Posted on February 22, 2016
Ten Read Aloud Books for the Year
One of my favourite parts of homeschooling is reading aloud books together as a family. We have not been doing so much narration recently, however. This is where the children tell back or narrate what they heard or learned, and is part of Charlotte Mason’s method of education. So, I hope to try to incorporate that more again into our reading time.
If you are interested in the benefits of reading aloud and narration, Catherine Shelton of Grace to Abide recently posted How to Get Started with Charlotte Mason Homeschooling, which has lots of helpful links that are relevant.
Our Ten Read Alouds Books for the Year
So far, our read aloud books for this year are:
1.The Hill of the Red Fox, by Allan Campbell McLean. We started reading this book at the end of our Hebridean Island Life unit study, but ‘paused’ it to read Christmas books as part of our advent activities. We have literally just finished the book in the past couple of days, and all of us really enjoyed it. It is set in post-war Britain, with all the adventure and suspense taking place on one of the Hebrides islands, the Isle of Skye.
2.Exciting Times with the Moodys, by Sarah Maxwell. We have enjoyed all the previous books in this series about an American homeschooling family. It is the only book about a contemporary family, set in modern times that I have included so far.
3.The Story-Book of Science, by Jean Henri Fabre. This book which I mentioned in my 10 Living Books for Science post is one we have now re-started reading, after also having had ‘on hold’ since before Christmas. Its short chapters each focus on a different aspect of nature or scientific theory, woven into the story of 3 French children and their uncle.
4.Robert Boyle, Trailblazer of Science, by John Hudson Tiner. We have previously enjoyed Hudson Tiner’s biographies of Johannes Kepler and Samuel Morse, as well as his Exploring Planet Earth, so we are looking forward to this, which will also fit in nicely with our history curriculum.
5.Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Not having read Uncle Tom’s Cabin before, I will be enjoying it for the first time along with the children.
6.The Eagle of The Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff. My husband is currently reading this aloud to us in the evenings when he has time. It is set in Roman Britain, and follows the story of a senior soldier injured in battle, who journeys into savage Caledonia (a.k.a. Scotland!) to find out what happened to the Ninth Legion, and recover their eagle. I originally read it several years ago, then my husband and I watched the film of the same name, which is not at all like the book, and I don’t recommend it!
7.Escape from Loch Leven, by Mollie Hunter. This is by the same author as A Pistol in Greenyards, which we really enjoyed when making lapbooks about the Highland Clearances a few years ago. Escape from Loch Leven is about Mary, Queen of Scots, whom we have just studied in Mystery of History Volume 3, and I think it will be better as a read aloud, so that I can edit it as I go, if necessary! Incidentally, the profile photo of me in the sidebar above was taken on a visit to Loch Leven Castle on our son’s birthday a couple of years ago.
8.An Edinburgh Reel, by Iona McGregor. Another book published by Kelpies, this historical novel is set I 18th century Scotland, exploring the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising.
9.Anne of Avonlea, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The second book in the series, it is quite a few years since we read Anne of Green Gables together, so it will be nice to pick up where we left off!
10.A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Hodgson Burnett again has a girl born to western parents in India, during the British Empire era, but in this case she is kind-hearted and compassionate, rather than selfish and rude like Mary in the Secret Garden. We are enjoying this so far, and look forward to finding out what happens to Sara, when things at her London boarding school take a turn for the worse.
As you can see, it is a bit of an eclectic mix! I also hope to read aloud Barbara Leonie Picard’s retelling of Homer’s epic The Iliad, published by Oxford University Press, but I think we may do it in small doses, rather than as our daily morning read aloud book. Often we will also have a separate read aloud book going for car journeys, so no doubt we will get through more than ten read aloud books this year, and I will add more to our list as I find good buys in charity shops!
What is your family reading aloud just now? Please let me know in a comment below.
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