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Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Blog Hop: 5 Days of Children's Literature!


I think it's actually more like 70, but eh- who's counting?

How awesome! Nearly 70 different phenomenal bloggers offering you their thoughts on these interesting topics:


Whew!  Quite a list!  Go get your tea and hurry're gonna want to settle in for a little bit!  Don't worry, I'll wait....

Image Detail

Okay, now that you're comfy and ready, let's talk about children's literature.  Today I'm going to help you with some good resources that will help you to find quality literature picks for your darlings.  "What's wrong with the young adult who works at Barnes and Noble?" you may ask.  Hmmm....

So here's what it comes down to in the realm of children's literature.......good books and junk.  Twaddle, you might have heard it called.  Don't get me wrong!  There is a time and a place for all books in the course of a child's reading career.  For instance, my son begs me every night to read from Swiss Family Robinson


So why would this little 7 year old want a story so rich in verbose language that his mother has to ask his father how to pronounce words as she reads?  Because it challenges him.  It makes him think as he listens.  As a result, he is more engaged.  The character development is more thorough.  The pictures painted with exquisite vocabulary take him to the  island inhabited only by the Robinson family. However, what you need to know is that this is our second attempt at the same book.  About two years ago we tried it and  that boy was lost!  Lost as the Robinsons themselves!

Two years ago Ben was just learning to read.  He was reluctant to begin kindergarten and was disinterested entirely in learning how to read.  He labled all books "boring" (GASP!) and was resolute in his decision to focus his attentions elsewhere.

Enter: twaddle.

Anything, everything, I could get my hands on I put infront of him.  Clifford Puppy Days readers.  Scooby-Doo, Spider Man and even, gulp, Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs.  Surely something would whet his appetite.  Something would tempt him to pick it up and become eternally addicted to the feel, the smell, the flipping of the pages!  "SO what did it?  What finally coaxed him in?"

Magic Tree House.

Well, Magic Tree House and lots of read alouds and audio stories in the van.  You see, sometimes it may take a child a bit to find "it"- that one thing that helps him (or her) to grow that bond with books.  It may be that they have to wade through the junk to see that the good stuff is where it's at!

So now you want to find the good stuff to lay out before him like a buffet.....but maybe you're a young mother or new homeschooler and aren't quite sure where to start?  Let's first cover where you can find appropriate lists for books your child's age, and then where to pick them up.

One of your best resources is right under your nose, your children's friends!  Make it a point to ask them what they're reading...often.  Good readers share good stories- my bet is they'll be more than happy to share if they've read something tasty lately.

There are also a few books I'd like to recommend to you. Honey for a Child's Heart, by Gladys Hunt, is a great selection that will guide you by way of book lists for children ages 0-14.  She is also the author of Honey for a Teen's Heart, and Honey for a Woman's Heart: Growing Your World Through Reading Great Books.
Honey for a Child's Heart

The second book I'd like to recommend is Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson.  While this book covers much more than just finding quality literature, it has a great section on "living" books.

Educating the WholeHearted Child -- Third Edition

The best resource I can pass on to you, in my opinion, is the Ambleside Online Booklist web page.  For those of you not familiar with Ambleside, it is an entirely free Charlotte Mason curriculum site.  This booklist page has everything from pre-school through twelfth grade!  Such rich lists of books- you seriously can't go wrong!

Now, where to get such delectable treasures?  Go local..  There for a while I was buying all of our books online but even cheap books become costly with shipping.  Check your local thrift stores.  I have one favorite tiny little shop where I purchase 90% of our chapter books for a quarter or fifty cents each!  Also your local libraries have occassional booksales where you can pick up great, well-loved finds for a song!  Next I would try homeschool used curriculum sales.  Why, you may ask?  Because lots of curriculum is literature-based so, you guessed it, their divine books are up for grabs too!  Have you ever considered hostessing a book swap with girlfriends who have children the same age?  I don't know about you, but our shelves runneth over!  Make your dust collector someone else's treasure and let them do the same for you!  If you've exhausted all of these options, then I would search Amazon.

Well Reading Enthusiasts, check back tomorrow when I'll have another post on children's literature as part of the 5 Days of Blogging with the TOS Homeschool Crew!


Tim @ Families Again said...

We love good books as well! And, the Magic Tree House series were some of the first chapter books that my middle, aspergers syndrome child read. Great post!

Tim from the Crew

PK @ Knee Deep In Grace said...

I have devoured "Educating the WholeHearted Child" more than once, but I am not nearly as familiar with Ambleside Online Booklist. I'll check it out this week!

Engaging post. Thanks. I'm now following you via GFC.



Jenn said...

(I'm commenting on both days, as I'm catching up)

I LOVE Cynthia Rylant books. I hadn't heard of the others, but will be checking out my library in just a minute. I completely agree that kids are never too old for picture books. My teen boys stop their lessons to join their little sisters on the couch whenever I pull out a good picture book. The Ox Cart Man and Joseph's Button are two of our favorites.

I'm eager to hear more!