Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September Reading Report

"Think of nighttime with a speaking voice. Or think of how moonlight might talk, or think of ink, if ink had vocal chords. Give those things a narrow aristocratic face with hooked eyebrows, and long arms and legs, and that is what the baby saw as she wasStarting a new read aloud today. #weekinthelife #readaloudrevival
Where you'll find me. #itssimplytuesday

September! Autumn! One of my favorite times of year for reading. : ) The temperatures are just about perfect for sitting on our patio with a book, provided I can find the time to do it. And as my reading list for this month attests, I didn't find much of that time at the beginning of the month. It was only last week that I managed to plow through a couple of things that I had been sloooooowly working my way through for way too long.

What I finished in September:
  • Tirzah by Lucille Harris. This was our 2nd read aloud of our school year and our first that tied into our history studies for this year. This is a fiction retelling of the Israelites exodus from Egypt told from the eyes of young Tirzah, a Jewish girl. We really enjoyed this one.
  • Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon. The newest Mitford book came out last Tuesday, and I promptly sat down and read it almost straight through. Delightful as all Mitford books are, but bittersweet as my favorite characters are growing older and some of them have even passed away. As it is in real life, it's hard when our favorite characters grow up and move on as well.
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This was the September book club pick for the Reading to Know bookclub and I was eager to reread this classic. I had actually read it not too long ago, but the style and way that Lewis wrote the book makes it a slow read for me. I finished it last weekend (thanks to two soccer games and picture day on the fields) and I think know I got more out of it this time.
  • Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell. My friend Elizabeth listed this as one of her favorite reads of last year. After checking it out of the library at least once before and having to return it before ever cracking the cover, I started it as soon as we brought it home at the end of last week. It had an eerie, haunting quality to it with some beautiful descriptive language. I had hardly made it past the second page before I was making a note of a quote that I wanted to copy in my notebook.
"Think of nighttime with a speaking voice. Or think of how moonlight might talk, or think of ink, if ink had vocal chords. Give those things a narrow aristocratic face with hooked eyebrows, and long arms and legs, and that is what the baby saw as she was lifted out of her cello case and up into safety. His name was Charles Maxim, and he determined as he held her in his large hand - at arm's length, as he would a leaky flowerpot - that he would keep her."
  • The Blackstar of Kingston by S.D. Smith. Remember when I raved about The Green Ember by S.D. Smith and said that it was one of my top ten from 2014. The author quickly followed with a prequel to that story which I immediately preordered for my Kindle ... and then forgot about it! I picked it up on Monday night while one of the girls was at orchestra and read through it in about an hour and a half. Not as long as The Green Ember, I enjoyed this adventurous tale with the ancestors of the rabbit-y characters in TGE. We will hopefully get to this as a read aloud soon.
Friday afternoon: our current read-aloud, a new @thepioneerwoman coffee cup from @herdoftravis, and homemade peanut brittle from @candysgreer. Practically perfect in every way.

Looking ahead, we are almost done with our current read-aloud, The Swiss Family Robinson. Four-fifth of those currently reading this book are completely enthralled, which one-fifth enjoys it, but is quite a doubter as to all the things this family does while marooned on an island. We are eager to finish it this week and find out if they do get rescued or if they spend the rest of their life stranded. (I don't even know as this is my first time reading it and I'm not allowed to read ahead). I need to decide what we will read next and I'm torn between one to tie into our history studies or something just for fun. Such decisions!

As for personal reading, I'm not sure what I'm going to tackle next either! There is no shortage of things here that I have available, but nothing is jumping out at me. The Reading to Know bookclub is reading a Sherlock Holmes tale in October so that is probably on the list. One of the girls was asking me about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and I don't think that I have read it, though the old cartoon short that Disney did many years ago was always one of my favorites as a child. I'm pretty sure I have a copy of here somewhere and it would be appropriate to read in October, I think!

Anything good that you are reading lately?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday Re-Entry

Fourth grade truth.

Some Mondays require an easier re-entry than others. I've been rereading Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching from Rest and I think some of her wise words are sinking in this time around. Yes, get the work done, but remember to take into account what else is going on.
  • Did we have a full weekend? Yes.
  • Do we have any extras / unexpected things on our Monday? Yes. Not necessarily unexpected since I made the appointment, but one of the girls had two teeth pulled first thing Monday morning. I remembered that I need to not have super high expectations on getting everything on my list done when the appointment will (and did) take longer than I expected.
  • What has to happen today and what can I let slide? Preparation for Classical Conversations needed to get done to be ready for Tuesday's classes. Laundry can wait until our next day back home on Wednesday.
Giving myself grace not to tackle every minutia on the to-do list along with stacking my kids' to-do lists sky high made yesterday do-able in spite of a bump or redirection here and there. I'm writing this note to remind myself that bigger isn't always better and less sometimes trumps more when it comes to our home environment.

As I have time, I'm going to try and blog thoughts and lessons that I have gleaning from Sarah's book, Teaching from Rest. I did received a paperback copy of the book in exchange for a review, but I would gladly pay for the book out of pocket! You can find the book on Amazon, but I would also encouraged buying it from Classical Academic Press which has an accompanying journal and mp3s.