Book Club

Caitlyn’s new activity this year is book club. A local homeschool mom has organized a club for 4th-6th graders using the Arrow guides from Brave Writer. Caitlyn loves reading, and she was on board to give this a try.

She really liked the first book, A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett. She even read it twice to be prepared for the meeting, and took good notes on all the bad things that happened in the book. We also used the new poster that I made:

She was nervous about the first meeting, but I think she enjoyed it while she was there. She participated by answering questions, and responding to other kid’s thoughts on the book.

The group also painted eye rocks, to keep or hide around town (because that is a thing right now).

 

Wizard of Oz

Caitlyn and I had a wonderful time reading the Wizard of Oz and doing all the activities I had planned to go along with it.

We were blessed with a copy of the book and these incredible dolls to go along with the book from my parents. Caitlyn used the dolls to retell the story over and over again.

She also explored tornadoes to go along with the book. She made a pastel picture and actual got her hands a little dirty doing it. She also made a cyclone in a bottle. It was hard to capture in a picture, but she enjoyed the experiment.

We also followed the yellow brick road of the story, and did our first in depth character mapping.

This was probably our favorite activity and I love how well it turned out. Caitlyn thought painting the poppies with celery and pom poms was funny (she just didn’t like the smell of the celery).

When we finished the book we watched the movie and completed a comparison contrast of the two. We both loved reading this book together for the first time, and Caitlyn also loves the movie and has watched over and over again.

 

Reading this year

I have a lot of goals and ambitions for this academic year, however my primary goal is to help Caitlyn be a more confident and ravenous reader. So we are increasing our reading plan this year. Caitlyn will have required independent reading each day and those books will be of her choosing. We will be going through How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to reinforce her skills.

I picked the following books either based on history tie in, grade level or other recommendations. I will read these aloud or we will listen to an audio book. It is an ambitious list, but I think we can do it.

Androcles and the Lion by Bernard Shaw

Beowulf (Graphic Novel Version)

Our Little Celtic Cousins by Evaleen Stein

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Selection from Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

The Thrall of Lief the Lucky by Ottilie Liljencrantz

Sign of the Chrysanthemum by Katherine Paterson

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric Kelly

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Kristen American Girl Christmas Story by Janet Shaw

Robin Hood by Roger Green

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum

The Voyages of Dr Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

Ralph S Mouse by Beverly Cleary

Socks by Beverly Cleary

Freckle Juice by Judy Blume

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

So, if you are looking for either of us this year we will be the girls with our heads buried in one book or another. 

Library play

I know I have been lax on my blog posts. I have also been lax on my picture taking, but I have some pictures and a few posts to share! I promise we have been homeschooling this whole time it’s just mostly been repetitive and tedious (I’m already planning for next year and I’m really excited about what it holds. It should have more post worthy moments).

Anyway, on this day, like many others, Caitlyn decided to play library AND I brought my camera along.

First – she opened the library.

Second – she gathered her guests and handed out the supplies.

Third – SHE read us all a story.

Finally – she asked questions about the story and wrote down our answers.

More Christmas Books

 


I saw this idea on Pinterest and I knew that Cricket would absolutely love it, so I set out to collect and wrap 24 Christmas books for an Advent countdown. I ended up with 28 books somehow so we started early, and she has been opening one each day.

This has been a huge hit so far, and we have both really enjoyed the variety of books. I chose not to number them so that she could pick whatever she wanted to open each day. I did write the title on the back of each package so that if she asked about a specific book I could find it. 
 
These are the books that Cricket opened and read this week:
Dora’s Counting Christmas – This is a simple countdown style book with a Dora theme. Cricket liked the Christmas items in the book, and of course Dora and Boots.
The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear – Cricket loves her Berenstain Bear books and this was no exception. I liked the “Joy of Giving” focus, but I’m struggling with balancing the Santa stuff.
A Very Minty Christmas – This was a My Little Pony board book. It had a basic countdown theme going through the book as well as a find the stockings theme. Cricket seemed to enjoy it overall.
The Animals’ Christmas Eve – Cricket loved this one, I think again because it focused on animals. This book also offered a basic counting lesson. I really liked that the animals were telling the story of the birth of Jesus, and the real reason for the season.
The Christmas Story – This is the closest story I have found to reading the actual nativity story out of the bible. Cricket was familiar with the terms and story from our Truth in Tinsel studies this year, and she enjoyed the pictures.
A Child Was Born: A First Nativity Book – This book is probably best suited for a preschooler, the story is very simplified. Cricket wasn’t very drawn in by this one, but I liked it’s illustrations.

You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,

Christmas Books – Week 2

 


I saw this idea on Pinterest and I knew that Cricket would absolutely love it, so I set out to collect and wrap 24 Christmas books for an Advent countdown. I ended up with 28 books somehow so we started early, and she has been opening one each day.

This has been a huge hit so far, and we have both really enjoyed the variety of books. I chose not to number them so that she could pick whatever she wanted to open each day. I did write the title on the back of each package so that if she asked about a specific book I could find it. 
 

These are the books that Cricket opened and read this week:
Elmo’s Squeaky Santa – This was a Target Dollar Spot find from last year. I’m seeing a theme here! This was a simple little Christmas book light on content and meaning.
Alabaster’s Song – Cricket was not interested in this book by looking at the cover, but I convinced her to let me read it anyway. That was a good thing, since she really enjoyed the book. I think it was nice to have something “magical” about Christmas that was still Christ focused.
A Christmas Prayer – I reviewed this book last year for Thomas Nelson, and I still really love it. It is a great companion to our Truth in Tinsel activities. It is a wonderful retelling of the Christmas story in children’s words and terms.
The Story of Christmas – I think this is my favorite Christmas Nativity book so far. It just does such a good job of telling THE story of Christmas to a child. I’m so happy Mimi added this one to our collection.
The Nutcracker – This is an old children’s version of the classic tale from my childhood. Cricket wasn’t so sure about this at first, but she ended up liking all the dancing in it. She has been really interested in my nutcracker collection since reading it too.
The Golden Christmas Tree – Cricket loved this book, because it had all of her favorite animals in it. She loved reading about the animals Christmas celebration, and I would recommend it to any little animal lovers.
The Penguin Who Wanted to Be Different – A Christmas Wish – This was a cute twist on a Santa style Christmas story. We both loved that it was all about penguins, a favorite in our house.

You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,

Christmas Reading

 


I saw this idea on Pinterest and I knew that Cricket would absolutely love it, so I set out to collect and wrap 24 Christmas books for an Advent countdown. I ended up with 28 books somehow so we started early, and she will open one each day through Christmas Eve.

This has been a huge hit so far, and we have both really enjoyed the variety of books. I chose not to number them so that she could pick whatever she wanted to open each day. I did write the title on the back of each package so that if she asked about a specific book I could find it.

These are the books that Cricket opened and read this week:
12 Days of Christmas – This was a Target Dollar Spot find, and she loved it when I “sang” the book to her. She has enjoyed looking through it on her own, and it’s simple enough that she can somewhat read it independently.
Peanuts Color & Read Along Snow Day – Cricket has enjoyed having a book that she CAN color in since this is normally a big no no. This was another Dollar Spot find.
The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas – The Poky Little Puppy was one of my favorite books as a child, and my mom got this for me a few years ago. It’s a cute little story, and Cricket enjoyed it because it was about a dog.
Country Angel Christmas – Cricket really liked this story about the littlest angels and how they helped prepare for the Christmas celebration in heaven. I thought it was odd that a Christmas book set in heaven contained Saint Nicholas, but only eluded to Jesus.
The Nativity – Cricket asked for me to find this book, making me glad I had labeled them. It focuses on the different animals in the nativity story and the role that they each played.
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving – I think this was Cricket’s favorite so far based on her retelling, but she read this one with Daddy (and it’s new) so I don’t have thoughts on it yet.
Countdown to Christmas – This is a Big Bird Golden Book that I found at a thrift store. Cricket enjoyed it, and I liked that it emphasized presents being special surprises

You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,

Egypt Books and More

 


To go with Expedition Earth for Egypt:

Prince of Egypt: Dreamworks Classics Collection – This was a little long for Cricket, and not a Magic Treehouse book. So I summarized once she started losing interest. 

The Mystery of King Karfu – This was a perfect book for Cricket. It had enough about Egypt to be meaningful, but was also a storybook. She loved all the clues and the way it allowed her to also be an investigator.

Ancient Egypt – This was an educational and factual library find, which Cricket had no interest in at all. 

Pleasure Books: 
Countdown to Thanksgiving – This book was a great math and seasonal add on. It reinforced the backwards counting we have been working on and Cricket enjoyed it. 



Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House, No. 9) – If you have been following our blog you probably already know that I have a huge Jack and Annie fan on my hands, but this was her favorite story yet. I think the kids riding on the dolphins pushed it over the edge! We have been talking about submarines and pretending to go undersea ever since we read this one.

Bedtime Books:

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation
Curious George and the Dump Truck



You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,

Books we won and more reading

 


To go with Expedition Earth for Africa:

The Village of Round and Square Houses – This was an interesting story about a villages beliefs and how and why their people are housed the way that they are. It also led to a discussion about our beliefs, since they were not worshiping as Christians.

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (Picture Puffin Books) – Cricket did not want to READ this entire book, but I read the headline for each letter. We discussed the pictures and I read more of the ones that she was interested in.

Pleasure Books: 
A Plump and Perky Turkey – This was a rhyming style Thanksgiving book and both Cricket and my husband thought it was silly (I’m not sure if they meant that as a positive or a negative though). 



Missing Mittens (MathStart 1) and Bug Dance (MathStart 1) – We won both of these books in the Curriculum Clean Out hosted by Homeschool Creations from the blogger troutwife. My daughter has really enjoyed these books and a highly recommend them for some basic math concepts and just a good book. Cricket really enjoyed the dance in Bug Dance!

Bedtime Books (That we haven’t already counted):

I’m No Turkey!

You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,

We met our Reading Goal!!!

 


To go with Expedition Earth for Kenya:

Masai and I by: Virginia Kroll – This was a great comparison and contrast style story written from a young girl’s view point. It was an excellent way to introduce the Masai and their culture. 


Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by: Verna Aardema – This was a folk tale style story about well bringing the rain to the Kapiti Plain. It ended up being a stretch for Cricket to follow what seemed to be a realistic tale into the folk style of things. I also felt the ever growing yet completely repetitious tale was monotonous.

Pleasure Books: 
Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond – I ADORED this book. The basset hound was absolutely adorable as a character and the drawings were excellent. Cricket enjoyed the story as well, and I would personally love to add this book to our personal collection.
 
Whoo’s There?: A Bedtime Shadow Book – This is not so much a story book as an experience or activity book. Cricket loves to look at the flashlight pictures though and talk about the images. It’s a fantastic concept.



Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House, No. 7) – As I have said before Cricket is in love with the Magic Tree House books, and we were thrilled to finally get our hands on book number 7. I am always impressed with how well Cricket keeps up with the story, how engaged she is when we are reading, and her insight into the books. Cricket really liked the wooly mammoth in this book and other elements of the ice age tale.

Bedtime Books (That we haven’t already counted):

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat
Halloween Hats

Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Millie
The Berenstain Bears and the Broken Piggy Bank
Olivia Forms a Band

That makes 201 books total so far for 2011. WOOHOO!!! We surpassed our 200 book goal, but we will continue reading through the year of course. I highly recommend joining in at the Read to Me Picture Book Challenge.


You should also see what others are reading this week at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns
Thanks for visiting,