I love reading about what others are reading and sharing what I'm reading with others.                      Here's my summary of the past month and what I'm reading now.  I hope you find some good titles to add to your own list and share with me what YOU are reading in the comment section below!

What I Finished in May

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution:  A Proven 4 Week Program to Rescue Your Metablolism, Hormones, Mind and Mood by Aviva Romm    This book is  SENSATIONAL and definitely, in my opinion, the best source I've read yet.  Now while I'm waiting for my food sensitivity test to come back I don't know that I'll be able to follow Aviva's protocol for diet, but it is an optimal program and I am certainly gaining a ton of insight on other aspects of the protocol because, believe me, it's NOT just about food.  My husband is listeing to this book on Audible and while we haven't had a chance to sit down and really converse about it, I can tell by the few comments he has made that he is equally pleased with the book and the information we are gaining from this doctor.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

Stuart Little by E.B White  -  My son got to watch two of the movies for his birthday so he grabbed this book off of our shelves one of our many read alouds.  He  enjoyed pointing out the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and  thoroughly enjoyed it, though I think we were both disappointed with the ending leaving so much up in the air-  including the bird!

Murder In The Smithsonian by Margaret Truman  I broke out of my non-fiction mode a bit.  Sometime you just NEED a little fiction in your life.  This book was reminiscent of my youth which was filled with mystery fiction!  I love a good Agatha Christie....  This book was not Agatha Christie but it was a nice switch.  I only rated it a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads but I'm sure mystery fans would still enjoy it.  I found it unsuspenseful and felt like it kept hinting at other story lines that never completed themselves in any way so I wasn't completely taken in by it.

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D.  -  I read an article on Facebook (yeah, I spend way to much time on there but...) and took the link to Amazon for this book.  I loved the article so much that I immediately put the book in my cart.  This was a great read, both for the simplistic and important approach to 'discipline' and important aspects of developing emotions and problem solving skills in our children, but also for the important message that we as parents should not beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  ALL parents make mistakes.  There are simply no perfect parents out there, including the 'professionals'.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  While it's geared more for parents of younger (toddler) to say middle grade kids, I could easily apply things from this book to my older kids as well.

What I'm Reading                

 

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I had promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I didn't touch this one all of Lent but it's to be included in my morning readings again soon!

A Woman's Walk with God:  A Daily Guide for Prayer and Spiritual Growth by Shelia Cragg   I know!  I told myself I was going to focus on the Beginner's Guide to Prayer after finishing the Thirty Steps to Heaven back in April but I grabbed this one instead, among others.  It seemed fitting as I packed for my weekend away and it really was.  It's not an Orthodox Devotional (see below for an Orthodox devotional by Sister Vassa), but it is certainly leading me in my search on how to fit prayer and devotion into my daily life.

Reflections With Morning Coffee - 365 Daily Devotions for Busy People by Sister Vassa Larin   -  Oh my goodness, it's Sister Vassa!  I asked in an Orthodox Facebook page if anyone had any good devotionals to recommend, Orthodox or otherwise (I'm not one to shun a non-Orthodox book but it's nice to at least get recommendations from Orthodox friends), and low and behold someone told me Sidter Vassa has one!  I LOVE Sister Vassa.  I used to listen to her on Ancient Faith Radio-- but I'm not an auditory girl.  I get too caught up in doing other things while listening and I have to listen to the same podcast about 5 times before I get it all.  And I've just always been a page in hand kind of person.  So having Sister Vassa's pages in my hand is a nice little uplift.

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.  I don't know why we have not found time to read together lately so I haven't made progress in this book but it needs to be a discussion topic soon!

The Whole-Brain Child (also by Siegel and Bryson)  I bought both this book and the No-Drama Discipline at the same time.  I wasn't sure which to start first and glancing through it seemed like both were relevant to one another but I went with the discipline book first.  Now I'm starting this one and I'm just a couple chapters in.  While I can relate what they are talking about from the Discipline book, I do not feel at this time that it's a total repeat, but simply a companion that explains the theory further behind the concepts in the book on Discipline.  I'm eager to continue my reading!

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.  I haven't made progress with this book this month as most of my time is spent on reading about and taking care of my health and just getting a good handle on other things but I'm looking forward to a chance to sit down and soak up some of Debi's wisdom.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7.  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry   While fictional, I chose to read Misty as part of our "history type" literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.  We  made more progress with this one and I believe he is enjoying the story.

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon. In fact, I've just borrowed a few from a friend to let my son pick which he wants to start with.

Poppy's Retunr (Dimwood Forest, #4) by Avi     My son is loving this book as he did the first three.  I was totally enthralled by the first 3, not as much by this one.  I have an issue with the 'swearing'...   while they are not using foul curse words, there is much use of the term 'freaking' and such in a disrespectful tone from the main character's son to his mother.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I'm not appreciating the 'humor'.  I simply skip over the words or substitute something more mild.  I highly recommend the first 3 for any age---  the porcupine 'swears' in all three, but really it's just a blend of really silly words put together as his form of complaining and both my son and I find that usage rather humorous.  This one, well if you are reading it aloud, it's still very enjoyable, but be aware you might want to be prepared to change some wording IF you feel the way I do about it.

 

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then (his request).  However, I don't think we even put a dent in it last month and this month was slow.  We finally started it up again the other day. It's a little slow, not just because he has a little difficulty with a few of the words, but wants to stop and congratulate himself for each big word he reads and make commentary mid sentence if he knows a word, relates it to something else in his life or wants to point out how words are connected in other ways irrelevant to the story.  Sometimes I wonder if he really knows what's happening in the story because, frankly, sometimes I'm not real sure myself!  Hahaha!!

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on some days before our lessons.

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

So--  that pretty much sums up what's on my reading list.

How about YOU?

A long time ago I used to do monthly updates here.  I kind of told what things I was doing in a month- a sort of update on our homeschool life, food life, my writing and book life, and more.  I'm not sure that I'll get back to that, but what I thought I would do since books are such a big part of my life (as should they be for all of us!) is share what I'm reading. So we'll see how this goes.  I started back at the beginning of the month for my March report and I got positive comments on it, so here is one for April!  Maybe I'll make it a monthly thing.

Goodreads

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

What I Finished

Adrenal Fatigue:  The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson  -  This book is instrumental in understanding the reality of adrenal fatigue.  How one's health can be affected by stressors and the importance of how our food, environment and things we do to cope with stress are all important facets to adrenal health and all of this and more are discussed by Dr. Wilson.  It is written by an expert but also  it a way that is easily understood by the layman without talking down to the patient.  It was a very good read and helped me figure out some ins and outs of adrenal fatigue, other things that can influence adrenal fatigue (i.e. emotional stressors, food sensitivities, etc.), physical signs and tests for adrenal fatigue and a whole slew of options (necessities really) of treatment.

Thirty Steps to Heaven:  The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life by Vassillios Papavassilliou  I've actually referred to this book several times in recent posts.  I can't say enough about it.  I personally feel that even non-orthodox would benefit greatly from this book as it talks about all of the virtues we must all strive towards as Christians.  I believe this is going in the reread pile immediately.  It's one that I'm thinking of going back and rereading a chapter every week or two to let it really soak into my mind and may just end up being a constant reread.  It's just that good and necessary.

The Ancient Faith Prayer Book by Vassilious Papavassiliou -  you know I didn't even realize it was the same author as 30 Steps to Heaven until I was writing this list out for my first book post!  This is definitely one of my favorite prayer books.  It will go in the daily devotion pile and I've marked several favorites.

6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage by Gary Rosberg  I read another book by Rosberg recently and I really enjoyed his style of writing about very intimate personal issues in a non-threatening manner and with a Christian perspective.  I have found some very good guidance in this book. His wife actually wrote the book with him and so it has the added bonus of having both perspectives of the husband and the wife in the relationship.  I like books like that.    I really think every couple should read marriage books throughout their lives- always keeping discussion of the marriage and the marriage itself front and center to their lives.  My husband and I aren't currently reading this one together but I do mark spots and read them to him for discussion along with other books we read together.  I already have my eye on another book by this man and his wife.

The Ascetic Lives of Mothers, a Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd  -  I read this book awhile back and even wrote a book review.  I just felt that while I often use this as a resource, it was time to read it through again.  Books like these always offer more every time and this time was no exception.  This goes in the daily devotion pile as it will come in handy quite frequently.  Why I didn't already have it there is beyond me.

 

What I'm Reading

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  I'm over halfway through now and am enjoying it more and more.   There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I had promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I didn't touch this one all of Lent but it's to be included in my morning readings again soon!

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.  I don't know why we have not found time to read together lately so I haven't made progress in this book but it needs to be a discussion topic soon!

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.  I haven't made progress with this book this month as most of my time is spent on reading about and taking care of my health and just getting a good handle on other things but I'm looking forward to a chance to sit down and soak up some of Debi's wisdom.

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution:  A Proven 4 Week Program to Rescue Your Metablolism, Hormones, Mind and Mood by Aviva Romm    This book is  SENSATIONAL and definitely, in my opinion, the best source I've read yet.  Now while I'm waiting for my food sensitivity test to come back I don't know that I'll be able to follow Aviva's protocol for diet, but it is an optimal program and I am certainly gaining a ton of insight on other aspects of the protocol because, believe me, it's NOT just about food.  My husband is listeing to this book on Audible and while we haven't had a chance to sit down and really converse about it, I can tell by the few comments he has made that he is equally pleased with the book and the information we are gaining from this doctor.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7. (Wow- that's the first time I've written that- he just turned 7 last week!).  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry  We just started Misty.  While fictional, I chose to read it as part of our history type literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.  We haven't made a lot of progress with this one as we've had some disruption in our school days but I just revamped my schedule/plan for Spring and Summer and hope to get back to it tomorrow!

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon.

Stuart Little by E.B White  -  My son got to watch two of the movies for his birthday so he grabbed this book off of our shelves for his next read aloud.  He has enjoyed pointing out the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and is thoroughly enjoying it.

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then.  However, I don't think we even put a dent in it this month.  His bedtime has been me reading to him and then me finding comfort in an Epsom salt bath for pain relief so.....  hopefully we'll get back to this soon or perhaps I need to find another time of the day for his reading to me to happen!

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on the way to our Schole class every Tuesday and at other times when I'm cleaning up the kitchen before we start our short lessons for the day.

So--  that pretty much sums up what's on my reading list.

How about YOU?

A long time ago I used to do monthly updates here.  I kind of told what things I was doing in a month- a sort of update on our homeschool life, food life, my writing and book life, and more.  I'm not sure that I'll get back to that, but what I thought I would do since books are such a big part of my life (as should they be for all of us!) is share what I'm reading. So we'll see how this goes.  Maybe I'll make it a monthly thing.

Goodreads

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

What I'm Reading

Adrenal Fatigue:  The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson  -  This book is instrumental in understanding the reality of adrenal fatigue.  How one's health can be affected by stressors and the importance of how our food, environment and things we do to cope with stress are all important facets to adrenal health and all of this and more are discussed by Dr. Wilson.  It is written by an expert but also  it a way that is easily understood by the layman without talking down to the patient.  It is a good read thus far.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  I'm about halfway through.  There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

Thirty Steps to Heaven:  The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life by Vassillios Papavassilliou  I've actually referred to this book several times in recent posts.  I can't say enough about it.  I personally feel that even non-orthodox would benefit greatly from this book as it talks about all of the virtues we must all strive towards as Christians.

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I've promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I haven't had a lot of time for this one but it remains in my morning devotion pile and will be included in my morning readings again soon!

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.

6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage by Gary Rosberg  I read another book by Rosberg recently and I really enjoyed his style of writing about very intimate personal issues in a non-threatening manner and with a Christian perspective.  I have found some very good guidance in this book.  I really think every couple should read marriage books throughout their lives- always keeping discussion of the marriage and the marriage itself front and center to their lives.  My husband and I aren't currently reading this one together but I do mark spots and read them to him for discussion along with other books we read together.

The Ancient Faith Prayer Book by Vassilious Papavassiliou -  you know I didn't even realize it was the same author as 30 Steps to Heaven until I was writing this out.  I'm enjoying using this prayer book.  I think it may move into one of my favorites.

The Ascetic Lives of Mothers, a Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd  -  I read this book awhile back and even wrote a book review.  I just felt that while I often use this as a resource, it was time to read it through again.  Books like these always offer more every time

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7. (Wow- that's the first time I've written that- he just turned 7 last week!).  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Little Town on the Prairie (Little House #7) by Laura Ingalls Wilder  -  Actually, we just finished this one last night!  My son has been loving the Little House series.  And I still have my set from when I was young! We just started with them at the beginning of this school year.  Only one or two of them was on the Ambleside list for this year - a source I used last year and the beginning of this year.  But while I find their book lists as a handy guide, I find their style too restricting.  So while they only have a few of the books listed for this year-  I let my son's enjoyment and enthusiasm to read more lead us.  These books have lent so many lovely discussions.  We have also introduced the TV series-  we don't do a lot of TV here, but this is one series I encourage and enjoy right along with him.

The World's Worst Fairy Godmother by Bruce Coville   This is just a humerous story by one of my favorite children's authors. We are starting this tonight. I don't necessarily like all of Coville's books, but some of them have been favorites.  We recently read Jennifer Murdley's Toad.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry  We just started Misty.  While fictional, I chose to read it as part of our history type literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon.

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then.

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on the way to our Schole class every Tuesday and at other times when I'm cleaning up the kitchen before we start our short lessons for the day.

 

So--  that pretty much sums up what I'm reading.

How about YOU?

 

 

2

Wrapping It Up: May and June

So it’s been quite a while since I have posted anything here. I am missing the blogging and writing but am also feeling a bit more balanced in other aspects of life- actually a lot more balanced. I just need to figure out if I can ever really add writing back in….and if I can, how and when! But here’s a bit of a catch up for those of you left wondering…..

My Writing World

Well- It’s been vacant. I haven’t written a blog post since the end of April. I haven’t worked on a manuscript since maybe the beginning of April- might have been March. I haven’t even corresponded with my critique groups which appear to be disappearing from the radar. It seems I’m not the only one lagging. I never did complete the course work for the class I paid for. All in all, the writing world is off the map right now. So on to other things….

My Book World

Well my reading has certainly picked up. I became determined at the end of May that I was going to enjoy my summer- and while I have LOTS of work to do over the summer- I ...continue reading "May & June Wrap-Up"

 

Photo By Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

 

Wrapping It Up  

March 

March has been a busy month and honestly, I almost forgot to do my wrap up post!  I was so excited that I found the time to write a post last night and was working on getting time to work on another upcoming post, that it almost slipped my mind that my monthly wrap-up was due!  I haven't written much, I know, but I do want to touch base with you all and ask how the rest of you faired this month?

My Writing World

Well, for those of you that follow the blog, you know the blogging part of my writing world isn't all that much these days.  I've kept up with my Sunday posts but that's almost all I've done.  My manuscripts have suffered with even less time.  I didn't even send anything in for critiques this month, but am currently working on something for April. I didn't get my two days away last month for writing (I used them for some spiritual reflection instead) but am in the middle of that two day get away for March right now.  So that's why I had time to do the extra post on food (see below)the other day, the one on reading aloud to your child and am able to write this one now.

My Book World

Here I've kept busy!  In the area of fiction, I finished up A Prayer For Owen Meany.  I'm not sure how I feel about the book.  I didn't love it but I didn't hate it all either.  It was a good read and certainly different from my regular genre which was a nice change of pace.  ...continue reading "March Wrap Up"

2

2015-03-27 21.11.36March is Read Aloud Month.  I can't believe I almost missed this opportunity to blog about what I consider to be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for your child's educational success!

2014-11-03 18.47.47

I'm a HUGE advocate of reading.  Anyone that has seen the stacks of books I bring home from the library or that are on my own bookshelves knows this.  One of my favorite times of the day is the time I sit down with my sons to read.  Yes, I read to the older one as well as the youngest.  I will read to my oldest son for as long as he will allow me and I enjoy the coziness of cuddling up with my youngest on the couch under a soft blanket and all the giggling that ensues. So when I hear or read about other parents who say they just don't have time to read much to their kids, it boggles my mind.

The importance of reading aloud is often overlooked as parents sometimes miss the role that reading to their children plays in the child's development.  Only 48% of kids are read to daily in the United States. Yet research has shown time and time again that reading aloud to your child is actually the single most important thing you can do to prepare him or her for reading and other learning.  Not only does this social time offer a chance of emotional connection with your child, but it promotes vocabulary, literacy skills and improves the child's overall language development and reading ability.

Furthermore, it's important to KEEP READING to your children, even AFTER they have learned to read on their own. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends reading to children beginning at birth.  This is wonderful, but lets not forget to keep reading even after the child develops the skills to read for themselves.  Studies have actually shown that those children that are read aloud to will read for their own pleasure more than the kids who are not read to.

Sharon Younger of Chicagonow.com wrote an article describing 7 reasons why reading aloud to older kids is important including enjoyment, life lessons, building of vocabulary and the fact that children LISTEN on a different level than what they READ on. When you read to them at a level above their own reading level (in other words, at their LISTENING level), they will get excited about the plot which is more complicated than he or she can read for themselves and this will further their hook for reading.

Reading aloud to your child is a true predictor of their success in this world.  Success in reading which leads to success in life.  Take time to read aloud and expose your child to not only the story knowledge of a quality book, but rare words and ideas that you truly do not always cover in your day-to-day conversations. Take time to read aloud and give your child this quality time to practice listening - a skill that is of utmost importance not only for academic learning but to prevent YOU from having to repeat things over and over .  There is SO much skill provided in just sitting down and reading to your child each day.

So turn the TV off or yeah, even the LeapPad in my own home, and read to your child.

One of his favorites!
One of his favorites!

Readaloud.org states that just 15 minutes a day can have a HUGE impact.  Check out their information on this@http://www.readaloud.org/15minutes.html

I challenge you!!  Read to your child today for 15 minutes.  Then do it again tomorrow.  Then do it again the next day, and the next and the next......

 

What Book(s) Did You Read To Your Child Today?

 

 

Resources:

Readaloud.org

Trelease-on-reading.com

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

7 Reasons Why Reading Aloud to Older Kids is Still Very Important

Reach Out and Read

Read To Your Children

 

2

Who doesn't love books?

Okay, I realize there are a few but those are just crazy people....lol... actually, I believe  those people were just  never given the right books!  My true passion for books started with this one:

That's  how I started my post from last January in which  I made a list of the books I wanted to read  in 2014- you can see that list here.  With the end of the year fast approaching, I wanted to review my list- determine if I still want to read the remaining books that I never got around to reading or finishing, and make a new list for the upcoming year.

All of the  books from my 2014 list have been the main photograph of this blog all year. I went through and marked off all the books I actually did read- here they are:

NEWBERRY MEDAL BOOKS: 

And I just finally started reading last year's winner -  Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo!

HOMESCHOOL SOURCES:

THE WRITING CRAFT:

  • Writing Picture Books: A Hands on Guide From Story to Creation by Ann Whitford Paul (Still Working on this one!)
  • 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
  • A Family of Readers - The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature (Still Working on This!)
  • Honey For A Child's Heart - The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life  (Still Working on This One Too!)

ORTHODOXY:

  • The Orthodox Study Bible - yes, I've already read it 🙂  But the bible is a daily must no matter how many times one has read it
  • 2014 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of the Saints (Fasting Calendar by The Orthodox Calendar Company)- I've used this periodically, but failed, I'm afraid, in reading it daily as intended.

 

OTHER FICTION:

PICTURE BOOKS:

  • TOO MANY TO LIST!!

Of Course, I DID stray from the list.... 

  • The Busy Mom's Guide to Romance by Heidi St. John
  • Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  • Clutter Free With Kids by Joshua S. Becker
  • Grain Brain by David Perlmutter  -  I'll be honest- I haven't completely finished this one either- but I do LOVE what I've read thus far and highly recommend this informative read.
  • The Emotionally Healthy Woman - I haven't finished this one either - I'm reading it with a wonderful group of women and thoroughly enjoying it.
  • Love and Respect - another one I've recently started.
  • Unglued - a great book by Lysa TerKeurst that I am actually rereading as I've mentioned in some posts.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkiabn (a reread for me, a read-aloud with my son)
  • A Christmas Carol - Our Current Read-Aloud that we are sure to finish within a few days!

I have truly loved most of them.  There was only one or two that wasn't necessarily what I hoped it would be.  And I'm eager to finish the ones I'm reading now and move on to more.  So I'm thinking of starting a list now for 2015 - not that I think I NEED one to read- I just like having an idea, something to keep me from buying EVERY SINGLE BOOK I SEE that interests me- because if I don't have a list- It's very tempting to do just that.

books-389392_1280 book store
I would never bypass a good bookstore though-booklist or not 😉

 

What Was Your Favorite Book This Year?

Are there any that fall into my categories above?  Are there any other books that you would recommend for my To Read list for 2015?

 

4

I love to read.

I especially love to read at Christmastime! And in December, it's been pretty much an unspoken rule or tradition that I read Christmas themed books at night to the kids- now it's pretty much just one kid- but we have enjoyed quite a few nice Christmas stories this past week!  So while today is not Book Review Wednesday, I wanted to let you in on this favorite December activity of mine.

My personal favorite Christmas book is actually not a kid's book per se - it's this one-

2014-12-08 18.59.10

Norman Rockwell's Christmas book is filled with classic Christmas stories, poems, Carols and more- not to mention illustrated by this magnificent artist!  While a lot of these stories may be a bit advanced for a 4 year old, I do intend to read from this book this December- little snippets here and there including Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus,  bible selections, and several Carols.  I may incorporate a bit of artist study as well, showing him the colorful photos of the paintings and very informally talking about them with him.  I really look forward to sharing this book with him that I was gifted with in my first year of college by my wonderful grandparents.  It seems to be out of print now, but here's an Amazon link to some used copies!

Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book : Carols, Stories, Poems, Recollections

In addition to my reading at Christmastime, I've stumbled upon several blogs recently that are putting up very nice Christmas book lists.  I'd love to have the time to do this myself but time is eluding me.  So I thought I'd at least share with my viewers the blog sites that ARE putting up these great lists so you can benefit from them as I have! I'll add to this list as I stumble upon more. I would love to do my own list for next year - so PLEASE tell me what books YOU LOVE to read at Christmas!  (Children's and adult!)

The Busy Mom's Favorite Christmas Books

Best New Kids' Christmas Books 2014

25 Books of Christmas: Our Advent Calendar

A Very Bookish Countdown

Charlotte Mason's Christmas List : 5 Living Books Library Picks (2012)

And one more related list at Charlotte Mason & Home Education!

 

What's YOUR favorite Christmas Book list AND...

...What's YOUR favorite Christmas book and WHY is it your favorite???

 

8

I'm an avid reader, as I'm sure you can tell.  Especially if you read my post back at the beginning of the year listing the books I wanted to read by year's end...

I've made progress on that list but I don't foresee actually getting through it.  Especially since I'm barely reading at all these days and the ones I could say I'm actually currently ACTIVELY reading are not ones from my list. Sigh.

There are other books I'm reading...but not so actively - meaning I've started them and they ended up in a stack of other books I've started but got sidetracked because , well, I started others.  It's almost an addiction... book stacks....

But here is what I'm Currently ACTIVELY reading:

1.  The Relaxation  & Stress Reduction Workbook (previously mentioned in several posts such as this one and this one)

2.  Charlotte Mason Education:  A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison- I'm hoping that Ms. Levison's book will at least put in my mind the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods.

Yep....that's it.  For me , that is really an extremely short list.  But I'm still unpacking...and searching....  Have I mentioned that I have unpacked (not put away and organized mind you...but ) the majority of our boxes and STILL can not find my son's Leapfrog LeapPad???

 This is a small computer like toy that he uses for educational games and BOOKS that I've downloaded for him.  He is not addicted to it like a lot of kids are with electronic games but we really like it for trips in the car, appointments and for use in general places that he has to sit for longer periods of time than usual....   So anyway... I can't find it.  It seems to be gone.  And that really really bothers me (obviously since I've seem to have found a way to rant about it here in the middle of a post on reading and books....)

So yes, that's my current book list.

I'm really eager to read more of the Charlotte Mason book.  I've just started it and can only get in half a page or so here and there.  I truly am falling in love with this method of homeschooling.  I just don't know how to shake off all those years of public schooling from my memory and let it completely fall to the wayside...  I guess I won't completely.  But I do really want to change my approach for our little guy.  The way he's picking up on 'making words' right now is delightful!!

I also hope to find more time this week to read the chapter on time management in the workbook....ain't that a hoot!  Need to find time to read about time management.... I guess that's a big indicator that I really do need to read it!

So What is on your current ACTIVE reading list?

 

10

Well summer started just the other day and I realized we are halfway into the year!  This got me thinking back on my posts during January -  one on New Year's Resolutions (I realized I'm doing at least somewhat well with  7-8  of the resolutions I set for myself and not so well with about  7  of them and the one on books I wish to read by the end of this year.  Here's my progress on that list!:

NEWBERRY MEDAL BOOKS:  (I've read a few of these but really need to get cracking!)

  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead  (book review)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman*
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz*
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech  (book review)
  • Missing May by Cynthia Rylant  (book review)
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
  • Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
  • ?  still deciding....  (Rifles For Waite)  
  • ?  still deciding
* They are not in the picture because I haven't purchased them yet!

HOMESCHOOL SOURCES: (Doing well here)

  • Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann - I've read the parts I need to 'read' but we are still using it for the exercises so I don't count it as totally completed yet! (We are over the halfway point...see my recent post on that here)
  • Exploring America by Ray Notgrass -  Reading Book #2 with my son for school
  • Laying Down The Rails - Sonya Shafer
  • The Early Years - Shafer & Smith
  • All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar  &  The Books and Things Seminar - DVDs and workbooks presented by Simply Charlotte Mason
  • When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper

THE WRITING CRAFT:  (not great, but not bad either)

  • Writing Picture Books: A Hands on Guide From Story to Creation by Ann Whitford Paul
  • 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
  • A Family of Readers - The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature  (started)
  • Honey For A Child's Heart - The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life  (this one easily falls into the Homeschooling category as well as A Family of Readers) (started...I think I'm about a third of the way in)

ORTHODOXY:

  • The Orthodox Study Bible - yes, I've already read it 🙂  But the bible is a daily must no matter how many times one has read it  (Trying to use a recent recommendation and keeping it lying open in a spot that I pass by often.... it's open to the psalms - also reading a bible commentary on the book of Luke)
  • The Faith by Clark Carlton
  • Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Hart of Christian Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides
  • The Open Door by Frederica Mathewes-Green (just started again recently)
  • 2014 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of the Saints (Fasting Calendar by The Orthodox Calendar Company) (ugh.... not doing well with keeping up with this...yikes... not even sure where it is...need to locate and put by the bedside again or maybe with my bible commentary)

FOOD/NATURAL HEALTH:(uh, yeah, well....... not doing so well here...I keep getting distracted by fiction! LOL)

  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
  • The Coconut Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D.
  • It Starts With Food by Dallas & Mellissa Hartwig - I've read this before but I have a feeling I'll be reading it again...it was that good and packed with great information.
  • ??  More to be Determined!

OTHER FICTION: (GLIMPSE was just released....maybe I'll talk my DH into stopping by the mall today so I can see if I can pick it up!  Hope it's as good as it sounds!)

  • Dr. Sleep by Stephen King  ***  I couldn't let this one go by, no matter how many other books I'm reading!  It's the sequel to The SHINING....my first Stephen King book that I ever read!   (see my post on it here)
  • Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff - a Newberry Honor Book (See my book review)
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson  -  sadly it's not in the picture because it doesn't come out until January 7th.... but I should be getting it delivered that day!!  (Wrote a post on this one.....still feeling the pain of the protagonist... will probably read this one again but maybe not this year)
  • Glimpse - the debut novel by Kendra  Leighton... apparently based on the epic poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes... this book is due out in August.
  • The Red Badge of Courage (my son is reading this one this year and I never have)
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Another my son is reading)
  • The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (And another)
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare (My son's first Shakespeare - wish us luck!) (started.....oops...forgot to finish although my son did....hmmm...read before we watch the Netflix DVD that's on the TV stand or after???)
  • Others, if time, To Be Determined.....

PICTURE BOOKS:

  • No current list made.... I'm sure there will be tons....  at the very minimum we go to the library every 2-3 weeks and get at least 12-15 books..... that should involve a lot of reading!  (Yep....been reading A LOT of these.... LOVING IT!)

wpid-IMG_20140104_115747_320.jpg

 

I'm not giving up on the New Year's Resolutions either.  I decided to print out my list and keep it by my bedside to use as a marker for whatever my current bedside book is so that I have a visual reminder each evening, allowing me to keep them more present in my mind.

How are you doing on your resolutions for the year and reading goals?