Friday, August 24, 2007

Loving These Books

As a newbie to the homeschooling scene, I rely a lot on the recommendations made by veteran homeschooling moms. So far, their recommendations have been spot-on.

My son already had quite a collection of books, so I was pleasantly surprised that we didn't have to buy too many other books. Here is a list of our favorites. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Also, these books are fantastic even if you don't homeschool.

* Catholic Heritage Curricula.
I'm still searching for the right writing/phonics program.

* "The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature," Stan & Jan Berenstain.

* Any picture book illustrated by Jan Brett. I found a bunch at bargain prices at a used-book shop. My son's favorites are "Berlioz The Bear" and "Gingerbread Baby."
* "A Child's Garden of Verses," Robert Louis Stevenson.
* "Owl Moon," Jane Yolen.
* "Ox-Cart Man," Donald Hall.

Mom Resources:
* "What Your Kindergartner Should Know: Preparing Your Child For A Lifetime of Learning," Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., and John Holdren.
* "Teaching Montessori In The Home: The Pre-School Years," Elizabeth G. Hainstock."
* "Guiding Your Catholic Preschooler," Kathy Pierce and Lori Rowland.
* "Honey For A Child's Heart," Gladys Hunt.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Honey For A Child's Heart

As a lover of books -- especially quality picture books and children's literature -- I'm always seeking out recommended reading lists. So when a friend told me about Gladys Hunt's "Honey For A Child's Heart," I just had to purchase a copy for myself.

I admit that these days it's easy to log on to a computer and to G**ggle search to find a recommended reading list online. But "Honey For A Child's Heart" is more than just a list. The author gives suggestions on how to use books to enrich your family life. And with Proverbs 16:24 as her inspiration -- "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones" -- how could I not buy a copy for myself.

Her book is divided in to two parts. The first part,"Using Books to Help Children Grow," covers topics such as what makes a good book, and making decisions about books. In the second part ("Best-Loved Books for Children") Hunt dedicates a chapter each to recommend books for children 0-3, 4-8, 9-12 and 12-14. She also includes sections on books for beginning readers, stories for animal lovers, historical novels, fantasy novels, young adult novels, poetry, nourishing a child's spiritual life and a book list for special occasions.

She encourages parents to go to the original source of current favorite books. For example, says Hunt, read the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories written by A.A. Milne rather than books based on the W*lt D*sney character. Similarly, she urges reading the original Mary Poppins series by P.L. Travers.

The best part about having this book? For me it's the fact that I'm discovering a whole new world of children's literature.