Here’s a look at the books Chickadee is currently reading. Other than Winnie-the-Pooh, which I’m reading out loud with her as part of her latest literature study, she’s reading them all on her own. I love how varied her interests are!
Some of the books we’ll be using to learn about South Korea during this year’s Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang have already been covered in our “Learning About Asia” book list. I looked for some new titles (many by Linda Sue Park, who is of Korean heritage), with good reviews though, (to be honest, however, we don’t have them all at home, and I don’t know yet if we’ll be able to get them from the library), and also found a new cookbook, so we’ll be trying some Korean cuisine, as well!
- All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More
- If You Were Me and Lived in…South Korea
- Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairytale
- Seesaw Girl
- The Kite Fighters
- A Single Shard
- When My Name was Keoko
- The Firekeeper’s Son
- The Korean Cinderella
- Bee-Bim Bop!
- Tales of a Korean Grandmother
- The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale
- Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking: Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook
Yesterday, the children and I hopped on the train into downtown St. Louis so we could visit the big Central Library.
While I’ve been meaning to take the tour there for quite some time, I really wanted to see the maps exhibit they currently have on display. We started in the Great Hall (which I learned used to be called the “Delivery Room”), where they have covered the floor with a whimsically illustrated map of St. Louis. While most of the pictures are easy to identify, there is also a legend on the wall, giving the history behind every location. We were able to find almost all of our favorite St. Louis places…except for Seamus McDaniel’s and the Missouri Botanical Garden!
There were also a few maps from literature in the Great Hall, including Bunny’s favorite from the Harry Potter series:
The exhibit continued in the third floor Carnegie Room, where they have different fictional maps from many great books on display. We all enjoyed locating some of our favorites, including Hogwarts, Middle Earth, and even the map from my favorite childhood book, The Phantom Tollbooth.
This exhibit will be on display through October 15, so if you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit the Central Library, you still have plenty of time!
I’ve shared my top five books list before…I thought I should also share my five favorite children’s books (there is one books common to both lists!):
- The Phantom Tollbooth–This is my absolute favorite children’s book, and one I enjoy as an adult, as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished I could visit Dictionopolis for myself!
- Ramona the Pest–I’ve read this book so many times, I can no longer tell what I’m remembering from my own kindergarten experience, and what is just in the book. I think it is the definitive book on being in kindergarten!
- Henry Reed’s Journey–I read all of the Henry Reed books as a child, and enjoyed each one. This is the one that I really looked forward to reading to my children, however, because I love the Reed/Glass adventure across America.
- The Monster at the End of this Book–I remember this book from my childhood, and then again as a teen and young adult when I would babysit. Now I read it to my children. I still laugh every time!
- In Grandma’s Attic–Really, I could just list the entire Grandma’s Attic series, but if I have to pick one, it’s the first in the series, and the first one I read. I still remember where I purchased it, and where I was when I read the first chapter.
I read many, many books as a child, and even more as read-clouds over the years to my children, so it was hard to narrow it down, but these are my absolute favorites!
Every summer around Independence Day, I like to make sure that the children are learning about the time of the American Revolution (and the time from about the French and Indian War until about the time of the War of 1812, just to provide some context), even if we’re also doing something else in summer school. We’ve found quite a few books that we all enjoy that focus on that period of time, as well as American symbolism and history in general:
- Children’s Encyclopedia of American History
- Struggle for a Continent (This is the third in a series of books.. the first two, Exploration and Conquest and The New Americans, are also excellent!)
- Liberty or Death
- A New Nation
- A More Perfect Union
- Paul Revere’s Ride
- Revolutionary War on a Wednesday
- American Girl Felicity Series
- American Girl Caroline Series
- You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party
- If You Were There in Colonial Times
- If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
- If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
- Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia
- Benjamin Franklin: A Man of Many Talents
- Ben and Me
- Mr. Revere and I
- Who Was George Washington?
- George Washington’s World
- George vs. George
- George Washington and the General’s Dog
- George Washington’s Socks
- Who Was Thomas Jefferson?
- Abigail Adams: First Lady of the American Revolution
- Molly Pitcher: Young Patriot
- Toliver’s Secret
- The Secret Solider
- The Fourth of July Story
- Johnny Tremain
- Letters for Freedom–The American Revolution
- The American Revolution for Kids
- Great Colonial American Projects
- Red, White, and Blue–The Story of the American Flag
- O, Say Can You See?
- Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
- How the U.S. Government Works
- N is for Our Nation’s Capital
Of course, we have to add a few DVDs to our studies:
And a few CDs, as well:
While we don’t have lots of special activities and crafts in school for this holiday like we do for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is one of my five favorite holidays of the year, so I like to make sure we’re at least doing a little something special! Stay tuned for details on our Fourth of July tea party!
Our summer school this year is focusing on the history of baseball, particularly as it pertains to American history. We’ll be looking at things like WWII and the Civil Rights Movement, and the impact they had on our national pastime. I have to admit, the reading list is slightly biased towards the Cardinals, but what can I say…they are “America’s Team!” We’ll also be taking a few field trips…a Busch Stadium tour, a Cardinals game, and a visit to the new Cardinals hall of fame (I warned you that it’s going to be Cardinals biased!). This is one of the most exciting summer school units I’ve planned so far…I can’t wait to get started!
- Casey at the Bat
- Who’s on First?
- Baseball: An Illustrated History
- DK Eyewitness Books: Baseball
- Brothers at Bat
- Baseball Saved Us
- We are the Ship
- H is for Home Run
- F is for Fenway
- W is for Wrigley
- There Goes Ted Williams
- Henry Aaron’s Dream
- A Whole New Ball Game
- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
- Babe Ruth: One of Baseball’s Greatest
- Jackie Robinson: Young Sports Trailblazer
- Roberto Clemente: Young Ball Player
- Lou Gehrig: One of Baseball’s Greatest
- Baseball’s Best: Five True Stories
- Jackie Robinson and the Story of All-Black Baseball
- 100 Things Cardinals Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die
- One Last Strike
- Stan Musial: An American Life
- Official Rules of Major League Baseball
- Story of Baseball Coloring Book
- Roadside Baseball
- The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip
- Ballpark Mysteries Series (Link goes to book one of nine)
- Baseball Math
- Baseball: How it Works
- St. Louis Cardinals 2014 Official Media Guide
We’ll also be using a few non-book resources for our studies:
- Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns
- Baseball’s Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game Six
- The Red Sox Album
And a few movies, just for fun:
- A League of Their Own
- Field of Dreams
- The Natural
- The Sandlot
- Bad News Bears
Today marks the end of our month-long study of the Reformation. Here’s a review of all the things we learned and the fun we had!
We made eight lapbooks, one as an overview of the people and events of the Reformation, and the other seven focusing on different Reformers.
We also learned about seven rulers (plus Pope Leo X), and completed a notebooking sheet for each.
Of course, everyone’s favorite part of our studies were the crafts. We designed our own coat-of-arms:
Made stained “glass” windows:
Illuminated letters and practiced being scribes:
Made a banner to hang in our school room:
And, of course, made Luther’s Seal:
We also listened to a lot of music, some by Luther, some by Bach, and some by other Lutheran hymn writers.
We were supposed to go on two field trips this month. The first one was a visit to the Saxon Lutheran Memorial Fall Festival in Frohna, MO, I had to cancel that on account of fog, which was disappointing because it’s one of our favorite events every year. Our other field trip, that actually worked out, was going to the Seminary in St. Louis to hear Ryan sing “Ein Feste Burg” with the American Kantorei as part of the Bach at the Sem series. That same day, we also got to attend a fun Reformation Celebration at our church.
We even enjoyed a German meal at home on Reformation Day! Jägerschnitzel with buttered noodles and sauerkraut for dinner (with Leinie’s Oktoberfest beer for those of drinking age!), and homemade apple strudel for dessert…delicious!
This was a fun way to spend the month of October, and I’m glad I finally came up with an in-depth unit for us to learn all about the Reformation!
I’m trying something new this year…I put our curriculum together myself! I needed to find something for Turkey and Bunny’s fourth grade year, and Ladybug’s kindergarten year. I wanted some things they could do together, and some grade-appropriate things, and I also wanted to continue the survey of American History that we began last year. I don’t think I’ll be doing this assembly every year…I just couldn’t find what I was looking for this time around, so I decided to try it myself. Never say never, though…if it goes well, maybe I’ll look into doing it again in the future!
- One Hundred Bible Stories, and, for Turkey and Bunny, the accompanying Activity Book
- The Story Bible
- Hero of Faith Series
- Inside the Reformation
- Daily Life at the Time of Jesus
- Bible Handbook for Students
- Luther’s Small Catechism
- Treasury of Daily Prayer
For Turkey and Bunny:
Latin (Only Turkey and Bunny will have formal Latin studies, but Ladybug is welcome to listen along and absorb vocabulary!)
History/Geography–We’re studying the Civil War to the present day. I tried to make sure every decade from then to now was covered either in a history book or a read-aloud.
- A History of US
- Children’s Encyclopedia of American History
- Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times
- National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers
- Lincoln: A Photobiography
- Chicago History for Kids
- Great WWII Projects You Can Build Yourself
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, plus the Notebooking Journal (for Turkey and Bunny), and the Junior Notebooking Journal (for Ladybug), and the Lab Kit
- First Human Body Encyclopedia
- See Inside Your Body
- Flip-Flap Body Book
- The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
- Smart Lab Squishy Human Body
- Concordia Publishing House’s Learning About Sex series
- The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series DVDs
- Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany, plus the Notebooking Journal (for Turkey and Bunny), and the Junior Notebooking Journal (for Ladybug), and the Lab Kit–We won’t be using this until probably the last third of the school year, once we’ve finished our anatomy study, and we’ll also be using this at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year!
- Kumon My First Book of Cutting and My First Book of Pasting (for Ladybug)
- The Classical Kids Collection volumes one and two
- Story of the Orchestra
- A Child’s Introduction to Ballet
- A Child’s Book of Art
Read-Alouds–I’m not sure we’ll get to all of these, but whatever we don’t read out loud will be turned into book basket selections.
- Turn Homeward, Hannalee
- The Great Turkey Walk
- Henry Ford: Young Man With Ideas
- Bully For You, Teddy Roosevelt!
- Bread and Roses, Too
- War Horse
- Letters From Rifka
- All of a Kind Family
- A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt
- Miracle on Maple Hill
- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
- Team Moon
- Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam
- The Wall Trilogy–This is the one wild card in my curriculum. I stumbled across this series, which focuses on the Berlin Wall from it’s conception through its fall. I’m hoping the series works out…I couldn’t find anything else that I wanted to use that covered this period of time.
Bonus Read-Alouds (a few special titles I specifically wanted to share with Ladybug in her Kindergarten year, in addition to our regular read-alouds.)
- Ramona the Pest
- The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature
- The Year at Maple Hill Farm
- Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm
- A Robert McCloskey Collection
- Mike Mulligan and More
Hopefully I didn’t leave any books (or whole subjects!) out. I won’t even try to list all of the book basket titles we’ll be using, but some of the series will include You Wouldn’t Want to…, If You…, Childhood of Famous Americans, Who Was…?, and multiple American Girl series (those focusing on historical, albeit fictional, characters Addy, Samantha, Rebecca, Kit, Molly, and Julie). This list also doesn’t include the books we’ll be using for our Thanksgiving and Christmas units…and those lists are plenty extensive themselves!
I really have to question the dedication of the librarians at our city’s public library.
The children and I were at the library this week, turning in logs for the summer reading program, and checking out books. While we were at the desk, Moose asked me what was upstairs. I realized the children had never seen the upstairs of the library, because that’s where the adult non-fiction books are kept, and while I’ve been up there, it’s never been at a time when the children were with me, even though I almost always choose non-fiction books for myself.
Before I could answer him, the librarian that was scanning our books interjected: “Oh, you don’t want to go up there. All that’s up there is boring books.”
Seriously? Did the librarian, someone who should be fostering a love of books and reading in children and adults alike, just tell my children that once you’re an adult, books are boring? Or that reading non-fiction is boring? Or even that a whole section of the institution for which she works is boring?
Now, maybe she was trying to save me the trouble of taking the children upstairs to satisfy their curiosity. But really, she should have left that for me to deal with. Or maybe she thought that they’d be an annoyance to the (occasionally) more serious crowd that frequents the non-fiction stacks. I’ve seen the adults up there, however, and most of them are checking e-mail on the library’s computers, or getting out of the heat, or reading a newspaper, not doing serious research. I’m hoping that her observation didn’t reflect her personal opinions regarding those books. Regardless of her motivation, though…telling my children that an entire floor of the library is filled with boring books? Completely irresponsible, and at complete odds with what her job is supposed to be!