Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 31

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Thank you so much for journeying along with me this month as I blogged on 31 days of reading with your children! Whew. I've listed the days by topic below and will save this post as a reference for convenience ... both yours and mine. : )


31 Days: 


Day 1 :: Intro


Day 2 :: favorite Bible books and children's devotionals


Day 3 :: Mandy by Julie Edwards


Day 4 :: Friday Fun School + Fletcher and the Falling Leaves


Day 5 :: Curious George!


Day 6 :: Andrew Peterson's fantasy series, The Edge of the Sea of Darkness (and sequels)


Day 7 :: board books for baby


Day 8 :: Every Day a Holiday, a reading resource


Day 9 :: Sunday photo


Day 10 :: Pinterest 10 on the 10th, reading themed


Day 11 :: read about art and music!


Day 12 :: quote from Deconstructing Penguins


Day 13 :: read about a country or culture (this post is about India)


Day 14 :: challenge to let your children see you read


Day 15 :: Tumtum & Nutmeg by Emily Bearn


Day 16 :: Sunday photo


Day 17 :: Betsy-Tacy


Day 18 :: reading resources from favorite websites


Day 19 :: read biographies!


Day 20 :: listen to audiobooks!


Day 21 :: The Great Blueness by Arnold Lobel


Day 22 :: Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt, a reading resource


Day 23 :: Sunday photo


Day 24 :: guest post by Amy at Hope is the Word


Day 25 :: make a reading log for you and your children


Day 26 :: The Saturdays (and sequels) by Elizabeth Enright


Day 27 :: Shanghied to China by Dave & Neta Jackson (biography of Hudson Taylor)


Day 28 :: My Father's Dragon (and sequels) by Ruth Stiles Gannett


Day 29 :: reading about food


Day 30 :: Dr. Seuss quote on reading


Happy reading!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 30

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Field trip today. :)


The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. 
 - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 29

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 29

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A fun one to (almost) end the series with! 


Read with your children about FOOD!


As the holidays are nigh upon us, thoughts are turned towards all the yummy traditional foods that we enjoy this time of year. Why not make a basket of favorite food-centered books to enjoy as well?


Some of our favorites:


 
 
 
 
 


I like to include Farmer Boy in this list because almost every chapter talks about the food that Almanzo's mother prepares for her hardworking family, or how they are working on their crops. This is one book that makes me very hungry to read it! : )


Also, I wanted to include the following book in this list:





This book was recently recommended to me and, once I get a copy, I plan on reading about one different food a day with my girls. I want to explore with them about different kinds of foods, why they are good for us, why we need certain amounts of different foods and vitamins to keep us strong and healthy, etc. I'm hoping this will open us up to trying a few new things on our plates as a result!


Are there any good food books out there that I have missed?


Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 28

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PhotobucketIt's been a while since I mentioned any books that we love for little boys so it's high time I add another one to this series. My Father's Dragon, and it's sequels Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland, is one such series. These were recommended to me by Lauren over at Baseballs and Bows a year or so ago. The fact that they were the first chapter books that she had read with her son, and now her daughter, intrigued me. When we first read them, N1 was six and I had been on the look-out for smallish chapter books for her. Upon Lauren's thoughts, I immediately reserved book one at the local library. (Fun fact: Lauren and I live in the same area and it has been known to happen that we are both trying to get the same book from our local library at the same time. Hazards of bloggy literary connections!) : )


Back to our story. This book was WONDERFUL! When N1 and I sat down to read it, we couldn't put it down. At the end of every chapter, she said, "Just one more!" and since the chapters were 3-4 pages, I obliged. The story is about an adventure that the storyteller's father had - the main character never has a name, but is referred to as "my father" the whole time. He sets off on an adventure to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon. With only his knapsack full of supplies, he manages to get by many and varied wild animals in his quest. First published in 1946, this book has stood the test of time and gets two thumbs up from our house. : )


If you have any little boys in your home (or even girls that love a good adventure story!) you need to check these books out! We have since added these books to our home library, and bought our boy cousin a set of last year for his birthday. 


Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shutterfly Christmas Cards ... with Giveaway

Last year I was given the opportunity to blog about Shutterfly's Christmas cards and I was excited when they contacted me and asked me if I was interested in sharing their products again this year. I have used their photo services for several years now so I jumped at the chance. The last cards I ordered from Shutterfly were the boy's baby announcements last year (look how little he is?!).


Shutterfly offers several different sizes of cards: 4x8, 5x5 or 5x7, plus a fold-over card. Some of my favorites from this year are:


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Now to just get a good picture of all four kids looking at the camera. : )


In my opinion, you can't beat the quality of the cards that you get from Shutterfly. I have ordered photo cards from them and from Costco and while I love the convenience of Costco being down the street and the fact that I can pick up the cards in an hour or so, the cards from Shutterfly have a more finished and professional look to them. I.e., the foldover cards are on thick cardstock and have a great heavy weight to them as opposed to a more glossy photo card. And, another nice thing, if you want to get a jump start and send your cards out soon they have Thanksgiving cards ... or if you are a little late to the game, there are New Year's options as well. (I'm keeping those in mind with as busy as this fall has been for some reason!)


A sweet little giveaway: As part of this year's Christmas card promotion, Shutterfly has given me three codes that I can pass on ... each code is good for 25 free Christmas cards. If you are interested in one of the codes, leave me a comment (making sure that I have an email so that I can get the code to you!), and I'll use random.org to pick three commenters to pass them on to.


Do you send Christmas cards? I'll be honest ... that is one of my FAVORITE parts of the upcoming season. Writing the letter, mailing the cards, and then finding a maibox full of cards that has made it's way back to our house. I'm already looking forward to this year.


Thank you to Shutterfly for the opportunity to blog about their cards! In the way of disclosure, in return for this post, I will get 50 free Christmas cards. Thank you!

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 27

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I decided to take my own advice that I posted back on Day 19 and the girls and I just finished reading a biography on Hudson Taylor. This was our first time reading a chapter-book biography and (as far as I can recollect) our first missionary story. We had a hard time putting this book down each day and most days are reading was halted only by how well Mama's voice was holding out!


I was familiar with the authors, Dave and Neta Jackson, from their Christian fiction that I have read. (Neta Jackson's series, The Yada Yada Prayer Group, is one of my favorites). I knew they had written a missionary biography series and since we spent last week and some of this week reading and learning about China, we decided to start with Hudson Taylor.


Shanghaied to China is the story of Hudson Taylor's journey to China as told through the eyes of Neil Thompson. Neil is a young boy who is shanghaied (or kidnapped) to serve as cabin boy on a ship making it's way to China. Hudson Taylor is a passenger on the ship over the course of events gets to know him and eventually lives with him in China. We learned a little about Hudson Taylor's philosophy of working with the Chinese - he dressed like them, ate like them, and lived in their neighborhoods in order to fit in. This was in contrast with most of the European missionaries that were there who had segregated themselves into an European section of Shanghai and lived as if they were still in their home country. While Neil in the book was a fictional character, you get a glimpse of the first year or so of Hudson's time in China including how he works on spreading the gospel message, his brief capture in one of the interior cities, and his engagement to his first wife.


This book was written at a great reading level for my girls (8, 5, and 4). My only wish was that we could have spent a little more time with Hudson Taylor, beyond the first year in China! However, this length was just long enough to pique my girls' interest, keep them asking for more chapters, and ensure that they are eager for another missionary biography to read together when we make our next trip back to the library. All good results in my book. : )


I'm linking up today with Amy at Hope is the Word (did you read her post from Monday? Good stuff there if you missed it!) for Read Aloud Thursday


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Only four most posts to go in this 31 day series. Hard to believe how fast this month has flown by!


Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 26

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Highlighting another past read-aloud that I wanted to make sure was not left out in this series. We read this one last March and thoroughly enjoyed it!


The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet)We finished up our latest chapter book last week - The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. This book is the first in a series of four about the Melendy children - Mona, Rush, Miranda, and Oliver. Set in the mid-1900's (around the beginning of WWII) this book chronicles that Saturday adventures of this creative and adventurous four-some. On a rainy dreary Saturday, the children were bemoaning the fact that there was nothing to do. Randy, in a fit of inspiration, came up with the idea that if they pooled their allowances (giving them a grand total of $1.60!), they could each, in turn, have a Saturday adventure of their choosing. The choices are as varied as the personality of the children. Rush (the musical one) chose a concert, Randy visited an art exhibit, and Oliver went to the circus (with a few mishaps along the way).

As we have read these books from several decades ago, I am always amazed at the amount of freedom that the children had. They go into the "city", ride buses and subways, feeling perfectly safe and confident on their outings. Much different than today!

We enjoyed this story so much that we voted to continue on to book two in the series, The Four Story Mistake. This tells the story of this family as they leave the city and move to the country. The house the family purchases is called the "Four Story Mistake" and for very good reason as you find out during the story. This book chronicles the children's first experiences here in their new home - how they make a striking entrance in town on their first trip in, how they put on a play for friends and neighbors and raise money for war bonds, and how Russ and Mona earn money to help the family and raise money for soldiers. These children continue to be very plucky and likeable and worth continuing to get to know. There is a third and fourth book in the series, however, we haven't read them as read-aloud ... yet. : )

Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 25

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Make a list!


I'm a list person by nature and so is my daughter so when I saw the idea to have your child make a list of what you read, we jumped on it. I knew people kept reading journals and such, and I don't know why I had never thought to do it before. 





Our list starts in 2009 - N1 would have been six. We started our records listing our chapter book read-alouds and then transitioned this to be her list of books she has read. I really wish I had thought to start this when she was younger so we had a list of favorite picture books. (I'm sure I have many of them listed through my homeschool planning notebooks, but they aren't all listed together).





This list is a great tool for us to see what she has read and gives her a feeling of accomplishment as we list completed books to our list.


Make a list of the books that you read with your children. It will be fun to go back and look at the titles (and memories) associates with those books in the years to come.


Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24

Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 24 and a Guest Post!

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I am so very excited to share a post from Amy over at Hope is the Word today. She is host of Read Aloud Thursday, a homeschooling mama, and a woman I am privileged to call friend. We have traded emails for several years now and I am so thankful for this like-minded friend that I can bounce ideas off of (or brainstorm how we are going to keep these little boys we each have busy while we do school!)


Much thanks, Amy, for taking the time to write this post and sharing what reading aloud with your children has done for your family!


"You didn't tinker with the timer like Winona did the clock during your piano practice, did you?" I joked with one of my daughters. She immediately recognized my literary reference because we had read of Winona Root's creative use of her time during a recent read-aloud session. We all loved Winona's Pony Cart and eagerly looked forward to our daily read-aloud session after lunch. My daughter gave me a grin and said that no, she hadn't done anything to shorten her piano practice time.


This is only one example of the countless literary experiences that my girls and I have shared over the past, well, all of their lives. These literary experiences create a family intellectual culture that I don't think can be created in any other way. We have mourned Wilbur's loss of Charlotte together; we have given a wistful backward glance toward Narnia with the Pevensie children as they are whisked back to war-time London; we have traversed the world with Hitty as she experiences each of her new homes; we have laughed in amazement at Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's fail-proof solutions for the most common of problematic childhood behaviors. Even months or years after reading a certain story, we can make reference to that story and immediately a bridge is built between us--the simple knowledge that we have experienced a great story together makes our relationship richer.


I began reading aloud to my girls as soon as they were old enough to focus on a page, maybe even before that. As they've grown, our reading repertoire has grown. Nowadays you might find us reading almost anything--the Bible; poetry, any kind from haikus to sonnets and what's in between; brand new picture books; Newbery-award winning children's novels; classics; informational books to supplement our science and history lessons; the newspaper; the list could go on and on. One day last week I even read them a Thanksgiving essay by Rick Bragg from the last page of my latest issue of Southern Living magazine! (I was chuckling and smiling over it, so they asked, and why not? Did they understand the sarcasm in the article? Probably not, but Rick Bragg is a wordsmith par excellence, and in this case the shared experience was just as important as total comprehension.) I can't think of anything that has shaped our family life more than reading together has.


All of the links above are back to my blog, Hope Is the Word, and my reviews of the books I've mentioned here. Almost three years ago now, I started a little weekly meme I call Read Aloud Thursday. It's an opportunity for bloggers to share their posts about their families' read-alouds. It's pretty simple; you can read the minimal guidelines here. My friendships with some of my best bloggy friends (including Stephanie!) have grown up over the discussion of great children's books, and I'm always interested in adding to my collection of friends and books! Consider yourself invited to join in!


If you're lost as to where to begin in this read-aloud endeavor, obviously Stephanie's fantastic series this month is a great place to start. After she has inspired you, here are a few places from my blog to go for further inspiration:
This year's incomplete list is on the sidebar of my blog.


I look forward to meeting some of you some Read Aloud Thursday! Happy reading!


Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 23



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She wants to check out her own books by herself now.






Linking up with The Simple Things again this Sunday ... hope you spent some time with a good book this weekend.


Photo is the oldest who now likes to check out her own books with her card.





Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21 // 22


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days of Reading with Your Children // Day 22

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Today I want to share another much used reading resource in our house. This one goes with us to the library on most trips and has been invaluable in helping my eight year old hurdle those reading ruts such as being stuck in an endless cycle of Ivy and Bean or Nancy Drew books. 





Honey for a Child's Heart is a wonderful resource and worth adding to your shelves. The book is broken down by ages and by types of books:
  • a child's first books (ages 0-3)
  • picture book classics (ages 4-8)
  • more favorite picture books (ages 4-8)
  • first books for beginning readers
  • classic children's novels (ages 9-12)
  • more great books for intermediate readers (ages 9-12)
  • stories for animal lovers (ages 9-12)
  • historical novels (ages 9-12)
  • fantasy novels (ages 9-12)
  • young adult novels (ages 12-14)
  • poetry for pleasure
  • nourishing your child's spiritual life
  • a book list for special occasions





I love that I can take post-it's and mark the sections that N1 needs to pick a book from and she is off on her own at the library, using the card catalog on the computer or asking the librarian for help. I'm guiding her choices, but she is getting to make the actual selection of what books go home in her backpack. Occasionally I might suggest she put something back if it's a subject that we haven't dealt with yet that is a bit beyond her, but for most books I have found Honey for a Child's Heart as a spot-on guide to help her find good books that interest her at the library.

Other resources similar to Honey for a Child's Heart that I also recommend:





Any trips to the library planned for your family this weekend?





Day: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20 // 21


The book links and pictures above are Amazon affiliate links ... if you click them and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies towards books for my munchkins. Just thought I'd mention it. :)