I trust this latest missive from our household finds you well. Here in the UK we are in week twelve of lockdown. The glorious month of May was taken up with being ill and recovering from the virus, and I can’t quite believe we have now arrived in June. I’m so grateful for the rhythms of nature without which I would be feeling even more disorientated than I already am! We started back into some sort of normality last week after half term, with Rhythm Dude continuing his college course via “teams” and the girls and I slotting into our well worn day time rhythm. However, having thought I was back to full strength I discovered I wasn’t; so this coming week we will refigure again. This is a joy of home ed; we can adapt until we find a pattern which works for us in each and every season.
Dancing Toes has teamed up with a friend this week to write for this blog post. They have worked together over FaceTime and it’s been a great project for them. They chose the subject of books.
Reading has always been a delight in my life; from having stories read to me as a little girl, to becoming lost in other worlds as a teen, and now reading for my own learning as well as for relaxation. In my early twenties, well before marriage and children, I spent some time living with a dear aunt and uncle in Zimbabwe. Auntie A and I used to love discussing books, and she gave me a gem of advice which has been foundational in my mothering and home educating; keep reading aloud to children after they can read for themselves. In this way you can read above a child’s level of decoding.
Reading aloud helps with vocabulary and comprehension and is a great way of developing empathy and understanding into another’s world. I use it to defuse highly charged emotions and to settle children before sleep. I continued reading aloud to the boys at night time until they started going to bed later than me! It was a special connection time during Lanky Dude’s first year at sixth form; he, Rhythm Dude and myself coming together, just for ten minutes, at the end of the day.
We also listen to audio books, which has been particularly important to Rhythm Dude who is dyslexic. His English teacher at college commented that he had the potential of being a very good writer. This is amazing for a child who struggled so hard to read. I’m convinced some of that is due to the large diet of audio books he has consumed. He is currently listening his way through Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. (I was confused just watching the TV series!).
Most important of all, I think, is that reading aloud builds relationships between us. It’s a shared experience. It provides great conversation starters.
Below are some of the ways we use books and then some recommendations form the girls’ book club. Helen and I had fun recording a podcast about reading aloud…she reads very broadly and their home ed curriculum is based even more than ours around books, so it’s well worth a listen.
Today I am here with my best friend, and we’re going to be talking about books.
Older kids’ books
- Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. Rose likes it because there is a bit of romance and it’s heart warming.
- The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I like because there is a lot of mystery and it also is romantic.
- Taka the Otter by Henry Williamson. Rose likes it because it has a good plot and it’s sad and most importantly it’s about animals.
- Treasures of the Snow by Patrica St John. I love it because it’s happy and sad at the same time and it is so heart warming.
- Snow Foal by Susanna Bailey. Rose likes it because it’s about a horse and sad but uplifting.
- Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery. Rose likes it because it’s a good family book; it is a bit sad and it is also written by the same person who wrote Anne of green gables.
- Little Women by Louisa M Alcott. We like it because they are brave; it’s sad and happy at the same time.
- Heidi, it good because it’s a classic and it’s sad and happy its good for all ages.
- Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. If you love ballet and acting you will like this one.
- The Swish of the Curtain series by Pam Brown. These are great books if you love acting.
Middle kids’ books
- Humphrey series by Betty Birney. We love it because it’s about a hamster; it’s funny and just so cute. We really recommend it if you love hamsters
- Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels. They are about a vet and soooo good. I really like them so I hope you like them too.
- Comet and the Champion’s Cup by Stacy Gregg. It’s perfect for people who love horses and adventure.
- Pippi Longstocking and Emil books by Astrid Lindgren. I like these because they are very funny.
- Any books by Enid Blyton. They are the best!!!!
Little kids books.
- Katie Morag by Mairi Hedderwick. It is such a good book because it’s really cool and it set in Scotland
- Pooh Bear by AA Milne. It is a favourite in our house and it is a good bedtime story.
- The Rhyming Rabbit. It’s about a rabbit how loves singing and rhyming.
- What the lady bird Heard by Julia Donaldson. It is a great book for little kids bedtime.
- Curious George is a funny book and good to snuggle up on the sofa with your child
- Mrs Pepperpot by Alf Proysen. I like this because it is creative and funny.
- Milly Molly Mandy books by Joyce Lankester Brisley. These are stories about family and best friends.
Craft, make your own scroll.
- First get several pieces of A4 paper and stick them together
- Then on the other side draw or write whatever you want
- Stick 4 pencils or small sticks on the edges.
- roll it up and hold together with a sticker or tape
- You could make it a treasure map
- You could soak the paper in black tea to make it look like parchment
- You could use a feather and paint to write with
- Have fun!!!