A Little Literacy, Please: Abe Lincoln Loved Books

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  • Where’s this week’s “Apraxia Monday?”  With the long President’s Day weekend, we decided to make a quick road trip to Springfield, IL–the State’s Capital and President Abraham Lincoln’s home.  I got so caught up with the presidential stuff that I sort of “forgot” it was Monday!  Not to fear, next Monday will conclude our “how to help at home” series.  Coming up in March, I will be presenting some wonderful interviews with equally wonderful mom-advocates of special needs and CAS in particular

Abraham Lincoln may have lived 200 years ago, but he is alive and present in the minds of my young girls.  We loaded the family up this past weekend and headed to Springfield, IL where we all got a little taste of what it was like to live in 1861, the year president Lincoln took office.  I wanted them to understand the reason we didn’t have school (again…don’t get me started!) was that we celebrate what these men–hopefully women someday–have done for our country.  They lapped it up. 

Both girls were intrigued by his home–the chamber pots especially–and the fact that he was so tall.  They loved hearing stories of how his children were sort of–uh, rowdy–and would throw ink wells around their dad’s law office attempting to swack them with broom handles as though they were playing baseball.  My husband was relived to learn that Mr. Lincoln was a more lax parent and sort of a slob (perhaps he sort of identifies with that?!).  I enjoyed learning about Mrs. Lincoln–her love for decorating–at a cost that bewildered the Mr.  (wonder if my husband can relate to that as well?!)

We learned that as a boy, young Abe taught himself to read in his family’s one-room cabin by the the fire and would often walk several miles to obtain a book.  He was too poor to go to law school, so he self-taught himself by reading law books for three years before applying for a job as a lawyer. 

Abe Lincoln loved books. 

Of course, I couldn’t resist making a book purchase for my girls as we stood on the very ground our 16th President used to walk.  I whispered to my husband as I plopped the books on the countertop at the gift store, “I’m getting them these two books to remember the occassion by.  They can share them with their classmates on Tuesday.”  And thus, the teacher in me was born (again). 

I snapped pictures as we viewed certain Lincoln-esc things mentally thinking, “Oh, yes–this is just perfect for the poster.”  The poster?!  Yes, I was planning to make a poster of the “artifacts” we collected on our trip.  A ticket stub, a penny (he, he!), postcards, and the fake old-fashioned money from the gift shop. 

Once home, I quickly downloaded the photos to the computer, inserted them into a Word document and–ding–had some visuals for the girls to adhear to their poster.  That evening, we cut and glued pictures to posterboard.  Kate was proud to take her poster to school to show her classmates.  Kelly was excited to take the freebie poster to school she “won” from completing the scavenger hunt at the muesem.  Each of them gave a penny to their classmates.

Nerdy?!  Totally.  Educational?  Yes.  Something they’ll remember forever?  I hope. 

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

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