Our family finished a record amount of reading last month, despite the fact that February is so short. This is partly due to the fact that we also did a fair amount of traveling (so we read while we were on the road and partly due to the fact that several of our kids were sick between trips (so they didn’t feel up to doing anything but listening to Mom or Dad read aloud).
Here’s our list of favorites from February:
I got my copy of this book for a couple of bucks at Goodwill, which is a sight better then the $95 price tag I spotted on Amazon recently. The volume contains broad sampling of poems of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Carl Sandberg, and Walt Whitman, along with a brief (2-3 page) biographical sketch on each poet’s life.
I read it aloud to my children as part of our literature study. We’d tackle just few poems at a time followed by discussion. Supplementary information for many of the poems is included in the footnotes. The book also includes definitions of unfamiliar words and explanations of imagery used. We especially enjoyed those introductory biographies. Although I’m still not overly fond of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, I can better understand why he wrote the way he did, knowing now a little of his background.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow remains my favorite of the poets presented. His classics “The Children’s Hour” and “Psalm of Life” are included in this volume. The book also contains others that were new to us, and likewise enjoyable. Sadly, this book is now out of print, but might be worth tracking down through inter-library loan.
The Flipside of Feminism by Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly
Subtitled “What Conservative Women Know and Men Can’t Say”, this book does an incredible job of showing just how left-leaning — and how far out of sync with mainstream America — the feminist movement has become.
To read an excerpt or to check out several other titles in this same genre, please see this post. Entitled “5 Must-Read Books for Women who Think,” it has quickly become one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written
The Evernote Bible by Brandon Collins
This is not a real Bible. There must’ve been some confusion on that point, because in the few weeks since I bought my copy, the author changed the title to The 20-Minute Guide to Everything Evernote.
But at $2.99, it’s a bargain! The book provides a very useful, affordable introduction to using the Evernote app for increased productivity and streamlined organization. I found it extremely helpful.
I now use Evernote to help keep track of all my shopping lists, daily chores, lesson plans, and miscellaneous projects. The app automatically syncs between my laptop and smartphone. This has made it an especial boon to my blogging and book writing. I can record a thought or idea on my iPhone the moment it occurs to me, then develop it later as time permits.
Evernote saves me a huge amount of time. I love the fact I can use it with the dictation feature on my iPhone. (For pointers on using the voice-to-text without compromising grammar or punctuation, watch this short video).
Explorers in Early Texas by Betsy Warren
Both books are written for elementary aged students, but are very informative. They provide a great starting point for unit-study-type activities and multi-level teaching.
Warren has also compiled several Texas History coloring books that coordinate nicely with her other titles.
Large Print Pencil Puzzles by George Bredehorn
Operating on the premise, “A puzzle a day keeps dementia at bay,” I figure it’s never too early to start protecting those brain cells and keeping my mind sharp. I began this book back in September and finished it in February, working a puzzle or two at a time.
I especially appreciated the fact the print was large enough that I didn’t need my reading glasses to do them. Now that this volume is completed, I’ve moved on to the The Original Sudoku 2013 Page-A-Day Calendar my thoughtful husband gave me last year for Christmas.
The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
We’ve continued reading through the Little Britches saga. Such good stuff!
The Home Ranch covers the summer Ralph spent as a cattle drover.
Like the other titles in the series, this one is packed with great life lessons, lots of humorous anecdotes, and evidence that this young boy was wise beyond his years.
Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day by Jeanne Fulbright
We finished the third in Fulbright’s Zoology series this month and have now moved on to her newest offering, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Like the other titles in the series, this book is packed with high resolution photographs, easy-to-do-at-home experiments, notebooking activities, and detailed, engaging text — all of which combine to make science one of my children’s favorite subjects to study.
What books have you been reading this month? Please share! We enjoy finding new favorites as much as we enjoy rereading old ones!
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