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Chapter Books Update – what we’re reading together


Hosted at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns – my first time participating, and I don’t know yet whether it will become a regular thing, but I was about to post a reading list anyway, so why not?

By way of intro, without boring regular readers to tears, I’m homeschooling my 2 youngest:  Naomi Rivka, who’s almost 6, and Gavriel Zev, who’s 3.  We’re following a Charlotte Mason / Well-Trained Mind Classical inspired curriculum, and I’m trying to avoid “twaddle” for our main readings.

We’re reading through the Little House books, but after finishing On the Banks of Plum Creek last Shabbos, we’re taking a break before Farmer Boy, which will probably be our next selection.  (drat, just realized I was supposed to buy it at the bookstore tonight and I totally forgot and bought a bunch of other stuff instead!!!) (senior moment)

So here’s what we’re reading together instead:

imageMatilda by Roald Dahl

I love Roald Dahl, and I have always loved sharing his writing with my children.  I could have gone with something more instantly accessible and better-known like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but why, when it’s all good?  I really, seriously, hope to get to it all eventually.  And meantime, while this book is longer and more serious (I got it mixed up with The BFG, which I also love, so we’ll do that one next), with lots of language and sly references that are over the kids’ heads, they are so far enjoying its irreverence and loving the eponymous heroine. (just wanted to toss in the word eponymous!)

imageThe Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House, No. 2)

This is our second – I love the fact that it only took us about 3 or 4 days to finish the first book!  I decided to introduce the Magic Tree House books to start conveying ideas from history in a very, VERY easy reading and non-threatening format.  I hope within the however-long, we can transition to having Naomi read these by herself so that when we start doing Story of the World History, she’ll be able to read the accompanying Tree House books on her own for enjoyment.


imagePrairie Girl: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House)

Got this to feed the Little House frenzy.  It’s pretty dry – and it kind of tediously rehashes some stuff we already KNOW from the books.  But the truth of Laura’s life wasn’t exactly as she fictionalized it herself in the Little House books, and I hope Naomi will find it fascinating to see more glimpses of the real Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It is a dry read, though, and the chapters are long, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we gave up on this one.

So that’s our reading-together fun for now. Oh – almost forgot this:

image Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books)

Recommended by a friend’s blog, I got this for our ongoing study of classical music and the orchestra, and also to prepare for our concert trip last week (which was amazing!).  The book itself was so-so, though GZ kept pestering Ted to read it last week.

But then Ted discovered a version that comes with a CD… and it’s amazing!  The CD adds a dimensionality to the story that I haven’t found in any other “music book” for little kids.  Also, it gets Ted off the hook without having to do all that reading all by himself…


  1. I've been wanting to get Zin! Zin! Zin! with the CD. My boys are big fans of Magic Tree House and Roald Dahl.

  2. If you are looking for good music books, I strongly recommend Carnival of the Animals

  3. Thanks for the great list. We are probably going to read Matilda next.

  4. I agree - there are some books that are way better with CDs. I will keep it in mind when I will look for the Violin book. Thanks for joining WMCIR!


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