Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What's On Our Reading List...HomeSchool Edition

I love to read. These days I have to make myself read more than I used to. I know this may be hard to believe, but growing up, there was no such thing as the call of the Internet. I didn't even have an email until I was 19. And that was on dial up. We didn't watch television.

Thus, we had to read. And we got to explore the wonders of worlds far beyond ours.

Which is why I have a tremendous desire to travel. It is so much fun to finely visit a location where so many books have been set. To walk the streets and experience the culture. And then, the next time you read a book set in that location, you can delve into your memories to visualize what things are like.

The Barefoot Hippies are at the end of an era. We have finished the Harry Potter books. It took us over a year of lunches, interspersed with Team of Rivals. End of summer, end of series. Left wondering if we will ever find another series that rivals HP...Sigh...

Thankfully, I have a plan. Not for another series, but I do have a reading list that we will be diving into first thing today. (did I mention it's our first day of school???) In conjunction with our new unit study/traditional/classical education plan, I have several reading lists put together. This is the first year I have put together reading list, though Mr. Hippie and I have been discussing it for several years. 

I made a individual reading list for each of my readers, plus myself, plus one for our literary lunch hours. The boys have over a dozen books on their lists. LC has far less. 

On these lists are books written between 1600 and 1800, biographies of people from this period, as well as fiction and non fiction set in this period. 

The kids will be reading such classics as Ivanhoe, Tale of Two Cities, Pilgrim's Progress, and Robinson Crusoe. Some will be abridged, and some won't, depending on reading and difficulty levels.

They also will be reading biographies of Christians and famous characters from this time period. Notables like the Wesley brothers, David Brainard, Oliver Cromwell, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin.

Also on our reading list our books dealing with specific events. Things like the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War, the French and Indian War, French Revolution, and much more.

There is overlap of ideas, events and people in many of the books. The different genres will serve to reinforce the different facts and ideas. 

As for our literary lunch hours, I am hoping to read through David McCollough's John Adams and 1776. I might also pick one or two of the fiction titles that made it on all the lists to read on Fridays with the kids.

I personally will also be reading some books from this period. Sharpening my own saw. I have wanted to read the book, Our Oldest Enemy, since I first saw a review several years ago. This will be the year for it. I also saw a novel called Old Manor House from the 1600s. It bridges the  Goth and Classical genres. I am going to read it, and if it is appropriate, I will have BMV read it also. I am planning to read many of the books I am having the boys read, A Tale of Two Cities, Ivanhoe, Ben Franklin's autobiography.  

I am trying to figure out a time to have a book discussion each day or week. This will give us an opportunity to talk about what each one is learning. I also will have the boys write a book report or biography for each book they read. Alternating the two types of reports will teach different writing and thinking skills. And now I am just thinking aloud, but maybe our "discussions" will be them verbally giving their report. That's an idea...

My main focus in Kindergarten is to get my kids reading well. I have succeeded with 3 kids so far. Meres will break the mold. You have to know that...

Why do I stress learning to read in Kindergarten? I am a firm believer in the concept that if you can read, you can teach yourself anything. If my kids can read books for themselves, they can discover facts and knowledge without me having to be teaching them every bit of it. Which is key in covering time periods. I don't know everything about this time period we are studying. I will be increasing my knowledge along with my kids increasing theirs. We each will be learning at our own pace.

Do you have a reading list for yourself? For your kids? What is on it for this year?

For other reading list ideas, check out...