What We’ve Been Reading Lately September 2016

What We’re Reading Lately

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This month has been a busy reading month!

We’ve officially started “school, “ sort of: he’s still barely 5, I keep reminding myself! We used our charter school funds to purchase BookShark’s complete Kindergarten program. I am loving all the great books! The best this is when we read from the books, Bubba never asks to be done or wonders if this is “school.” It’s just something we do. Sonlight has always appealed to me, and when their sister (secular) company became available through our charter, I jumped on the opportunity.

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We are supplementing BookShark with an old copy of Ergermeier’s Bible Story Book. I love the old edition we found on ebay–it’s even better than this one available through Amazon. The stories are conversational, simple, and short–perfect for my Bubba’s attention span. The stories offer enough facts to be interesting, and there are many, many stories included–more than I’ve seen in a children’s Bible before! We’re still learning about Adam and Eve, but so far we all love this one!

For our chapter book, we are reading the Boxcar Children. So far, so good—I remembered thinking this one was dull when I was a kid, but I’m enjoying it now, and so is Bubba. We’ve also started The Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia, Living Long Ago, The Llama Who Had No Pajama, and the Arnold Nobel Book of Mother Goose.

For fun, Bubba has really enjoyed the books we picked up at our last library visit by David Fitzsimmons. We ended up with both Curious Critters and Curious Critters: Marine. I tend to find much of children’s nonfiction to be painfully dry—but these are really fun. The pictures are amazing by themselves, but the text is also an absolute delight. You can tell the author loves his subject, and he writes refreshingly conversationally. These books have both been added to my wish list—they’d make a great permanent addition to our shelves (along with Curious Critters: Volume Two).

We are part of our first-ever co-op this year! We are working our way through a number of Five in a Row titles, which I love, because I haven’t year met a Five in a Row book that disappoints! Our first session was on Madeline, and it was a treat to celebrate the book with a few dozen kiddos. Nearly half of the class was able to recite Madeline with the teacher when she read it aloud! This week, we began reading the Story of Ferdinand at home to prepare for our Friday class—Bubba is more motivated than ever to understand the book, knowing he will get to interact with it and friends at the end of the week, but he is a little afraid that he will be expected to have the whole thing memorized again!

Lucy is still into The Nose Book. I have read this puppy literally nightly for nearly three months. I try to distract her, to introduce new books, but she won’t have it—she wants The Nose Book. And, in an effort to keep myself from hiding this one for a while, I remind myself: repetition is good! Repetition is comforting! Repetition builds language awareness. *sigh* Okay, one more time. For what it’s worth, I can’t find the hardcover version on Amazon–sometimes these board books are abridged versions.

Mama Reads

I’ve been picking up and putting down Susan Wise Bowers’s The Well-Trained Mind and the Well-Educated Mind. I plan to spend a bit more time with them over the next few months. I’ve also dabbled with A Jane Austen Education (overdue at the library, and I owe a fine and can’t renew!), and am working my way through Katy Bowman’s latest book on biomechanics, Diastasis Recti.

I finished the Awakening of Miss Prim. It was a fun romance, with a nerdy faith-based slant.

I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—I’d call it good, but not great.

Ella Enchanted was a fun, light surprise; it was an enjoyable read, but I’m glad I got it as a Kindle deal because it’s not one I would reread. I wondered the whole time about the author’s worldview–what exactly is the theme of this silly little novel?

This month, I listened to As You Wish, a memoir by Cary Elwes on the making of the Princess Bride. This one was fun, but I imagine it was immensely more fun because it was read by Cary Elwes. A written book wouldn’t have had half the charm. I am currently listening to the Boys in the Boat; I expected to love it without reservation, and I almost do—but there are a few parts that have me wishing it was a text-based book so I could skip through the slow parts.

I’ve spent most of my reading time working through The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter. I am enjoying it. The way that Stratton-Porter feels about God and creation is so beautiful; and she captures human thought and emotion well. It is definitely a book of another time period—some of the plot devices could seem contrived and heavy-handed, but it works. I’m reading this in succession with some friends; each of us has it for a few weeks and marks as we read, before passing it to the next reader. It’s a fun experiment, though I’m realizing how hard it is to find time to slow-read, with a pen in hand and my mind fully present.

Whew! It’s rewarding to write out our reads for the month! We have more going on than I knew!

What about you? I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading this month?