Forensic Faith For Kids ( Review)

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Forensic Faith for Kids by David C Cook was a fun review! We read a chapter in the book each morning during our morning time and most nights we would watch the videos on the Case Makers Academy website that go along with each chapter.

We really enjoyed this book. It had parts that were really fun and lighthearted but yet really taught valuable lessons. In the words of my twelve year old son, “I like how they include the Bible verses but it doesn’t sound like they are preaching.”  The book taught some really important lessons about the Bible and faith but in an engaging format. The book was written from a second person point of view. This really resonated with my daughter who said, ” I like how it feels like you are there solving the cases.”

The main characters of the book are a group of friends in a Junior Detective Academy learning about investigations. As part of their program they were working on two cases. One involved a ‘found’ puppy and the other was the evidence for Christianity and who Jesus claimed to be. This is the third book in this series (though the first one I have had the opportunity to read). The students had a friend who was questioning whether or not Jesus even claimed to be the Son of God. The detective helped them understand how they could research and investigate to help him answer that question.

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On the sidelines of the pages were some additional components that added a lot of value to our experience in reading this book. There were ‘Dig Deep’ features which reminded you about activities and features on the website that related to the lessons learned in that chapter. There were ‘CSI Assignments’ where you went to the Bible and read a verse/s and then filled in the blanks and answered a discussion question. This was great for bringing out scriptural lessons in real life applications.

There were also ‘Detective Definitions’ where they explained some of the more technical terms used by the police detectives. For example, the words forensic and evidence. Finally, sprinkled throughout the book were sections titled, A Tool For Your Detective Bag. Those sections focused on lessons the reader could learn from the case such as “Accept Your Duty, Take Your Place, and Know and Help Your Listeners.”

The Case Makers Academy  had short five to ten minute videos that discussed each chapter. In addition there were worksheets that could be printed and completed. These included crossword puzzles, drawing worksheets, a detective notebook and even a leaders guide. The leaders guide gave great question to ask about the chapter, a summary, and connected to the adult books that correlate to the series. While I used this just with two of my own children (three if you count the four year old listening to find out more about the missing dog), it would also be a great study for a youth group or middle school small group. I intend to show the book to our youth minister at church as a possible tool for working with the youth group.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other Review Crew reviews below and then purchase your own copy of Forensic Faith for Kids! be sure to tell us in the comments how you think you could use this in your home school, family, or youth group.

 

Forensic Faith for Kids {David C Cook  and  Case Makers Academy Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

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Barbour Publishing Kingdom Files Biography Series (Review)

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We wrapped up what we came to call our ‘summer of reading’ with a read aloud of  Who Was Jonah? which is a part of the Kingdom Files series by Barbour Publishing. This review book along with another book in the series Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? proved to be a great fit for our family. These are fun and fairly short chapter books that feature a biography of a Bible character, an investigation into their lives, and lessons that we can learn from those stories.

We read Who Was Jonah? together and really enjoyed it. The book starts with a Fact File that gives basic information about Jonah. I really appreciated this because even as an adult I sometimes struggle with the timeline of events in the Bible . Then comes the Action File. This section of the book was the story of Jonah and included great illustrations and clues that you could apply to your own life and to help you understand the story of Jonah. For example, “No matter what you’re going through, your heavenly Father sees you and accepts your prayers. That should be as comforting to us today as it was to Jonah. ” There were also some very well done black and white illustrations of the story in this part of the book.

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Another feature of the book that I really enjoyed are the scripture references for the portion of the story that he was telling. The story of Jonah was told through the words of the author but the references allow you to go and read the actual scripture for yourselves and compare it to the book. I found that the book did a great job of following scripture while also using a writing style that was very engaging for the children. In the Power File section, each ‘Power Up’ or lesson has a memory verse as well.

For Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?,  I had my daughter read it independently. The short chapters and engaging narrative made it an enjoyable read for her. This book was set up in the same style as Who Was Jonah? with the Fact File, Action File, and Power File.   While she enjoyed reading it and I think these books are fine to be read independently, I really think that they worked best for our family when we read them together. There were so many great lessons to be learned that I felt it was ideal to be able to pause after the chapters and have family discussions about what we were learning. I did not get a chance to use them for this reading (which we began while we were on vacation) but Kingdom Files has some great educator resources and games that you can print to take your study even further. These include word searches, creating trading cards, and mapping activities just to name a few.

These biographies can be read independently (recommended for ages 8-12) or used as a family read aloud or part of your Bible study time. I highly recommend checking out this great series. Our family is hoping to purchase some others in this series, particularly Who Was David? and Who Was Esther? Tell us in the comments which book you think your family would most enjoy and check out the other Crew Reviews below!

Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn (Book Review)

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This was our ‘summer of books’ so I was delighted to add God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco to my list when the review opportunity arose.  As I share my thoughts on this book, it is important to note that I do not believe that education is one size fits all. There are many educational philosophies and different styles work for different families and sometimes even different children with-in those families. That’s one of the beautiful things about homeschooling!

This book does a wonderful job of explaining and exploring the unschooling approach to education. While I do not think that unschooling is the approach that best suits our family, I enjoyed hearing about what works for her children and the research behind that methodology. I also gleaned a lot of great information and tips that will work well for our family.

One of the points that really stuck out to me in the beginning is how she explained unschooling. Julie says, “Unschooling can be a very deliberate endeavor, not necessarily haphazard.” She spends a great deal of time explaining how she deliberately sets out to provide her children with a good education in this manner. Sometimes unschooling is assumed to be doing nothing but letting your children play video games all day while you go about your business. However, she talks extensively about how she interacted with her children and helped guide them while providing natural learning opportunities and plenty of time for play.

She talks about how children, particularly children under eight, need a lot of free time and play. I wholeheartedly agree. They learn so much through play and exploration and if we are not careful we can fill up their days with school work and not allow them the time needed to play and explore.

Her chapter on children ages eight to twelve touches on many areas but I really liked what she had to say about entrepreneurship and service. In our family we believe that serving others is a Biblical command and we try to teach our children to serve from a very young age.  During this eight to twelve range, they become capable of more complex service and taking more ownership in serving others. It is an important part of learning and development. Entrepreneurship is another important component of education for that age group. Learning to do meaningful work and contribute is a vital skill for successful adulthood. It is also a Biblical command and she shares several scriptures including 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and Ephesians 3:28 which talk about working with your own hands.

She also goes into experiential learning in that chapter. Children learn much better when they can experience that which they are trying to learn. She gives multiple examples from field trips and nature walks to living books and hands on crafts. These have been a vital part of our educational experience and I appreciated the encouragement to continue with this type of learning even as my children get older.

The section of the book that I needed to read most was probably the chapter titled, “Giving Teens Wings So They Can Fly”.  My oldest son is twelve and so the teen years are very near for our family. Unintentionally, three of the books that I have read this summer have discussed how the modern age group of ‘teenagers’ is really a new lifestyle/category. Before somewhere around the late 1930s you did not see ‘teenagers’ as a separate culture.  Most often once a child reached that age he/ she began working or contributing to the family in some way. Popular culture today paints teens in a negative light and holds them to very low expectations. However, Julie Polanco shares how she provided her children with opportunities to be involved in real life and contribute. It is important that we have high expectations for our teenagers and give them the opportunity to succeed and do great things.

If you want to know more about what unschooling looks like, especially from a Christian perspective or if you just want some encouragement and ways you can integrate more real life learning into your student’s education God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn is a great book. ** Also, she has a 1/2 price sale on the e-book version until August 22nd**

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Help! I’m Homeschooling!: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling (review)

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When I agreed to review, Help! I’m Homeschooling!: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling I was hoping it would be a good book that I could recommend to the folks that look to me for help in getting started. However, what I got was so much more. I do recommend this for new homeschoolers but honestly it is a great book for veteran homeschoolers that need a bit of encouragement or refreshment.
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Trica Hodges uses each short section to talk about a different homeschool habit that was helpful in their homeschool. She has suggestions that range from spiritual to practical and from young children to high school.

One of the habits that I want to try this school year is morning room time. I love the idea of a time for the younger ones to play independently while I accomplish a few things with the older children. I think the thing I most love about how she makes it work is that the little ones get to hear her voice and work on learning during that time so it is almost like she really gets to be in two places at once (and don’t we all wish for that at times).

This year I will have a baby, a preschooler (who desperately wants to be included in school work), and elementary student, and a middle schooler. Time management is going to be critical for us and I love how she has a variety of time management ideas. What works during one season may not work in the next but she has a variety of ideas that can implemented to help with time management.

There are many other ideas and habits included in Help! I’m Homeschooling!: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling. She packed a lot of great information and easy to use ideas into less than 100 pages of text. This book can be read in its entirety or you can simply choose the habits that you feel you need to work on. She recommends (and I wholeheartedly agree) that after reading you choose one or two habits to work on and not the whole book. If you are homeschooling and want a little bit of help with habits and making things flow more smoothly, you are just getting started, or you are considering making the change I highly encourage you to check out this short but powerful book.

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July Reading Goals Update

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In January I decided on a goal of reading at least twelve books this year that were just for me. This means I did not count books that I was reading aloud to my children. To many of you this sounds like a small number but life had gotten busy. I had gone from reading multiple books a week (pre-children) to rarely reading a book on my own.

When I last updated at the beginning of June I had finished reading Heroes Next Door, Finding Selah, and The Unhurried Homeschooler. I decided that this was going to be Our Summer of Reading and it is paying off with multiple completed books over the last two months.

I finished reading Read Aloud Family and I am so glad that I did. It was a wonderful book full of practical ideas and encouragement to increase the amount of reading that was taking place in our home. I’ve really seen a difference in our priorities and the amount of reading that we have been able to get in since I implemented some of those strategies.

Next, I read Pocketful of Pinecones. I have owned this book for two years and kept meaning to read it, but never felt like I had time. I’m so glad that I took the time to read it and this summer was perfect timing. The book gave me a renewed love of nature study and some easy fun ideas for fitting more nature study into our days.

Then I read two books that were not on my original list,  No Longer Little and Love, Honor, and Virtue by Hal and Melanie Young. I did a full review of those books on the blog but I am glad that I added them to my list. No Longer Little is a new book about parenting tweens and I felt like someone had been in my house watching my tween when they wrote it. I felt encouraged that I was not alone and appreciated the strategies that were included to help navigate these tumultuous years. Love, Honor, and Virtue is written to boys ages 12-early 20s. I read it to see if it was a book that would be beneficial to my son. While I think in our case my son is not quite ready for it, I believe that it is a great book to help you facilitate discussions about sexual behavior and temptations with your son. I do advise pre-reading it first to make sure your son is ready for the open and frank nature of this book.

I am almost finished reading Clay and Sally Clarkson’s latest book, The Lifegiving Parent, Stay tuned to our Facebook page for a book study on this book in the fall. I have learned so much thus far and encourage you to check it out.

In addition to those I’m going to read The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood which is the next book in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. This one is just for fun. It is pleasant, easy to read and so very quaint. It is perfect for summer reading, just grad a comfy spot, some lemonade and enjoy!

Help! I’m Homeschooling: Helpful Habits for the Heart of Homeschooling is one I’m starting this week. It was just released and I’m excited to check it out. It was written by fellow home school mom Tricia Hodges and designed to help new and veteran home school moms establish good habits. I’ll be sharing a full review as soon as I’m finished reading it.

The other two books that I’ll be working on to round out my twelve are God Schooling by Julie Polanco (releases soon) and Book Girl: A Journey through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson which releases on September 4th. I’ll be doing a full review of God Schooling on the blog.

Once I’ve completed those first twelve books (hopefully around mid-September) I plan to continue reading and beat my goal. I’ve really been enjoying spending more time reading this summer and I hope it is a habit that I can continue this fall. What books have you enjoyed lately? Share them in the comments!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

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LAST DAY to get a great deal on a LIFETIME Notebooking Pages membership. This is their last sale before they go to annual memberships.

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$0.99 for 3 Months of Kindle Unlimted (limited time offer)

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

 

Love, Honor, and Virtue (Great Waters Press Review)

 

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I knew when I chose to review this book that it was not going to be a lighthearted easy read. This was not one of those books where you just sit down with your lemonade and relax, it tackles an important but tough subject. Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is a book that is so very needed in our culture today. The topics are heavy and quite honestly some of them can be a little uncomfortable for a mom but they are well written and need to be addressed. While I can’t say it will be the most enjoyable book I read all summer this book by Great Waters Press may well be one of the most needed and important books that I’ve read all year and I’m thankful for the opportunity to review the book.

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality was written not for moms like me, but for our sons. It is geared towards boys 12 and up and is very frank and direct. The book starts at the beginning and explains the mechanics of sex and childbirth.  I would not give this to a boy that did not already have some understanding about sex because I think it would be overwhelming and honestly unfair to just ‘throw the book’ at a 12 year old boy. However, the Young’s recommend using this as ‘a tool’ and not as the ‘answer’.

This book is a great way to spark conversations and guide you through the process of educating and supporting your son in this area. I plan on using this book to help my son understand things and build strategies to help with temptations after we have had some initial conversations.

Love, Honor, and Virtue deals with sexuality, pornography, the biological process of childbirth from conception through delivery and  tackles sexual temptation. There is even a section on male and female relationships including dating/courting and friendships. I love that particularly in the section on dating/courting they give suggestions and ideas but are careful not to give mandates where the Bible does not give mandates.

I particularly love the five point defense that they teach young men to use as they deal with temptation. It is geared towards sexual temptation but could be used with other temptations as well. First, leave or change the situation. Then they suggest prayer. Followed by reading relevant scripture and then singing to the Lord. Finally, go to your authorities (parents, counselors, etc). These five steps can help our young men as they face the many temptations  present in today’s world. They expand upon each of these strategies in chapter four.

There are many references to scripture throughout the book to consistently bring us back to what the Bible says about sexuality and sexual temptation. They address computers and the ease of access to pornography, sexting, and other modern temptations that were not an issue a generation or two ago. The end of each chapter has a summary of what was discussed. This is a great review of what was covered and a great place for a parent to get ideas for discussion points.

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As a mom, it can be tempting to want to hide my head in the sand and pretend that my son won’t face those temptations and issues. However, that does a severe disservice to my son. While I do not believe my son is ready for this material just yet (he is on the youngest end of the recommended ages),  I intend to use this book with him to help facilitate conversations about these topics. Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is an open and frank book discussing the sexual temptations that many young men face in today’s world. If you are parenting younger children, checkout my review No Longer Little (Book Review) about parenting tweens. Great Waters Press has a variety of other books and materials to help you on this parenting journey.

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

No Longer Little (Book Review)

I am currently in an interesting stage of life where I have two preteens, a preschooler, and an infant. I wouldn’t change it for the world but it sure makes life interesting. Life with two tweens (ages 12 and 10) brings a different set of both joys and challenges than the younger years. As my husband and I work together to navigate these new waters I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope  by Great Waters Press.

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope was written by Hal and Melanie Young and is geared towards parents of children ages 8-14. It it written in a very smooth and easy to read style that while packed with information does not feel ‘clinical’ as some parenting books tend to feel. I was blessed to be able to read it while enjoying some family time at the river and it didn’t feel like I was doing ‘work’.

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While I think it is beneficial to read this book the whole way through, I also appreciate that there is an index in the back to help you find information and suggestions on particular topics. I see this a book that I can reference while we work through various issues during these tween and teen years. For example, I could use the index to find more information on hormone changes, jealousy, or even career planning.

Chapter 3: Brains Turn to Mush might just be my favorite chapter. I had noticed this phenomenon begin with my son several years ago but I did not really understand why or how it happened. I certainly did not realize that is was a normal part of development. I was prepared for the outward signs of the beginning of puberty (hair growth, voice changing, etc) and even the emotional roller coaster that can accompany hormones, but I was not prepared for his brain to turn to mush. I did not understand what was happening when he suddenly could not seem to remember to follow simple instructions. As the Young’s stated, “Kids that could concentrate and remember what they were doing last year suddenly can’t, once the hormones start flowing. They can’t.”

What a relief to realize that it was not just us! While it is still frustrating some days, understanding the science behind it makes it easier to handle and gives hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. They shared that “Neurologists say that during early adolescence, these parts of the brain actually unravel; there truly is a temporary loss of function as the neurons re-assemble into their adult configurations.” I really needed their reminder and instructions on making sure that I preserve a love of learning during this more difficult time so that when things level out again we are ready to move forward academically.

Sometimes God sends us a message that we need to hear through a book (or in my case multiple books that I’m reading this summer). In the last chapter, Hal and Melanie talk about how people often assume that we will have a bad or tumultuous relationship with our teens, but it does not have to be that way. If we give focused attention to keeping our relationships intact during these tween years, we can have wonderful and connected relationships. We have to, “protect your relationship with your tweens. Keep teaching them truth in that context- a loving, healthy communicating relationship. And trust God for the results.”

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope was so encouraging and helpful. It was the perfect mix of encouragement and practical suggestions. My one regret is that I did not have this book several years ago when we started going through some of these challenges with my oldest. If you are a parent, especially of a child in the 8-14 range, I highly encourage you to read this book. The strategies are practical, Biblically based, and very helpful. Perhaps just as important as the strategies, this book will help you understand that what is going on with your child is normal and you are not alone.

Check out these other Crew Reviews and check back tomorrow for my review of their book, Love, Honor, and Virtue Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

 

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Pocketful of Pinecones

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Pocketful of Pinecones (aff) had been on my ‘to-read’ list for quite some time. I purchased it months ago and finally had the chance to read it. I often describe our schooling style as ‘Charlotte Mason-Eclectic’ and I love nature study. Even with my love of nature study we don’t do it as often as I’d like so simple easy ideas are always welcome.

Since my reading time has been more limited over the last few years I’ve tended toward nonfiction titles that I felt were beneficial to my growth, but I’ve missed the fun fictional books. This book was the best of both worlds. It is a book with ideas and thoughts about nature study woven into a fictional story.

The story is set in New England in the mid 1930s. It shares the story of Carol and her children as they embark on their first year of homeschooling. The book is divided into seasons and each chapter is a diary entry from the mom sharing what they did that day. The chapters are short and easy to read, making it a great choice for a busy mom that may not have long stretches of time to read.

She shares ideas of how they found various things to study in their nature study, working on their nature journals, books for learning more, and great quotes and copy work.  At the end of each chapter there is at least one question to help you follow up and apply that chapter to your own nature study with your children.

While I really loved this book, I do feel like I should mention that it was a little unrealistic in a happy ‘hallmark movie’ kind of way. While they had a few difficult situations, everything always wrapped up very nicely and more simply than what I tend to experience in real life.

If you are new to nature study this is a great book for giving you ideas to get started and understand more about what nature study might look like in your home. If like me, you have been doing nature study for awhile this book can help give you fresh ideas and reignite that excitement about sharing nature with your students.

The author, Karen Androla has another book about this family, Lessons at Blackberry Inn (aff) which I’m hoping to purchase and read soon. She also has a non-fiction text, A Charlotte Mason Companion (aff), which I have found to be very useful in understanding the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

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FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

Read Aloud Family Chapter 8: Set Yourself Up for Success

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‘Books are like watermelon’

Have you ever worked really hard to set up the perfect read aloud setting? You know…made tea and crumpets with jam, adjusted the chairs (or beanbag pillows) just so? Only to have a toddler melt-down? An older kid suddenly remember an assignment or project that they must do? Bath time take longer than you planned? Unfortunately, more times than I care to admit we’ve lost the opportunity and wound up not reading at all.

There is something wonderful and fun about baking treats and setting up a fun ‘book club’ culture for your read aloud, BUT sometimes that just isn’t the reality. I find that especially when you are dealing with preschoolers and young children sometimes you just need to take the opportunity and read.

If I spend 20 or 30 minutes getting everything ready I may miss the opportunity. If I keep books lying around in plain sight, I’m more likely to remember to just stop and spend a few minutes reading. I don’t have to wait until we have a whole afternoon to spend reading. Just 10 minutes a day can allow us to work our way through a book.

Another lesson that I learned in setting myself up for success is to not wait until evening. While we occasionally read in the evening, I found that I’m much less likely to read if I wait. After dinner time tends to get taken up quickly with clean up, baths, etc. and the preschooler gets tired and disruptive. If I go ahead and read before dinner or in the morning, we are much more likely to actually read.

Screen time is an often debated and sometimes controversial topic but I think the points she brings up in this chapter are so very important. While every family has to make their own rules about screen time it is important to remember that even as adults the lure of screens can take us away from better options. I love the analogy of books being like watermelon and screens like candy. If I offer my children watermelon, they are happy and enjoy the sweet juicy (healthy) treat.  However, like most children if I give them a choice between watermelon and candy they are likely to choose candy. There is nothing wrong with candy in moderation, just like screens but it important that we help our children make books the default choice.

In order to help with that screen time balance and to help make books the default she suggests, “instead of certain times of day when screens are not an option, set times when they are. “ This helps keep the parents from constantly having to answer questions about screen time and helps other options like reading and active play as the default activities.

I know in our family the more screen time I allow, the more they crave. We have occasionally taken a week long fast from screens and after a couple of day they stop missing them and return to naturally enjoying other activities.

Overall, keep it simple, keep books accessible, and make reading a default choice. In doing these things we set ourselves up for success in reading aloud. What simple changes can you make to help make reading the default in your family culture?

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

You Are An Artist is having a 25% off sale this week on several of their programs including American Landmarks, Sharks, Backyard Nature Study, Seashores and more. There are some great free lessons you can try to see if this program is a good fit for your kids.

Art Adventures with ChalkPastel.com

If you are looking for a reasonably priced homeschool curriculum to get you going next year then this is a great deal! We use it for my preschooler as well as select courses for my middle schooler. The price is for all the classes for all of the children in your home and this is a great 3 day sale! By Fall they will have over 400 courses all included for that same price! https://schoolhouseteachers.com/dap/a/?a=59468 (ref)

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Read Aloud Family Chapter 7: Debunking 5 Myths

read aloud family

Years ago when I first started homeschooling, I had visions of us all sitting curled up on the couch with me reading.  The children would be sitting quietly with their full attention tuned to what I was reading. Sound familiar? That vision was never our reality. Thankfully it did not take me long to figure out that my son was not going to sit quietly and contentedly for me to read. However, if I gave him something to occupy his hands, we could still enjoy many great books together.

This is what myth four in chapter 7 of the Read Aloud Family(aff) is all about. ”My kids should be sitting still while I read aloud to them.” For many children sitting still will actually make it harder for them to focus on what you are reading. By providing something for their hands (and sometimes bodies) to do their brains can more easily focus on the story. My daughter enjoys coloring, crafting and my oldest son tends to build with Legos or sketch in his notebook. My four year old will color, build with blocks, or play in a sensory bin. He even tends to wander around the room if I’m reading a chapter book but as long as he isn’t disruptive we let him go. He will sit with me to read picture books with him and we talk about the pictures and the story.

Another myth that hits close to home is myth number two, “It only counts as reading aloud if you do the reading yourself.” We love to listen to audio books while we ride. I can’t read aloud in the car because I get car sick but a good story makes the miles go by quicker (and more peacefully). Sometimes this feels a bit like ‘cheating’ since I’m not actually doing the reading but the children are still getting the benefits of a read aloud. We have listened to many stories as a family while driving. In addition to the benefits of the read aloud (vocabulary, story, etc), it makes long drives so much more pleasant. I’m sure we aren’t the only family who struggles with unrest during long car rides.  The children tend to ride more contentedly with less arguing when there is a story being told.

While all 5 myths are important, the one that I needed to hear most and that I’m still working on remembering is, “light books don’t count.” Light books most certainly count and can have a great many benefits. There are so many classics that I want my children to know, it can be hard to remember that it really can be beneficial to read light and fun books together as a family.  Like many things in life, there is a time and place for classics and a time and place for light and fun books. We recently read Mr. Lemoncellos’s Library. The children, and myself, laughed through most of the book. It was fun to just enjoy a funny story together.

Remember it doesn’t have to look like the picture in your mind, be an extended process (even ten minutes of reading is beneficial), be a classic book, or even be you doing the reading for your family to get the benefits of reading aloud. Don’t wait for the perfect time or even the perfect book. Grab a book from your shelf and get started today! Which myth most resonated with your family?

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Poetry Pack from Write Shop! 20 Printable Activities and Worksheets, including: Practice exercises, brainstorming worksheets, poem planning worksheets, word banks, and colorful lined writing pages

You Are An Artist is having a 25% off sale this week on several of their programs including American Landmarks, Sharks, Backyard Nature Study, Seashores and more. There are some great free lessons you can try to see if this program is a good fit for your kids.

Art Adventures with ChalkPastel.com

If you are looking for a reasonably priced homeschool curriculum to get you going next year then this is a great deal! We use it for my preschooler as well as select courses for my middle schooler. The price is for all the classes for all of the children in your home and this is a great 3 day sale! By Fall they will have over 400 courses all included for that same price! https://schoolhouseteachers.com/dap/a/?a=59468 (ref)

america-meme