What we’re reading: Lazy days edition

One of the best things about homeschooling, and our incredibly relaxed approach in particular, is that holidays are no longer the rush-rush-rush of getting as many projects done as possible.

We’ve been able to slow down and really enjoy our Thanksgiving celebrations and to start our Christmas preparations without worrying about what we’re “accomplishing.”

Even our reading has been low-key.

We finished Life of Fred: Goldfish and have moved on to Life of Fred: Honey. As I like to say any time I mention Life of Fred, while it is described as a Christian series, we are a secular homeschooling family and haven’t had any problems using the fairly few spiritual references we’ve found as talking points about what different people believe, which we like to do anyway.

Chris continues to read many Ruth Manning-Sanders fairy and folk tales to Ashar when he’s home at bedtime; her favorite ones come from A Book of Ogres and Trolls.

And since Ashar’s interest in her American Girl dolls continues, she decided she wanted to read the start of Kit’s story, Meet Kit. Kit is 9 years old in 1934, so her story focuses on life during the Depression, which has been interesting as Ashar has started talking to my mom about her memories of growing up just a little bit later in the Depression.

Next, we’re going to see what other books in Kit’s series our library has to offer!

On the parental reading front, I’m reading a set of Christmas-themed romantic short stories (I told you – this is the lazy days edition!)

I just finished two incredibly interesting looks at other belief systems – Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Jantzen and Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage by Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown.

I can’t say that I read either of these books expecting to agree with the viewpoints inside – and in large part I didn’t – but both were just incredibly interesting and helped me solidify some ideas in my own mind about my thoughts on marriage, family, faith and so on.

Chris, meanwhile, is reading Wired magazine at this exact moment. He also says he’s been most actively reading A Diner’s Dictionary: Food and Drink From A to Z in his before-bed browsing. (Let us just say it is a testament to our stomachs that we can both eat snacks while he describes uses of headcheese.)

What’s your family reading?

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3 thoughts on “What we’re reading: Lazy days edition

  1. I see Sarah was reading the American Girl Series – in particular Kit’s story. What a wonderful series of books! I would just like to share an activity that I did for many years with my 4th Grade boys and girls. We would read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book “Farmer Boy” and after reading it, the students would do research on the Victorian Era. After collecting all kinds of info on dress, activities, hardships, recreation, School, jobs, homes, etc., my students were given a writing assignment. I often gathered antique photographs –especially Victorian photographs of boys, girs, babies, and adults. I used to be able to pick these up rather reasonably at Flea Markets, Yard Sales, and Antique Shops. When I would tell the dealers what I was going to do with the antique photos, they often gave them to me at a reduced cost and in some cases gave them to me without charge. I displayed literally hundreds of these photos in my classroom and gave students the opportunity to choose one photo to write about. Students were told they could keep the antique photo when they were finished.

    Students were told to pretend they were the person in the photograph. Using their knowledge from the Victorian research they were supposed to write about their life in the first person point of view. Students made up names for the person and also a town and state where they were born and lived. The birthdate of the person was also made up. Using their imaginations based on the Victorian life research, students continued to write about their life. They talked about their jobs and chores and brothers and sisters. Hardships and happy moments were incorporated into their writing. What was done for recreation and fun were also included in these stories. Students told about the reason for getting their picture taken and what it was like to go to the photographic Studio. Students talked about the clothes they were wearing and usually how uncomfartable they were. The hairstyles of both woman and boys were discussed. Particular attention was given to how they fixed their hair the way they did and how long it took. Finally students talked about their death and how they died.

    When finished, we dispalyed the antique photos along with a very large print of the students’ stories beside the photos and displayed in the hall outside our classroom.

    This project was a very high interest activity and students had lots of fun writing these stories. Not only did students get a feel and appreciation for Victorian life, they also developed an appreciation for old things such as the antique photos.

    • Jim, that sounds like a phenomenal project!! I hope you don’t mind if I share the idea with some friends, too – I have a feeling a lot of us will benefit from some adaptation of it!

      You are such an awesome resource. I appreciate you sharing! (And I wish you’d been MY teacher, or Sarah’s!!)

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