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Collage Friday - Reading, Selling, and Recommending Books


Our family has a love affair with books. 

My kids are 11 and 8 and the both LOVE to read.  Going to the library is a huge treat for them. They look forward to Tuesday afternoons (our weekly library visit), where the librarians greet them warmly, ask what they are interested in that week, and then direct them to resources.

I don't believe there are any "secrets" to developing readers, but I do think there are some key ingredients to CULTIVATING them.

  • make good books available everywhere and all the time
  • visit the library often
  • no TWADDLE!
  • don't make television readily available
  • discuss the books you are reading with your children - they will catch your enthusiasm for a good book

*This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

Reading Books

Last week I shared with you how my kids are doing a lot of Delight Directed Learning.  This week it continued.  

Anna has taken an interest in Anne Frank (I think it stemmed from an article I read her about Justin Bieber's comments at the Anne Frank house a few weeks ago - and how he thought she would have been a "Belieber". Oy. ). We checked out many Anne Frank books.  She is nearly finished with The Diary of a Young Girl

Grant's love affair with baseball continues. He checked out many books about Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron. He also read Stars in the Shadows:  The Negro League All Star Game of 1934.

As our official schoolwork is dwindling (we are nearly done with our year), the kids interests are leading them in such marvelous ways. It makes me so happy to see them loving learning. 

{I need to revisit a favorite book of mine, Guerilla Learning - it's been a while since I've read it.}

Selling Books

We spent A LOT of time this week sorting through books and tagging them for our homeschool group's used book sale.

I'm so impressed with the organizers of this event. All sellers get a spreadsheet and it's as easy as entering your books, printing your tags, and dropping your books at the gym. (There's even a MAP of the sale to help you place your books where they will sell the best!)

The kids helped me so much this year. They tagged 162 items (all mine - I have a book problem!). I can't wait to see how much money we made (I find out after the sale this afternoon!).

The blessing in this sale is not only reduced priced curriculum, but also the many mothers there talking about what has and hasn't worked for them. I've learned so much at these sales in the past.

*While I was sorting through books this week, the kids did many Time 4 Learning lessons. I love Time 4 Learning for times like this - when I still want the kids to be learning but haven't had the time to plan formal lessons or they just need something less "mom initiated". They did many science lessons and Anna even reviewed math concepts.  

 Our New Favorite Outdoor Game

Last week Grant and I were out shopping by ourselves.

He suckered me into buying Trac-Ball. I am SO glad we did! We've all had so much fun with it this week.

My favorite part of our house is our big, green backyard. (In our old house we had a small, fenced in yard with one tree) The kids have been out each afternoon and evening playing with neighbors, each other, and their dad and me. 

Since we cut back on extracurriculuar activities this year, we've been home almost every evening, playing games together, and eating together as a family.   

Life is just too short to be running ragged and not seeing your family members. We made a conscious decision at the end of last year to STOP the running.  Other than Anna's choral ensemble commitment, we have kept things to a bare minimum and we're all much happier.

 Odds and Ends

Using one of my favorite iPhone photo apps, I made this picture about doing timed math drills. 

Do you time your kids for math drills? I have one child that LOVES it and another that strongly dislikes it. I think, however, they have proven themselves quite valuable in our homeschool. Since we have been timing (thanks mostly to Saxon math) the kids facts are rock solid. 

We are also starting some beautiful composer activities, thanks to Homeschool in the Woods' Composer Activity Pack.  I have long drooled over the artwork in all of their products, and using them is such a treat. This study is going to be the perfect addition to something I have been working VERY HARD ON for several months.

Speaking of composers, we took the kids to a fancy concert last Saturday night. Kudos to them for sitting through an evening of chamber music. It was simply beautiful - Anna loved every minute of it. Grant declared before the concert that he didn't have the "appreciation" for classical music that Anna has but "he would go because he knew I liked it."  

One day this week we also went with a friend to visit Anna's teacher from elementary school. She was blessed to have the same wonderful teacher for first and second grade. This teacher really ruined us for any other teacher, and I'm fairly certain she played a large part in our decision to homeschool.

Mrs. Reynolds is a treasure, and it's so nice to visit with her, even if it's only once or twice a year.

We enjoyed many pleasant evenings on our deck. We love eating outside this time of year.

This week's favorite recipe was a very simple Taco Casserole.  Five stars from my family! 

LEGO Happenings


The kids have been working together on a LEGO stop motion video (using Stop Motion Studio). I'm so happy to see them working together on this.

They have been using all of the LEGO Education® StoryStarter elements, as well as the Historic and FairyTale Minifigures (have you entered the giveaway I have for these right now?).

I Instagramed the above picture and my friend, Jimmie, said she thought it looked the minifigs were at a drive-in movie! It's actually the little setup my daughter has with her iPod touch for filming. 

These two kids have been working on this video endlessly (I hope to share it with you next week) and it does my heart such good.  You know I just love LEGO Learning, don't you? 

Recommending Books

I talked about selling and reading books - now for recommending books.

We've read so many great things, and I want to share them with you. I find most of our reading selections on blogs, after all.

Read Alouds:

Anna's Reads:

Grant's Reads:

 On My Nightstand:


I hope everyone had a wonderful week. I can feel our school year winding down and am looking forward to a long summer vacation. 

The next few weeks we have so many graduations, confirmations, concerts, recitals, and special events. May is always one of my favorite months!  

I hope you link up your weekly photo collage post!  Please remember to include photo collages.  Also, link back to this post or include the Collage Friday button (in my sidebar) in your post. Once you have signed the linky, please visit others on the list to gain ideas and offer encouragement.  I love the Collage Friday community!  (I reserve the right to delete any links that don't comply with the guidelines.)


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Reader Comments (12)

What a fun outdoor game! Hope your weekend is blessed!

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa newell

What an awesome week, Mary. I love homeschool used book sales. I am not sure I ever make more money then I spend ~ HA! I reaaly find that Time4Learning is working great for Goldilocks. She is very engaged with the lessons.
Blessings, Dawn

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I just read a new picture book to my girls that Grant would lke. It's a biography of Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares. I going to Ty to share it on my blog inthe near future. Happy Friday!

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy @ Hope Is the Word

We're book people too! But try as hard as we might, Jeremiah does not really like to read *sigh*! He's a high tech kind of kid. I can't wait to see the Lego video!

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

Hi Mary - loved reading about your week. I wish we had a sale like that round here - I have so many books that I don't want to just give away, not just because the cash would be useful but also because I really want them to go to other homeschoolers who are searching for them! (Somehow I don't get round to doing the Amazon thing very often.)
I agree with Jimmie - the Lego "drive in movie" is very cool! :-D We used Lego today to work on the Pythagoras Theorem. SO useful!
Thanks for hosting the link up.

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLula B

I'm not sure there's any quick fix to get kids to love reading. My oldest reads everything and anything, my middle has set genres she likes and reads quite a bit, and my youngest, well, he loathes reading. :sigh: I have hopes that someday he'll change his mind though! :wink:

Oh, the delight-directed learning book for Kindle was free this morning and I was able to download it! Yay me! :) I need to get started on that ASAP. LOL I'm totally curious how it works.

I hear you on the running, especially now that I'm a "single" mom doing it all. Usually I have 2-3 in sports every season, but this spring only my girl is playing something. The boys weren't "into" doing anything and instead of encouraging them I went with it. I'm still for something 4 days a week, 2 of them nights, but it's been MUCH worse in other years. :wink:

First off, I can't tell you how proud I am of Grant and his comment about going to the classical music concert because he knew you liked it. What a great comment!

Second, I applaud your decision to cut back on activities. I really do. I wish more parents would see that light. So much running around and running ourselves ragged - I don't think it is healthy for any family.

I am curious, though. So many parents do it because they believe you have to do that in order to get your kids' college applications looking stellar. I don't know that I believe that. I'll be interested to see as Anna and Grant grow how the "activity" level may or may not grow in your family and how it may or may not impact how you and Hal look towards the post-secondary education of your kids. I honestly don't know the answer here ... that's why I am curious to watch how you and Hal handle it and how it comes out. Because if there are two homeschooling parents who I would bet on to navigate that water successfully, it'd be the two of you.

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Fraser

I agree...Saxon definitely delivers on the math facts. In our family we allow the girls one extra curricular activity each right now. Next year, we may add one sport each and they keep their basic extra curricular, which is dance for one and music for the other. I love that my kids spend a lot of time outside playing with neighbors and your backyard is awesome!

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Thanks for hosting Collage Friday. I enjoy this every Friday. And, thank you for letting me share from our homeschool week, too! betty jo

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Jo

We need a book sale like that! Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'd have the nerve to part with a single book. Not even the completely forgotten books in the boxes in the basement. It's a sad, sad place, our basement :) Good job on finding so many books to take!

Grant was such a sweetie to attend the concert, just because you like it.

I hope you have a good weekend. I can't wait to see what next week holds for you.

April 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

OK, seriously- it is getting dangerous for me to read these Collage Friday posts! I just purchased a couple of phot apps and the Composer study becasue of you- stop finding such good stuff lady!!! ;0)

April 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

I'm sad to hear that there was a used homeschool book sale near me and I missed it. I need to figure out where to look to find these before they happen.
Great post though, we are hoping to get out and eat dinner outdoors more often too once this pollen is gone.

April 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

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