Monday, August 31, 2009

Schooling over the Years....

....As we begin a new one.

Today, we at Hospitality Lane,
officially began our 2009-2010
School year. While much work
has been done independently
already, this was the first day
we sat together and studied in
this school year.

Mrs. Rabe and her gang have been
back to school for a couple of
weeks, I think.

I celebrated our first day by making a
mosaic of the kids on field trips
over the past several years.

It was a fun day.

It is bound to be a challenging
year as we stretch and learn new
things. Chelsea is particularly
concerned...I think she will be
just fine. I have purposely set
the bar high. She is feeling the
challenge. A necessary part of
the process, I think!

Hope your school days are going
well. We are here to encourage you
and share with you...Your feedback
and questions are very welcome.

Becky K.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reading Suggestions for Middle Grades

Nicole had this to say
after Mrs. Rabe's last

"I am looking for books for Alex, he is in the 3rd grade but at a 7th grade reading level. He loves adventure. Do you have any thoughts?'

I have been thinking about it and
remembered a series of books that
we enjoyed. It came to me yesterday
as it was the anniversary of the
Mt. Vesuvius disaster so many
years ago.

Caroline Lawrence has written a
series that is set in Roman Times.
It follows Flavia Gemina, the daughter
of a Sea Captain, and her friends, as they
solve mysteries.

We found the series to be believable
to the time period and interesting.

The book titles are:

The Thieves of Ostia
The Secrets of Vesuvius
The Pirates of Pompeii

I see at Amazon that there are many other
titles by this author. It seems that the
characters in these books are involved in
some, if not all of these.

I found these three books at the Library but
will have to look for more titles. Chelsea would
likely still enjoy them.

I think you would find them interesting for
Alex. Of course, I always recommend previewing
everything for yourself.
Our childrens' personalities
and likes are all different.
You know better than
anyone what he would like.

For example, in the first book,
someone is killing dogs. That is
the basis of the mystery. If this
would be too upsetting to your child
it would be best to skip this book.

We didn't find it to be so gruesome
and we understood it to be fiction.
The story was very intriguing.

Does anyone else have recommendations for

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Talk!

We have tons of books! Whew! Where to begin?

Beth, I would recommend Louisa May Alcott's "Old Fashioned Girl." This is a sweet book. I do not know whether you are thinking of books for boy or girls so I will just share some of the books we have enjoyed here at our home. We love the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. We also have these in Radio Drama form from Focus on the Family! They are so well done and we enjoy reading or listening to them. As always the books are much more detailed and richer but the radio dramas are great for listening to at bedtime or in the car! We wore out our first set and had to replace them this year!

Another series that has been beloved by one of my children is the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This child of mine learns by delving deeply into what she is interested in. She read these and the appendices. She has learned some dwarvish and elvish.

We have read Little House of course, but we also have enjoyed the whole Anne of Green Gables set of 8 books.

My kids have enjoyed a variety of books, there are books by Ann Rinaldi dealing with Henry the VIII time period. "Red Headed Princess" about Princess Elizabeth (Henry's daughter by Anne Bolyn, and a book about Lady Jane Grey called "Nine Days A Queen." These were fascinating to my 9th grader last year and she even ended up doing a big report on what she learned. The are historical fiction and not written like a textbook or anything.

Of course I definitely recommend all of Jane Austen's books. Many of the sequels are excellent too although not all are. I do NOT recommend the books by Linda Berdoll. They are very inappropriate!

I also love the books by Grace Livingston Hill. They are old fashioned "romances" but in a sweet way. The characters always grow spiritually, and she has really neat domestic scenes in them. Great for encouraging homemaking!

I love Emilie Barnes books! I have the one you mentioned, it is my favorite! I learned so much about making a house a home - I definitely will have my girls read her books!

We read alot of historical fiction - Sonlight curriculum has great lists of books that are age appropriate. Although if you read aloud a child can enjoy a book at a much younger age.

Hope this is helpful to you!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some Favorite Girl Preteen and Teen Reads...

I find my self perusing the web a couple of times a year for books to recommend to our children. I admit that finding books for Chelsea is somewhat easier than the boys.

Therefore, most of the books I will recommend will likely appeal more to girls...but not necessarily.

First, if your daughter has not read the Little House on the Prairie Series, it is an excellent place to start. Chelsea is reading it through for the second time after a few years. She loves it, as did I.

Two books that I enjoyed so much and passed on to Chelsea, who also loved them are by Kate Seredy. They are The Good Master and The Singing Tree. The author is also the illustrator.

She is fabulous! Kate Seredy is a Hungarian born author who draws from this background and knowledge to weave wonderful stories. These are older books so they may be harder to find, but in my opinion, they are worth it.

This year a sweet little book that I have asked Chelsea to read is In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson. She is probably older now than she would need to be to enjoy this book but I just got around to buying it for her as I think it will be a keeper.

Some of Chelsea's favorite series and authors are Nancy Rue and her Lily Series as well as The Sophie Series, Sandra Byrd's books Island Girl and Chopsticks.

I found another series at our Library Book Store.
It is called Tales from Grace Chapel Inn.
Guideposts is listed as the Publisher. There are different authors but they are all of a similar genre. Chelsea really enjoyed these. Two Titles that are in front of me now are...The Way we Were by Judy Baer and Steady and Slow by Anne Marie Rodgers.

Most recently after our Book Club read a Sisterchicks book, Chelsea has been interested in these books. She is enjoying them very much. The first one we read was Sisterchicks in Somberos by Robin Jones Gunn. I don't remember how many more of these she has read, but CBD had some of these as audiobooks in their clearance section so we have just added to our collection but as audiobooks.

Both Chelsea and Jonathan listen to books on tape as they fall asleep. It is just another way to get literature into their lives. We started this with each of them for different reasons but it has become a fun challenge to keep them supplied with fun literature to listen to.

In another post I will talk about Jonathan's preferences. They are quite different but for a student who struggles so to read, because of physical challenges, he surely does love books! He often asks to go to the Library.

A literature rich home is a blessing.

We are very blessed.

Are You?
I would love to hear what
books you enjoy....
for any age!
We have a housefull of readers...
in all shapes and sizes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gearing Up For a New School Year...

Some of our friends have begun their
formal 2009-10 school year already.
We have not.

We are certainly marking many things
on our log books as our daily life
lends itself to learning, but as of
yet we have not begun the Accounting
curriculum or the American History, etc.

Chelsea can be found on the computer
working on French sporadically. Not
at my direction but out of her own

Mikey is getting eight weeks of horticulture
through his Internship at Longwood Gardens.

Jonathan can be found perfecting his art
with a friend who majored in graphic arts
in a trade school last year. Just for fun
they have done ink drawings, watercolor and

However, my mind is turning to the days when
we will gather in the living room discussing
the merits of a republic over socialism or a
How God made our various body parts in just
the right ways as we study anatomy.
Reading aloud a piece of literature which
captivates and inspires.

You know,this kind of time with the kids
will be done after this year.
Mikey and Jonathan will graduate
leaving Chelsea and I on our own
for her last three years.

So, I intend to cherish our time this year.
To pack in as much about God, His goodness
and Seeking His will as is possible to do
without making the kids too crazy. This is
the lesson I most wish to get across to the
boys as they head into manhood and the
responsibilities that brings.

It is happening.
I see it daily.

Praying for wisdom and strength as we
have a very eventful year ahead.

Becky K.

P.S. A Partial Curriculum List:

John MacArthur - The Truth War
BJU Press - The American Republic
W. Cleon Skousen - A Miracle that Changed the World- A 5,000 Year Leap
A Beka - America, Land That I Love

Alan L. Gillen - Body By Design
I. Edward Alcamo - Anatomy Coloring Workbook

Alpha Omega - Accounting I

Rosetta Stone - French

Again, this is a partial list of this year's curriculum
but we will use these resources to gain an understanding
of the subjects studied.