Friday, May 31, 2013

May's Books

Reading is so much fun! Emma is excited about participating in a few reading programs, so we will be doing a better job of tracking the books she has read.

Reading- Billy and Blaze
Reading "Blaze and the Mountain Lion" next to the library books. 

Books Emma has read

Big Bad Wolves at School by Stephen Krensky- This was the picture book Emma was reading while we were doing groceries the other day. 

There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
Happy Pig Day by Mo Willems
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
We are in a Book by Mo Willems- I think this one is our favorite. "Banana!"

Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson. We have read these out loud together in the past, but she has decided to start reading them on her own. We love the illustrations in these books. 

Imogene's Antlers by David Small- A cute picture book about a girl who wakes up one day with antlers on her head. 

Bone: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith- She is taking a while with this one. I think she's a little burnt out on Bone.

Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi- This is a graphic novel, comic, whatever you want to call it, for kids. The story starts out pretty quick, and a bit sad, but it's action packed and we really need to hurry up and borrow the next one!

Magic Ponies- A New Friend by Sue Bentley. This is a new series that Emma decided she would like to read on her own. As our library does not carry paperbacks (seriously!), this is a series we will be purchasing. We have ordered #2 from Barnes and Nobles, and they are holding #'s 3 and 4 for us. She finished this book so quick that I wondered if she actually absorbed any of the book. So I read this one and made a short quiz for her.

My Secret Unicorn: The Magic Spell by Linda Chapman. Another great series that Emma is currently working on. From the sounds of it, very similar to Magic Ponies, but different enough that she is enjoyed it. And she reads so fast! I am not sure if these books are in print anymore, but we are on the look out for them. If you see them, we will pay you back for the book and shipping!

American Girl: Saige by Jessie Hass. Emma just informed me (31May13 6:55pm) that she will be reading this next. She is currently reading it out loud in her room. I love having a book lover for a kiddo!

I'm sure I've missed a few books, but this is still a pretty good sized list!

Audio Books

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. The story of a trumpeter swan who is born unable to trumpet. His father steals him a trumpet and the young swan decides to use his trumpet to make money to pay off the stolen trumpet. I only listened to bits and pieces, but it seemed like a fun story.

The Disney Fairy Collection- Various Authors- Emma has listened to a bunch of these, though I am not sure which ones. 

Puddlejumpers by Mark Jean- This was a great story about a boy who gets kidnapped by little creatures that jump through puddles. He is suppose to save them, but things go wrong and he ends up in an orphanage. Some happy twists with lots of exciting parts. 

The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit

The Edge Chronicles #1: Beyond the Deep Woods by Chris Riddle and Paul Stewart.

Soup by Robert Newton Peck- I am not entirely sure what this one was about, Emma listened to it mostly on her own. I did happen to catch a few bad words though, so be ready for that.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler- This story is about a girl who discovers she is a mermaid when she is 12 years old. A fun adventure story.

Emily Windsnap and the Monster From the Deep by Liz Kessler- More adventures of Emily Windsnap. This one touches on peer pressure and making the wrong choices just to make someone like you.

Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist by Liz Kessler. We just started this one, and it sounds to be as good as the other two!

100 Cupboards #1 and #2 by N.D. Wilson. This is a fun series about a boy who moves in with his Aunt, Uncle and 3 cousins. They discover a series of cupboards in the attic that lead to different worlds. After unleashing a long held evil in the first book, it is dealt with in the second book.

Emma has been asking to re-listen to the Harry Potter books, so when it's our turn (currently on the waiting list), we will be listening to these again. 

Books Mama read to Emma
Misty of Chincoteague #1 by Margurite Henry. We have finally, finally started this series. We tried it once before, about a year ago, but Emma wasn't really interested in it. Now, she couldn't get enough. Based on real life events of the Pony Penning that occurs each year on the Island of Chincoteague. 

Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague by Margurite Henry. A sequel to Misty. This one has Misty flying off to be in the movies leaving behind a sad Paul and Maureen. Sad until they discover an orphaned foal in need of their help.

Stormy: Misty's Foal by Margurite Henry. We just started this one tonight!

Well, that's our list! With me starting classes, I expect I'll miss more what what she is reading and listening too, but I will still do my best to keep wondering minds informed about our reading choices!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Reading Programs

Emma loves to read. I love to watch her read (and take pictures of it).

May Phone pics (20)
Reading while doing groceries

She enjoys reading to herself, but she also enjoys reading to others. Especially other kids.

Reading to Fredin (3)
Reading to Cousin Friden

Reading to Fredin

Really, she's going to read anyway, why not try to earn a few free books while she's at it? There are a few summer reading programs going on, and Emma will be participating in them. 

BJU Press-

For this program, Emma needs to set a goal. She chose to read 25 minutes or 25 pages per day. When she has achieved her goal for 40 days, she can submit her completed form for a prize. She also gets entered for a chance to win a Kindle fire. Cool!

Barnes and Noble-

For the B&N program, Emma needs to read 8 books, and track them on the form provided. Once she finishes, she can submit her completed form and pick out a new book from a list of selected titles. There are actually a few on there that Emma is really interested in, so yeah!

Emma doesn't even have to read for this one. She just needs to visit the library 8 times between June 1st and August 15th. The library does recommend that she read 6 books over the summer, but she isn't required to keep a list (though she is anyway). Even though we will be gone for almost all of June, I still think this will be very doable. After she turns in her completed form, she gets to choose a paperback book sometime between Aug 1-15. 

For the Hastings program, Emma will only get a 20% off coupon, but hey, it's still pretty cool. She just needs to read and track 6 books for this one. Easy Peasy. 

That are lots of other reading programs out there (you can find a list here). Do you know of any others?

 None of the programs have stipulations as to what she reads, and I don't really either. A books a book, 5 minutes of reading is 5 minutes of reading. For the BJU Press reading program, even "attentive listening to audio books" count. Score! She listens to one or two of those a day. 

So far, Emma has ready for 100 minutes (we started keeping track on the 20th). She easily reads 25 minutes a day, some days more. It's part of her evening routine. We will add them to the book posts we have already been doing. 

So, we are looking for suggestions. What are your favorite kids books (or your kids favorite books)?

Our Notebook Timeline

We've started looking into the evolution of horses a bit, with plans to dig a lot deeper. That, of course, means a time-line is in order.

I love the idea of making a time line on the wall (here's another post), like our friends over at Craft Knife have, but our landlord would probably be a little angry about that.

Plus, we wouldn't be able to take it with us whenever we move.

So, I figured we needed a notebook timeline. But I wanted a BIG notebook timeline. I wanted to be able to get a feel for the passing of time, without wasting a ton of pages in the notebook.

So, I picked up one of these

18 inches by 24 inches 
(the mixed media means the paper is a bit heavier duty so our sharpies or any painting we do shouldn't bleed through as easily)

from Michael's. It was 40% off which was nice, though we usually get our sketchbooks when they are buy one get one free. 

Anyway, I know I wanted to create a time line following the Big Bang Theory, and having this gigantic book will make that a bit easier. Here is what we have so far (with resources listed at the end of the post).

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (3)
Emma drawing the Earth

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (5)

*Photos by Emma*
Timeline- Big Bang to Now (10)
Emma drew the Big Bang

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (12)
Her finished Earth

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (14)
3.8 Ba (billion years ago)

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (15)
2.1 Ba

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (16)
0.2 Ba

Timeline- Big Bang to Now (8)
15 Ba to Present

I love how the size of this notebook lets us see how little happened between the start of the Big Bang till about 4.6 billion years ago. Our next two page spread will focus on the last 600 Million years, based off of BBC's "History of Life on Earth" timelines

Emma was a little surprised to realize that humans have only been around for a very, very small fraction of time. I'm looking forward to learn more about all of this with her. 

Other resources we used are 

We also used this photo to sort of spark the conversation (Big Bang, spark, I am so funny).

*the picture isn't working*

There may have been talk of hair being the size of a fraction of a second, and that certain things happened in the space of a hair. I think it helped her to visualize the first second of the big bang. 

Yes, a lot of the small details of it are way over her head (and mine), but it helps to give her the basics of info now (as long as she is receptive) so that later, it won't be completely new. 

And yes, I realize that some of the info may not be 100% accurate, but this is just a broad overview of our time line, and we plan to get way more in-depth as time and interest allows. We will, of course, be spending a lot of time on the evolution of the horse, and with that we will also learn about dinosaurs, plants, as well as human evolution and so much more!

Don't you just love how horses can spark so much learning? 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April's Books

Reading (2)
A typical stack of library books

I did a better job this month keeping track of books, although don't expect much in the "Emma's Reading List" as the kid is a sneaky reader. And pretty fast. She is typically finished reading a book before I even realize she had started.

For a little bit I was worried that she wasn't comprehending what she was reading, so I've "quizzed" her a few times after reading a book out loud to me. She seems to absorb what she's reading pretty well. It will be interesting to see how she does with a longer book.

Anyway, our lists.

Pinoccio by Carlo Collodi. Wow. Another book that I thought I would know, but was totally blown away by how different this book is from the movie. Thankfully, Emma hasn't seen the movie yet.

Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. I didn't really listen to this one with my full attention, but Emma really enjoyed it. I've seen the movie with Eddie Murphy, but thankfully, the book was so much better.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. This was a pretty long book, but Emma really seemed to like it. I only listened on and off, but it was all about pirates and treasure, loyalty and dastardly deeds.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. We listened to this in one day as we drove from Iowa to South Dakota. Such a fun story! Ella is "gifted" by a fairy, though it turns out to be a curse. On the day Ella is born, she cried and cried for hours. The fairy pronounced that Ella would always be obedient. She must do anything anyone tells her. Ella fights her "affliction" but becomes ill if she does not obey. With a bit of a Cinderella theme thrown in, this is a great story about overcoming obstacles, being obedient, but not becoming a slave. I think we'll probably listen to this one again at some point, or perhaps read the book.

Wings of Fire (#1): The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui. T. Sutherland. About a world where dragons are at war and a prophecy foretells of 5 dragonets that will bring an end to the war. This was a pretty good story. Also about friendship, loyalty, and accepting others. We are on the look-out for book #2.

Read Aloud (typically read at bed-time)
Wild Horse Summer by Hope Ryden. This is a chapter book about a 12 year old girl from Chicago who is off to spend the summer in Wyoming on her relatives ranch. One of her cousins is the same age, but blind. A very good book about over coming fears, disabilities, and all that good stuff.

American Girl: Saige by Jessie Hass. Emma and Gramma are reading this one together. All I know is that Saige is artistic and loves horses. Emma seems to be enjoying it.

Horse Diaries: Darcy (book #10) by Whitney Sanderson. Emma and Gramma are reading this one together.

Emma's Reading List- Keeping track of this is a little tough, but I will do my best.

Pony Scouts: Pony Crazy by Catherine Hapka. We have read all the books in this easy reader series out loud before, but Emma has started to read these on her own now. The story is about 3 friends who all love horses.

The Perfect Pony by Corinne Demas. This book is a step 3 book. Whatever that means. It's about a girl who is finally allowed to get a pony, but the one she wants has been sold already. The pony, however, ends up deciding who he wants to belong to.

One Whole Day: Wild Ponies by Jim Arnosky. This is a National Geographic Society book. A beautiful picture book about the Assateague Island wild ponies.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore. I picked this beautiful picture book up from the library because of the wonderful illustrations (by Howard McWilliam). Emma actually grabbed it up soon after I got home and read it.

Bone by Jeff Smith. She is reading more of the series, not sure which one though. She has asked that we pick up the rest in the series.

Glitterby Baby by Stephen Cosgrove. This is a Serendipity book. We picked it up at good will yesterday and Emma has already read it and enjoyed it. In fact, she started reading it to us in the car on the way home, but finished it up on her own tonight. We have one or two more in the series, but I think we will be on the look out for even more of them.

Starlight: Breyer Stablemates by Kristin Earhart. About a girl who discovers that raising a goal is tough work. Emma has a few of these in the collection. They are short chapter books (34 pages) with bigger print and beautiful artwork. She flies through these books, but it's always fun to listen to her read them.

Snowflake: Breyer Stablemates by Suzanne Weyn. About a trio of girls who find a way to help out a rescued horse.

She is making her way through all of her Breyer Stablemates book. Not sure how many she has read, but she still enjoys them.

What are you reading? Do you have a suggestions for good books?