Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in books (17)


Book reviews

For the sake of keeping this blog dedicated to our homeschooling journey, and this section of the blog dedicated to resources used on that quest, I have removed all of my personal book reviews to my Blogger site Finding Time for Proust. Calvin's reviews will remain here, as well as any reviews I have written for resources we've used or books we've read together or for the purpose of homeschooling. If you are looking for my personal book reviews, or the reviews that I write for Book List, I hope you will join me at Finding Time for Proust.


Weekly book shelf, 5/14

We are on vacation this week, soaking up sun and surprising warmth that we didn't even have to leave Michigan to find. For years I have packed for vacations with the idea that, being a vacation, I'd have lots of extra reading time, but have yet to see those plans fulfilled. I have been known to stow extra books away in odd parts of my luggage only to unpack them, untouched and almost forgotten, upon our return home. The same was not quite true for Calvin—he seemed to squeeze in plenty of reading time, even though he spent all of his beach time flirting with the incredibly frigid water—but he mostly re-read favorites, like Nate the Great and some of the Magic Tree House.

 Here's some of what Calvin was reading this week:.

Berkeley Breathed is the Bloom County cartoonist and we enjoy both his art and his story telling in Pete & Pickles. The book is a little dark—there's references made to death and loss (Pete's wife has died in the past), to depression (Pete, again), and to mistreatment of animals (Pickles in the circus). There is also allusion to modern art and geographic locations, and the tale of friendship and its happy ending is very uplifting. The illustrations in the book actually start out dark and gloomy, then end full of color and life, mirroring the movement of the story itself. We got this book for Calvin two years ago for Christmas and it has been a favorite ever since.

We still have exactly two chapters left in Glinda of Oz, at this point, but are really making headway with the Aeneid, and now he's asking to read the Iliad and the Odyssey. I was thinking I'd track down copies of the "For Boys and Girls" versions of these, also by Church.

And on my bookshelf this week... in fiction I finished Delta of Venus, by Anaïs Nin. In non-fiction I finished with The Monk in the Garden, by Robin Marantz Henig, and am waiting for my copy of Beasts in the Garden, the brand new Erik Larson, to arrive on Tuesday before I get started on a new one.


Egyptian volcanoes

It has been a really long time since I shared any of Calvin's art, or really anything at all in this space other than book reviews. I wish I could say that was just a matter of not posting, but actually we haven't done much art as of late—we've been reading a lot of and playing make-believe, but other than that we've been outside and most of our activities have just been general day to day things that I've written about in the journal. I've been trying to sort out how I'll use this space on the site now that I use the journal space so much more, and so much more inclusively. Right now it's becoming mostly a book review site, and we're even in a transition on that front. Now that Calvin reads so much more on his own we are going through our read alouds more slowly and in the past I've only asked him to write reviews on the read alouds. Though we usually talk about the books he's read after he finishes them, and sometimes he still reads to me, he's not excessively fond of writing reviews so I haven't asked him to do so more often than before. So that leaves us with the weekly bookshelf post, lots of my own book reviews, and a handful of Calvin's for right now. But I have other plans in the works. I think we just go in spurts, that's all.

And today Calvin has some art to share. He specifically asked for these to be posted here. These drawings are a result of a rediscovery of the Egyptian hieroglyph stamps and a still active fascination with volcanoes. Note his creation of hieroglyphs for "volcano" and "dangerous lava", or so he tells me they mean.


Sick day–art in bed

A sore throat, a sore head. A bed piled high with armfuls of favorite books and art supplies. An entire afternoon with no phone, no distractions, just books, imaginations, and snuggles. We read book after book and created our own illustrations for them. We spent the entire afternoon right there, book after book, picture after picture. I was tired and achy and this was a better way than I could ever have imagined to spend the afternoon, having fun together and still getting the requisite rest.

Time Flies

Great Lakes Great Ships

We spent a good hour with the D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants (now their Book of Norse Myths)

And because we're going to see African Sky on stage tomorrow, Bringng the Rain to Kapiti Plain.

And of course we couldn't forget our newest Oz, The Scarecrow of Oz.

I'm linking to Saturday's Artist at Ordinary Life Magic. I love the virtual parade of art there.


color-by-number 100s chart

It needs no more description than that, I think. To give Calvin a little more familiarity with numbers I printed a handful of hundreds charts and thought up a few blocky pictures to go on them, then every once in a while when we're bored I take one out and we play for a while. I call out a number, which he finds, and tell him what color it should be. Sometimes, as the game progresses, I'll add a little math (find 58, subtract 10, make that square blue). He thinks it's hilarious (mostly because my picture designs are from stellar) and he's becoming more and more comfortable playing around with numbers, which adds to and supports what he's getting from the other games we play.

We took a chart with us to the library today for him to do while I was sorting books. Not a particularly good idea, as it turns out, since in the end it took me twice as long to sort books and I told him wrong colors a couple of times, too. Plus he probably would have been just as happy helping me with the books, but there was only a handful today anyhow. And we brought home two great ones for our freebies (a thank you for helping), one was an Usborne book of knights and castles, and the other the Audubon field guide to North American animals.

We also spent some more time on our paintings today. I think we're close to being able to eat at our dinner table again. We'll see.