Unschooling

Library Loot 2/5/13

We used to just read 5 stories at bedtime every night.  But now that Little Boy is older, we’ve changed it up a little bit.  He reads me an easy beginner reader book, I read him 3 stories, and then we read a few chapters from a chapter book.

This week’s stash:

 

Little Boy’s Easy Readers

1. Dancing Dinos Go To School by Sally Lucas

2. Four Good Friends by Margaret Hillert

3. Surprise! pictures by Richard Brown

4. Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert

5. Boo! by Kirsten Hall

 

Storybooks

6. Chickens! Chickens! by Barbara Ann Porte

7. I Have an Olive Tree by Eve Bunting

8. Oink-a-Doodle-Moo by Jef Czekaj

9.  Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective by David Biedrzycki

10. Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald by Roxanne Orgill

11. Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Jack Keats

12. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman

13. Busy Busy Moose by Nancy Van Laan

14. The Clever Stick by John Lechner

15. Amelia Bedelia, Cub Reporter by Herman Parish

16. Super Why: The Little Red Hen story by Sandy Damashek

17. Fancy Nancy: Fancy Day in Room 1-A by Jane O’Connor

18. Don’t Be My Valentine (A Classroom Mystery) by Joan M. Lexau

19. Silly Milly and the Mysterious Suitcase by Wendy Charlotte Lewison

 

And our newest chapter book, a Geronimo Stilton book, “Valentine’s Day Disaster.”

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Library Loot 10/02/12

1.  The Cookie House  by Margaret Hillert

2.  The Weather by Olivia George

3.  Franklin and the Cookies by Sharon Jennings

4.  Loose Tooth by Lola M. Schaefer

5.  The Witch Who Went For A Walk by Margaret Hillert

6.  Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner by Monica Kulling

7.  The Time of the Pharaohs a Half and Half book

8.  The Elephant from Baghdad by Mary Tavener Holmes and John Harris

9.  A Year at a Farm by Nicholas Harris

10. Grandpa’s Girls by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave

11. Neville by Norton Juster

12. Gakky Two-Feet by Micky Dolenz.  I adore this book.

13. Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto

14. It’s All About Me-ow by Hudson Talbott.  I love this one, too.

15. A Stick is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer

16. Little Lion by Lesley Beake and Erika Pal

17. Little Critter’s Bedtime Storybook by Mercer Mayer

18. The Adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare by Sam McBratney

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Library Loot 9/3/12

We’ve been working on this stack since last Tuesday, but I’m just now getting around to posting the list.

 

1.  The World of Dick and Jane and Friends published by Grosset & Dunlap.  I’ve discovered why these books are classics.  Little Boy can read all these stories without help.  The short word lists, short chapters, and repetition make this super easy.  LB feels confident instead of frustrated after reading these.

2.  Treasure Island from the story by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I’m disappointed in this one.  When I held it online on the library’s website, I thought it was the original unabridged novel.  This is like the little kid cliff notes.  I’m going to read it to him in preparation for the real thing, though.

3.  Tricks and Transformations by Anthony Horowitz.  Little Boy picked this one out because it has a close up picture of a spider on the cover.  It’s a book of myths that turned out to be less interesting than he’d thought.

4.  Gideon by Olivier Dunrea.

5.  ParaNorman:  Meet the Ghosts adapted by Lucy Rosen.

6.  Mole Had Everything by Jamison Odone.  I absolutely adore this book.  Mole’s journey in this story perfectly parallels my own life.  I may have to buy this one.

7.  The Yellow Kite Flies High by Cecilia Minden and Joanne Meier.

8.  Little Troll by Penny Dolan.

9.  Treasure by Suzanne Bloom.

10. Oliver by Judith Rossell

11. The Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachael Mortimer.  Knitting saves the day!

12. The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf.  Love this one.

13. Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen.

14. When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight by Hannah Bonner.  A National Geographic Kids book.

15. Bustle in the Bushes by Giles Andreae

 

 

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Library Loot 8/14/12

I haven’t been keeping track of our summer books, but might as well jump right back in.  I’ve stepped up Little Boy’s reading lessons.  For the last month, each week I choose a simple, Pre-K to K level book.  I choose about a dozen words from the word list in the back, mostly sight words and other basic ones.  I make a weekly word list for us, and each day LB reads them to me.  I also have him write them out on lined paper.

After a month of this, I can feel he’s getting a little burned out on weekly word lists, so this week I made a poster of all the words we’ve done so far to review.  At first he was intimidated by the amount of words covering the poster, but he was pleasantly surprised that he could read so many so easily.  Now we’re playing word games with the poster, picking out words to form sentences and finding words that look the same but sound different.

Today we’re hitting the library for a fresh stack, but these are the ones we’ve had for the past week:

1.  Dino School:  Meet Teddy Rex  by Bonnie Williams

2.  Frank and the Tiger by Dev Ross

3.  Time to Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

4.  Just Say Boo by Susan Hood

5.  Fancy Nancy:  Fancy Day in Room 1-A by Jane O’Connor

6.  True or False Mammals by Melvin and Gilda Berger

7.  Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!  by Tedd Arnold

8.  Stop Thief!  by Adam J. B. Lane

9.  Go to Sleep, Dear Dragon by Margaret Hillert

10. Is That the Orange Cat?  by Joanne Meier

11. Today I Will Fly!  by Mo Willems

12. Lucky and Squash by Jeanne Birdsall

13. Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree  by Mary Ann Fraser

14.  Light Up the Night  by Jean Reidy

15. Moo Hoo  by Candace Ryan

16. Halloween Drawing Book by Ralph Masiello

UPDATE:  Fresh stack for this week…

1.  Goosebumps:  Wanted the Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine

2.  The Monster Show (Everything You Never Knew About Monsters)  by Charise Mericle Harper

3.  Surfer Chick  by Kristy Dempsey

4.  Little Bea and the Snowy Day by Daniel Roode

5.  The Scariest Thing of All  by Debi Gliori

6.  George Flies South  by Simon James

7.  One of a Kind  by Ariel S. Winter

8.  Owl and Wormy:  Friends All Aflutter  by Andy Runton

9.  Beach Feet  by Kiyomi Konagaya

10. Kindergators:  Hands Off, Harry!  by Rosemary Wells

11. The Dancing Clock  by Steve Metzger

12. Sophie’s Fish  by A. E. Cannon

13. Mittens, Where Is Max?  by Lola M.  Schaefer

14. Wonder Woman:  The Arrival  by Nina Jaffe

15.  Watch Out, William!  by Kady Macdonald Denton

16. Dixie  by Grace Gilman

17. Balls by Melanie Davis Jones

18. Dick and Jane Jump and Run

9.

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Library Loot 5/29/12

This is actually our loot from last week, but I got so busy I forgot to write them down.

1.  Get Dressed! by Seymour Chwast

2.  Superhero Joe by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

3.  Scrambled Eggs Super! by Dr. Seuss (not one of his best)

4.  The Ant Bully by John Nickle

5.  Cowboy & Octopus by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

6. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Swimby Deb Lucke

7.  Magic Matt and the Jack-o-Lantern by Grace Maccarone

8.  Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett

9.  Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

10. Pinduli by Janell Cannon

11. Old Mo by Stacey W. Hsu

12. Fancy Nancy and the Dazzling Book Report

13. My Dog, Buddy by David Milgrim

14. Jack and the Toddler by Sindy McKay

15. The Ant and the Grasshopper by Aesop (retold by Graham Percy)

16. Lots of Stops by Joanne Meier and Cecilia Minden (I really hate the Herbie books)

We missed our usual library Tuesday.  We’ll hit it tomorrow afternoon for a fresh stack.

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Library Loot 5/17/12

1.  In and Out by Leda Schubert

2.  Happy As A Tapir by Terry Carbone.  I doubt this book will be as exciting as that time at the Nashville Zoo that we saw the tapirs mating.  Longest penis (in proportion to body size) of any mammal.  The female still seemed less than impressed.

3.  Too Tall Tina by Donna Marie Pitino

4.  Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea by Tony Johnston.  Recommended by our unschooling friends.

5.  Isabella, Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry

6.  Jeremy Jones, Clumsy Guy by Charnan Simon

7.  The 3 Little Dassies by Jan Brett.  The 3 pigs story with a Namibian flavor.

8. I Love My Daddyby Giles Andreae

9.  Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields

10.Bumble-ardyby Maurice Sendak

11. All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri

12. A Bear and His Boy by Sean Bryan

13. The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems

14. Puss in Boots by Lisa Findlay

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Busy Week Is Busy

This whole past week has been much crazier and busier than I am willing to be on a regular basis.  I won’t go into detail on all the stories, but here’s the blog version….

Last Saturday, the day after our beach fun with friends, the whole family went down to River Street to see the Tall Ships.  The Herban Cowboy was performing two puppet shows with the Puppet People, and Little Boy and I tagged along for the pirates and the face painting.  It was a HOT day (sunburn for Mommy!), but SO much fun.  My mom came down and Herban Cowboy treated us all to lunch at the Boar’s Head (grilled fresh tilapia with cheese grits — I almost licked the plate).

Giant puppets!

Real pirates!

 

Halfway through the day, as Little Boy was getting his face painted, I noticed my wedding ring was gone.

Gone.

I stared off into space and very quietly had a three minute panic attack while Morgann painted a shark on my kid’s face.  I didn’t tell the guys until later.  Why spoil their day, too?

Land shark!

Sunday, I shook off the blues and we took a family trip to Home Depot to order a new stove.  My old one was down to one working burner, and we desperately needed a new one.  We looked around at a few second hand options, but my mom really wanted me to have a new one, and offered to pay half.  Which came out to about the amount of the second hand ones we’d looked at.  So despite our Possum Living inclinations, we gave a fat wad of cash to a big box corporation for a new appliance.  To be delivered Wednesday.  So no, I don’t get to feel superior that I saved the planet by buying local and used, but I will get a shiny new stove.  So it’s still a win.

Later that afternoon, we all went mulberry picking.  Our friend D came over with a big sheet for catching fallen berries, we grabbed a bucket, and headed off to search for fruiting trees.  Most of them we found were either full of green berries, or past fruiting, with empty branches and purple stains on the ground below.  We finally hit pay dirt behind a grocery store in our neighborhood.  D put the sheet down, she and the Herban Cowboy shook the tree and gathered the fallen, I pulled them by hand from the branches, and Little Boy grazed happily on the low hanging fruit.

Little Boy and D, working hard and filling their bellies.

Purple jazz hands!

 

I love picking mulberries.  Reaching through the branches, sunlight filtering through the canopy, seeing the gleaming jewels of red and purple, feeling the scratching of the leaves on my arms and face, the earth and berry juice under my feet (yes, I was barefoot).  There’s something primally joyful about picking berries from tree branches.  All the pleasure centers of my brain were LIT.  High on berry picking.  I’m such a nature nerd.

Pictured: Nature Nerd Feet

I’m going to make mulberry jam, but 1) My new stove doesn’t arrive until Wednesday, 2) I need a 10 quart saucepan and 3) I need more mulberries.  So I froze what we collected on Sunday, and there in my freezer they await their jammy, jammy fate.

Shining purple jewels of treasure!

Monday morning, Little Boy and I lazed around the house, playing games, watching DVDs and reading books.  I was tired from the weekend, and still down about my lost wedding ring.  I kept NOT hearing and feeling the metallic “clink” when my finger taps against a hard surface.  I noticed its absence.  The weather seemed to mirror my mood, with thunderstorms forecast, and dark clouds and intermittent pattery showers.

We needed to go to the bank before the afternoon thunderstorms hit, so we hitched up the bike trailer and started off the half mile to the bank.  I figured we could make our deposit and still have time to hit someplace up for an easy lunch.  Once a week or so Little Boy and I like to have a “lunch date” somewhere.  Maybe we’ll beat the rain.

On the way to the bank, I spot one of the homeless men who lives in my neighborhood.  He and his mother? sister? — they’re definitely related, but sun and wind have made it difficult to determine their ages — anyway, they live in a tent in a little wooded patch behind a gas station.  We see them when we’re walking to the Dollar Store or riding the bus and we’ve spoken with them several times.  On different occasions I’ve offered them blankets, hand-knitted hats and scarves, and lunch.  They always refuse (though the Herban Cowboy has reported that the man has asked him for money).

The woman always has nice words to say to my boy, and he likes the two of them.  Because of his affection for them, we’ve had to have the conversation about friends vs. acquaintances vs. strangers and what the safety protocols are with each category.  I don’t think they’d hurt me or Little Boy, but I do have a feeling that the man is a petty criminal and con man.  Nothing to base that on but instinct, but nevertheless, I am friendly but cautious with them.

So on the way to the bank I see the man.  He’s alone, and I realize I haven’t seen HER in over a week.  My curiosity overcomes me and I stop and ask, “I’m sorry if this is personal, but where is K?  I haven’t seen her in a while.”

He tells me she has pneumonia, and is lying down in their tent in the woods.  He was trying to find something for her to eat.  I told him I’d see what I could find.

Little Boy and I continued to the bank, all the while talking about what was happening.  I explained to him that Miss K was very sick, and she only had R to take care of her.  I told him that she was hungry and needed food before the thunderstorms came, so I thought we could give her our lunch, since there’s still food at home for us to eat.  He didn’t like that idea at first.

“Mommy, I don’t WANT to go to Kroger I want to go to lunch with you.”

“Listen,” I said as I locked up the bike outside the grocery store, “I want to go to lunch with you, too, but we do that all the time.  I don’t want to go into Kroger either, but there’s a sick, old, hungry lady who’s all alone and needs our help.  And I just couldn’t live with myself if she got even sicker or even died just because we didn’t feel like going into the grocery store.”

He considered this as he took off his helmet and followed me into Kroger.  We got chicken, black eyed peas and turnip greens from the deli, some fresh fruit, and a jug of purified water.  Then we loaded up and headed back.  Rain drops fell here and there, threatening to open up at any moment, though no thunder yet.

We gave the food to R, and continued home, making it back just before the sky opened up and sent a big, fat shower.  The whole thing shook me up all day.  I’m all for living in the woods, but I’d like to have food and good shelter and help when I’m sick.  The piles of trash bothered me, too.  What if that was my mother?  What if that was me?

It put my lost wedding ring into perspective, that’s for sure.

And then to drive home the fact that all my problems really are First World Problems, my shiny new stove arrived yesterday.

So shiny. So pretty.

 

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Library Loot 5/9/12

1.  One Love (based on the song by Bob Marley) adapted by Cedella Marley

2.  Splat the Cat Sings Flat based on the creation of Rob Scotton

3.  The Art Collector by Jan Wahl

4.  Me Want Pet by Tammi Sauer

5.  Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild

6.  Just Me and My Mom by Mercer Mayer

7.  Funny Lunch by David Catrow

8.  Duck & Company by Kathy Caple

9.  Sir Talkalot and the Dragon by Sherryl Clark and Neil Chapman

10. Sea Horses by Nicole Corse.  Non-fiction easy reader.

11. Cool Leaf Lettuce by Katherine Hengel.  Ideas for the garden.

12. Talk, Talk, Squawk! by Nicola Davies.  Non-fiction about animal communication.

13. Stick by Steve Breem

14. Hippo and Rabbit:  Brave Like Me by Jeff Mack

15. What is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.  School book.

16. I Don’t Want a Posh Dog by Emma Dodd.  We had the cat one, now we’re trying the dog one.

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Taking Dictation

I’ve been meaning to blog about the last several days:  going to River Street to see the Tall Ships, losing my wedding ring, buying lunch for a sick homeless lady, and all the food coming out of my garden.

But right now I’m feverishly cleaning the kitchen in preparation for the delivery of our new stove (yay!), so all I have time to post is the story that Little Boy dictated to me this morning.

He told me he wanted to write a book, and he needed my help.  So I opened up another window and told him to let me have the story.  Here it is:

******************

THE WOLF AND THE BUNNY as told to Daisy by Little Boy (age 4)

Once upon a time in a great jungle there was a wolf and a bunny.  And they lived forever and ever until they died.  And then the wolf wanted the bunny to do tricks like a dog.  And THEN the bunny did not do it.

And the wolf was like, “Hey do the tricks!  Do the tricks!  Hunch it!  Hunch it!  DO the tricks!  (Hunch it means Do it)”

Well, the bunny said, “Well, only if you say please.”

The wolf said “Please.”

And the bunny said “Yay!”, and then he did a somersault and a cartwheel.

And then the wolf sent a bear.  The bear said, “Why did you send me here?”

The wolf said, “’Cause I wanted you to see my bunny’s tricks.”

The bear said, “Oh I would love to see your bunny’s tricks.”

And the bunny started.  And then the bunny did the cartwheel and the somersault.

The bear said, “Yay!  That was great.”  And he clapped.

And then the bear dived into a pond for a cool bath after a nice, long day.  Then the next morning the bear found that the bunny stayed still.  And the bear thought “The other day the bunny said he would do the tricks every morning, but now it’s just standing there.”

And the bunny said, “Wow!”

Then the bunny found the pond where the bear jumped in.  He found the bear’s hairs that had come off.  And then the bunny had an idea.  He would make a straw house out of the hairs for him.  And the wolf, too.  Of course.

And then the wolf came over and said, “What did you make?”

And the bunny said, “I made a straw house for us.  Isn’t that nice?  And you can live next door to me and I’ll live next door to you.  And the bear can live across the street.”

And then he saw that the bunny made a sculpture, too.  The wolf was proud.  He said, “Oh holey moley golly geesh that is so amazing!”

And then the wolf sent the bunny to his house and then the wolf went into his house and then the bear went into his house and they lived happily ever after in the jungle where the griffins live.  And then they died while they were sleeping.  They didn’t know, they just did it.

The End.

***********************

I removed a few superfluous ands at the beginnings of sentences, but otherwise, this is the story as told to me.  He’s already done character sketches for the bear, the bunny, the wolf, and a griffin.  He’s also sketched a mouse and a fire-tailed dragon crocodile, but I’m not sure how they figure in to the story.

If I can get the scanner working today, pictures will be forthcoming…….

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Library Loot 5/1/12

1.  Dog Parade by Barbara Joosse

2.  Jackhammer Sam by Peter Mandel

3.  The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore

4.  Martha, No! by Edward Hardy

5.  The No-Good Do-Good Pirates by Jim Kraft

6.  Pickles, Please! by Andy Myer

7.  A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

8.  You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown

9.  A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon

10.Perfect Fishing Spotby Stan & Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain

11. The Mixed-Up Message (a Busytown Mystery/Richard Scarry book)

12. Big Dog… Little Dog by P.D. Eastman

13. Bears, Bears, Everywhere by Rita Milios

14. Go to Sleep, Dear Dragon by Margaret Hillert

15. Survivor Kid (A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival) by Denise Long.  This one is for older kids, but I wanted to look through it to see what’s what.

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