Settled in School (plus a kids’ books review)

Everything seems to be going well with school.

Dani has been back for almost a month now and this week they have restarted the judo classes. He also has basketball lessons this year. Although he definitely needs to grow a lot more if he intends to take that sport seriously. That said there are one or two players in the Spanish national team who are not that tall – by basketball player standards. One of whom plays in the famous NBA in the USA.

This past month has been a bit hectic. I finished the work in Italy, returned to site and handed in my notice. The new job started just over a week ago but as the security needed to get on the site is still not approved I fond myself driving an hour and a half each way just to sit in the office. More or less with nothing to do. So, I decided to take this week off.

Homework…

I managed to get a flight over to Madrid and have just returned from taking Dani into school. He certainly seems to have settled into the routine. In fact he couldn’t wait to get into the building, thinking he was late – which we weren’t.

In his first year of primary school following three years of full-time nursery school he has homework. Pretty much every night he is supposed to read for 10 minutes and note down in his agenda the book title, how much he has read and which page he is on.

Each Monday he receives weekly homework sheets where the tasks are broken down into days of the week. He tends to do them all in one sitting and then hands them in the following Monday. Smart arse kid!

Isadora Moon

He is reading one of the Isadora Moon series of books. Quite advanced I thought for a kid who is not yet 6 years old. Not my idea of a good book but they are certainly popular. Written by an English author – Harriet Muncaster – these books have really taken the kids market by storm. The author is also the illustrator so top marks to Harriet. And top dollar too I dare say.

While Isadora Moon may be aimed more at girls it really doesn’t matter at that age. The current read is in Spanish while he has two others on the go.

Geronimo and Greg

There are two other series of books that Dani is currently into. One is the Geronimo Stilton stories and the other is the Wimpy Kid diaries. The latter he is reading with me in English.

For those who do not know here is a quick overview…

Geronimo Stilton is a mouse who lives in New Mouse City and works as a journalist. I have to admit I haven’t read them myself (yet) but it seems that this mild-mannered mouse just seems to get caught up in wild adventures. What a surprise eh? Cleverly the author – some Italian woman – has written the stories as if Stilton himself is the author. So even at book signings anybody can don the moue suit and pretend to be Geronimo Stilton – which is apparently what happens. Anonymity while being incredibly rich and mildly famous. A great idea by the writer. Whatever the reason these books are amongst the best-selling book series ever written.

The other book is in English. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a well-known series in the English-speaking world. Written by American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney the books are the journals of Greg Heffley. Greg really is a wimpy kid about to hit his teenage years.

I like these books as they seem to be as much for adults as for kids. Not unlike the animated (kids) films being made these days. A few of the books in this series have been made into films.

There you have it folks. A look at what books young children are into these days. Or at least Dani…

The gift of reading…

Being able to read is a great thing which is often taken for granted by most people. It is easy to forget that there are adults out there who cannot read. Whose fault is that? The individual? Their schools? Their parents (if they have any)? Probably a combination. Another story for the old dad treatment in a future blog post maybe…

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