As a teacher I collected books for my classroom, as a mother I brought those books home and re-examined them through different eyes. I want to enrich my children's lives and allow them to have books that they love, and return to again and again. I want them to be challenged and entertained, but mostly to cultivate a love for learning, and reading. As I brought books home I began getting rid of the ones that where just clutter or twaddle. I started adding to my collection ones that I knew to be good and character building.
First I purchased the curriculum Five in a Row. It gave me lists of books to purchase or borrow from the library and how to use them. The idea is to read the same book 5 days in a row, each day looking at it from a different angle. The first day you just enjoy the story, after that you start pulling in literary devices used, history, geography and much more. The curriculum gives you math, writing, science, geography and history ideas for each book. This was a tool that helped me significantly. If you don't get this curriculum, at least print out the book list, found at the bottom of the page link. It's full of wonderful classic books that enrich the lives of our children. I do however, HIGHLY recommend this curriculum.
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco, we read over and over again. My kids learned "tweedle, tweedle screach" was an onomatopoeia through that book. We also had a great time eating honey comb and discussing the quest and adventure of reading.
A Pair of Red Clogs taught my kids about other cultures and we enjoyed sitting on the floor to dine on pillows as we ate a Japanese cuisine. They all wanted a pair of clogs after reading this book.
Ferdinand became a favorite as we learned about Spain and enjoyed the story of this peaceful bull.
Reading these books five days in row takes them from being a story they glance at or even like to becoming a treasure full of more and more surprises. The curriculum provides story disc to be colored and put on a map showing where the story took place. Our map is dotted with discs from Lentil, Make Way for Duckling and many other books that have become favorites. Now when we have lemon-aid we think of Lentil and how his lips couldn't pucker.
Most things we can relate back to a story and when we do this, bonds are being formed with our children that will last a lifetime.
Join me as I share more of the books we love and move from picture books, to easy readers and chapter books. What picture books do you love?