Routines and traditions in Patricia Polacco’s In Our Mother’s House

Posted April 16, 2022 by geograph in thoughts / 1 Comment

I loved the description of nights by the hearth, and I loved the descriptions of Halloween. And I loved the tradition of breaking open a soda at a fancy event. They were very different from my family traditions growing up because all of them involved a house full of people, and I lived a very isolated childhood with just my two parents and me. Lots of family stories revolve around a lot of Big Family Gatherings, and I didn’t have that growing up.

I remember making crafts and doing things for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in elementary school, and you know what? Not everyone has a mom and a dad! However, it was very supportive of kids who have a mom AND a dad.

One of the teaching strategies described here was the modifications of a “star student” or “all about me” or a “family tree” activity reinforcing the idea of a “single story” family, but we want to tell and reinforce different traditions and different stories about different types of families. I enjoyed the interviewing-a-family member kind of activity, but I wouldn’t have had anyone to interview as a child; could there be different options to interview family friends or something of that nature?

A family structure that I would find very difficult to discuss with children would be an incarcerated parent, because my brain would be ten steps ahead going “abolish the prison industrial complex!”, which isn’t very useful to a child, and I’m not sure the best way to address Any of That.


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