Last week I shared with you a bit of my failure-based success in the read aloud department. This week I would like to share with you some of our favorite read alouds, sources for read alouds, and Web sites that promote reading aloud.
I began reading to the kids before the Internet was a part of our home. I could not go to sites to find great reading lists. And I could not join e-mail lists devoted to reading aloud. I had to settle for some real life contacts. One of my favorite questions to ask fellow home schoolers was, What are you reading to your kids right now? Then I would follow that question with, May I borrow it when you are finished?
One set of books that I borrowed was a nature book with wonderful stories about gross creatures and why they are here. Unfortunately I dont remember who authored them or even what they are titled, but I do know they were put out by Gods World Book Club about ten years ago. These were my first read alouds that I found to be educational.
As my reading aloud progressed I decided that I only wanted to read non-fiction to my kids. Im not sure if this was God-inspired or peer-inspired. But I have since changed my mind on that. As Ive talked to other home-school moms I have discovered that many of them have also changed regarding reading fiction.
I felt that I wanted most of our education to be literature-based, but did not have enough confidence in myself (or dare I say in my God) to choose the best books for our family. I chose a wonderful curriculum called Beautiful Feet ( www.bfbooks.com). It seemed to be just what I needed at the time and firmly helped establish a pattern for our home school. That was the year of enlightenment for me. I discovered that I could really do this home-school thing, and have a great deal of fun, too. It was during this time that I decided to pray and ask Gods wisdom for our familys education. He guided me to the book Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. This has been my all time favorite book to read to my kids.
Some of the other books weve loved include, but are not limited to, Amos Fortune, Free Man, Johnny Tremain, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Flight of the Yellow Woodbee (A Trailblazer book), The Courage of Sarah Nobel, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Wheel on the School, The Boy Who Loved to Draw, and The Man Who Deciphered Hieroglyphics.
Our list is quite extensive and Im finding it difficult to conclude the previous paragraph with an and followed by a final selection.
Even though my library includes about 5000 books, I still find that I want a list of books that others have found helpful to read. Recently a treasure found its way into my hands, a book written by Jan Bloom entitled, Who Should We Then Read. I had the pleasure of having Jan as a guest for Guest Chat as well as being able to go used book shopping with her. My afternoon with her was a time I will cherish always. She enlightened me, and amazed me with her wisdom. She is one of those people you meet who remind you just how little you actually know. Since it is impossible to have a brain transplant with her, I will have to suffice to read her book.
Ive also found several Web sites that are helpful in the reading aloud department. Another guest I had in chat was Valerie Jacobsen. She is the Web mistress for the site, www.valerieslivingbooks.com. She is also a plethora of information. In addition, she has a yahoo groups e-list called bookroom that is quite informative and loaded with information.
Another great site is http://hometown.aol.com/BeeME1/bookstore.html. This is a list of twaddle-free books by reading level.
It would be impossible for me to list every book site available to home schoolers. I know I would forget many and feel badly about that. I will add one more site though, http://www.classicalhomeschooling.org/celoop/1000.html. This is a site with a classical emphasis that lists 1,000 books.
In our house we have a little stuffed duck that we lovingly refer to as Fluffy Twaddle. He is our book mascot and helps protect our family from allowing fluffy twaddle into our library. I would like to encourage you to read books to your children that are neither fluffy, nor twaddly.
In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Web site at www.ignitethefire.com or e-mail her at email@example.com.