Classics for Young Independent Readers

Lists.

You may have worked out by now that I love lists, so here is another one for you:

Some stories that have stood the test of time and that have been enjoyed in this house.

I would recommend them for independent young readers somewhere in the 6-9 year old bracket.  Obviously all children are unique so you’ll need to work out whether they are appropriate for your child – some might be for younger children, some might be for older.

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Delighting in Autumn Trees

I just love the trees at this time of year!  Such a vast array of colours and change, which hint that log fires, fireworks and carols are
just around the corner.

Last week we have talked, thought and read about trees in autumn. My elder two both chose one tree each at our local arboretum (but it could just as well have been one lining our pavement!) that will be their special tree for the year. Continue reading

Getting Started with French

This week, over supper, my eldest daughter was describing the building opposite our house. When it came to talking about the tiles on the roof, she called it the “toit” not roof.  She surprised herself.  The French word had come out first.  Isn’t it wonderful when language becomes part of you?!

I love languages and have done since I was small. I am by no means bilingual (if only!) but I was exposed to lots of French and Russian as a child. This went on to influence my subject choices at both school and university and is where one of my passions still lies. To be able to visit another country and Continue reading

Exploring Pond Life

I’ll be honest – I know next to nothing about pond life, its creatures or plants – but that hasn’t prevented me from exploring our local pond. A whole unknown world exists that the children and I love investigating.  We like to go with each changing season so we can enjoy the transformation that occurs and observe the aquatic life as the year passes.

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Listening to Audiobooks

Audiobooks – don’t you love them?!

I remember listening to them as a teenager for what I thought was a quick way to read set literature texts. I have a clear image of travelling around Thailand and listening to Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov on a walkman – that was called revising! On reflection it was irresponsible and doing neither the country nor the novel justice.

I now love audiobooks for different reasons.  Of course they are no substitute for actually all curling up on the sofa reading a story but I can only read so many stories to the children with my own voice, and so they are a wonderful way to supplement our daily read aloud times. Continue reading

My Boy’s Book Recommendations

Over this last year my son has gone from reading Julia Donaldson‘s ‘Songbirds‘ to J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone‘ – a massive leap.  This journey has involved him devouring books and left me with the job of feeding his appetite. (In other words, scouring the internet for more book recommendations late into the night!) Of course, like any parent, I want to give him wholesome food to satisfy him, although obviously the odd sugary snack is allowed.

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I thought I’d share a few of his favourites from along the way, from early readers and short chapter books to more substantial books for fluent but young readers. Continue reading

Embracing Autumn

The morns are meeker than they were –
The nuts are getting brown –
The berry’s cheek is plumper –
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf –
The field a scarlet gown –
Lest I sh’d be old-fashioned
I’ll put a trinket on.
— Emily Dickinson

No sooner had we returned from our summer holiday, than we felt the autumn chill in the air. The blustery wind has been tossing the crunchy leaves around our garden. It really feels like autumn has arrived, although unlike Dickinson’s description our roses are still blooming. To cherish the turn in the weather, we drew our first ever chalk pastel pictures of ‘An Autumn Walk in the Woods’ with help from  www.chalkpastel.com. We loved using a new medium for our artwork.

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Paris

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Navigating the Metro

“Paris? With three kids?”

Over the last year the children have started to learn French. We have also tried to learn something of France: some geography, history, art and culture.  We have enjoyed some wonderful picture books and fiction set in France.  I love good books! So this summer we spent three nights introducing them to this beautiful city.
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