Our top 25 read-alouds (ages 5-12)

Our top 25 read-alouds (ages 5-12)
Written by contributor Sarah Small of SmallWorld at Home

We started reading to our firstborn the day we brought him home. We didn’t start with Pat the Bunny or Goodnight Moon, although those both played an important part in our story time with all our children. We started with a college textbook, Western Civilization. We just wanted him to hear the sound of our voices and to get a feel for language.

Over the years we have read hundreds of books to our three children, from board books to great classics. Reading aloud comes in two forms in our family: as part of school (we have used Sonlight’s literature-based program for the  majority of our years) and before bed.

Beginning at about age 5 with each of our kids, we moved from a diet of picture books and short easy readers to serious chapter books. Don’t worry about your child not “getting” a book that is “meant” for older kids. They will.

Around age 12 or 13 the evening reading aloud ended, followed shortly by the end of our school-time read-alouds. We are down to just one child who gets all of our reading attention now, and we are determined to have lots of reading time together until he, too, prefers his own voice in his head.

Below is a list of our Top 25 favorite family read-alouds. They are in no particular order, except that I listed a few series at the end. Why did these books make the list when dozens of others didn’t quite qualify? These are the books the kids remember with almost a tender fondness and sometimes almost awe. These were books we lived in, the ones that do, indeed, seem like part of our family.
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Creating a homemade extended family

brookemain

The following is a guest post written by Brooke Scott of Violicious.

We are a family.

We are a family of homeschoolers.

We are a family of homeschoolers who lives far away from its traditional family.

And so, we created a new one.

Two years ago during the winter holidays my eldest son said to me: “Isn’t it sad that everyone else has something to do and we are just waiting for our friends to come back?”

It was startling. Like a slug in the stomach. I thought I had been a good buffer, soaking up that particular sadness in the face of comments like, “Oh, we are just so busy with family, you know how it is!”

Actually, I don’t. I did, but immigrating  to Canada has taken a few tolls on us as a family. [Read more...]

3 Attitudes to Make Your Christmas Week Better

Make Christmas week even better
Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

With less than one week left until Christmas, it’s crunch time. You may have items on your Christmas bucket list that you need to let go of. Across the blogosphere writers now remind us that the time has come to stop the to-do’s, time to embrace imperfection.

Starting today let’s shift our minds out of things-to-do mode and into attitudes-to-nurture mode.

This week is the fabric of memory-making, and the following three attitudes help us weave strong threads within our family without allowing holiday stress to tear our seams apart.
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A homeschool mom’s letter to Saint Nick

letter

Written by contributor Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera.

Hey there, Santa.

This is little Kara Anderson (Barbie Dream House, 1982).

I wanted to let you know that I have been pretty good this year, all things considered.

I have stopped trying to do all the things on Pinterest.

I have been generally responsible with my Amazon Prime account, forcing myself to wait 24 hours before impulse-ordering curriculum materials.

I currently owe the public library just $9.75!

(But I do have 16 items on hold …)

And so, because I’ve been a pretty good homeschooler, I was kind of hoping I could ask you for a few extra things this year:

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4 important steps to ease holiday parenting

holidayparenting

The following is a guest post written by Kassandra Brown of Parentcoaching.org.

“You’re too clumsy to be my mom” shrieks my 5 year old after I knock her glass of Christmas punch off the counter.

I look at the spreading stain and bite my tongue on yet another reminder that putting glasses on the edge of the counter means they are more likely to get spilled. I am tired and distracted and just trying to get dinner going.

“Yes, I am clumsy sometimes. Let’s clean this up,” I say instead.

“But that’s the last of the juice and I really wanted it and it’s really special. If you love me you’ll get me more.”

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