Posts Tagged With: 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 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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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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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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Math Appeal

Math always came easily to me, but I hated it anyway.  Figuring out worksheet after worksheet of math problems was tedious.  Memorizing the times tables was stupid.  Word problems were embarrassingly written.  And boring.  I also had some frustrating experiences with math teachers in school.  My 4th grade math teacher could only teach the material one specific way, so if I didn’t understand it the way she explained it, she’d just repeat herself until I gave up asking.

Asking my parents for help was a minefield.  My mother wasn’t confident about her math skills, so she deferred to my father, who got his bachelor’s degree in mathematics.  You’d think that would be helpful, but no.  My dad would show me one way to do it, and then I’d lose points for not showing my work the way the teacher wanted.

Despite slogging my way through trigonometry and calculus in high school, I am much less mathematically literate as I’d like to be.

Fortunately, my Little Boy is only 4.  My long dead knowledge of derivatives and probability can remain lost in time for now.  Like everything else in our unschooling, we like to work in layers.  Like a cake.  But made of math.

Layer one is the foundation.  We just work math into the conversation whenever we can.  When we’re cooking, we discuss the shapes of things, measurements, cooking times and recipe yields.  How many cookies does the recipe make?  How many servings in the banana bread?  If the recipe makes 8 servings, and we eat 3, how many are left for future meals?  When we’re shopping, we discuss prices, add and subtract items, check prices and compare them, talk about sales and percentages, and refer back to our budget.  He doesn’t get all this yet, but it builds a familiarity with numbers and prevents him from feeling anxious and fearful of math.

The second layer involves the more traditional school type stuff.  Books are a big deal with us, of course, and I get math books with exercises, problems and games, but I also look for math themed storybooks and easy readers.  The stories we just read at bedtime as he chooses, and we work the school-y books during the day when he says, “Let’s do math!” (which happens once or twice a week)  I also have dollar store math workbooks available.  Little Boy finds workbooks kind of boring, so I pay him a dollar on completion of a workbook, a dollar he may spend however he likes on our next excursion to the Dollar Store.  His interest in doing workbooks waxes and wanes.  At this point I don’t push anything.

Pictured: Math

The frosting layer of our math cake is of course, the games.  We play math games all the time.  One of our favorites is War.  Divide the deck of cards into two piles.  Then each pile battles the other pile one card at a time, high cards win.  We play aces low (since it’s kind of the deck’s “one”).  When we’ve battled through our whole pile, we count the cards we’ve won.  Whoever has the most cards won the war!  This is a favorite game for Little Boy and I to play at breakfast while we eat our oatmeal.

Another game we love is Pass the Pigs.  We tossed aside the traditional rules and scoring and made up our own game.   A dot and a blank side = 0, two dots or two blank sides = 1, a standing pig = 2, a pig on its back =3, and a pig on its snout = 4.  We take turns and the first one to 10 points wins.  Another fun breakfast game.

Yay for piggies!

We also love singing math songs.  The Leap Frog company makes DVDs about learning to read and do math.  Little Boy will watch those while he draws, then the rest of the week I hear him singing the songs to himself when he plays.  My favorite math songs are from They Might Be Giants.  I confess I’m not a fan of their grownup work, but the kids’ songs I LOVE.  We get the 123 one from the library, or we just watch them on YouTube now and then.  The songs are great, because he repeats the lesson over and over again as he sings and plays.  I’ll leave you with just one more.  It’s from the TMBG “Here Come the 123s”, and it’s how Little Boy learned the days of the week.  It’s also kind of my theme song.

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Library Loot 4/25/12

1.  Cat in the Bag by Sara Swan Miller

2.  Go, Huckle, Go! by Erica Farber

3.  Ben and the Big Balloon by Sue Graves and Helen Jackson

4.  Just Clowning Around: Two Stories by Steven MacDonald

5. Mr. Putter and Tabby Ring the Bell by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard

6.  Friends Forever by Sally Grindley

7.  Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn

8.  When Cows Come Home by David L. Harrison

9.  Magic Science by Jim Wiese

10.My Half Dayby Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed

11. Seven Little Mice Have Fun on the Ice by Haruo Yamashita

12. How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

13. Old Robert and the Sea-Silly Cats by Barbara Joosse

14. Baby Whale’s Journey by Jonathan London

15. Miss Smith Under the Ocean by Michael Garland

16. Best in Show by David Catrow

17. I Would Like to Actually Keep It by Lauren Childs

18. An Island in the Sun by Stella Blackstone

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Library Loot 4/17/12

1.  Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels by Jamie Michalak

2.  Dragon’s Easter Egg Hunt adapted by Mae Sparks from an original TV episode by Steve Westren

3.  Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems

4.  Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest

5. I’ll Save You Bobo!by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal

6.  An Annoying ABC by Barbara Bottner

7.  What Happens to Our Trash? by D. J. Ward

8.  Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na

9.  Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya

10. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman

11. The Boy Who Cried Alien by Marilyn Singer

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