Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saturdate with My Sons and Geronimo Stilton

I got an invite to the launching of the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks. This is a new workbook series based on the popular series Geronimo Stilton. I was happy to get this invite because my eldest son loves Geronimo Stilton. So, I confirmed with the organizer right away and told her that I'm definitely coming with my eldest son.

I shared this information with my son and told him that attending the launch will be our date. It has been part of my schedule to date each of my sons at least once a month so I can spend one-to-one time with them. My son was also happy to hear the news and he looked forward to our date.

The weather was bad on the day of the launch but we still went to Powerbooks at Greenbelt 4 on August 22. The event was from 3 to 5 PM. We got there a little past 3 PM. 

Our original plan was that while my eldest son and I are having our date at the event, my husband and two younger kids will also have a date nearby, either in the bookstore or they will eat ice cream somewhere. But since we found out that they can also stay, they joined us. So, it was now a family date! 

We got a big bag of Geronimo Stilton products as soon as we registered. The canvass bag we got contained two sets of workbooks: Vocabulary Pawbooks from levels 1 to 3 and Comprehension Pawbooks from levels 1 to 3 also. It also had Geronimo buttonpins and a copy of Mockingjay by New York Times Bestselling Author Suzanne Collins.

The event was already starting when we arrived. They were playing a game wherein the participants need to find words and letters from old newspapers that they can form to match the titles of the books in the Geronimo Stilton Series. My son and I still got to join. We had some fun playing even though we didn't win. 

The other game that was played was ensaymada eating for the parents. The parent who is able to finish his/her ensaimada first wins a set of books from the series also. I didn't win but I enjoyed eating the ensaimada. hahaha 

There was a parenting talk after the games and prizes were raffled off in between the games the talk. We didn't win in the raffle but it's alright because being together at the event was already a win for our family.

Book stamping and picture taking opportunities followed after the talk and raffle. Snacks were also served while people were lined up to have their books stamped and their photos taken with the mascots. Even the snacks were according to the theme. Snacks had cheese on them because Geronimo and his friends love cheese.

While waiting for our turn to have our photos taken with Geronimo and Thea, my husband and younger sons roamed around the bookstore to check out copies of the Geronimo Stilton books. The first copy that our son had was Space Mice. We bought it at a time when he was very interested on outer space. This time, we were looking for the first books in the series. Sadly, there were no copies available. But we discovered that Scholastic sells the books in the series in packs or bundles too. My husband saw a pack for the books from 11 to 20. He discovered that we would save a lot if we buy the books this way instead of buying them per piece. So we asked if they have a pack or bundle for books 1 to 10. The staff we talked to said that this pack was out of stock but she was kind enough to inquire from the other branches. She found out that there is an available stock from SM North Edsa and that she said they can request it to be transferred to their branch and we can buy it from there. We were delighted! We had that pack reserved.

After having snacks and having our books stamped and our photos taken, we checked out other books for my younger son who loves Thomas the Tank Engine. I was looking for Step 1 into Reading books for him with stories about his favorite character Thomas. We didn't find any Level 1 books but we found two Level 2 books. I still bought them since the books are still easy to read for kids his age. Now, everybody is happy.

My eldest son who is 6 years old could not get his hands and eyes on his new workbooks. He wanted to read them even while in our vehicle on our way home. He also wanted to read that night but we said he will have to wait until morning. True enough, he was seen reading these books most of the time in the days that followed.

I told him that we will start answering these workbooks after he's done answering his Grade 2 English Grammar worksheets (the ones we are using in our homeschool). I said this to motivate him to work faster on his worksheets before starting on a new one.

Several days after the launch, I got a text message from the Powerbooks staff that our order is available for pick up at their branch. I informed my husband right away so he can make time to buy it for our son.

Finally, our son got his hands on the much-awaited book bundle last weekend and kept reading book after book in the days that followed. Actually, he said that he already read 5 books in just a single day! I told him that I will check if he understaood the stories by making him answer the workbooks. 

We started using these workbooks last Monday and I am really glad that we discovered these workbooks. My son is happy to read and answer the workbooks because the lessons were based on his favorite character Geronimo Stilton. Of course, when my son is happy to do his lessons, I am also happy because I don't need to force him to answer his workbooks.

When he was much younger, one of his favorite characters was Lighting McQueen from the movie Cars. I also used activity books then which were inspired by this character. He also enjoyed using these books and he was usually eager to answer them. I also bought him flash cards with the Cars theme for he was still a toddler then.

Then, when I had my second child, I used the same strategy but this time I bought materials inspired by Thomas the Tank Engine or anything related to trains, unlike with his older brother which were related to cars.

Are you struggling to get your kids excited to read books or to learn something related to their lessons? I strongly suggest that you find a related material that is based on your child's favorite character or interest. That will surely spark your child's interest. I have been doing this for years now and both of my children are responding well to this strategy.

How will you know which characters interest them?

Here are 2 ways:

1. Ask them. If you are not sure or you have no clue, just ask them. It's that simple. But you will not know unless you make time to ask and wait for their answer.

2. Listen to them tell stories. Kids like to include their favorite characters in their stories. They also like to talk about their favorite characters at least once a day when given the chance. Again, this goes back to my previously shared tip to parents to converse with their children. Make time to listen to them and to encourage them to keep on talking and telling stories to you through your verbal and non-verbal responses.

So, don't let this day pass without you doing any of these two tips I shared! Then, look for something that you and your child can use that is related to his interest!     


The Stilton siblings will be at the MIBF 2015 (Sunday). Catch them at National Bookstore's booth.

Photo source here.

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