Wednesday, December 27, 2006

what we're reading now

Now that I'm all caught up with our homeschooling history (such that it is), I thought it would be nice to post each week about what we're reading. We read the same three stories all week long during our Family Storytime (which occurs at bedtime), usually these are books from the local Library, all of them are preschool-gauged picture books, and are based around our bi-monthly theme. The first book is introduced on Saturday, the second added on Sunday, and the third on Monday (so that they are not hearing more than one new book a day). We read the same books all week because of what Enki Education has taught us about the way young children learn -- they experience the book on a different level each night, at first just openly listening to it, then taking it in gradually, and eventually proccessing it fully (as fully as their level of development allows). We then make the book available for the kids to read and look at on their own for the next few weeks. It's important to us that these books are nourishing both in content and in illustration -- we want books that serve to feed their budding imaginations and fill them with wonder.

Since my family will be celebrating the Christmas holiday together this coming Saturday (the 30th), we're still working on the Christmas theme this week. Here's the books we've chosen for this week's Family Story Time, and a bit of a review on each:

"Who's That Knocking On Christmas Eve" by Jan Brett. A wonderfully imaginative nordic tale of a boy with an ice bear who helps out a girl with a troll problem on Christmas Eve. The 3-part illustrations tell several sides of the same tale at once (great for RDI perspective taking!), and the air-brushed background pulls it all together. Just fantastic for budding imaginations!

"The Animal's Christmas Carol" by Helen Ward. This is a gorgeously illustrated verse about the night the animals spoke, and what they said. Despite not being a Christian family, we love the Nativity story and tell it frequently this time of year -- there is a magical quality to it that really grabs our kids, and a generosity of spirit which is our emphasis at Christmas time. This book captures the wonder and cooperative, giving spirit of the season, set in the stable on that magical night in Bethlehem.

"Nicholi" by Cooper Edens, illustrated by A. Scott Banfill. This is Zoo Boy's favorite book of the season, and I can see why. During a traditional Christmas Day snow carving festival, a gentle stranger, dressed in beautiful robes, arrives and carves a magical sleigh and reindeer, which he then uses to take the children of the town for a ride through the sky. When the ride is over, he and his team mysteriously vanish, leaving behind only the harnesses and Nicholi's clothing. They leave it to the children's imagination to identify who that myseterious strange may have been, which fits in with our RDI work just fabulously.

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