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Leap into Literature – Back in Time

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Into a rhythm now with our ‘Leap into Literature‘ focus, not to say we’re achieving everything planned every  day, but that is par for the course at the end of the school year.  It’s hot, we’re winding down and expecting a baby in less than a month, so all things considered I’m happy with what we’re achieving.

Most exciting Jelly Bean’s reading has picked up a few paces.  Having an older child still working on reading skills is not ideal, you feel like a hamster on a wheel, stuck there for years and years, any little progress is hugely celebrated.  Added to the mix is Jack Jack who is a couple of steps behind and you can imagine my dream is for both to be reading independently by February next year so I can concentrate on teaching Jem to read. Progress this fortnight is our discovery of Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson books, humorous, engaging and the perfect bridge between early readers and chapter books. JB is managing to read half a book a day and JJ a chapter a day!!

Truthfully a couple of the children would only do the subjects they enjoy and avoid those they don’t if they could, so this requires constant vigilance and had to be addressed again this week.  The older three continued to work independently and Einstein is quite diligent with his History of the Church studies and has continued researching electromagnetic fields, Michelangelo concentrated on maths and Princess loves our literary approach to studies this term, devouring books each week.   Whilst the older children continued to write, I concentrated on oral narrations with Jelly Bean and Jack Jack, discovering a need for improvement there.

This past fortnight we’ve taken a Step Back in Time, and read piles of history books from our home library and from our town library. We’ve roamed over quite a time period from ancient Sicily to the Afghanistan War.  We’ve discussed the Shogun period of Japan and the Samurai Warriors, the discovery of the Americas by the Spanish from the natives viewpoint, Lewis and Clark’s exploration and the American westward expansion, the rebuilding of London bridge several times, imperial Austria and Haydn, Picasso and art history, the introduction of Levi jeans and Coco Chanel’s impact on the fashions, World War 2, Nazism, the Jewish persecution, Japanese internment camps and racism, the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban and secret schools.   Lots of new topics and plenty of discussion.

*For the benefit of my local friends I have an asterix next to our local library books, all other titles are from our home library.

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List of Books Enjoyed
Seven Little Australians – Ethel Turner
Science titles (not finished)

St Thomas More – Elizabeth Ince (Vision Bk)
*Horrible Histories Plague & Peril – Terry Deary
*Who Was Harry Houdini? – Tui Sutherland

Terry Deary’s Viking Tales
*-The Eye of the King God
*- The Hand of the Viking Warrior
*-The Knight of Spurs and Spirits
*- The Knight of Swords and Spirits
Pirate Tales
*- The Pirate Lord

Audio Books
*Famous Five – Go Down to the Sea (Jelly Bean)
*The Starlight Barking – Dodie Smith (Jack Jack & Jem)

St Martin de Porres and the Mice – Eva K Betz
St Martin de Porres – Malachy Carroll (St Paul) (part)

Picture Books
* Book Reviews
Afghanistan – A True Story
Fashion History
World War 2 – Persecution & Internment Camps

Run Damon, Run! – Anne Ingram
*The Seeing Stick – Jane Yolen

Middle Ages
Japan 1500s
*The Perfect Sword – Scott Goto
South America
Encounter – Jane Yolen
London Bridge is Falling Down – Peter Spier
Over At the Castle – Bonnie Ashburn

20th Century
France Early 1900s
*Just Behave Pablo Picasso! – Jonah Winter
*Different Like Coco – Elizabeth Matthews

World War 2
*Hiding from the Nazis – David Adler
Flags – Maxine Trottier
Baseball Saved Us – Ken Mochizuki
The Foxes of Chironupp Island – Hiroyuki Takahashi

The Day of the High Climber – Gary Hines
*The Crossing (Lewis & Clark’s journey) – Donna Jo Napoli
*Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea – Tony Johnston (1853)
Chinook – Michael O. Tunnell
Johnny’s Secret – Frank Lewis
Wagons West – Roy Gerrard

*Hero of Little Street – Gregory Rogers
The Boy Who Loved Music – David Lasker

Afghanistan 1996-2001
*Nasreen’s Secret School – Jeanette Winter

*Little Pierre, A Cajun Story from Louisiana – Robert D San Souci

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  • Ruby

    Wow! That's a lot of books! I had students who took a long time to read and still don't read well. It really can throw a spanner in all your home educating dreams. 🙁 Glad you are able to wind up before your new arrival. I hope all goes well. I love you children's names, by the way.

    • Erin

      The long list is picture books which I read, but I am fortunate in that all our children are fast readers, some speed readers. I slipped up on the names, now you know;) Going to go for one more shot next week/fortnight and tackle Australian History.

  • Angel

    I'm curious; did you choose all the picture books or did you collect a stack and let the kids choose? Were you aiming at doing a sweep of world history for this section of your plan? I've been having a hard time deciding on how exactly to do history this year with the younger boys; just wondering what idea you began with.

    • Erin

      I gathered all the history picture books in the house, and the library that I could find. Also some of our history chapter books from home and lots of chapter books from the library. Then I let the children choose from the piles.
      Regards the younger children I was limited by what picture books we/library had, so I wasn't focusing on any period just diving in. and as we're only spending 10 weeks intensive on literature, of that only 2 on history, it worked well.

  • Cassie Williams

    I had one that loved Mercy Watson! I decided that those books will have a forever spot in our home library. I'm missing one in the set and wonder if I should actually purchase it. With my youngest we had to have chapter books with lots of pictures or anything that made the books look short. He still will overlook any books that look thick and he has become an excellent reader so he is capable of reading them.

  • Cassie Williams

    Erin, We are both drawing a blank on other books that he liked during that time. He did remind me that we needed to purchase some missing ones . . . so that answers my question on whether to finish our collection all these years later, lol!

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