Sunday, June 6, 2010

How Does a Home Schooler Change a Light Bulb?


I don't remember where I saw this, but I tucked it into the June 2000 edition of the Hope Chest.  Wow, it's fun reading stuff after a whole decade!

Q: How does a home schooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Reading List

Summer peaks around the corner. For some people packing for vacation is first and foremost on the mind. For others, summer camps and mission trips demand last minute trips to variety stores to purchase last minute necessities. In the midst of preparing for what summer will bring to our families, some of us are also visiting local libraries and used book sales to gather summer reading materials. For those who have asked about summer reading possibilities, I write this blog. The titles have been compiled over the years and are printed in Appendix D of my book You HAVE to Read This One: Raising a Contagious Reader.

"Parents choose reading materials for their children based upon several factors:
• a student’s reading ability and maturity,
• family’s values and worldview, and
• whether a book is to be read aloud or read independently.

All these factors, or a combination of these factors, will determine what titles are appropriate for your children. My list was complied for parents with upper elementary (grades 4-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) students.

The spectrum of age and maturity of students in grades four through eight is great. As a guide, I have marked titles considered more difficult—by vocabulary or content— with (M). Parents may decide to wait until grades 7-8 to introduce these books. Selections marked (2-4) may be considered acceptable read-aloud titles for grades 2-4. As always, if in doubt, read the book first."

• Adams, Richard, Watership Down (M)
• Alcott, Louisa May, Little Men (M)
• Alcott, Louisa May, Little Women (M)
• Allman, Barbara, Musical Genius
• Andersen, Hans Christian, Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales
• Armstrong, William, Sounder
• Atwater, Richard and Florence, Mr. Popper’s Penguins
• Bagnold, Enid, National Velvet
• Barrie, J. M., Peter Pan
• Baum, L. Frank, The Wizard of Oz
• Beatty, Patricia, Turn Homeward Hannalee
• Beechick, Ruth, Adam and His Kin
• Blackmore, R. D., Lorna Doone
• Brink, Carol Ryrie, Caddie Woodlawn
• Bulla, Clyde Robert, A Lion to Guard Us
• Burnett, Frances Hodgson, Little Lord Fauntleroy
• Carroll, Lewis, Alice in Wonderland
• Collodi, Carlo, Pinocchio
• Crane, Stephen, The Red Badge of Courage (M)
• Coerr, Eleanor, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
• Crockett, Davy, The Life of David Crockett (M)
• D’Angeli, Marguerite, The Door in the Wall
• Dalgliesh, Alice, The Courage of Sarah Noble (2-4)
• Defoe, Daniel, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
• DeJong, Meindert, The Wheel on the School (M)
• Dickens, Charles, A Christmas Carol (M)
• Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities (M)
• Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations (M)
• Dickens, Charles, Oliver Twist (M)
• du Bois, William Pene, The Twenty-One Balloons (M)
• Edmonds, Walter D., The Matchlock Gun (2-4)
• Equiano, Olaudah, The Kidnapped Prince
• Finley, Martha, Elise Densmore
• Fleischman, Sid, By the Great Horn Spoon!
• Fleischman, Sid, The Whipping Boy
• Forbes, Esther, Johnny Tremain (M)
• Fritz, Jean, The Cabin Faced West (2-4)
• George, Jean Craighead, Julie of the Wolves
• George, Jean Craighead, My Side of the Mountain
• Gipson, Fred, Old Yeller
• Gray, Elizabeth Janet, Adam of the Road
• Green, Roger Lancelyn, Tales of Ancient Egypt (M)
• Green, Roger Lancelyn, The Adventures of Robin Hood
• Green, Roger Lancelyn, The Tale of Troy
• Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter (M)
• Henty, G.A., Beric the Briton
• Henty, G. A., Cat of Bubastes
• Henty, G. A., For the Temple
• Henty, G. A., Young Carthaginian
• Homer, The Odyssey
• Homer, The Illiad
• Hugo, Victor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (M)
• Hunt, Irene, Across Five Aprils (M)
• Hunt, Irene, Up the Road Slowly (M)
• Keith, Harold, Rifles for Watie
• Kelly, Eric P., The Trumpeter of Krakow (M)
• Kipling, Rudyard, Captains Courageous
• Kipling, Rudyard, Just So Stories
• Kipling, Rudyard, The Jungle Book
• Langford, Alan, Tales of the Greek Heroes (M)
• Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird (M)
• Latham, Jean Lee, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
• Lawson, Robert, Rabbit Hill
• L’Engle, Madeleine, A Wrinkle in Time
• Lenski, Lois, The Strawberry Girl (2-4)
• Lewis, C.S., The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
• Lindgren, Astrid, Pippi Longstocking
• Lofting, Hugh, Doctor Dolittle Stories
• London, Jack, The Call of the Wild
• London, Jack, White Fang
• Macdonald, George, The Princess and the Goblin
• McGraw, Eloise Jarvis, Mara, Daughter of the Nile
• McGraw, Eloise Jarvis, The Golden Goblet
• Montgomery, Lucy Maud, Anne of Green Gables
• Morey, Walt, Gentle Ben
• Norton, Mary, The Borrowers (2-4)
• O’Dell, Scott, Island of the Blue Dolphins
• O’Dell, Scott, The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day (M)
• Porter, Eleanor, Pollyanna (2-4)
• Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, The Yearling (M)
• Rawls, Wilson, Where the Red Fern Grows
• Richter, Conrad, The Light in the Forest
• Sewell, Anna, Black Beauty
• Sharp, Margery, The Rescuers
• Sheldon, George, The Cricket in Times Square
• Speare, Elizabeth George, Calico Captive
• Speare, Elizabeth George, The Bronze Bow
• Speare, Elizabeth George, The Sign of the Beaver
• Speare, Elizabeth George, The Witch of Blackbird Pond (M)
• Spyri, Johanna, Heidi
• Stevenson, Robert Louis, A Child’s Garden of Verses
• Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island
• Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver's Travels
• Taylor, Mildred, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (M)
• ten Boom, Corrie, The Hiding Place (M)
• Tolkien, J.R.R, The Hobbit
• Tolkien, J.R.R., Fellowship of the Rings
• Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (M)
• Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (M)
• Vern, Jules, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (M)
• Vern, Jules, Around the World in Eighty Days
• Vern, Jules, Journey to the Center of the Earth (M)
• Wells, H. G., Time Machine (M)
• White, E. B., Charlotte’s Web (2-4)
• White, E. B., Stuart Little
• Wiggin, Kate Douglas, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
• Williamson, Joanne, Hittite Warrior
• Wyss, Jonathan David, Swiss Family Robinson
• Yates, Elizabeth, Amos Fortune Free Man

May this reading list is a springboard to many summer adventures!
Cheryl Bastian
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