September 4, 2018

What We're Reading: August 2018

Well, we began Term 1 on July 23. Homeschooling has been quite an adjustment for my previously wild and free 6-year-old. I love how the Charlotte Mason Method is perfect at challenging students at every stage and ability while keeping lessons short, manageable, and varied.

And we are still quite busy enjoying the fine weather. These last 6 weeks we've been swimming, practicing soccer, and hiking. We also spent a week having lots of fun with their grandfather who visited us from Lousiana.

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This term we are focusing on the work of Emily Dickinson. We read the following every day for one week at morning time:

The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Have you got a brook in your little heart by Emily Dickinson
There is no Frigate like a Book by Emily Dickinson
Summer Shower by Emily Dickinson
A Thunderstorm by Emily Dickinson
The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson
The Grass by Emily Dickinson

If you want to see more poems that we enjoy, check out Poetry to Read Aloud.

Morning Time

Harry is 4 months old! He is getting less fussy and more predictable. We've moved breakfast back inside where we miss the fresh air, but there are less moving parts and more attention to our readings.

This term, we are doing our Artist Study of Joseph Turner, a biography of the composer we are studying (Handel), as well as reading the narrative portions of Genesis and Matthew following the list of passages for year 2 on AmblesideOnline during our morning time. Of course, we are also adding it quite a few other titles to keep things interesting!

We finished the following books at morning time this month:

Turkish Fairy Tales by Selma Ekrem (Loved it!)
The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves by Gail Gibbons 
Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews 
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons 
Discovering Crickets and Grasshoppers by Keith Porter 
American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne 
Sindbad in the Land of Giants by Ludmila Zeman 
The Vikings by Michael Gibson 
How to Raise Butterflies by E. Jaediker Norsgaard
The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
The Busy Honeybee by Bernice Kohn 
The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons 
Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story by Robert D. San Souci 
The Sunflower Family by Cherie Winner [Part of my $5 book sale haul]
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

We've also been reading at morning time, and will continue to read slowly for some time:
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Story of Painting for Young People: From Cave Painting to Modern Times by H.W. Janson and Dora Jane Janson

To see even more books we've enjoyed at morning time, check the Morning Time page.

Lunch-time Read Alouds

Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton (finished)
Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter (finished)
The Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Night Book

My husband has been reading to the kids:
The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (finished)
The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey by Rosemary Sutcliff

Free Reading

I have a confession to make. I let my 8-year-old read a fair amount of what people call "twaddle." Over the years, I have made more effort to supply higher quality books and I've made an effort to keep him from just reading all day long every day. Beyond that, I give him a lot of leeway in what he reads . . . within reason, of course.

My son loves nonfiction and has been very interested in the periodic table so on Amazon prime day I used a $5 off coupon to snag The Mystery of the Periodic Table and he devoured it! Besides rereading Life of Fred and his Beast Academy math books (as usual), he has been reading:

The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin D. Wiker
Horrible Geography by Anita Ganeri (I'm sure this is horrible twaddle, but he enjoys them so much!)
The Human Body (An Illustrated Guide to Its Structure, Function, and Disorders) edited by Charles Clayman
The Lost Continent (Wings of Fire #11) by Tui T. Sutherland
The Secret of the Skeleton Key (Code Busters Club#1) by Penny Warner
North! Or Be Eaten (Wingfeather Saga, Book 2) by Andrew Peterson

With the younger children

Sadly, I realize that I haven't been as easy to pull on the couch for spontaneous reading time. Ideally, I read to my newly minted 4-year-old during our 15 minutes "playbreak" during morning lessons as well as in the afternoon. But in reality, I know I'm not reading to her as much as usual. Fortunately, my husband is also reading to her and she is included in our morning time.

A few of the books we've been reading this month include:

D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
Beatrix Potter Treasury by Beatrix Potter
Manners by Aliki
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

I've been reading

I've been reading more than I thought, although much of it is children or YA! I need comfort reads in this season as my brains are fried most days trying to make it until my husband gets home from work.

I really enjoyed reading These Happy Golden Years and Anne of the Island, both books I had never read before, but both part of a series which I read as a child. And both about falling in love, which is something I need to keep in mind as my husband and I are still thick in the difficult post-baby daze. My favorite read, however, was Station Eleven. I requested it from the library upon a friends recommendation and it was different in a good way. I had no idea what it was about when I started it so I won't give anything away.

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus (YA)
Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I'm also slowly re-reading Home Education by Charlotte Mason with an in-person reading group.

These are most of the books we've been reading outside of our formal lessons. You can see the ones we use during school time at 1st-grade plans and 3rd-grade plans.

Past Months:

Read any good books lately?


  1. Wasn't Bringing Up Bebe an interesting and thought-provoking read? I read it some years ago, and it has stayed with me. The concept that most appealed to me was that of providing a frame to work within.

    You all are amazing readers! I hope your 2nd term is joyful!

    1. It was interesting! It definitely opened my eyes to some blind spots in my parenting. It encouraged me to let my baby cry and fuss and little bit more . . . which resulted in him taking better naps without me holding him and both of us being in a better mood :-) So well worth it!

  2. Oh man, I love Gail Gibbons books. They are the best children's nonfiction ever!


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