Friday, May 31, 2019

The Read-at-Home Kids Report: May 2019

Family Read-Alouds

This month's lunchtime read-aloud (read by me) has been Inside the Ark by Caryll Houselander. This is a collection of short stories aimed at Catholic children, and it has been a lovely way to make Easter last all through the season. Though Little Miss Muffet (age 5 years, 6 months) liked the stories, they seemed to make a surprisingly even bigger impression on Little Bo Peep (3 years, 8 months). She told me her favorites were "The Dancing Bear," "The White Mouse's Story," and "Petook," but insisted all of them were great.

Bo Peep was less enthusiastic about Joan of Arc by Josephine Poole and Angela Barrett, which we read aloud at breakfast yesterday morning, on her feast day. Bo Peep said she hated the book and rated it one star because it had too many battles. Miss Muffet was a big fan, though, partly because she knows one of the voices Joan heard was her patroness, St. Margaret of Antioch. 

At dinner, my husband is reading aloud The Little Circus, which everyone likes except Little Jumping Joan (19 months) who is frequently too disruptive to stay at the table to even pretend to listen.

Little Miss Muffet (5 years, 6 months)

Though we're pretty much schooling year-round, we have started to wind down some of the things we have been working on in our homeschool during kindergarten. This month, we finally made it to the end of The World We Live In, which we have been reading on and off since January. I know she didn't understand every single concept presented, but the book gave her an excellent overview of natural history and the natural world, and it has great illustrations. We also finished the second Life of Fred book, Butterflies, and we're very close to the end of Famous Paintings: An Introduction to Art by Alice Elizabeth Chase. She also really loved Filippo's Dome by Anne Rockwell, about the building of Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence, and now she's enjoying The Caves of the Great Hunters by Hans Baumann, which we take turns reading aloud to each other.

This month, we also started a new chapter in Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding focused on materials, which led us to borrow a few ebooks from Hoopla: Wood by Andrea Rivera, Wood by Harriet Brundle, Rock by Harriet Brundle, Materials by Steffi Cavell-Clarke, and Let's Investigate Everyday Materials by Ruth Owen. (We have finished all but that last one.)

On her own, Miss Muffet has also been reading a ton of great books. She finished our omnibus edition containing three Wishing Chair books by E. Nesbit, and has since zipped through five picture books in the Something Queer series by Elizabeth Levy, as well as Three Boys and a Lighthouse by Nan Hayden Agle and Ellen Wilson, On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder,  Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, and Caleb's Story by Patricia Maclachlan, and Beyond the Pawpaw Trees by Palmer Brown. She is now reading The Silver Nutmeg by Palmer Brown.

Miss Muffet also learned "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth as her memorization work for the month.

Little Bo Peep (3 years, 8 months)

Bo Peep's latest book obsession is Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch. She talks about it a lot, and if anyone offers to read a story to her, this is the one she will almost always choose. I enjoyed Christina Katerina as a kid, too, so I'm always happy to oblige. When we're not reading about Christina Katerina, her other book of choice is  Janet's Thingamajigs by Beverly Cleary, another of my childhood favorites.

She's also been enjoying reading a new wordless book, Sign Off by Stephen Savage, listening to the Little Miss and Mr. Men audiobooks read by Jim Dale, and carrying around a poetry book illustrated with paintings of babies. (The best books, she says, always have babies in them!)

Little Bo Peep's memory work for this month was "Away We Go" by Eleanor Dennis.

Little Jumping Joan

Finally, our baby has really started to become interested in having books read aloud to her. The other day, she stood in the playpen and listened to Animal Sounds by Aurelius Battaglia, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle, Mama, Look! by Patricia Murphy and David Diaz and If All the Seas Were One Sea by Janina Domanska. She also loves to point out when anyone else is holding a book, and she frequently listens along when Bo Peep has audiobooks playing. She also loves to look at our Catholic Baptism Bible, even though we're constantly taking it away from her for fear she will rip it!

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