Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

January is always a fun month to focus on the seasons.  When you get snow, you can plan some fun activities with it, and it’s great to take a day off and enjoy  the snow.  Whether you get snow or not, here are  a few fun school related activities that you could do as you enjoy this season:

1. Grow your own snowflakes: This is a fun science and art activity for January.  Using borax, water, and pipe cleaners, you can make your own snowflakes.  These are fun to make!  Here’s a link with step by step directions: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/winter/crystalsnowflake/

2. Winter Art Projects: This is a great time of year to add a little more art into your homeschool. Art Projects for Kids is a great website with many excellent art ideas that don’t need a lot of materials and are fun to do. Surprise your kids one morning by starting with art – they will love the change in routine. :) Here’s a link to some winter art projects: http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/search/label/winter

3. Winter Acrostic Poem: Write the word WINTER down the side of your page, and describe it with words or phrases starting with each of those letters.

4. Write step by step directions for how to build a snowman, or how to build a snow fort (and then, if there is snow, try to follow those directions and build it!)

5. Find a good read aloud and curl up on the couch together and read.

If you get snowy days, enjoy them, and be sure to take some time to play outside in the snow with your kids!

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One of the best things about homeschooling has got to be the time spent reading together.  I’ve  enjoyed sharing some of my old favourites with my kids and have discovering some new favourites as well!  Whenever we start a new unit, I try to find a read aloud to tie into what we are learning about.  Books are a great hook to draw the kids into a topic.  I will often begin a read aloud before I start a unit, so that once we start, the kids are already interested and have some background information.  Of course, some read alouds are not specifically connected to our units, but are just plain fun!

Here are some of our favourites:

Charlotte’s Web Who doesn’t love Charlotte’s Web?  I read this with younger boys this fall, and they couldn’t wait for the next chapter…  My first grader loved it, although the final chapter made him sad.

The Great Turkey Walk This is an absolutely fun story about a boy herding turkeys; we all laughed our way through it!

The Little Britches Series These were a new find for me when I started homeschooling.  The first two especially are fun to read aloud together; they make you realize what family is all about.

Henry Reed Inc. A great story about a boy’s adventures, more adventures, and money making schemes.

A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder These two books are set in the Depression, and tell the story of a boy and girl who go to stay with their grandma during a summer, and then for a year.  They are both very fun to read!

The Sign of the Beaver This is a great story of how a boy survives in the wilderness on his own, with the help of an Indian chief and his grandson who befriend him.

The Endless Steppe We read this book this year when we were learning about Europe and Asia.  It’s a sad but hopeful book which is set in the second world world, and tells the story of a family deported to Siberia from Poland, and their struggles and triumphs.

Number the Stars This is another book set in the second world war.  It is a hopeful story, telling the story about how the people of Denmark managed to save most of the Jewish people who lived among them.

Master Cornhill We are just finishing this book, set in England in the 1660’s.  This is a great book that brings that time period in history to life; well written and detailed.  (It is written by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and we’ve really enjoyed other historical fiction she has written as well).

These are just a few of the many good books out there.  I hope you all are enjoying reading together with your families!  If you are looking for some good family read alouds, or just plain good books, Honey for A Child’s Heart has excellent suggestions, and Sonlight also has great ideas and suggestions.

Do you have any books that your family has loved to read together?  I’d love to hear about them!

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