Our home education journey
I'm taking on a lot this year... heres a peak at the challenges I'm going to try and participate in.
Classic Reading Challenge
This challenge is from
I'm not yet registered but plan to, I really wanted to read more classics so this was fun choosing books to fit each category. This is my preliminary list although it may change as I go through the year...
1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 1847
2. 20th Century Classic.
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Soyle 1902
3. Classic by a Woman Author.
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie 1934
4. Classic in Translation.
The Odyssey - homer
5. Classic Comic Novel. - This was a tricky category, I hope this selection works
Adventure of Huckleberry Finn - mark twain 1884
6. Classic Tragic Novel.
The Picture of Dorian Grey - Oscar Wilde 1890
7. Very Long Classic.
Moby Dick - Herman Melville 1851 *585 pages
8. Classic Novella.
Animal Farm - George Orwell 1945 *112 Pages
9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean).
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 1960 - just squeezing in the requirements
10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia).
Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse 1922
11. Classic From a Place You've Lived.
Dracula - Bram Stoker 1897 - 'Whitby'
12. Classic Play.
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
I wanted to fit in Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 1862 *1400 - but with that page count my be a step too far this year.... I really hope to read all 12 of these during the year.
Read the world challenge
I'm continuing with my read the world challenge and want to read as many countries as I can. I've listed my choice for the next 12 countries on my reading list. I've altered my challenge slightly, I'm not restricting it to only children's books (I felt I was skipping too many countries) but I'm still prioritising them whenever possible.
1 Albania - Chronicle in Stone
2 Algeria - The Stranger - Albert Camus
3 Andorra - The Land of Right Up and Down - Eva-Lis Wuorio
4 Angola - Brazzaville Beach - William Boyd
5 Azerbaijan - Ali and Nino - kurban Said
6 The Bahamas - Thunderball - Ian Flemming
7 Bahrain - Yummah - Sarah A Al Shafei
8 Bangladesh - A Golden Age - Tahmima Anam
9 Barbados - Sea of Teas - Floella Benjamin
10 Belarus - Down Among the Fishes - Natalka Babina
11 Belgium - Belgravia - Julian Fellowes
12 Belize - War Star Rising: Legend of Toucan Moon - zoodoc
100 Books Bucket List
I receive a book bucket list poster from a friend for christmas and was really disappointed with my achievements on it... so here is a list of those I most want to read (or re-read... I only used books read in the last 5 years) to tick off that list... yes this is the year that I'm finally going to get through Lord of the Rings, one of my stumbling books for year. No idea how many of these I'll get through this year, so to match above I made a list of 12 books.
1 The Lord of the Rings (trilogy) - JRR Tolkien
2 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John le Care - re-read
3 The Help - Katheryn Stockett
4 Goodnight Mr Tom - Michelle Magician - re-read
5 The Boy in Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne
6 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
7 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - started this years ago and never finished :(
8 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
9 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Eyes
10 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
11 The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
12 A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin - being on my to-read list for too long, but I doubt I'll get this far.
Whats on the SHelf Challenge
I have FAR too many unread books on my shelves, so each month I'm using random.org to select a shelf by random and pick whichever book grabs my attention on that shelf to read... I need to read at least one unread book on my shelf a month.
I'm also challenging myself to read at least one book that I'm considering for Lizzie's curriculum each month, I still have gaps to fill in the upcoming years or books that I want to pre-read or compare before making a final selection, so each month one of these will be added to my reading stack.
I will show you my stack selections each month and hope that you will follow along with me. I'd love to know which reading challenges you're taking on this year or your personal goals for the reading year ahead.
It's that time of the year again - here are my top 10 books from 2018. All 5* books
This year I read 54 books!!!
I'm super proud of that and I beat my Goodreads target by 4 books :) anyway without further ado here are my favourite... and there were some surprises in it for me. And oh my have I read some amazing books this year, I struggled to cut it down to a top 10 and then ranking them was hard... SO many of these books have really touched me and stuck with me.
10 Kaspar: Prince of Cats - Michael Morpurgo
9 the little house in the big woods - laura ingalls wilder
8 The breadwinner - deborah ellis
7 JURassic park - michael crichton
6 The Green ember - S.D. Smith
5 Race to the pole - meredith hooper
4 pocahontas - joseph bruchac
3 all quiet on the western front - erich maria remarque
2 roll of thunder, hear my cry - mildred d taylor
1 homegoing - yaa gyasi
First up are a few activities aimed to keep her 'hand in' at our main subjects over the month of December (which is a 'down' month for us school wise), she has a couple of the Dash into Reading Books that she has already mastered and can confidently read alone. A Wild about Maths number writing book to practice number formation. The Cursive Handwriting is a wipe clean book which has tracing and copying activities for her to have a go at.
The next one is defiantly her favourite, the Usborne Christmas Magic Painting book, is a great way to add some creativity into the box with minimal mess (I include a water brush so she can get on with this all by herself and no spills). We also have the Usborne Wipe Clean Activity book as she really enjoys the wipe clean books. As well as The Night Before Christmas activity book (as this is the poem we are currently using for memory work), is has stickers and puzzles based around the poem in it.
While I haven't read this book cover to cover yet, I have dipped in and out. The text is accessible but clearly suitable for a much older child (I plan to use this as an RE text in KS3), however we grab it from time to time to go alongside bible stories. The book is packed with beautiful art prints, photographs of the Holy Lands, maps, artefacts and Biblical quotes, that accompany the life of Jesus. It includes historical information about the world and politics at the time and gives a greater understanding of the world of the Gospels.
To start with for 'tales' we are reading '100 Classic Stories' and 'A World Full of Animal Stories' which we tie in with geography.
We're currently reading through 'Talking Like the Rain' for poetry and using 'The Night Before Christmas' as our memorisation work.
For classics we are finishing off 'Brambly Hedge' and 'The Jungle Book' which have over-run from November (we're finding the Jungle Book quite slow as Lizzie is struggling to understand some of the language in this book, so we're taking it slow and steady and reading just a few pages at a time... so it will probably remain in the basket through next term as well).
I always like to include a few other books that 'go along' with our Classic read for when we need a little break and to give us a wider understanding of the themes of the book, (most of these we have finished with now and are ready to come out the basket). We have read 'Expedition Diaries Indian Lowlands' which included lots of interesting information, illustrations, photographs and maps of the Indian Jungle and added a great Geography Element to our reading. I also included 'Maya, Tiger Cub' as a beautiful story and a counter-balance to the 'bad guy' tiger in the Jungle Book. We used this book to learn about tigers and visited a local zoo to see some real bengal tigers. I always like to try and find books that balance out the view point in anything we're reading...
I bought 'You're Safe With Me' purely for the stunning illustrations, but it fits in perfectly and adds a few more animals for us to focus on. It also talks through the water cycle and introduces those concepts. Usborne's 'Illustrated Stories from India' was another lovely read which added a few other tales to our learning and provided a nice break when the language began to bog down our progress - we haven't read all of this one and I'll probably keep it in the basket as long as we're still working through the Jungle Book.
Lastly here are two extra books we've added for December to enjoy over the Christmas break. 'Mary's Little Donkey and the Flight to Egypt' is one of our favourites (this book was mine as a child), we read it last year and Lizzie was super keen to read it again. And 'The Reindeer Girl' by Holly Webb, seemed like a nice fun and relaxing read... we haven't read it yet, so I'll let you know what it was like afterwards.
The book is split into sections about each continent. Always starting with a map of the continent to trace it then goes on to have different activities to learn more about the people, places and animals on the continent. It includes work on languages, land marks, rivers, mountains and wildlife.