• Our Homeschool Monthly Reading Wrap Up - our monthly read alouds and independent reads
    books,  reading lately

    WHAT WE READ IN APRIL – our homeschool read alouds and individual reads for the month!

    Here’s a wrap up of another reading month.

    Rae read a TON this month!

    My non-fiction reading was everything from a very disappointing read to one I loved.


    Our Homeschool Monthly Reading Wrap Up - our monthly read alouds and independent reads





    Keeper of the Lost Cities – books 1, 2 & 3!



    Keeper of the Lost Cities – Unlocked


    Ramona Series

    The Green Ember

    Bliss Bakery Series

    Nancy Drew Diaries Series



    Life as a Viking

    Isobel Kuhn

    Underground to Canada



    Dyslexia 101

    Awaking Wonder

    The Call of the Wild + Free

  • WHAT WE READ IN MARCH - our homeschool read alouds, what the kids are reading & what mom is reading!
    book lists,  books,  mother culture,  reading lately

    WHAT WE READ IN MARCH – our homeschool read alouds, what the kids are reading & what mom is reading!

    Today Raeca and I are sharing a wrap up of our reading from the month of March!

    We are chatting about our read alouds and what we read on our own as well.

    There was a combination of some pretty mediocre books and some really great ones.

    We would love to hear what you have been reading lately and if you have any book suggestions for us for future months!


    WHAT WE READ IN MARCH - our homeschool read alouds, what the kids are reading & what mom is reading!





    Here are all the books we read in March, be sure to watch the video to hear our thoughts on them!


    Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures: The African Safari Discovery

    When a flat skull is discovered in Africa, Stanley Lambchop decides to travel there with his brother, Arthur, and their father, George. Maybe studying the skull will give them clues to Stanley’s flatness. But once in Africa, the Lambchops are in for more adventure than they bargained for. From lions to zebras to elephants, it’s the safari of a lifetime!



    Case Closed – Mystery in the Mansion

    Carlos Serrano has never solved a mystery in his life. But when Carlos’s mom gets sick with a flu on the morning of an investigation that could save her failing detective agency, Carlos takes on the case.

    With the help of his best friend, Eliza, and her wild little brother, Frank, Carlos must uncover a mystery involving an eccentric local millionaire, anonymous death threats, and a buried treasure. But with tricky riddles, cagey suspects, hidden secrets, and dozens of impossible choices, they need your help!

    Can you help Carlos and his friends find the culprit and save Las Pistas Detective Agency? Or will it be case closed?



    Enola Holmes – The Case of The Missing Marquess

    Meet Enola Holmes, teenaged girl turned detective and the younger sister to Sherlock Holmes.

    When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers—all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother’s strange disappearance. Amid all the mayhem, will Enola be able to decode the necessary clues and find her mother?


    The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

    Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates. This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons. Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn’t complete them, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom. But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure.


    Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls

    A girl discovers her boarding school is actually an elite spy-training program, and she must learn the skills of the trade in order to find her mother in this action-packed middle grade debut that’s perfect for fans of Stu Gibbs.

    After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results.

    But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…


    Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls: Power Play

    After discovering the truth about her spy school/boarding school—and her super-spy mom—Abby Hunter is ready for her next adventure, but what’s about to happen is something she never would have guessed…

    Everyone at The Smith School is obsessed with Monster Mayhem, the latest reality video game craze. But when Drexel Caine, the mastermind behind the game, is suddenly kidnapped, it becomes clear that the kidnappers are playing for more than just special badges.

    After Drexel’s son—who is Abby’s friend, Toby—receives a cryptic message, Abby and her friends discover the kidnapping is part of a bigger scheme that could take down The Center for good.

    With the help of Abby’s frenemy (and reluctant mentor), Veronica Brooks, the group tackles their first official Center Mission. They tangle with the world’s most notorious hacker, get in trouble for the possible theft of the Mona Lisa, and prepare for the ultimate showdown in London. But not before they have to contend with one more hurdle: the agonizing Smith School Spring Formal. Along the way, they discover they are much stronger as a team than they can ever be alone.

    And with a little luck, they might just save the world.


    Keeper of the Lost Cities – Legacy

    Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities.

    And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past, or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined—and their roles have already been chosen for them.

    Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything—especially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy.


    The Great Cake Mystery

    Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective?
    This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.
    When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.



    The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

    Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller’s students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller’s unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. Her love of books and teaching is both infectious and inspiring. The book includes a dynamite list of recommended “kid lit” that helps parents and teachers find the books that students really like to read.


    Love-Centered Parenting: The No-Fail Guide to Launching Your Kids

    Do you worry that you’re messing up your kids? Do you get stressed when you think about their futures? New York Times bestselling author Crystal Paine knows how you feel. A mom of four, Crystal has struggled with anxiety over parenting. She wanted to parent with grace, instead of a system of rules where kids are expected to do all the right things. She wanted to be a safe place for her children, and she definitely didn’t want to be remembered as the sort of mom who yelled, wounded her kids with words, or worse, cared more about her reputation than her kids’ hearts. 


    Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning

    Sally, what is your secret?

    For years, parents worldwide have asked beloved author Sally Clarkson how she and her husband have ignited a love for learning and a deep faith in their children. They want to know how the Clarksons launched their children to live such vibrant, flourishing lives as adults.

    Awaking Wonder is Sally’s answer to those questions. This book is thirty-six years in the making and provides a deep dive into Sally’s most profound legacy: nurturing and guiding her four children into a wonder-filled life.

    If you are idealistic and hopeful about the process of raising your children to be healthy and vibrant, you will find encouragement through the Clarksons’ story. If you are exhausted, confused, ill equipped, or unsupported in your journey as a parent, you will find relief through the countless ideas in this book.

    Awaking Wonder will inspire you, delight you, provide laughter, and bring tears through the heartfelt stories of four lively children and the wondrous life they grew up in together. 

    Journey with Sally toward

    · cultivating wonder all around you, alongside your children
    · understanding how to open your children’s hearts and minds to the grand design, beauty, and goodness scattered throughout the universe
    · laying a foundation for spiritual formation and a robust faith in God
    · nurturing your children to live into their capacity in intellect, faith, and relationships 

    If you long for a holistic, spiritually foundational approach to parenting and education, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.


    We would love to hear what you have been reading lately and if you have any book suggestions for us for future months!

  • What We've Been Reading Lately in our Home and Homeschool - books for mom, middle school and elementary kids - picture books, audiobooks and chapter books
    books,  reading lately

    What We’ve Been Reading Lately – September

    So, apparently when the weather changes here I start reading more.

    In June and July I only read one book a month and this month I read something like twelve books!

    Other than the cooler weather I also think Scribd has a lot to do with my increased reading. I’m not even a full month into my free trial and I’ve already read/listened to seven books on there with a couple more on the go and some of the ones I read at the beginning of the month pre-Scribd are available on there as well. I’ve personally been very impressed by the selection.

    Not sure what Scribd is? Think of it like Netflix but for books (so, way cooler). If you use my Scribd links in this post you can get your first two months free!

    It’s not just me though, the kids have been turning to books more this month as well, something my mama reader heart likes to see.


    What We've Been Reading Lately in our Home and Homeschool - books for mom, middle school and elementary kids - picture books, audiobooks and chapter books





    Like I said, this was a really good reading month for me. I did a good combination of listening to audiobooks, reading ebooks and reading paper copies. Books in all formats!

    In the last month or two I’ve really come to realize how much I enjoy the fantasy genre, something I never read as a child and the idea that I like the genre is still a little new to me. If you have any fantasy recommendations I would love to hear them!

    I started out this month, actually, I think it was the end of last month, devouring Flight of the Raven. It is the second book in The Ravenwood Saga, a Christian fantasy series, if you remember I raved about Mark of the Raven last month. I wouldn’t say book two was as good as one but I really did like the references to light and dark. Book three is supposed to be coming out in February (I believe) so I am looking forward to finishing the series up. I do think it is so far my absolute favorite book series.



    From there I went on to read Fawkes, a historical fiction crossed with Christian fantasy. If that sounds like a weird combination I totally understand, but that being said, I really enjoyed it (also, the cover is gorgeous). I was an au pair in England after high school and was there over Guy Fawkes Day so that made the book a little more interesting as well.

    One of the BookTubers I like to watch (YouTuber’s who like to talk about books), often recommends the Steel and Fire series and this month I listened to books one through three: Duel of Fire, King of Mist and Dance of Steel. I really enjoyed book one and the others were okay. I think I generally don’t like book series’ though, I’m more of a fan of standalones.

    The Secret Garden was my classics book club read for this month. I remember reading it years ago and enjoying it more then than I did this time, but I do think it’s a classic for a reason.

    I listened to Tuesdays at the Castle to see if my daughter would like it (she would). It’s a pretty good fantasy story for middle grade.



    Since I enjoyed Morgan L. Busse’s Ravenwood Saga I wanted to continue on and read her previous books. I read Tainted and then Awakened, they are the two books in The Soul Chronicles, a steampunk, Christian fantasy series. Honestly, I had no idea what steampunk was before this month, I’m not sure if I would enjoy other books in the genre but these were done really well.

    I didn’t read as much non-fiction this month, which is probably why I read more, non-fiction always takes longer to read for me. But I listened to Friend-ish, a book about biblical friendship, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but I found it very interesting, it talked about some of the problems of clinging to friendships too tightly, a side of friendship often not talked about, what I’ve read on friendship in the past has been more about how to be a better friend.

    Next I moved on to another Morgan L. Busse series, and I think the first one she wrote (I pretty much read her series’ in reverse order). I read book one in the Follower of the Word series; Daughter of Light. Reading her books all so closely together I can definitely see how she has grown as a writer. This series contains three books and I do plan on reading the second and third books soon.

    And the last book I finished for the month was another non-fiction, The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, this one was mentioned and recommended in one of our foster care training sessions the other weekend and I happened to find it at the thrift store for $0.50! It was very informative and helped me to realize that one of my kids definitely has some sensory processing struggles. The book isn’t so big on how to help with them but once you have names for them there are tons of ideas on Pinterest, this has already helped me have a few Christmas gift ideas for my sensory seeking kiddo.


    Okay, that was a lot of books, wasn’t it?! Those are just the ones I finished, there are more that I am in the process of reading! I will hold out commenting on them until I am done but here is what I am currently reading: Start with the Heart: How to Motivate Your Kids to Be Compassionate, Responsible, and Brave, Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family (I have been wanting to read this book for awhile so I was really excited to find it on Scribd!), You Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal With It (we are going through this in my church book club).


    Okay, well, if that wasn’t a novel in itself! I think those are all the books I read/am reading right now, time for what the kids have been reading . . .



    THE GIRL (8)

    My daughter is close to finishing with her first book from the list of independent reads for grade 4 that I created for her, her first book she chose from the list was the third Harry Potter book. Honestly, she could be done the book by now but she doesn’t want to read it in the evenings, she prefers to read lighter books before bed so they don’t give her bad dreams, plus this is the longest book on the list by far, after she’s done it she’ll probably cruise through a few within a month.

    This month she also listened to the entire Green Ember series and has plans to read book one with two of her fellow homeschool friends in a book club they are starting (how adorable!).

    Was anyone else addicted to the Baby-Sitters Club books as a child? I sure was, so I’ve intentionally tried to steer her away from them but I picked up a Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel and she didn’t move from the couch until she had finished it and then promptly asked for more.

    One of the mini units we will be studying soon is spies so I picked up a few books on the topic, she has been reading Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls for the last few days. It sounds like a book I would have loved as a child.

    Another book she has been reading in the last few days is book two in the Grimmtastic Girls series, they are based off of the Grimm’s fairy tales and from what she tells me it follows the girls (this one is about Red Riding Hood) after the fairy tale.

    I am personally happy to see more diversity in her reading than there had been in the previous few months!


    THE BOY (6)

    My son re-listened to the first book in the Green Ember series this month. I’m not sure if he will continue on with the series yet or not.

    His reading is slowly coming along, this month has included more easy readers as well as some Elephant and Piggie.

    I’m definitely looking forward to him getting beyond this easy reader stage (he is too), it has felt like he’s been here for a long time and he wants to be a reader, it’s just something he has to work harder at than some other kids.



    We finally finished North! Or Be Eaten! We will be continuing on with the series soon. Originally I was going to wait until Christian Audio had their next sale but then I realized the series is on Scribd so I think this week we will continue with book three.

    We also finished the Christian Heroes story of Cameron Townsend – Okay, I love the Christian Heroes series and think Cameron Townsend did some amazing stuff but this was my least favorite book in the series, it just did not hold my attention. We usually listen to one of these books in less than two week and this one took us six. I’m looking forward to something different next!




    It’s migration season here in Saskatchewan, so I got a book from the library aptly called Migration. The book not only has great information but also beautiful illustrations. The butterfly page is my absolute favorite.


    Any suggestions for what we should read in the next month?

    If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the book-ish newsletter!

  • What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately
    books,  reading lately

    What We’ve Been Reading Lately – August

    A big part of our life and homeschool is reading, if you haven’t already signed up for the book-ish newsletter I would suggest you do so, I have some fun stuff I will be sharing there soon.

    Sharing what we’ve been reading each month is a great practice for me to look back on the month and I love sharing about our reads because then other people read them and we can continue to have great book discussions.

    I also enjoy getting book recommendations, so if you have one (or more) that you think we would enjoy, let me know!


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately



    I’ve mentioned a few times but this has been a slow summer for reading for me. Summer is usually slower but I only read one book in all of July, that’s extra slow.

    Thankfully things have been picking up this month and I’ve finished three books and think I will finish at least one more before the month is officially over.

    The first book I finished was The Ministry of Ordinary Places which I had started already last month. I really enjoyed it and found it very fitting for my season in life.

    After that I read The Fairest Beauty which I found at a thrift store. It is a fairy tale retelling which I’m usually a fan of. Though I was a little disappointed with this one. It is a Christian fairy tale retelling which was exciting and it started out so well and was very promising but I felt like it went downhill and ended up being too romance-y for me. This author did write more fairy tale retellings so I’m curious if they are all the same in that regard, if yes I probably won’t read any more, if not, I’m more interested in trying another one.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    The next book I read I totally devoured and already have told a lot of people about. I think this is my absolute favorite fiction book of the year so far. The book is Mark of the Raven. It’s a Christian female fantasy and I really can’t say enough good things about it. Though, I don’t want to give away too much but think: female assassin and a great contrast between light and dark. If you are a fan of fantasy at all I would highly recommend checking it out.

    Honestly, I didn’t read anything for more than ten days after finishing Mark of the Raven because I was waiting for book two (Flight of the Raven) to come from the library and I didn’t think anything would live up to the series. But I just picked up book two and will probably be finishing it in a day or two if the first book was any indication.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    THE GIRL (8)

    She jumped into her list of independent reads for grade 4 and has been reading the third Harry Potter book.

    When she wants some easier reading she will pick up one of the Stilton books, currently she’s reading through the Mouseford Academy books.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately


    THE BOY (6)

    This month has been all about the easy readers for him. This stage of reading was not very long with my daughter so we hardly read any of these books, for him it’s been a bit slower and these books (while boring) are helping to build his fluency and confidence so we’ll continue with them.



    We are on about chapter forty-eight of North! Or Be Eaten, we’re all still really enjoying the book and I was hoping to wait until November to buy the next two audiobooks (because I feel like they will go on sale then) but I’m not sure if we can wait that long . . .

    During our lunches this month we have been listening to another Christian Heroes book, this time the story of Cameron Townsend and the start of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, I have yet to be disappointed from a single book in this series. My only problem is that it makes me want to go be a missionary in whatever country we are currently hearing about.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Home and Homeschool Lately



    A couple of years ago we got a copy of What Should Danny Do? to review. It’s pretty much a picture book choose your own adventure all about making positive choices. My kids loved the book right away and have read it many times over the years, trying to get to all the different endings. They’ve been back at it again and I love to see them reading together.


    Any suggestions for what we should read in the next month?

    If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the book-ish newsletter!

  • What We've Been Reading in Our Homeschool Lately
    books,  reading lately

    What We’ve Been Reading Lately – July 2019

    So, weekly this past winter and monthly in the summer I’ve been sending out my book-ish newsletter letting you know what we’ve been reading lately and some other book-ish resources and a couple of really good book deals that I came across.

    For the foreseeable future I am going to share what we we’ve been reading over here on the blog, but if you like all things books I would still suggest signing up for the book-ish newsletter because I have some fun book related things that I will be sharing there coming up soon!




    A Look Inside My Mother Morning Basket



    This has been a slow reading summer for me but I am totally okay with that, I have been spending a lot of my normal reading time doing all the outdoor things and taking full advantage of our short Saskatchewan summer.

    That being said, I have almost finished The Life & Faith Field Guide for Parents, the subtitle says: Help your kids learn practical life skills, develop essential faith habits and embrace a Biblical worldview. Are you sold yet? I would highly recommend it, it give practical steps on how to do things yourself and then in turn teach them to your children. Everything from how to accept criticism to how to sleep to how to pray and a whole lot more!

    I have also started The Ministry of Ordinary Places, so far this is a very fitting book for me in this season.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Homeschool Lately


    If you have been getting my book-ish newsletter you’ll already know that I started reading The Fellowship of the Ring a few months ago – I haven’t actually read any of it in the last month because I’ve realized that I needed longer blocks of time to really get into it and I think it will be good to pick up once the weather starts getting colder. I am actually really enjoying the book, but I do most of my reading in short snippets throughout the day and it just isn’t conducive to that kind of reading.

    That’s all I’m reading at this moment!


    THE GIRL (8)

    She goes through different reading reading phases, currently she has a stack of Thea Stilton books out from the library.


    What We've Been Reading in Our Homeschool Lately


    THE BOY (6)

    I shared on Instagram a couple of weeks ago that we are taking a little break from a phonics based reading approach and have been reading a bunch of Mem Fox books. I don’t think this approach has really helped with his reading skills but it has helped tremendously with his reading confidence so that’s nice. His favorite so far has been Tough Boris, what I appreciate about this book is that the story is pretty simple but the pictures make the story so much more.



    We fairly recently finished the first book in the Wingfeather Saga and quickly moved on to book two: North! Or Be Eaten. We even got my husband hooked on book one and now we only listen to this one if he’s around.

    Since we want to listen to audiobooks at lunch time too when my husband is at work we are also listening to Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts – I have yet to be disappointed by a book in this series. We’re about halfway through this one and it’s so inspiring!


    Any suggestions for what we should read in the next month?

    If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the book-ish newsletter!