One of my favorite things to read or watch from other homeschoolers (besides their awesome homeschool room tours, of course) is updates on what they are currently reading. This might sound completely boring but being a homeschooling family and using a “book basket” for a large portion of our education supplements everyday I really rely on finding new and great books to try. I have gotten tons of ideas from other homeschoolers about books I would have never come across without their suggestions.
I also want to point out that there are many more homeschoolers and families in general who can really utilize the book lists that are living over seas in non English speaking countries. We currently live in Tokyo. So of course the use of English is common here, but not in a level that would be appropriate for a child who’s native language is English and they are an advanced reader. If you are trying to grow your Childs English vocabulary and keep them interested in books there is little in most stores for an advanced English speaker. Most books here are English for preschool age kids learning the basics as a second language or ESL study books for high schoolers and adults tackling English to pass some sort of exam. Neither of these options in books and reading material is right for my 8 year old advanced reader who is a native English speaker.
We do have libraries here, and they do have small sections of English but not much. There are English libraries to be found as well but they are generally small and serve a specific population (like government employees or military and their access is restricted to those who live on location). Many of these smaller libraries will have a decent selection of children books but as the age of your children increases the reading material appropriate for them decreases. There just is not a high enough demand for things like historical fiction aimed at junior high / high schoolers and things like that to really homeschool with. Many expats that are not homeschooling would really like to supplement their children’s education as even many of the private international school have some questionable “advanced level” reading when most of the class is usually not “international students” but native students of the home country who can pay the pricey tuition. So the reading level and books available are not always on par with a native speakers level or interest.
One of the only things that we can really do is order online, have family ship to us, or order something from amazon or the like if shipping doesn’t completely kill it! Of course books on a tablet would save on this but some books, especially for younger children just are not the same when viewed on a tablet.
Basically my rambling is just to say this…. Thanks to every homeschooling parent who takes the time to post reading lists! It is so helpful and there are many of us overseas that could not locate these great resources without your reviews and information. We just simply wouldn’t not necessarily know that some of these great under the radar books are out there. I watch and read a lot of the lists and have built a lot of additional curriculum from the help of those of you who share your lists and it has really helped our homeschool experience.
With all of that being said here is our own May reading list:
Christian Hero’s Then and Now: Nate Saint
The Giving Tree
Christian Hero’s Then and Now: Cameron Townsend
Biomes of the World: Desert
What About Deserts
The Importance of Michaelangelo
Famous Artists Michaelangelo
The Little Island
Cultures and People of Jamaica
Enchantment of the World The Dominican Republic
Enchantment of the World Cuba
The Secret Life of Trees
Eyewitness Books Tree
Crinkleroots Guide to Know the Trees
Arthur’s Chicken Pox
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Little Critter This is My Town
Just a Duck
The first few chapter books we will use a read alouds and just free reading. There nature books about trees we will be incorporating into our nature walks. The books about deserts will be used in our book basket time for the first week of May. The books about countries in North America will also be used in our book basket time during the first week of the month. The giving tree will be used on Fridays as we add in some poetry and different reading and writing times just for fun.
We have added a few books on Michaelangelo and we will use these as examples while we explore this artist. We will recreate his style and make one of our own creations for some art investigation time this week. We currently use My Fathers World for our spine but We do not use the art book that they provide. I prefer to have my older student learning about famous artists from history, different styles of art and trying them out rather than “crafting” for subject time. I think a lot of kid crafts are really fun and a great way to learn but for art as a subject we want to move to something a little more formal this year since he is getting older.
Our Michaelangelo unit will be fairly short but hopefully packing a lot of information. I will post our schedule and what we use once we have finished.
Most of the young child readers listed at the end of the list are for my toddler. She is able to really get into stories right now. She especially loves stories with animals as characters. We will be focusing on reading stories, talking about them, acting them out and working with simple workbooks. (connect the matching items with a line type of workbooks)
She will begin formal “homeschool preschool” during July as we are in the middle of a move currently.
The science books, and easy readers will last for only a week. The chapter books may last 2 weeks, depending on our schedule. We will go to the library again next week and switch out our science, social studies, geography/culture, and easy readers with another set. This supplements our book basket time each day so trips to the library are necessary each week.