We’re really slacking on the reading right now. Two months in a row! I guess we’ve hit a summer slump 🙂 Something about the winter and fall days make them so much more pleasant to read in than the summer. I guess we’ve just got too much that we’re doing right now otherwise 🙂
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These are mostly for the older kids but some parts the younger kids also listened to.
The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature–We actually spent the better part of the month reading this book aloud. It’s a compilation of Usborne books on nature study for young readers. It’s pretty good, and the kids were fascinated by some of the topics.
Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne. This Magic Tree House book is set in ancient Tokyo (Edo), and Jack and Annie got to spend a day or two with the poet Basho. We learned a little about Haiku, and the kids even tried composing their own poems. It was great to read this right now with Firecracker so interested in Japan.
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup. This seems like the wrong time of year to read these books, but we had a winter day a couple of weeks ago where we made gingerbread playdough and the kids made playdough men and pirates to go with this book.
Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski. This is a fractured Snow White chapter book. It’s been Rose’s favorite book that we’ve read in a while, and both kids laughed and laughed. They wanted to jump straight into the next book, but I told them that we really needed to wait until it came out in paperback since we’ve got more than a few books that we haven’t read yet.
Zombie-Kids Go Green by Julia Dweck. Her books are a gem. This one happens to be about recycling. It’s got really cute rhyming text and beautiful illustrations.
Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House, No. 38) by Mary Pope Osborne. The kids were really excited about this one because Jack and Annie visit Leonardo da Vinci and we studied da Vinci when we studied robots back in the spring. They were able to recall our earlier study of da Vinci and loved adding to our knowledge of him.
We really just read a lot of the same favorites for the little ones this month. I read to them every day, but we only used one new book with them this month. That book was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. It didn’t actually capture their interests, but we did a lot of fun learning and activities for both big and little kids with it.
After a couple of months of not really reading, Firecracker and I have agreed that his third grade year is going to be the year that he takes the 100 book challenge. We’ve agreed that if he completes this challenge I will be paying him in the form of a new video game. This month he read:
Daniel’s Duck by Robert Clyde Bulla. This is a leveled reader (I Can Read, Level 3), and it’s a sweet story about a little boy who carves a duck to enter into the county festival. Firecracker really liked it.
Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel. This one is funny. It’s a bedtime story that a father mouse tells to his little mouse. I just loved watching Firecracker’s facial expressions as he experienced reading about the mouse who’s feet gets tired so he takes off his old feet and puts on new ones. Lobel’s stories are always so cute 🙂
Zombie-Kids by Julia Dweck. Firecracker loves zombies, and this one was a treat for him to read and gaze at the pictures. Her books are beautiful, and I’ve been debating downloading a few more for him.
These were all easy reads for Firecracker. Zombie kids was the only one with much by way of new vocabulary, and that’s good because he’s not a confident reader, so building fluency is the most important thing for me to concentrate on with him right now.
I’m excited because I’ve got another child starting to read a little on her own. She also loves the written word, so once she gets it, she’ll be reading everything in sight. This month we worked on reading books out of Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers. She’s up to book 10 in the set, so only three more for her to go to finish it. She’s been thrown a mini curve ball because she’s suddenly having to sound out words like “went” where in the books before it was more words like “Sam” and “rag.” I need to pull out some of our Progressive Phonics readers and have her practice a little with those too while she’s practicing.
Most of what I’ve read this month has been short and sweet, and there’s been several things I’ve read and enjoyed. Here’s my list of reads:
Making It Pay to Stay: Living Abundantly on One Income by Sherri Stotler. There’s not really any new information in this book for me, but I can use all the cheerleaders that I can get 🙂
The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager. This one was truly helpful because it made me realize the difference between being frugal and deal-hunting. If you don’t need something, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is. I know that all of you already knew that, but this is news to me. My new mindset is frugality not shopping for rock-bottom prices. Of course, rock bottom prices are good too!
Our WORST Homeschool Mistakes (and how YOU can avoid them!) (Easy Homeschooling) by Jim Erskine. This is just a compilation of advice from Homeschooling Freebie of the Day readers. However, the message that it boils down to is this. Homeschooling is about more than the academics. Push the academics too strongly in the early years and you can destroy a love of learning just a surely as a school can. Advice taken.
T.V.: The Great Escape! : Life-Changing Stories from Those Who Dared to Take Control by Bob DeMoss. This is a painfully convicting reminder of how television affects us and our Christian walk. The effect of television is not usually for the better. He advocates a 30 day fast from television to bring your T.V. habits back into balance. That’s not going to happen at our house. We’ve already greatly restricted the television use in our house and most of the time we’re happy with the balance that we have….Plus, after I read this book, I went out and got Netflix to add to our Amazon Prime. I’m happy with the fact that we’re not watching any network or cable television or any raunchy commercials. Also, I’ve had to give up so many shows that I used to enjoy. <sigh> In many ways, DeMoss was preaching to the choir here.
The UnWired Mom – Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World by Sarah Mae. This is one area that I’ve struggled in, so I really found reading her book to be refreshing. Since reading her book, I’ve spent a little more time on the computer than I usually spend (planning the first semester of our school year). However, I’m pleased with the feeling that I can take control of my internet usage, and have made an effort to clean up my social media usage to mostly include the pictures that I post for my family to see and responding to family and “real-life” friends when I take couple of minutes here and there (instead of 30 minutes or an hour) to visit facebook, twitter or pinterest. It’s hard and sometimes I do feel like I might be missing out, but I’m getting better and better at it and giving myself more grace on the days that I do mess up and spend too much time on the computer.