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Multicultural Children’s Book day is January 26th. As a homeschooling family, this is a holiday worth celebrating. The day raises awareness of books that celebrate diversity.
It is wonderful to explore characters as diverse as the world we live in – including diversity in learning style & ability.
You can celebrate this unique holiday by:
- Organizing a book drive to collect multicultural books for local schools or your public library.
- Create a multicultural book club and discuss stories from different cultural perspectives.
- Plan a movie night featuring a movie based on a multicultural book. (we recommend WONDER) There are 17 other suggestions HERE
- Teach a craft or activity related to a multicultural book. There are plenty of multicultural crafts HERE
- Hosting a reading hour featuring books that celebrate diversity.
Some books for your reading hour recommended by Happy Hive Homeschooling are:
- Adventures On The Can Do Trail (A collection of stories) by Jothy Rosenberg
- The World needs more Purple People by Kristen Bell
- Hacking the Code: the Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D- Kid by Gea Meijering
I had the pleasure of reading: Hacking the Code: the Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D- Kid. (The D is short for Dyslexic.) by Gea Meijering. The e-book and audio version was #gifted to me in exchange for my honest review.
Some Facts about Dyslexia
Research tells us that 1 out of every 5 students has a learning disability centered on language, with dyslexia being the most common disability. Learning to read is a skill taught in homes and classrooms universally. As humans, after we learn to read, we can READ TO LEARN.
What happens when there is a disconnect and the “learning to read” piece of the puzzle doesn’t quite fit with the “read to learn” piece of the puzzle? Simply put kids (and adults) are on a Ziggety, Zaggety path the same way Kees (sounds like Case) was in the book.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder. The reader has difficulty linking a language’s proper speech sounds to letters and words. The brain struggles to learn how to automatically connect a word’s pronunciation with what it looks like on the page.
While scientists are still researching dyslexia’s exact causes, the consensus is that a dyslexic brain has trouble combining visual and sensory information. Consider the process that our brain has to go through to read. It needs to break down the visual word into its individual letters, convert those letters to sounds, and then blend the sounds to create the whole spoken word. This process of breaking down and blending can take a long time for someone with dyslexia.
Hacking the Code
Hacking the Code is a journey through the life of a dyslexic fifth-grade boy, Kees. The story reminds us that everyone learns differently. Regardless of how we learn how or how our brain works, we each have strengths.
This illustrated chapter book provides kids of all ages with a clear picture of what life is like with dyslexia. Kees has a great group of friends and a kind teacher. The book does not explicitly state, but Kees seems to struggle with his “Apple” brain as an undiagnosed child with Dyslexic qualities.
Kees gets into mischief at school, and his consequence is to write a two-page essay. This provides Kees with “the worst thing that has ever happened” to him. Kees often sits with an empty page while the rest of the class is scribbling away. Having 2 weeks to complete this essay will be quite a challenge as his writing skills and his ability to spell are affected by the Dyslexic qualities.
His friends try to help, but it turns out the wisdom of his grandfather provides Kees with exactly what he needs.
a must have for your homeschool
I encourage you to join Kees, and his friend Pete to discover for yourself how Kees hacks the code and finds a way to show the principal and his teachers exactly how difficult that can be.
This story is great for kids from 6-12 and makes an excellent read-aloud. In fact, the audio version is perfect for kids of varying ages and abilities because while reading text may be difficult to decode and comprehend, the same isn’t true when kids listen.
The book is incredibly enjoyable – the characters are endearing, and the story is full of warmth and humor. The writing is to the point, and the story itself is uplifting.
Hacking the Code teaches important lessons about friendship, courage, and academic struggles while maintaining a lighthearted atmosphere. Kees’ story is an absolute must-read for both children and adults. It is a heartwarming tale that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. I Highly recommend adding it to your curriculum.
Check out this preview:
Companion activities for Hacking the Code
Want a FREE companion activity for Hacking the Code: the Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D- Kid by Gea Meijering? I have just what you need.
Designed to help a child experience a bit of what life might be like with Dyslexia, these FREE code worksheets are also FUN!
There is also a free Lesson Plan & Activity Guide downloadable on the iCarepress website.
Activities you can do after reading or listening to this book
Extension activities after reading a book can help to reinforce the ideas and concepts in the book, as well as help to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Extension activities can also help to make the material more memorable, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss the book and its themes in more depth. Additionally, extension activities can help to foster a love of reading and help to make the reading experience more enjoyable.
Here are things you can do in your homeschool after reading books for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
- Explore speech-to-text apps
- Create an acronym for your friends’ group (the way Kees and Pete had NADMIL)
- Design puppets for the main characters and act out a favorite scene
- Make a book review with a star rating system.
- Draw a picture based on the book.
- Write a letter to the author about their thoughts and feelings about the book.
- Design an alternate ending to the book.
- Create a board game based on the book.
- Create a diorama or map of the book’s setting.
- Make a lapbook filled with facts and illustrations about (dyslexia) the book.
I’m not a professional, and I do not diagnose learning disabilities. If you suspect your child would benefit from dyslexia screening, please talk to their teacher, or as a homeschooler check out this website: HOMESCHOOLING WITH DYSLEXIA
You can also find out more about Dyslexia on this website: GENIUS IEP
About the Author
Gea is a creative writer, seasoned marketeer, parent, mentor, and artist with a passion and a mission. As the mother of a dyslexic son, she researched dyslexia better than an FBI agent would, and witnessed the dyslexia struggle and gift it can be, upfront and personal. Gea volunteered as a parent mentor for the special education department of her local school district and is a dynamic dyslexia advocate.
Over the years, she saw many kids and their parents struggling to find out why school wasn’t going well. Inspired, she writes a children’s book that offers kids and families the opportunity to identify with the different characters, make visible the learning struggles some students go through, and bring dyslexia awareness to the community.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/22) is in its 10th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.Ten years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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