Monday, March 24, 2014

What We're Reading :: Early Spring Edition

St. Francis de Sales' Sermons for Lent (a bit daily, and so good so far!)
Thomas Elpel's Botany in a Day (I can't believe I haven't bought my own copy of this book yet considering how often I've borrowed this from the library just to page through)
Elizabeth Goudge's Green Dolphin Street (started this one back when I was pregnant with my now-5yo but went into labor after the first chapter--I'm trying again!)
Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page (along with our read-along here)
Christina Rossetti's Poems (I'll be sharing some of my favorites here soon)

With the children:
Edward Eager's Half-Magic, on audiobook

Gianna, age 7:
Emil and the Detectives
Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle (they're both on a Nesbit kick lately)
Arthur Burrell's animal stories (many available for free on Kindle--these are just wonderful!)
St. Edmund Campion Missal (learning to follow along in the "big missal" for Mass!)

Vincent, age 7:
Windeatt's St. Paul the Apostle (his Sunday reading)
Steele's The Buffalo Knife (by the author of The Perilous Road, one of his very favorites)
Nesbit's The Story of the Amulet
Snyder's Chess for Juniors (over and over!)

To the littles:
Langstaff's Soldier, Soldier, Will You Marry Me? and Neumann Press' I Go To Mass  (5yo Cate's current favorites--AND she is reading me lots of Bob Books!)
Jan Brett's The Owl and the Pussycat and Zimmerman's Trashy Town (3yo Xavier's current favorites)
Carol Jones' This Old Man and Edens' The Glorious American Songbook (2yo Bridget's current favorites)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1yo Clara's current favorite--as it has been with almost all my babies!)

In the Mail:
We just got a lovely box from one of my favorite online booksellers filled with a smattering of goodies --

Walter Beuhr's The World of Marco Polo (a nice addition to our geography reading for AO Year 3- coming up next year!)
Lantham's Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince (free reading for future years)
The Cricket in Times Square and Tucker's Countryside (finally found nice hardbacks of these family favorites)
Eager's The Knight's Castle (putting it aside for my oldest son's birthday)
Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal (adding to our collection of Bethlehem Books)
Millicent Selsam's Underwater Zoos (whenever I see one of hers for sale, I snatch it up!)

What are you reading?  I'd love to know!


  1. What's your favorite online book seller? I usually turn to amazon but I'd love to know what you use. :) Also, maybe you have this somewhere else on your blog but what do you use to teach your children to read? My almost 5 yr old (Gianna) is interested in letters and sounds but not really to a point where she would enjoy a lesson. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah, I mostly use Amazon too. :) But I also buy quite a bit from the cathswap yahoogroup, the AO buy/sell forum, and some kids' booksellers on instagram. This box was from a seller there named dibbleanddash--she's hit or miss but sometimes has great stuff. I also have a local library that has a little used bookshop inside. I have occasionally found treasures there. :)

      As for lessons, I am super low-key about teaching reading (or at least I have been so far). My oldest two really started reading on their own very early. My daughter picked it up with no lessons at all--just learned her letter sounds, then started sounding out words on her own and then reading chapter books. She's a natural reader/speller. My oldest son needed a bit of help with blending, so I used maybe 2-3 lessons from 100 EZ lessons (just their "say it slow, say it fast" tip), but other than that, we just read together from Bob books for a short while, then on to other better books. He was motivated by having his sister learning to read at the same time. ;)

      My current 5yo only started showing an interest in reading a couple months ago and just recently learned all her letter sounds. But all of the sudden, she said she wanted to learn to read. I got some Bob books from the library and am letting her read through those--and she's doing really well with blending and whatnot, so I don't think that will be an issue for her. I'll probably start CM-style reading lessons if she needs them in the summer/fall, once I finish up this school year with my big kids. You can find a great description of teaching reading in a CM way here:

      I personally think that some kids won't need this level of involvement in terms of reading instruction and some will--it really depends. Some children will learn to read without any formal lessons, and some will need a bit more guidance. And timing is really important too, I think--if I had tried to teach my Cate to read at the age my Gianna learned, it wouldn't have gone well. She wasn't ready. She's ready now. :) If your 4yo isn't interested in lessons, I would *definitely* wait. There are so many other things to be doing at this age, and it's so much easier to teach things to a ready learner. Kinda like potty training. ;)

      Hi to your Gianna, by the way! :)

    2. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. :) I think you are right on about timing, I can see that Gianna is getting more and more willing but I definitely don't want to push anything right now. I have a phonics program that my mother used (and I remember fondly) so I think we will dive into that for Year 0 IF she seems ready, or else I will take it easy until year 1. I can see that my second, Peter will probably learn right along with her and may not need a lot of help from me. He grasps ideas a lot quicker and has a good memory. Homeschooling is so great because I get to be the one experiencing all of this with my children! (as you know all about it.)

    3. You are so right, Sarah! One of the many joys of homeschooling. :)

  2. I always love seeing your book recommendations, Celeste. :) Your family and ours have similar tastes.

    1. Yes, you're right, Jen--we always seem to have the same books going at the same time or right after each other. :)

  3. Thanks for posting this! Love me a good book list!

    1. Me too! I get most of my reading recommendations from my online reading "friends." :)

  4. I am re-reading Sense and Sensibility, because it's wonderful, and CM's Volume 6, because I have yet to make it all the way through. It's time;)Cate is enjoying A Nest for Celeste, and Owen is still happy having me read (and re-read and re-read) Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. Richard Scarry never gets old!

    1. All our Richard Scarrys are "Daddys' books," so I save them for him to read. The boys especially love love love 'em. :)

      And I can't remember the last time I read an Austen book--it's definitely been a few years. Yikes!