If there was one area I was to say we were rocking it when it comes to homeschooling it would have to be reading.
That really should come as no surprise. We read a number of picture books each month, Raeca reads a few chapter books on her own and we are killing it when it comes to audiobooks.
Audiobooks have taken over our meal times in a really good way. We’ve finished so many good ones in the last few weeks I wanted to share them.
If you are the kind of person that is good at reading novels aloud, you totally don’t have to do these on audio. I’ve just really learned that is not my thing. I actually started reading The Hundred Dresses to Raeca when we started back after Christmas (six weeks ago) and even though we’ve read it before we are currently only halfway through. I just can’t bring myself to read novels out loud so for us audiobooks are the solution. (Now we just need to finish The Hundred Dresses on audio . . .)
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the vast amount of diversity in our audiobooks, and how interested Raeca is in books that I thought she would only enjoy when she was older.
At the beginning of the year I created a list of read alouds I wanted to get through as well as a classics list, and here is a list of read alouds we read in the first part of the year.
Now on to our most recent read alouds, which I personally think were some of the best reads of the year.
READ ALOUD NOVELS
FOR GRADE ONE
This one my kids loved, Ephraim talked about Crenshaw for days after we finished the book.
In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience. Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
We listened to this The Invention of Hugo Cabret on audio but we had the hard copy as well. If you are doing audio you need to have the hard copy, Selznick’s books are huge, hundreds of pages, most of which contain illustrations that complement the story. I can’t wait for more of his books to get onto audio.
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
Can a robot survive in the wilderness? When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives.
We are currently going through the Spiderwick series. We listened to book one in 24 hours and then the next day listened to both book two and three, only four and five left now (which won’t take us long)!
After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they’ve just moved into, Jared; his twin brother, Simon; and their older sister, Mallory, discover that there’s a magical and maybe dangerous world existing parallel to our own—the world of faerie. The Grace children want to share their story, but the faeries will do everything possible to stop them . . .
The whole time we were listening to Because of Winn-Dixie I kept thinking the narrator sounded like Cherry Jones, who also narrates The Little House on the Prairie series and it turns out I was right!
One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.
This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
Of course my kids loved The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and now we are on the waitlist for book three, The Horse and His Boy. I can’t wait to listen to the whole series with them.
Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.