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
What we're reading
November was the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, so naturally last month we focused on reading a lot on the subject - sadly I also only had a couple of books in my library so this also meant I got to have a bit of a book buying spree (any excuse...)
Lizzie and I used these books for her lessons on Remembrance Day. 'Poppy Field' was a beautifully moving story and prominently features the poem 'In Flandres Field' and was a wonderful way to introduce our poppy work. 'Where The Poppies Now Grow' is a lovely rhyming story that covered the first world war in a child friendly manner. And finally 'The Poppy Lady' was a lovely story telling of how the poppy came to be the symbol of remembrance.
Here are the three other picture books that I fell in love with, all of these have been added to my home library. 'The Best Christmas Present in the World' is a touching story around the 1914 Christmas truce, told in classic Michael Morpurgo fashion and guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. 'One Boy's War' was an amazing story based on the life of one real solider (who came from a relatively local town), a touching story that really helps children to understand the war. And finally Michael Foreman's 'War Game' which again tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce but is packed with information, told in an engaging narrative way. If you were only going to invest in one book of these I would defiantly make sure you had this one.
Obviously I had to feature some children's novels in this feature too. 'Private Peaceful' is one of my all-time favourite books, it's raw and heart-wrenching and has you crying all the way through. Along with Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which is an excellent choice for children who prefer to read animal stories, both provide children with the knowledge and connection needed to this time period. I love the way the stories are told from both 'sides' and help children understand there are no winners in war.
I also read 'True Stories of the First World War', this book was amazing, each chapter told a different story featuring a different aspect of the war, I personally learnt so much from this book and will defiantly be including it in Lizzie's curriculum when she comes to studying the First World War.
And for myself these are the books that I read as well, I've had 'All Quiet on the Western Front' on my shelf for nearly a year (meaning to get to it), but our poppy and Remembrance Day lessons on the 10th were what I needed to spur me on. Once I picked it up I couldn't stop. I read the entire book through the day of the 11th. It was a moving and poignant read, I was expecting it to be a much tougher text, language wise, but found it surprisingly readable. It left me with many poignant memories and probably the best understanding on the subject I could have hoped to read.
I also chose a couple of poetry books to accompany the month. 'Poems from the First World War' is a beautiful selection of poems written at the time by people affected by the war, it includes the 'classics' as well as lesser known gems. I shared many of these with Lizzie during our Poetry time, and will defiantly be keeping it to come back to when we study the First World War again.
I also bought this stunning penguin clothbound edition of Wilfred Owen's Poems. Such a stunning copy and a classic book of beautiful poetry.