Skip to main content

Bookworms in Training

Jeremy and I are lovers of books and thankfully all our children seem to be following suit - I am constantly being asked to read! Most of the time it's picture books and sometimes Big Buddy will beg me to read a few pages of whatever animal encyclopedia he's in to at the moment. I cherish these times but picture book after picture book can get exhausting! So about two years ago we started reading chapter books to our kids. I wasn't sure how it would go at first; Big Buddy, our oldest, was only four at the time. The kids, however, eat them up and their ability to follow the story and recall information (sometimes even months later!) has amazed me.  In August we read a favorite series, Riverbank Stories, from Jeremy's childhood.

I had never read the books before and got so into the stories that I actually cheated and read ahead. The author, Stephen R. Lawhead, does a fantastic job of creating an engaging  community of  river bank creatures. The stories have a the perfect amount of suspense; you want to know what's going to happen next but there is nothing that is too frightening for young children. Almost every chapter is accompanied by a beautifully detailed pen and ink illustration.

The stories contain a moral, or really a character lesson, but are not at all preachy and the reader is left to make their own conclusions. The boys and I were able to have some really good discussions on whether or not they agreed with certain character's actions. One final positive note on these books is that the author introduces  more advanced vocabulary in clever ways, usually by having the word defined by an older/wiser animal.

If you are looking for a read-aloud series to share with young children (3-7) I'd highly recommend these books. From what I can tell print copies are no longer sold but for around $3 you can purchase the Kindle versions - hopefully, they are also carried by your local library.

A few other chapter books we've read and would recommend: The Hobbit, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Tale of Despereaux, The Lion, The Witch, and The WardrobeThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, and the Beast Quest series, While a tad bit formulaic, the Beast Quest books are quick reads and are especially great for boys.

We are always looking for new stories to dive in to; if you have a favorite you'd recommend please share!


  1. Red Wine Magazine
    Red Wine Magazine (RW) embraces the sweet and rich ideology that God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Precious Holy Spirit are releasing raw power for those gifted, creative and talented believers who are looking for success in all the unlikely places.Red Wine operates on the premise that a paradigm shift is taking place, charging the atmosphere with new information that can be made available to anyone if they know where to look. We are offering a fresh new approach to every area of life. Go to :>>
    17503 La Cantera Pkwy, Suite 104-193
    San Antonio, TX 78257
    Toll Free: 888.645.1119
    Local: 210.556.3165
    FAX: 866 611-5619


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - you make me smile :)

Popular posts from this blog

Preschool Syllabus: Dr. Seuss

Normally I'd do a Dr. Seuss unit in March around his birthday. We had to do one now though because on Saturday Big Buddy and I going on a date to a Dr. Seuss exhibit. The exhibit is only at the museum until January and I'm afraid if we don't go now we might not get the chance.

We are of course reading lots of Dr. Seuss's books. A great advatage to studying Dr. Seuss in November rather than March is that all his books were available at the library. I also found a great children's biography which is perfect for preschoolers.

 We've read it a couple times and Big Buddy loves reciting all the facts he's learned


LEARNING "TRAYS" -I rotate these, setting out about four a day from which the boy's can choose.

Paint Chip Word Families

We haven't been doing a ton of school work this summer but we have tried to fit in a little reading practice everyday. We are currently working our way through Bob Books and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - I  highly recommend both. I saw this idea for paint chip word families on Pinterest several months ago and knew it would be one we'd have to try. I changed it up a little bit so that the the strips pulled through the word family cards.  

My supplies: large white paint chips, various colors of paint chips, sharpie, scissors, and an x-acto knife
 Step 1: Because my colored paint chips were so wide I folded and cut them in half.

Step 2: In the center of the white paint-chip, use the x-acto knife to cut two openings, at the top and bottom of the white square, the width of the color strip. 

Step 3: Use the sharpie to write letters on paint chips (a list of word families can be found here
Step 4: Pull strip through word family card 

 Step 5: Have fun readi…

A Little Red Cardboard Barn

We've finished our farm unit and are moving on to a new theme tomorrow - but before we do I wanted share the barn we made.

The wooden farm animals came with a beautiful handmade ark that we gave Big Buddy for Christmas a couple years ago.  I would someday love to have a wood barn but it's currently not in the budget. So in the mean time we decided to improvise and make our own. 

I stumbled upon this perfectly sized milk box (4 gallons per box) while subbing and thought it would be sturdy enough to handle play. Hubandie and the boys used an x-acto knife and wood glue to build a barn shape.

We then painted with a basic primer and outlined a window and a door with painters tape.

Big Buddy however insisted that we add more windows so it looked like the barn in our book The Big Red Barn. He even brought the book over so we'd know exactly how to do it :) 

Once everything was taped I let the boys paint the barn with rollers and washable, red tempera paint.

The boys really enjoye…