Sunday, April 28, 2013

All About Drawing and Reading

As I was working on April's book list, I realized that I haven't posted anything other than book lists for the last three months.

Wondering if we've been actually learning anything?

Fear not, there has been tons of learning. The two biggest focuses for the last few months has been reading and drawing.

Emma's reading is amazing to watch and hear. And she LOVES to read. I'm not really surprised, as she comes from a long line of readers on both sides of the family. But I still find it amazing. She'll try reading anything, especially if the words are bigger (she loves reading billboards and other signs we pass as we drive).

Reading (3)

Expect to see more and more books in the "Read by Emma" list.

Now, the drawing. I've picked up the book, "Drawing With Children," by Mona Brooks. I hope to start working through the lessons with Emma maybe starting in May.

Why teach her something she already seems to love and be pretty good at? Research shows that children typically stop drawing around age 8 or 9 for the simple fact that they get frustrated because they can't draw realistically.

Expect to see more posts about this in the future. For now, how about a few photos of her creating art.

Emma's Sketches (9)
"Mama, can you give me something to draw?"
Still life with her boots.
Drawing while listening to bedtime stories.

Emma's Sketches (7)
Hard at work on her still life. 

Emma's Sketches (12)
The first boot was a bit wonky, but the second one came out pretty good. 

Well, that's what we've been learning these last few months. Hope your days are full of fun and learning! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March's Books

Wow, March flew by. Emma's reading has exploded in the last two months, and I am excited to share the books that she has read on her own, as well as the books we have read together and listened to!

*Disclaimer- I suck at recapping books. I'll do my best, but if you are interested, it may be best to click on the link (or google it) and read the description from there*

Books Emma has read to herself:

Bone Series by Jeff Smith. These are graphic novels that Emma was fascinated with about 2 years ago.   I read them to her, she loved them, we bought the series (or so I thought). The other day I caught her reading one of the books. Unfortunately we seem to be missing a few from the series, not that Emma really minded. 

Reading for Fun (2)
Rediscovering the "Bone" series by Jeff Smith

The First Dog by Jan Brett. It's fun to watch and listen to Emma read some of her picture books. This book is a cute view on how dog became man's best friend. As always, fantastic illustrations in this book. 

Hiking and Biking
Reading, "The First Dog," by Jan Brett

Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows. Another series that we read a year or so ago. I read the first in the series to Emma at bedtime a few nights ago, but had to stop cause my throat was getting sore (dry hotel air will do that to a person). Emma wasn't tired so I suggested she read the rest of the book herself. She did, then decided that she'd like to work on the rest of the series. 

There may be more, but I can't remember. 

Audio Books we listened too:

The 39 Clues. We finished the first series and started on the Cahills vs. Vespers. We really are enjoying these series. Full of history, geography, drama and excitement while also being easy to follow. 

Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief and The Sea of Monsters. We are really enjoying this series as well. We probably won't listen to the rest of these until Da gets back from his 3 months of training, but that's ok, we have plenty of other books on our list. 

I, Coriander, by Sally Gardner. This was a pretty good story full of magic and mystery. The story takes place during the time of the Puritans, but also in two separate worlds. One of fairies, and one of mortals.  

Bridge to Terabithia by Kathrine Patterson. This was NOT what I was expecting. It was a great book, but I guess I had false ideas about this book. Reminded me a lot of the movie "My Girl." Emma really enjoyed it as did I. 

The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau. Part of the Ember Series. This one provides a bit of history about how the City of Ember came about. 

Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau. The last in the Ember Series. We liked the entire series. 

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. We have loved all the books we've read by this author. This particular book tells of the history of the Arabian horse breed. This would also be a great one for boys who love horses as the main human character is a stable boy who cares for the Godolphin Arabian. 

Read Aloud:

Yatimah (Horse Diaries #7) by Patricia Hermes. This story is about the Arabian horse breed as well. It was fun reading this while listening to King of the Wind (though not at the same exact time). 

Black Cloud (Horse Diaries #8) by Patricia Hermes. This story is about the mustangs. While the parts about Wild Horse Annie are not accurate, the rest is pretty close. The book does explain some real facts about Wild Horse Annie in the back of the book, as well as factual info about mustangs and how they almost became extinct. 

Tennessee Rose (Horse Diaries #9) by Patricia Hermes. This one is about the Tennessee Walker. A good story, we enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the rest. Can't wait for the next one to come out!

I actually read an adult book this month! (Well, I started one anyway)

Wild Horse Annie by David Cruise and Alison Griffiths. This is a biography of how Velma Johnston almost single-handedly saved the wild mustangs from extinction. A very interesting tale of a women who was forever disabled by a childhood bout of polio, though refused to let it ruin her life. I am still reading this book, but so far I have found it very interesting and one that I think Emma will enjoy when she is a bit older. 

What was your favorite book you read/listened to this month (kids or adults, we still want to know!)?