Homeschool Reading Blog
I found this video from the creator of Itchy's Alphabet. What a great tool to help teach phonics! This is one itch that I hope doesn't go away
We started reading books to the kids the half-hour or so before bedtime about seven years ago. I really didn’t think we’d read that many, but when I sat down & made a list, we’ve covered a lot of ground! Our first read aloud was the first in the Betsy & Tacy books. We started there because our little neighbor came over for the afternoon & I had gotten the book out in hopes of reading it. After they were tuckered out from playing outside, I asked them to all gather around & listen as I read about two little neighbor girls about their ages (four years old). We read through four or five chapters at that sitting! They were hooked.
We’ve had lulls in the reading time through the years. When we finish a book, sometimes it takes us a week to settle on the next read. Here’s a list of what we’ve done so far…
- Betsy & Tacy
- Betsy-Tacy and Tib
- Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
- Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
- Heaven to Betsy
- Betsy in Spite of Herself
- Carolyn Haywood Books: Betsy’s Busy Summer
- Snowbound With Betsy
- Betsy and the Boys
- B is for Betsy
- C is for Cupcake
- Back to School with Betsy
- Betsy & Mr. Kilpatrick
- Betsy’s Winterhouse
- Betsy & Billy
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- Because of Winn Dixie
- Charlotte’s Web
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm
- Little House in the Big Woods
- The Long Winter
- Pilgrim’s Progress
- Little Women
- The Jungle Book
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Henry Huggins
- Henry & Ribsy
- Ramona the Pest
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8
- Ramona & Her Father
- Ramona the Brave
- The Door in the Wall
- The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee (a Trailblazer book on Nate Saint)
- The Bandit of Ashley Downs (a Trailblazer book about George Muller)
- Cheaper By the Dozen (We skipped a chapter or two that wasn’t for the age group listening)
- All of a Kind Family
- The Hundred Dresses
- George Washington Carver
- Sadako & the Thousand Paper Cranes
- The Cabin Faced West
- Winnie the Pooh
- All Kinds of Animals
- Excerpts from “The Book of Virtues” & “The Children’s Book of Home & Family“
- The Caroline Years Books: Brookfield Days
- Caroline & Her Sister
- Frontier Family
- Brookfield Friends
- Little Lord Fauntleroy
- Trial By Poison (Trailblazer book about Mary Slessor)
- Corrie Ten Boom (CEF story)
- On the Banks of Plum Creek
- Fair Weather, by Richard Peck
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Secrets (from the Alex series – I’m having a hard time finding those! Interlibrary loan is the only way to get them. The kids enjoyed it, though. I need to order a few more. After we finish Odyssey.)
- Junie B. Jones – Jingle Bells, (over Christmas break)
That takes us to today. We are currently in the middle of the Odyssey Series. Right now, we’re reading The King’s Quest, sixth book of twelve in the set. This is a great series to read with your preteens to get discussions going on some issues you may never naturally get around to talking with your child about, but would be wise to do so before they leave your "nest".
What books have you enjoyed reading with your children over the years? Recommendations welcomed.
10) The core lessons, when taught one-on-one, don’t take that long! This leaves plenty of time to pursue other things: read the classics, memorize Scripture, learn how to knit, try out Tae Kwon Do or ballet lessons on DVD, exercise with Mom & Dad, piano, fun family trips, etc.
9) When someone comes to visit, everything can revolve around enjoying the visitor (Grandma, aunts & uncles, etc.) These are cherished times! I want my kids to know their extended family.
8 ) I get to choose who my kids hang out with & form friendships with – an ever increasing “must” for both safety & wisdom in this day & age.
7) My children can grow at their own pace. They may excel beyond their assigned grade in one area, but need to take extra time to learn another, for them, more challenging skill. Every child is unique in their learning skills & styles.
6) My kids don’t have to waste their time standing in line for the bathroom, wait for everyone else to get out their books & sharpen pencils to start lessons, or learn new “tricks” in the lunchroom or playground. That’s not to say they don’t waste time or learn new tricks, but I have a lot more control over all that in these early years.
5) My kids don’t compare themselves to others – they don’t think they’re the smartest kid on the block, or the dummy in the class, either – healthy self-esteem.
4) I know what my kids are learning & can supplement with resources at the library, etc. We get excited & discuss topics as they “pop up” in real life.
3) I get to introduce God into their lives throughout their studies & day. (ex. – study China/Buddhism = we get to talk about how Jesus is different from other gods.) We can talk about how penguins & peacocks are MADE & how creative God is! We can note God’s awesome creativity in snowflakes, tree varieties, animals, etc.
2) My kids see me as the main authority in their life. They want to please me (for the most part!!), learn from me…I have their hearts. Time will come soon enough for them to give it away to another.
1) My kids know each other. We get to make memories together rather than with 30 kids & the teacher of the year. We spend time together. The older learn to be patient with the younger & the younger admire the older. No, it’s not a utopia of learning every day, but every day I am thankful for this year with my children at home. It is most definitely worth the effort!
As I was gathering materials for our first month of homeschooling, I noticed that many of the recommended books had been featured on Reading Rainbow. I remember watching it growing up; it was fun to see LeVar travel to different places, do fun things, and read all those neat stories to us. I always liked the kids at the end, too, recommending their favorite books. We’re accumulating favorite tv shows on dvd like Between The Lions and Sesame Street ‘Old School’, and I wondered if RR was on dvd. I assumed it was, but was shocked to find out how many episodes there were- the show ran from 1983 to 2006! Luke brought home some episodes from the library- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Numeroff and Follow The Drinking Gourd by Winter, among others, and it is so fun watching this great show. There just happens to be an Underground Railroad Tour this weekend that we may visit, and the latter of those episodes will fit right in.
Sigh. I heart Reading Rainbow.