Confessions of a non-classical reader

classics2picmo

The following is a guest post by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment.

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. –Haruki Murakami

I have a confession to make — I did not grow up reading classical literature.

While I have always loved to read, I have another confession to make: part of this love came, at least initially, through an incentive.

You see, when I was in elementary school, my parents sought to encourage my brother and me to read by offering us a penny a page for any book we read that they felt was at our current reading level or beyond.

For several months I read … and read … and read until something happened — my parents saw that I was now officially “hooked” on reading and they were no longer going to offer pennies as an incentive.

And – Eureka! They were right! I kept reading!

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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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10 new “must-read” nonfiction picture books

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10 new must-read nonfiction picture books ~ SimpleHomeschool.net
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

The love of good books flows steadily through my bloodstream–always has. I have to admit, though, that I tend to stick to the tried-and-true classics, titles that have staying power and have inspired readers for generations.

But I also love stumbling across a new-to-me book on a library’s shelf and flipping through to discover that it has the makings of a classic after all–it inspires, it teaches, it tells a deeper story. And in the past year there have been many such books released.

Here are ten nonfiction titles, along with excerpts from the reviews they’ve been given, that you and yours might enjoy checking out:
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How to deal with twaddle in your homeschool

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and blogger at Steady Mom

When we begin our homeschooling journey, we so desperately want to do things “right.” We want to use the right materials, books, curricula, and get the “right” results from our little ones.

It was with these thoughts and intentions in mind that I first came across the word “twaddle” — a word I’d never heard before my venture into home education began.

What is twaddle anyway?

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Relaxed Elementary Education (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY

Ages of my children: 12, 10, and 8

Educational Philosophies I pull from: Leadership Education, Literature-Based, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling

When Jamie first proposed this series I thought, “That will be easy to write. We don’t use much.”

Then I saw all the questions from the introductory post and realized I might actually have something useful to say.

A few of your comments jumped out at me:

  • The repeated request to know what has worked and what hasn’t, and why.
  • How to “make your own” curriculum.
  • How to use readily available resources (like the library) and literature as materials for learning.

I can answer these because of our own eclectic and interest-led elementary homeschooling experience.
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