The Family

The Family

Monday, August 17, 2015

On The Nightstand

We've been reading, reading, reading around here lately.

For the Kids:
I have a 1960 copy of a folk and fairytale edition Childcraft book. It includes everything from Aesop's fables to classics like "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Rumpelstiltskin" and "The Princess and the Pea." Three of my favorites ended up being stories I'd never heard before: "Salt" (an old Russian folk tale), "The Fisherman and His Wife" and "Snow White and Rose Red" (who knew Snow White had a sister?). We finished this book just last night, and Jack is already asking to start it again. I'm so glad he's gotten into fairy tales. I had tried reading this book before, but gave up quickly when it was apparent he had no interest in the stories. I was beginning to think he was going to grow up and never have heard things like "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." This will serve him well this fall because fairy tales is the theme for his clay class this October.

We are also on the last chapter of "Robinson Crusoe." This read through with the children is my first time reading the classic novel. I put it on my list a couple of years ago when I read an article in which the author claimed to be forever changed by the adventurous story when his father read it to him when he was eight. Since Jack is fast approaching this milestone, I figured it was time to give it a try. How do I know he's taking it all in? Case in point: last night he was talking to someone about going on an adventure. His story was complete with a cave and a foot print, and he looked at me and said, "Like Robinson Crusoe mom!".

My Reading:
Anthony Trollope. Never heard of this Victorian author? Don't feel bad. I hadn't either until this summer. I came across an article about him and would have felt like a complete moron for not knowing about his work if the author hadn't made it clear that the name Trollope, unlike his counterpart Dickens, is a widely unknown name for such a popular novelist. I read "The Way We Live Now" and am looking forward to spending more time with his works this fall.

"The Well-Trained Mind" had been on my list since spring. As a homeschooling mom I'm always looking for solid content related to both practical and rigorous study and the ways to go about presenting content with my own children. I was initially intimidated by some of the suggestions, then I sat down and looked through some of the material recommended in the book and realized it was exactly the direction I wanted to go. The book is broken into grades 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12. I stopped at the end of the 1-4 section, because let me tell you, that was a whole lot to absorb. I'll make my way to the later grades once we get there.

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