Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time to Read (Late August)

I'm way overdue to post a "reading round-up" -- in fact, I'm not sure I've posted one since June, and I've read a fair amount this summer! I'd like to at least attempt a list of my recent and current readings, along with some jottings about what I've particularly liked during this season.

But from time to time, I'm also going to post something under the heading "Time to Read." These will be specific posts about what I'm reading with the sweet girl. I've often incorporated some thoughts on that into my reading round-up, but as we head into the new school year...our first official school year here at home together...I want to be more intentional about listing what we're reading and keeping track of the books we've enjoyed together.

Yes, I'm homeschooling my daughter. I can't believe that I'm actually able to do this. I've wanted for so long to make it happen, and for God to allow our family the space in our schedules to try it...well, He is just very good. The sweet girl is completely excited about our new ventures. She was playing with her Playmobil Bunny School the other day and informed me that Buck and Heidi (her two little rabbits) would be "kindergartened at home" by Mr. Hopper, their teacher. I love that she's enthusiastic about having me home and having me for a teacher, and that she's already turned kindergarten into a verb!

We officially begin Monday, though this week (our first full week at home since I left the office on the 10th) I've been easing us into bits and pieces of our new schedule. I'm also trying to clean and organize as much as I can, though given that I've had no time to do much of either for the past year and a half, progress has been slow. But we will not be afraid to take time. (You're going to hear that a lot in the coming thing I'm already enjoying and looking forward to enjoying even more is being able to pace our learning ventures at a sane and natural pace.)

What are we reading right now, as we head into the school year?

In the mornings, we're beginning our second read-through of The Big Picture Story Bible by Helm and Shoonmaker. Friends loaned us this and we like it a lot: it's very different from most children's story Bibles in that it focuses on overall recurring themes in the Scriptures, like covenant and exile and the promise of the coming of "God's forever king." Pictures are so-so, but the text is very well-done and S. keeps asking for more of it.

For read-aloud time, we've been enjoying Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods, and Holling Clancy Holling's Paddle-to-the-Sea (we picked this up after our trip to Lake Erie, since S. wanted to learn more about the Great Lakes).

We're still reading a plethora of picture books, of course: lots of Shirley Hughes again lately, and a DK book called The Caterpillar that Roared. Plus one very factual (full of photos) book about they hatch, eat, molt, fly, etc. The sweet girl's love of all things small still flourishes!

We've been reviewing some in 100 Easy Lessons and are around half-way through now. We probably shouldn't have taken so much time off this summer. Though S. remembers her letter sounds very well, she's a lot more halting (less confident) in blending those sounds together to form words/decoding words than she was just several weeks ago. I feel badly that I dropped the ball on reading lessons for so long, but it was SUCH a busy, busy summer. We're now practicing every day though, so I'm sure her read-aloud skills will come back with more confidence as we continue.

And speaking of building confidence, she LOVES the Bob Books, the wonderful little books for beginning readers that come in box sets. I'm glad that I persevered in keeping these on request at the library, though it took months (literally) to get them, as they're so popular. I'm beginning to think we will have to cave in and buy them, though I've held off because they're a bit pricey for such little books. Of course, their littleness is part of their charm...that at the fact that they are written so simply, with each book helping the child practice a certain sound or set of sounds. S. loves knowing she has read a whole book on her own! We just finished reading through the final set of four (there are three sets of four for twelve books in all) in the first set for beginning readers.


Erin said...

Happy reading! I finally got around to getting those books from the library so I've got some happy reading ahead myself...

Beth said...

Oh yea! I love libraries!

I was cleaning out our front closet tonight (it's like dominoes...we moved the computer from the dining room, which meant I needed to find my table runner for the dining room table now that it's a table again, which meant I had to hunt through the closet, which meant I may as well go on and clean it out...) and I found a treasure trove of some books I'd either forgotten I had or didn't know where they were. Some are old books I'd put away due to lack of space and some are ones I picked up at a library sale a couple of years ago. A few went immediately into the box of books I plan to give away or sell, but some of them I was just so excited to see!

I'm overdue to write several reviews (books and movies) at epinions. A lot of things I've liked lately, just little time to actually write...