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book list

Growing Up

One Thing More: CC Cycle 2 Geography

This entry is part 9 of 8 in the series Classsical Conversations

Here’s a funny story about the geography memory work for Clasical Conversations. I will tell you the moral of the story ahead of the story: simple doesn’t mean nothing.

Our first year of CC we didn’t do much. I had a 5 year old, a 4 year old, a 1 year old (and found out about baby #4 in January). Oh, and there was a hike – literally. Every week, when we went to Community Day, we drove an hour, got everyone piled out of the car and hiked downhill to the classroom. I didn’t really have much energy for more than just listening to the memory work. So, most of the time, that is what we did. We listened in the car every week, for an hour. And we would add a bit here and there.

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Growing Up

Awesome Alphabet Books

Awesome Alphabet Books - must have Picture books for little learners

We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house!  It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother.  G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months.  And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing.  Then she started working on learning the letter sounds.  By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”

To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet.  She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too.  But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make.  Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.

And on her heels is AG (2 years-old).  In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader.  His most requested picture books are alphabet related.  And he spends much of his time identifying letters.  And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.

I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me.  They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun!  The way learning should look!  I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.

But as I sit back and wonder at my kids and their learning to read without me, I try to evaluate.  I think, “What made this possible?”  And I come up with two specific things over and over:  Continue Reading

Growing Up, Pennies from Heaven

Mom’s Secret Homeschool Book Weapon

one homeschool mom's secret to filling her homeschool with books, audio and e-books. Find books on popular book lists for classical homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, and more.

We are unabashed book lovers.  This home is FILLED with books of every sort.  And we are approaching our homeschooling situation with a sort of mash-up of literature-based, classical, and Charlotte Mason learning.  (I love a good homeschool book list!)  That means we

READ.

A. LOT.

While I will never leave my first love (in regards to reading): physical books; I  have discovered a secret book weapon.  And it is ROCKING my world lately.

You see, with 4 kids in our house (all under the age of 7), I read a lot of books.  Check out some of our favorite books here.  The books we read just aren’t always books for me.  I read picture books, chapter books, living books.

Books, books, books. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simply Beginning Homeschool with Peace

homeschooling with peace - a discussion of the book Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

I recently went to a homeschool event – a sort of training.  It was my FIRST experience with anything homeschool.

I have known a number of homeschooling families throughout my life.  I have gone through the phases of thinking it is the weirdest thing ever (my junior high self), to thinking it seems like a pretty good idea.  My thoughts on homeschool have run the gamut and have settled on this:

{Deep breath}

We are going to do it.  And I am excited. Then nervous…and excited…and nervous.

I have shared these thoughts here before.  Aren’t they deep?

Anyway, back to the homeschool event.  I saw it ALL there.  And I talked to all kinds of moms preparing to teach their children at home this year.  There was a tiger-mom.  There were the overwhelmed moms.  I heard a powerful testimony from a mom to a boy likely “on the spectrum.”  I heard from mother’s of 6, 8, 10(!) kids who homeschool.

Prompted by questions, these women would begin to share the practicalities of their homeschool days.  To a woman, each had a book they recommended for this homeschooling journey.  I began to make a list.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

Collect them ALL Books

kids books and authors worthy of collect them all status

If there is anything we as a family collect, it is books.  We are all interested in words on pages (even in the age of tablets and e-readers).  For me, there is just something so soothing about a row of books, neatly lined up on a shelf.  The potential for entertainment in just one book shelf seems almost limitless.  The idea of opening a book and being transported to a new place, a new world, a new mindset is just so appealing!

Thankfully, we have passed this love of words on pages to our kids.  Our girls love books!  We are slowly working our way into a large collection of picture books for our kids.  I got to thinking about our collection and realized there are definite patterns: favorite authors, favorite subjects, and well-loved classics we just could not do without.  I thought it would be fun to share with you what I consider to be collections of books worthy of “collect them ALL” status. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Multilingual Reads for Tots

 

I am by no stretch of the imagination multilingual.  But, I do love languages!  Over the years I have studied Latin, Spanish, Hebrew, and Greek (and a tiny smattering of Amharic).  I am not fluent in any of these languages, but I have seen the benefits of basic exposure to other tongues.  Generally, when studying other languages, we discover other cultures and customs, as well.  So, I love reading books to our little ones that introduce other languages.  I came up with a list of reads for toddlers and preschoolers for just this purpose and some tips for introducing these books to little ears! Continue Reading