Friday, December 28, 2012

December Read Alouds

Ok, first, let me say that with all of the pre-Christmas book recommendations (I'm looking at you, Melissa Wiley) I kind of glutted on reading lists. It was true overload; I forgot most of the mental notes I made as I read, and thus will have to go back, and write them down next time. In the meantime, I'm going back to basics. The new year is coming; check back for a failsafe list of classics we're resolving to read/reread, aloud as a family.

As a sort of ongoing school project, the kids keep a "title collection." This is a suggestion from our advisor at St Thomas Aquinas Academy, where I've had at least some of the kids enrolled. To collect a title, we read a book together (the older ones can add books they've read on their own), make a photocopy of the cover, and sign and date the photocopy. Sometimes they'll color in a black and white copy. Sometimes they write or narrate something about the book on the back. I've toyed with the idea of letting them copy an illustration from the book, maybe instead of the cover photocopy. Some of them would jump all over that.

The advisor for our homeschool program recommends many awesome things to do in our homeschool. I attempt them all, but, well, it's me. I don't always follow through. This one, though, really tickles me. Admittedly, my implementation of it is inconsistent, but the kids like it and it gives me an idea of what may have slipped through the cracks for somebody. I lean pretty heavily on Elizabeth Foss's early booklists for picture books, and some others (see, I collect whole title lists!) and I have my own favorites in our collection. You want to make sure everybody hears the good ones—and there really are so many good ones. We don't add every title we read—the twaddle that worms its way into the house usually gets undocumented, for example, and sometimes we just forget—but sometimes one of the kids will be really gung-ho to add a book he just finished to his collection. It's fun to flip through to see how each child's collection grows.

Here's a partial list of what we read aloud this month (I usually forgot something when I updated my list every few days).  I'll try to add links later:

The Candymaker's Gift by David and Helen Haidle
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Woiciechowski
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Richard Scarry's Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect  by Richard H. Schneider
Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado
The Christmas Wreath by James Hoffman
The Miracle of St Nicholas by Gloria Whelan
Good King Wenceslaus by John M. Neal and Tim Ladwig
The Donkey's Dream by Barbara Berger
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg
The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Yes, they're almost all Christmas books. It's the non-Christmas ones, the ones I've read so many times I can't differentiate between a days-ago reading and all the other times before it, that I had a hard time recalling.

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