Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Reading

It's been awhile since I've had time to write anything schoolish and that, perhaps, is because I'm revamping everything. I'm reminding myself, again, what my purpose of homeschooling is, and changing my curriculum accordingly.
But for now, I thought I'd just make a list of books that my children have been enjoying of late. Every summer they participate in the library's summer reading program. Usually, they read for 3-5 hours a day during the summer and wrack up minutes like professionals. This year however, I've limited them. They can read for one hour during the day and then for a while before bed, depending on what time they get up there.

I actually enacted this change in February when I noticed a tendency toward seclusion in my older kids. Everything I have ever read concerning homeschooling has told me to make my children readers, to encourage them to read much and well. children are excellent readers, but if my 11 year old spends her whole day locked up in her room with the classics, who does that benefit? Not herself, because she will have missed the chance to interact with her family. She would have missed the cute things her little sister said. She would have missed the board games I played with them, the walks we took, the songs we sang. She would have missed the blessing of serving together. Heidi, Pollyanna, or ever Anne, seem stale substitutes when there are real friends to be had.

Grant also, was pulling away, neglecting his brother and their games of war to lay on his bed with a book. Which provides the truer education? Well, both, in moderation.

So my restrictions have been in place for several months now and it's good. My children are learning discipline, they can't always have their curiosity gratified in one sitting, they have to be patient over many days. Because of that, they are choosing harder books, that take longer, because they know they're not going to be able to finish them soon anyway. Grant just finished the complete works of Grimms fairytales. It was 800+ pages and took him a month.

Also, they are playing together much, much, more. Avonlea is investing precious time in her little sister and the results are bountiful for both of them. Grant has the time and energy to engage Rowan and to read to him. They play as a group more often, simply because they have the time. They all have more time to hear God's words and my words.

So by all means, encourage your children to be readers, the written word is powerful. But beware, that it is not replacing the real life, flesh-and-blood, words of interaction.
Our children will be shaped by words.
Whose words?

Here are some of their favorite summer reads so far:

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM
by Robert C. O'Brien

Summer of the Monkeys
by Wilson Rawls

Dangerous Island
by Helen Mather-Smith Mindlin

Eighteen and on her Own
At Home in North Branch
Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson

Ginger Pye
Eleanor Estes
Neither of the kids really liked this one because they cut off the dog's tail or something???

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ian Fleming

The Enchanted Castle
E. Nesbit

Daddy Long Legs
by Jean Webster

Daughters of the Faith Series
by Wendy Lawton
Avonlea's favorites

Baby Island
by Carol Ryrie Brink

The Complete Works of Grimms Fairytales

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
Maria Augusta Trapp

Little Men
Jo's Boys
Sequels to Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

Happy Summer Reading!