Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Are You Reading? Summer Edition

We finished up our school year last Thursday.  We don't officially claim to be year-round schoolers, but who ever really stops learning?  Not us, for sure.  

This summer, I am teaching the kids to help clean.  Even though we've gained about 400 square feet of living space, having all of our living space on one floor has made the house infinitely easier to clean.  Since they were little, I've trained them to help around the house, but now we are delving into vacuuming, dusting, changing sheets, beating rugs and sweeping the kitchen and we do it all together which makes it more fun.  Each day this week we got the day's cleaning done by mid-morning and then settled in the (tidier) living room with snacks and books. We finished all of the cleaning today which means we are free to make a library run tomorrow morning.  (We have a smaller library in our new town and we love it!) 

We have big plans for reading this summer!  We finished the last chapters Caddie Woodlawn this week.  I had never read this book, even as a child, but I was enthralled.  Excellent, excellent reading for both boys and girls.  The sequel, Magical Melons, is a definite on our summer list.  

We started Beezus and Ramona yesterday.  I know some parents avoid this series of books because Ramona's mischievous behavior leaves something to be desired.  We are only two chapters in, but my kids are appalled and amazed that Ramona acts the way she does.  She is in no way their  role model, but she has incited more than a few giggles!  We have plans to go to the $1 movies in a few weeks and see the movie version, Ramona and Beezus so I thought it would be fun to read the book first.  This is also the first chapter book I've required Owen to sit and listen to.  He is always around while we read, but his attention span has been slower to develop than the other kids'.  I had a hunch he would enjoy this with us, though, so I reserve my lap for him during this book and he is loving it!  (Gavin's first chapter book was The Mouse and the Motorcycle so I'm thinking Beverly Cleary has a real knack for capturing the little ones.)  I'm guessing our summer shelf will hold the rest of the Ramona series. 

Once our super-busy June is over, we are going to read Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling and color a great big map to go along with it.  We did the same thing with Tree in the Trail in the fall.  (We use the Beautiful Feet maps.) 

I've suddenly been drawn back into reading more myself now that I'm using the computer less during the day.  On our first visit to our new library, I randomly grabbed a stack of books in an effort to find an author I liked.  I'm a Beverly Lewis fan...and a Lynn Austin fan...and a Jamie Langston Turner fan...but I've already read their newest books so I was in a rut.  I mentioned to my mom that with all the classics out there that I've never read, I feel too lazy to read one.  She reminded me that this, too, is a season.  With many little children in the house, by the time I have time to read (naptime or evenings), I'm tired and crave lighter reading.  (And lest I ever say that I'm not reading anything, I must remember children's classics I read aloud.)

I ended up trying a Brandilynn Collins murder mystery.  Other than a few jumpy, late-night moments, I really loved the suspense of her writing.  At the same time, I was finishing up One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Admittedly I had a hard time with this one, though once I got into it, it didn't take more than a few days to finish.  My library hold queue is quite the eclectic list: the latest Mary Higgins Clark mystery, Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line by  Abby Johnson, and Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer.  

Has anyone ever read the Shopaholic books?  Are they any good?

Brian and I also continue to read through the Bible, one chapter at a time (except for Psalms which we read in larger sections).  We began with the New Testament and have circled into the Old Testament.  We are thick into Isaiah

Brian plans to read a book or two with the kids this summer, too.  They read Thornton Burgess animal books for a long while and then a few Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown selections, too.  They are contemplating The Chronicles of Narnia, but I'm not sure if the kids are ready for such intense reading, especially since one of them scares easily. 

So...what are you reading?


  1. What a fun list! I think we'll have to add Caddie Woodlawn to our summer reading list. Let's see, we are reading The Swiss Family Robinson right now and I am reading George Muller of Bristol. I laughed when you were talking about being tired and craving lighter reading... oh my, do I understand that on some days!

    Congratulations, my friend, on another year finished! Yay!!! Good job, Mama!

    Enjoy this summer day!

  2. I've read most of the Shopaholic series. They're very fun, and very light. Definitely not from a frugal, conservative perspective, though! ;)

    (p.s. I do love to shop. But I am NOT a shopaholic!)

  3. Kristin,

    I like Lynn Austin, too. Have you ever read anything by BJ Hoff? Julie Klassen is good, too (Lady of Milkweed Manor was my favorite of hers...)

    (I often feel too lazy to delve into a classic, too!)

    I am not reading any fiction right now (~sad face~) but I am reading Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.

    Blessings to you and yours...

  4. I actually read the Magician's Nephew to Emahry and Jonathan this past fall. I read while they settled into their beds for naps and I nursed Eliya. While they enjoyed it, it was definitely over their heads, but I sure did enjoy the change from picture books.

    With older children who actually understand all that's going on you may have some issues with being scared, but they may enjoy them anyway. You can always stop mid book and pick it back up when they are older :)


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