I believe that the kids are learning the whole time. They are not only learning when I am giving them a maths equation to solve, they are also learning when they are out in the garden, building planes and cities out of lego, baking, out on trips and when they are reading. We tend to do a lot of learning based on our books and although I love our local library I also love having a small collection of books in the house which are ours. I am very fortunate because some of the publishing companies allow me to select some of their books for the kids to read. So we do end up with a nice selection of good quality reading books.
So even though our more formal ways of learning tends to slow down over the warmer months (mainly because we spend more time learning outdoors and enjoying the sunshine, getting some much-needed Vitamin D) the kids are still constantly losing themselves in good books. We have never really done reading challenges as such, never really felt the need as both of mine always have a book that they are reading (or in my daughter’s case she normally has 4) but my kids are reading a couple of series and have a few books that they want to read over the next few weeks. So I thought I would share some of their picks (and a few of mine)
They want to finish the Secret Seven series – both of them are really keen to read all the books in the series (they have currently read 8 out of the 15). I know The Secret Seven is not on everyone’s list of good reading for kids, but for fun enjoyment mine have been reading them together and even made badges and a den for themselves, so enjoyment wise it has ticked a lot of boxes. And they are also re-reading the How to Train Your Dragon series. Wow this book series has just been such a gem for us. My kids have loved the stories and I must say I think the way they have been written is brilliant – lots of creative language and such interesting descriptions. (The Bookpeople are selling the set – that is where we bought ours from).
But as much as we have / still are loving the How to train your Dragon series my daughter has felt it was a bit male dominated – she has voiced on more than one occasion that she wished there were more strong female main characters in the stories. So I started hunting for a Viking themed story with a female lead (not that easy I might add) and I found – Riddle of the Runes (Viking Mystery 1). The Story is based on a crime solving Viking Alva (female lead) and her pet wolf – Fenrir. And it appears to have a coded message in Runes – my daughter has just read the first chapter, but so far it sounds like it could be a very interesting Viking story for her and she already loves the whole Rune solving angle.
She is also reading some Michael Morpurgo books. She recently chose her third one from a local 2nd hand bookstore – The Butterfly Lion. I really like his writing and I am trying to encourage her to read more of his books (again I find them a good level for her with nice descriptions and some interesting words) but I must mention for highly sensitive kids my daughter does tend to cry when reading his books as she finds the stories a bit sad. What we do is when she gets to the sad part she comes and sits with me and we read it together.
She is also enjoying some classic stories (see our Little Women post) and we are trying some Shakespeare together (my pick which we are slowly introducing).
My son has only recently started reading chapter books by himself. He loved the first Night Zookeeper book and the first Bee Boy book so we are trying the 2nd book in both series. The Night Zookeeper: The Lioness of Fire Desert was an instant hit with him. The day it arrived he unpacked the book and started reading it, on the first day he only put it down to go swimming and as soon as he was back he picked it up and continued. In fact he is already asking about when the third Night Zookeeper book will be out (he informs me the third one is about penguins). Honestly I have not yet read the book myself so I cannot comment, I know it involves the main characters for the first book and a lioness but that is about all I know at this stage. I will write a detailed review about this book soon – just need to be allowed to read it myself.
Bee Boy: Attack of the Zombees (Bee Boy 2). He read and re-read the first Bee Boy book so I am sure this one will be a big hit with him. He loves the idea of the boy (Melvin) becoming a half-bee and the fact that he can talk to the other creatures (something I am sure my son wishes he could do). The Wizarding for Beginners was recommended for him as a funny light-hearted story. I have skimmed a few pages and it does look like something that might appeal to my little guys humour so we are going to give it a try.
The Railway Revolution is something I chose for him. When we was younger he loved trains and recently he has been asking more and more questions about how trains developed over time and the different stages that the railway system went through (something which I have very limited knowledge in) so when I was recently browsing the BIG CAT readers for new titles I spotted this and immediately asked if we could test it out. We have read a few of the non-fiction BIG CAT readers and have been very impressed with them so I thought this one would be perfect for my little guy.
I have no doubt as the summer progresses we will be adding to our books (I have already been reading some reviews about the Warrior Cats series and have a feeling that my two would love this so that could be something we might try as well).
As I mentioned above our books are a collection of library, some I have bought and some which have been given to us by Oxford University Press and Collins BIG CAT department.
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