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Books Read #11-16 ⎮ Arpil 2017

The month of April was another good month for reading, not only for myself but also our kids. We have been adding library visits as part of our monthly activities. Jack loves picking out new books for himself, some chapter books and a lot of picture books. We read every night at bed, but also during the day. Isaac is getting in on the reading action as well. He brings me picture books all day long to read. He insists on two at a time – one for him to hold while I read the other aloud, and then we switch.

The best book I read this month was Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education by Ken Robinson. I wrote more extensively about it in my recent blog post about our plans to homeschool. If you are interested in the directions of schools in our country (regardless of how your child is being educated), this book is worth reading.

I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads.

One of my favorite blogs is We Are THAT Family by Kristen Welch. I enjoy her style of writing, her view of the world, how she's raises her children and shares her faith. Last month I finally had a chance to finish her book Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough. This book shares her personal story of how God can work through ordinary people to do amazing things. In her case, this meant opening Mercy House, a home for single mother's in Kenya. I think her story is an encouraging one, though I have to admit I like her writing style more on her blog than the book. But it is still a worthwhile read to see how God works through people today.

I gave it a 3/5 on Goodreads.

Our small group has been making it's way through the book Graced Filled Marriage: The Missing Piece, The Place to Start by

I gave it a 3/5 on Goodreads.

Since we are on the brink of starting homeschool, I have been doing a lot of research on what I will be teaching this fall. Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by

I didn't rate this on Goodreads since I have not actually been able to use it as a resource yet.

Another school-related book I picked up last month was Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox. Mem is an Australian author and literacy expert who travels the world sharing her incite on how to teach children to not only read, but to love reading. This was an encouraging book to read. I naturally do a lot of the principles that she teaches and this book instills confidence that I am on the right path with my own children. The last chapter of Mem's book shares a list of books to read aloud to your children. This list is now top on my list of reading resources for our kindergarten homeschool experience this fall.

Passages that really spoke to me from Reading Magic:
Children who are read to early and regularly quickly acquire the skill of listening and the desire to hear stories. They understand the immense pleasure waiting for them in books and develop the ability to concentrate and relax.

The more expressively we read, the more fantastic the experience will be. The more fantastic the experience, the more our kids will love books...

Children who have been read aloud to regularly do expect to make sense from print. They know about rhyme and rhythm and repetition. They know how real stories work, which makes it easier for them to read real stories. They can predict that certain words, patterns and plots will occur, and they're proven right. *I have seen this first-hand with Jack. He naturally expects words to rhyme and can often guess what comes next. Rhyme, rhythm and repetition are huge for me and my own love of reading stories to him.

The more we know about life, the universe, and everything, the easier it is to read.

...we need to help beginning readers make rapid progress through a story so they're able to remember what they're reading. Then they'll relax and make more sense of the print...

The whole point of books is to allow us to experience troubled realities that are different from our own, to feel the appropriate emotions, to empathize, to make judgements, and to have our interest held. If we sanitize everything children read, how much more shocking and confusing will the real world be when they finally have to face it?

A phonics-only approach can never teach children to long to read.

If you are teaching a child to read, or just want to help your child along, this book is worth taking the time to read. At the very least, the biggest take-away is READ ALOUD, READ ALOUD, READ ALOUD.

I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads.

I read the second book in The Guardians series, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core by aloud to Jack (and Isaac). Like Nicholas St. North, it is slightly above his age level, but he sits and listens to me read. He has enjoyed the pictures throughout and especially likes to hear about the fight scenes. We are moving on to the third book in the series now. I am enjoying it and I think we will re-read the entire series in a few years when he shows a bit more interest. 

I gave it a 5/5 on Goodreads.

Honorable Mention:
Jack continues to love the Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown. This month we read Flat Stanley in Space. By reading a chapter or two each night, we were able to read this book twice before he it had to go back to the library.

My favorite picture book in the month of April was The Pirate Jamboree by Mark Teague. I read a ton of picture books to both my boys. I am ONLY including chapter books in these blog posts because these otherwise these posts would be incredibly long.


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