Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reading Aloud Challenge -- April 21

This week, I've been refocusing my effort to read aloud to my children. Time to share books is often in the hustle and bustle of writing assignments, independent reading, math problems, and science classes.

Addison and Brennan are currently listening to me read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I chose this book a few weeks ago in the hopes that Lauren would join us, but she tends to wander off whenever I pull it out. At this point, I'm thankful that I can read to the big kids without constant interruptions -- maybe we'll work on family read-alouds again some other time.

We should finish Farmer Boy by the beginning of next week. I'm not sure what we'll read next. I looked through the books remaining in Addison's schoolwork for this year, and I'm leaning towards reading either Rascal by Sterling North or The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.

Even though Lauren isn't interested in Farmer Boy, she is very interested in other books. I didn't keep track of all of the picture books we read this week. I seem to remember some Froggy books, a Fancy Nancy or two, and maybe Pinkalicious. I need to download the New York City Public Library's 100 best picture books list and start working our way through it methodically.

Some of our favorite books this week were from Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson series. We read Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig one morning at home, and then read over half of Mercy Watson Something Wonky This Way Comes while waiting at a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon. I enjoy reading about the pig's escapades and about all of the interesting people he meets along the way. This afternoon we checked four more Mercy Watson books out of the library.

For most the week, Lauren's been obsessed with Junie B. Jones. We have a few of the audio CD collections, and she wants to listen to them every time we are in the car. The rest of the family  is now so tired of hearing them that I moved her carseat into the back row of the van. I can turn the volume up in the back so that she can hear it and mute it in the front so that I don't have to.

I know some families don't like Junie B. Honestly, I really don't mind the books, as long as they are enjoyed in moderation. We passed moderation a long time ago. My biggest complain about the Junie B. Jones books isn't the grammar. I can overlook the times when Junie B. talks about how she "runned speedy quick." What grates on my nerves is the lines that repeat themselves over and over again in every single book. For instance, every book starts with the line, "My names is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." Every book also talks about Junie B's teacher named Mrs. "Her name is Mrs. She has another name, too. But I just like Mrs. and that's all." She also refers to her friends as "that Grace," "Crybaby William," and "that meanie Jim." None of those seem annoying when I type them tonight or even when I heard them the first half-dozen times. By now, though, I'm a bit tired of Junie B. Jones.

In addition to the audiobook CDs that Lauren plays both at home and in the car, I read three of the books to her this week. She had a chance to ask me some questions, and we talked a bit about some of what was going on. Unfortunately, she's listened to the audio versions so often that she can correct me anytime I get even a single word wrong.

Next week, I'll be reading more Mercy Watson books to Lauren. Plus, also, some Junie B. Jones apparently. Does anybody have any other book suggestions that will help me maintain what's left of my sanity?

If you'd like to see what other homeschool moms are reading aloud to their children, please visit my friend Debra's blog Footprints in the Butter. She's challenged us to join her in posting our read-aloud list each week.


  1. I vote for reading the Incredible Journey aloud. We (ok my husband did the reading) did that as a read aloud a few years ago. The older movie follows the book more closely. Loved the book (and both versions of the movie)

  2. It sounds like you've had a productive week reading. When I'm stumped for new books to read, I often refer to this online list of good books:

  3. I have to say, that I remember hours listening to my mom read the "Little House" books. I remember those books better than any others that she read. And we like the Junie B. Jones books, too. :) In moderation.

  4. Cristi -- I am going to have to look for the Mercy Watson books!

    I can't possibly vote on the Incredible Journey vs. Rascal thing. I know my boys LOVED Rascal. And I agree with Tess on the older movie, we really enjoyed that...

    Sorry I wasn't more timely in visiting. It has been that kind of a week... I am so grateful for my little group of amazing supporters in this. Knowing you expect me to post keeps me reading aloud during the week when I'd rather take a nap... and that is a good thing.

  5. We really love Rascal by Sterling North. We've listened to Jim Weiss's audio version three times :). Not sure if that helps any. I'm sure The Incredible Journey is good to.



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