Friday, July 29, 2016

What We're Reading :: July

my nightstand from a few weeks ago - lots of Year 5 pre-reading in there!
Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter (slowly)
Huxley's Brave New World (just finished for my local book club)
Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky (fiction about Robert Louis Stevenson -- it's so-so so far)
Cholmondeley's The Story of Charlotte Mason (slowly)
Doerr's The Shell Collector (short stories -- a couple slightly unsavory but I'd still recommend because the others are just so good)
One Wild Bird at a Time (just popped this back to the library and will get it out again soon)

And the pre-reading I just finished up but is pictured up there...
The Body in Action and Blood and Guts (references to pair with the Year 5 Nature Reader)
Helen Keller's The Story of My Life (a Year 5 free read I'm thinking of scheduling in Term 2)
Cheryl Harness' Theodore Roosevelt (a Term 3 or free read possibility)

Not pictured:
Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit (for comparison's sake)
When Children Love to Learn and CM's Parents and Children (for various CM discussion groups)
The Sketchnote Handbook (so fun!)

Vincent, age newly-10!
He celebrated his birthday a couple weeks ago and has been loving his birthday books...

Captain Knight's The Sea Chest
Rounds' Swamp Life: An Almanac
The Story of the Naval Academy
Landmark book - William the Conqueror

And this one from Grandma, which is perfect for a fact-loving, analytical, non-fiction-lover:

Munroe's The Thing Explainer (full of diagrams, schematics, and snippets)
Side note: I just heard good things about Munroe's What If? and am adding it to my list!

Gianna, age 9
Alcott's Flower Fables (a re-read)
Lois Lenski's Indian Captive (after Year 4's Calico Captive)
The Apple and the Arrow and Red Sails to Capri (from last month's mail)
Stevenson's David Balfour (the sequel to Kidnapped)

By my Learning-to-Readers
the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books over and over again (Cate, age 7)
Bob books from various sets (Xavier and Bridget, ages 6 and 4)

To the Littles
Mem Fox's The Magic Hat and lots of Beatrix Potter (for 3yo Clara)
Degen's Jamberry and the Ahlbergs' Each Peach Pear Plum (for 2yo Drew)

As a Family
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (a Year 5 free read I'm spreading through the term during Morning Basket)
Ransome's Swallowdale (on audio in the car)
Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle (on audio in the house)
and listening to The Silver Chair as we trek through the whole Narnia series on audio yet again :)

In the Mail
I now have these on our history supplement shelf for the Big Kids to use when making sketches for their century charts or narrations.

The Golden Book of the Civil War
Pratt's The Civil War
The Revolutionary Soldier

Alice Jones' Bible Stories of the Old Testament (oversized and sweet -- but not for serious reading)
This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon (we're reading this in Term 1)
Bailey's Miss Hickory
DeJong's The Wheel on the School (a hardcover to replace our sad softcover)
...and a stack of vintage I Can Read science books:
The Bug That Laid the Golden Egg
The Toad Hunt
An Animal for Alan
Plenty of Fish
Hidden Animals
Let's Get Turtles

What are you reading this month?

(Links above are affiliate links. I left un-linked the books that are recommended by AmblesideOnline because I'd prefer if you clicked over to their site and bought through their affiliate links. As always, thanks for your support!)


  1. Thing Explainer sounds like a book that both of my daughters would love! :) I'm currently doing some pre-reading too. I just finished The Wind in the Willows and am now pre-reading The Princess and the Goblin. I loved that book when I read it several years ago. But because it's been so long since I've read it, I'm pre-reading again before scheduling it on the school schedule. :) For my personal reading, I just started reading a book on the Liturgy of the Hours. I just recently finished The Awakening of Miss Prim and really enjoyed that book. I'm trying to decide what my next fiction read will be. And for a read-aloud, my daughter and I are reading Heidi together.

    1. It's a very neat book, Karen! I bet your girls would enjoy it. I have prayed the Liturgy of the Hours on and off for years. It is such a beautiful devotion. And we listened to Heidi on audio earlier this year. I hadn't read it (when my Big Kids did, they did it independently), so I loved listening it too. Such a hopeful story.

  2. Celeste, I think we share wave lengths or something. =) I am deciding between Keller's, "Story of My Life" and Paton's, "Thirty Years Among South Sea Can" that Jeanne recommended for Term 2. I have both and want to do both, ha! It will replace the Lilas Trotter bio. Might let Caleb chose. Caroline is currently reading, "Apple and the Arrow." We are going to be doing Miss Hickory as a read aloud in October. I wanted to read it during our fall weather. And we are currently reading aloud Carry On Mr Bowditch during MT as well. Like I said, same wave lengths. =)

    Monroe's, "What If" looks awesome! Think that might be going into my Amazon cart later today. How do you like your version of, "The Treasure Seekers" on audio? We need a new car book. We just finished all the Winnie the Pooh books read by Peter Dennis for the one millionth time. Charlotte would like it if we just kept those on repeat. =)

    1. How funny that we keep having the same books in our reading queue! I am in very good company then! :)

      I actually misspoke: it isn't Treasure Seekers but The Enchanted Castle that we're listening to on audio right now. (It's this one: ) We just started it last week so have only listened to one chapter but the narrator is good! British woman's voice, as it should be. LOL You can listen to a sample at Amazon. (It's the Audible version, but you can also buy it without an Audible subscription. I have ours out from the library. :)) They also have a CD option but I haven't tried that narrator.

      I did a total switch-up of all the biography options in Year 5. We dropped Trotter also and I'm also subbing Teddy Roosevelt. And I made all the science bios free reads in lieu of some other choices, as well as added CA history bios and religious bios... I did lots of pre-reading this summer! LOL

  3. I will check it out. Thanks! I've read Treasure Seekers, but not Enchanted Castle.

    Yes, we made a few Y5 changes as well. Dropped Trotter and subbed as said above. I made the Christian Nature Liberty Reader a free read and put a reference book we owned with it on Caleb's free read shelf. He loves science so much I know he will look through those two over and over again of his own accord. But I did keep the science bios assigned reading as well as the other Science from Y5. We are going to all do Drop of Water as a family. That's why I decided to make the Liberty Reader and reference book to go with as free reads. Drop of Water has experiments and I'd like Caleb to work in his Science Journal with those. So I decided to focus our time and energy on Drop of Water, Inventions book, MHLW, and biographies. Plus Nature Study of course.

    You are ahead of me if you've pre read all of that. I'm through most of Term 1, but keep getting distracted by my own books right now. =) So much to read, so little time. But that's a problem I can live with.

    1. I usually just pre-read week by week, but since I wanted to do some bio subbing, I ended up pre-reading most of them. I do, however, have the Term 2 and 3 ones to still make final decisions about. New options keep popping up! Sticking with AO pretty carefully does make things a lot easier. ;)

      I was going to do Drop of Water this year but decided to wait until next year, when Bridget can also join in. Then I'll have five students able to participate. I'm looking forward to it! Instead, I'm having the Big Kids use the Nature Reader for their science notebook. I'm also doing some anatomy-related experiments from the book Blood and Guts. So far, so good! :)

  4. I like that you guys reread/re-listened to favorites! I'm going to have to look at some of these books a bit closer brain is fried for some reason right now! LOL! Thanks for sharing, Celeste!

  5. I really loved that Trotter biography, gals! :) You should just read it for yourselves, she is FASCINATING. There is a documentary out about her as well that I really enjoyed. :)

    1. I'm sure I should! I had to make some difficult decisions in the bios category this year to not overload my kids but still fit in California history reading and saints' lives. Combined with the history and science bios (one in each category each term), that was a lot of bios! So I did some tough pruning. :) I'm kinda relieved that my kids do so much reading in their free time because I can sneak the "extras" in that way! LOL

  6. Do you remember in detail what you pre-read?... in enough detail to listen to narrations and have discussions? I don't want to pre-read the same books again (i.e. multiple years at the same time), so I'm thinking on how to remember what I'm pre-reading now for when my younger students are reading/narrating the books. I don't think written notes of my own is sustainable, but I was considering narrating into a voice recorder that I could review in future years. I saw someone mention that on the forum.
    How are you making plans to remember when your next students read through the books?

    1. I do not remember in detail what I pre-read, but I have a few habits that help me remember the books for future students. First, I'm a really fast skimmer. ;) So on my second (now third) time through a book with a student, I'm able to do a really quick look-through and most of it comes back to me as long as I did one thorough reading at some point in the past. This year, I'm taking notes during my pre-reading on the back of the weekly checklist. I'll them file those to use later on. I usually note important names and dates, favorite quotes, discussion questions, and anything thing else I want to go over in our weekly meeting. Those will also serve to jog my memory in the future. (I have heard of people using index cards for the same reason.) Last, I am trying to narrate mentally in the hopes that my memory will improve through that process, as I know it works for my kids! I too saw that tip about the voice recordings and thought it was fabulous! I should probably do that, but I think it will be faster for me to re-skim the chapter than it will be to be listen to my recorded narrations when the time comes. I should test that out though! :)

    2. Thanks for such a detailed reply!! I'm trying to think ahead as to what will work best, be sustainable, etc, but I think it will be hard to know until I actually go through it a second time. I want to remember enough detail to actually hold my student accountable for quality narrations and be able to have a discussion, when appropriate, not just have a general idea of what happened. You have some good tips in here. It's always helpful to hear what has been workign over time, especially as you're starting to repeat years. Thank you!