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Here’s what we’ve been reading this past two weeks; a little light because of finally getting into our summer rhythm.
- The Collapse of Parenting: I am positively evangelical about this book, as evidenced by my Instagram feed. A lot of Sax’s work here is built upon the work in another book I love and re-read with regularity, Gordon Neufeld’s Hold On to Your Kids. I joked with my husband that Sax makes all of my curmudgeonly dreams come true, but honestly, it is so confidence-building for me as a parent to see the research behind my intuitive beliefs. Highly, highly recommend.
- The Summer Book: my husband and I chose this for our read-aloud after thinking we were going to read something else. It just seemed like the right time and place for it. We were not disappointed. A friend of mine described this as deep feeling without sentiment; I agree. Also, it’s funny in a dry way that I love.
- Siblings Without Rivalry: with summer, acres of free time, and less rhythm in our days come more struggles with relating to one another. I am on a re-read of this classic, and have gotten so much out of it every time. The examples given are a little (amusingly) dated, but the information is solid and useful. Again, recommend.
- This Wheel’s on Fire: I picked this one up on an Instagram recommendation and I just love it. I’m a huge fan of The Band and Levon has a beautiful storytelling voice.
- School Education: I don’t love pigeonholing myself into methodology labels, and so much of what I have seen of Charlotte Mason online has looked like spreadsheets and archaic terminology, I have been a little wary. I decided to give her original writings a chance and have been overwhelmed with delight. Someone mentioned to me that she thought Charlotte Mason was my soul-sister, and I agree! Making copious notes.
The girls mostly share/swap/read each others’ books (and the older girls definitely still read all the picture books), so I split their reads into chapter books and picture books. These are the free reading choices that have gotten the most love this week. The girls are currently aged 11 (Maya), 9 (Cassidy), 7 (Willa), and 5 (Molly). The younger two do not read on their own yet.
- The Forager’s Harvest: this is a re-read for the umpteenth time for Maya. I would put it in her list of top five favorite books. What she tells everyone about it is that his style is charmingly conversational, and she especially loves that he uses female pronouns throughout the book (“it’s like he’s really talking to me!”). Maya is our resident foraging expert, mostly due to this book and the accompanying DVD.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: both of the older girls had to check out their own copy from the library, it was far too thrilling to share.
- The Three Musketeers: following the thrilling adventure theme, Cassidy is cozying up to this one. I am not usually a fan of abridged/adapted versions, but I don’t know if a nine year old is really ready for a full translation of Dumas. She is a great lover of adventure and swashbuckling in general, and I know that she will come back to this one in time. In the meantime, this adaptation is not overly modern, and captures the original feel.
- The White Stag: I have seen this one on a lot of booklists, and handed it to Maya as a suggestion. She gobbled it up in one sitting and declared it excellent.
- The Treasure Cave: the girls have always loved Tiptoes Lightly. Not high literature here, but they are engaging, with soothing storylines. My husband is reading this one to the younger girls at bedtime.
- Bravo, Mr William Shakespeare!: all the girls adore Shakespeare (we first began learning Shakespeare with this book, I highly recommend it) and this is a lively addition to our library of understanding. Marcia Williams books are always a hit with all ages in this house. Pages crammed full of interesting information as well as cheeky asides. Her illustrations are reminiscent of the Ahlbergs’ work.
- Time of Wonder: summer is the perfect time to get this book out, a lovely one for younger and older children as well. Prose poetry at its best. These words are so beautiful.
- One Riddle, One Answer: if only all math books could be as engaging and beautifully illustrated as this one! A familiar folk-tale template with really interesting math literacy woven throughout.
- Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths: Crinkleroot books are all so great. Engaging field-guide/natural science books with solid information about common species we see most often. We have been seeing so many swallowtail and common blue butterflies recently, this has been a well-loved resource!
- Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin solved a mystery that baffled all of France: when we found this book at the library, there was actually a bit of a fight over who got to look at it first. I had no idea a book about the historical origins of the scientific method and the placebo effect could be so intriguing, but I was swept up in it, too! This would be a great addition to a study of Ben Franklin, or as part of a study of science.
- The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend: the illustrations alone are swoon-worthy, but I always love it when I find adaptations of Russian folktales.
- The Forest Feast for Kids: the older girls love to browse cookbooks, and this one is especially beautiful. They have gained a lot of inspiration, both culinary and stylistic, from looking at this book.
- Winter Holiday: haven’t finished this one quite yet; it has been funny to be in midsummer outside and Arctic conditions in the van. Crank up the a/c, mom.