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Weekly Wrap Up: Reading Aloud and More

Where did this week go?  We were all so busy and most of us were fighting a bug of some sort, although we never did get really sick.

A huge amount of schoolwork was done, and I?m proud of the children. 

We also were outside a lot, which always makes me feel better.  The children seem to get energy from it, too.

We even went for our longest Rideau Trail walk ever, 6.5 km.  Only 15 more km to go to reach the Parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa!  And then we go back to where we started walking early last fall, and venture into bear country.  I?m quite nervous about that.  Much as I dislike cities, I dislike bears more.

The three girls found a huge, stretched-out frozen puddle in our woods, meandering through the trees. Of course, they took snow shovels down there and cleared it so they could skate, and since then they have been enjoying it regularly.  Although skating in nature is much more enjoyable than using a regular rink, it is also a lot bumpier.

And then, we read aloud a lot.  It?s fun.  It?s peaceful.  It?s a way of getting out of formal schoolwork while still being educational.   And it?s something we all love.  This week we finished:

  • A Pioneer Story:  The Daily Life of a Canadian Family in 1840 by Barbara Greenwood and Heather Collins.  This great book is really a story with a hands-on study guide included.  Our children love it.  It?s similar to the Little House series in one way, but has a completely different flavor.  The Little Misses and I read it for history. (Note that  it has some unpleasant sibling interactions.)
  • Taffy and Melissa Molasses by Carolyn Haywood.  Most books by this author are worth reading out loud for their humor and happiness.  Although I read it to the Little Misses, I did notice other people listening in and chuckling along.
  • Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard.   This moving story tells about missionaries sent from Rome to England in 597 AD.  I have now read it aloud twice to my children.  Each time I found it difficult not to cry, but the younger children noticed no sadness.  I suppose everyone experiences what he or she is ready for.  I read it to all the children.  Of course we also listened to Gregorian chants, since it was Pope Gregory who sent Augustine to Kent.

We started:

  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.  Both Miss 18 and Mr. 15 suggested this classic for our next family read aloud.  It?s quite nautical at times, but I think even Miss 8 will get the gist of it?and once the adventures begin she?ll get very involved.  I had not realized how humorous the book is, but we were chuckling all through the first chapter.
  • Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott.  I?m reading this to the Little Misses.  Everyone else remembers the first time I read it, and the older girls have reread it many times on their own.  I?m sure we?ll have people listening in occasionally!
  • Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick is the Little Misses? next history book.  It will be a quick read, I think, and a good reminder of the astronomy they learned last year.
  • And, best of all, my husband began a new read aloud for all of us:  Silver Ley by Adrian Bell, an account of a beginning farmer in early 20th century Britain.  What incredible word pictures Adrian Bell paints!  Somehow, hearing the book being read aloud highlights both the language and the humor.  Silver Ley is a bit above Miss 8, but our teens and I delighted in this treat.  It?s not very often that Daddy reads aloud to all of us.

To see what other homeschooling families have been up to, please visit Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Skating in the woods…sounds wonderful!

    Thanks for the nice comment on my wrap-up entry this week, it is always nice to hear from readers. 🙂

    Yes, we notebook for high school as a form of written narration. They combine Commonplace books and notebook pages a lot for history and literature. I wrote a page about it recently:

    Thanks again and I enjoyed reading your entry.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thanks for that link, Barb. It’s very informative!

  2. kympossible says:

    So fantastic that the girls can skate in the woods!! Skating outside is more fun, in my opinion, although it’s been many years since I’ve done it myself.

    what an interesting list of books you’ve been reading! i took note of a couple of them that sounded like something we would like too!

  3. Sarah says:

    Once again you’ve sent me to the libray website and Amazon… Most of the books you mention are not in the library, and several are not even available through Amazon here. I did find one or two interesting looking ‘rabbit trails’ so have ordered several books from the libray and hopefully will find something good. We’re reading ‘The Railway Children’ which raises some interesting issues – things you never get in more modern ‘trash’ books. (Can’t remember what Charlotte Mason calls them – but she was SO right!) I’m beginning to think I NEED another trip to Canada or the States to stock up on some good books again!!
    God bless you!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Try interlibrary loan. That’s what we do. We haunt used book places as well.

      Some of these books may also be available online, at Project Gutenberg, for example.

      Augustine Came to Kent will probably be hard to find, and Carolyn Haywood is quite an old author but was very popular in the past.

      Let me know if you need more information about any of them, and I’ll help out if I can.


      Annie Kate

  4. Jenn4him says:

    You read as much as we do! I need to get Eight Cousins for Grace. Thanks for the idea.

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