Thursday, September 15, 2016

Updating The Book Basket

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We'd polished off nearly all the books in our book basket last term & so I've spent a good deal of time in our term break deciding on what to put in the basket. Both boys are moving in their own directions at this stage, but we still meet together daily to delve into whatever the book basket may hold for us. We're not rigid about it, we don't maintain a schedule, & barely have a plan, but it's a well loved part of our day.

I like to stock the basket with a variety of different things that I know will interest everyone & will touch on topics that we might not otherwise cover. It's where I toss books that aren't part of either child's school list, but are books I really want to share with them.

My hope for the new year had been to weave in Australian history via our book basket, I've been working, for some time, on an outline of books & ideas for a big Aussie history study, but with the kids going in opposite directions of late it seemed most prudent to work it into our book basket. I'm still not entirely sure how things will unfolds as I have a large stash of books I want to read with the guys in the coming year, but we'll take it one day at a time & see how things unfold.

A few things to note, before I share the titles of the books currently in the basket, we don't read every book in our book basket on the same day. Generally we pick a few, which goes with the rough plan I generally have sketched out somewhere. Sometimes we may start out reading a book & I may fish out the audio copy to aid us along. We may have days in a row where we never get to our book basket. I really don't sweat or stress about it. The general rule of thumb in our home is that while the boys are waking up & guzzling smoothies under quilts I select books from the basket to read to them.

However, there are days when one child has slept in & the other has not. That child may be keen to get a head start on his work, & so off he goes. In which case we may tackle our book basket later in the day after our walk while I ice my knees.

Here's our current titles:

Our Australian History Pt 1: I purchased this book years upon years ago & we've read through portions of it before. However, we'll start from the beginning again & move forward. My objective is to be sure the kids have a good over view of Australian history digging in at various points. There is no Pt 2, unfortunately, so at times we'll have to delve into our other Aussie spine which isn't pictured.

A Treasure of Poetry For Young People: This is the lovely new poetry book that goes along with Morgan's Core 100. I really love that each & every year they've scheduled in a poetry book of some kind. Admittedly, some years are way better then others, but regardless there's always one there for us. I'm really looking forward to this book which is just beautiful.

Marie's Words: You can't actually see the cards that are selected very well in the photo so I'll share more about them later. However, I picked these up years ago & over the years we've used them. The boys pointed out we hadn't done much with them in the previous terms & requested to see them more often. It's often a bit of a deal in our home to learn new words & find a way to work them into our conversations. Mr S may have inspired the boys when he told them that he waited all school year once to work a fancy vocabulary word into his written paper & when he successfully managed it he was given a huge thumbs up by his professor.

George Gershwin: We own a few of the "Get To know.." series for artists & musicians, & I opted to pull one of each off the shelf & stick them in our basket. I'm not interested in a super indepth study of a composer or artist, but a brief introduction via the book & perhaps listening to a few pieces of the accompanying music.

Andy Warhol: I actually think this book is missing from the above photo as it's a library book. However at our last Art Club meet-up our lovely friend introduced the kids to Andy Warhol with a brief overview of pop art & mentioning a few of this artist's paintings & how much one in particular sold for. Then we tried our hands at a bit of pop art. The work is just a bit too big to fit into our art portfolio for the year, but when I spotted the book at the library I did a quick google search & found a few ideas for slightly smaller projects. The boys thought it might be fun to read up about Mr Warhol & then show off their newer lines of work to the lovely lady who organises the Art Club.

It Couldn't Just Happen: This is the only one of our book basket books we started early in the year & never quite got to. There was always something else more pressing that found us pushing this one to the bottom of the pile. One of the boys, in particular, is working on his own apologetics & I'm open to providing information to aide him along.

The Fallacy Detective: This is a reappearance, as it was scheduled in Jayden's Timberdoodle Kit. Since reading this previously the kids have a great time picking out the fallacies in advertisement & deciding what the catch or lure is & if it's a worthwhile gain or not. It'll be interesting to see if they pick up anything new with it being a little bit older & wiser this time around.

52 Weeks of French: A second language is mandatory in the USA for graduation purposes. With the idea that we could be stateside before both children graduate I'm all about being sure we've hit all the marks. Besides, as I pointed out to the kids, if they don't start picking up the pace with their French they'll never be able to understand me! hehe This book only presents a few words each week to learn. Most of them are very basic from greetings to objects.

What To Do When You're Scared Or Worried: While this isn't a new book either we pushed through this the first time without fully doing all the journal entries & examples given. As our boy works to target new fears & eradicate them it's always nice to have this book handy. Again, by reading it aloud to everyone it puts less pressure on him & helps him to see we all have quirky fears that seem a little bit silly to everyone else.. especially when I told him that hearing an alarm clock's screeching beep freaks me out. True story that. I'll have to share why someday.

Waltzing Matilda Meets Lazy Jack: We nearly finished this one up prior to the end of our 3rd term, but not quite. We've had some great laughs while reading this fun little poetry book, & it won't last us much longer in regards to poems left to be read.

Odious Oceans: I love having a few science topic books on hand that match up with what each child is learning. Horrible Geography & Horrible Science is great for that, & I find that the information is presented in such a fun way the kids remember it much easier then the information in the textbooks. Morgan is tackling Marine Biology this year so I pulled this book off the shelf. We have several others that should eventually make their way into the basket, but for now we'll start with this one.

Why Pray? Actually that's my Kindle Keyboard, which is loaded with a grand amount of books that I rarely read because I prefer reading real books instead of ebooks. However, I couldn't get my hands on this title without picking it up as an ebook. I'm a little bummed by that, but considering I had $4.50 in my Amazon account it meant that I only paid a few cents for the book. This is the first Bible book in Core 100. I'm not familiar with the title so we'll see if it stays or goes.

Dingo, The Dog Who Conquered A Continent: We love Jackie French's books & this is one from her animal series we haven't read yet. It will tie in really well with the early portions of Australian history so into the basket it went. Here's hoping we can actually read it without hearing Jayden's age old Dingo story in which he convinced his American grandparents that he made friends with a dingo using a jar of dill pickles. As unbelievable as the story sounds, this kid has made friends with some pretty crazy animals including tassie devils so he certainly had them going for a while.


Lots of great reads. Generally we might have a Christmas themed story tossed in our basket towards the end of the year, but as we'll be off in December I've opted not to do that. We may or may not pull something out to read over the month of December despite being on summer holidays, last year there was much dissension about which book should be read so I may shock them all & purchase a new one. In the mean time, I'm looking froward to digging into what we have in the basket!

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