo threads, which helped me find other bloggers when I was in Joburg, and I thought the same would be true with the AZ group. I was wrong.
The group is generally pretty quiet. People aren’t allowed to drop their blog links, so the only time anyone shares anything is if they have a giveaway, or if they’re looking for people who are interested in an event or some such. Which is how I found out that the Arizona Agricultural Board was looking for bloggers to join in on a farm tour. Of course, I said I wanted to be there! So here are the 4 things I learned about Arizona agriculture, bloggers and myself over the course of Arizona Farm Tour 2018.