Friday 11 January 2019

Reading Challenge and Advice Please!

Last year, I decided not to take part in a Reading Challenge. Life was busy and whilst I had read plenty of books during the previous year and enjoyed the chance to read more widely, I didn't manage all the categories in the 2017 Christian Reading Challenge.  

2018 wasn't a bad reading year but many of the books were either read alouds to my children or books that I preread to check whether they would be suitable for the home education book club. It was a busy year, after all my eldest daughter was married and strangely enough, this was rather more important than reading!  So, 2019 seems a year for a reading challenge but people, I need advice. My reading is in the doldrums and I don't feel best inspired. 

The plan is to do the avid reader level  of the 2019 Christian Reading Challenge so 26 books not 104. I would like to succeed! Please would you send me ideas. I don't want to buy many books so ideally books from the library/free on line would be great.

The categories follow with my comments. A blank means that I don't know. 

  • A BIOGRAPHY-ideas?
  • A NOVEL-possibly Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  •  A BOOK ABOUT HISTORY-SPQR by Mary Beard. I have started this but haven't been gripped so far...
  •  A BOOK ABOUT CHRISTIAN LIVING-possibly a reread of the Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford
  •  A BOOK WITH AT LEAST 400 PAGES-I have downloaded Dicken's Our Mutual Friend which seems to have over 800 pages according to Amazon.
  •  A BOOK A FRIEND RECOMMENDS-ideas welcome
  •  A BOOK ABOUT CHRISTIAN LIVING-a couple of friends have recommended titles by Jen Wilkin
  •  A BOOK MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD-Should be easy but I don't know yet.
  • A BOOK BY OR ABOUT A MISSIONARY-Reading Letters from the South Seas by Margaret Patton
  • A BOOK FOR CHILDREN OR TEENS-thinking about Beverley Naidoo's Journey to Jo'burg which is conveniently in the local library.
  •  A BOOK ABOUT FROM A “BEST OF 2018” LIST-not sure. I need to read some lists!
  •  A BOOK WRITTEN BY A PURITAN: John Owen's Glory of Christ.
  • A BOOK ABOUT THEOLOGY: reading Stuart Olyott's Son of Mary: Son of God
  •  A BOOK YOU THINK YOU CAN FINISH IN A WEEKEND-Doug Bond's new book The Resistance
  • A BOOK ABOUT AGING-Jennifer Bute and Louise Morse's book Dementia from the Inside.
  •  A BOOK PUBLISHED IN 2019 -Hopefully, Beyond the Thirty Nine Steps: a biography of John Buchan by Ursula Buchan
  • A BOOK ON THE CURRENT NY TIMES LIST OF BESTSELLERS- possibly the Tattooist of Auschwitz but it seems a bit grim.
  •  A BOOK ABOUT CHURCH HISTORY-hope this isn't a cheat but I am reading SM Houghton's Sketches in Church History with my children. I love this book and it has lead to some interesting discussions and rabbit trails. Who would have known that Patmos is 15 days walk from London plus a few ferries-thank you Google maps!
Thank you everyone, in advance for your suggestions!

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Friday 4 January 2019

New Year and Resources

Happy New Year!

I haven't blogged much recently with plenty of other things going on, and in particular, caring taking more time. I would like to make time to write during this year although what transpires could be another matter.

These are some of the resources which we are using-the ones that I particularly want to recommend.

Oaka Books produce resources for visual learners. We have been using the biology matching pairs game and On the Map which is a global locations game.
The latter has been used on an almost daily basis, only takes 15 minutes to play and has helped the children's geographical knowledge enormously. On the Map is designed for Common Entrance so some of the answers are over simplified, for example, there are more countries in Africa beginning with S than the options given. These cases have proved discussion points.

There is a discount for home educators.

Learning how to learn: how to succeed in School without spending all your time studying is a book which I first about on the Brave Writer podcast. Since I read it, I have been quoting the principles to the children on a frequent basis! At some point, we hope to read though in morning time. 

Seterra is an online geography game. Last autumn, each child had a challenge from this and I plan the same again. This can get a bit competitive and involves Mum having to revise/learn geography!

Duolingo is a free app for language learning. It is aimed at beginners and only takes a few minutes each day. Younger Daughter has begun language lessons, this academic year and supplements these with a daily Duolingo session. Yes, Mum is also working on her daily Duolingo. Who said home education was only for the children!

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has a helpful website with ideas for books and poems. I was able to visit the library which was a delight. 
Many of my usual book ideas come from the Read Aloud Revival podcast (definitely worth listening) but these tend to be American and so not available from our local library whereas the books recommended by CLPE are mainly from the UK. Many of these are in our local library system so I have been able to put them on order.

The Daily Poem is a podcast from Close Reads which does what it says. So far, I have listened myself rather than getting the children to listen. My plan is to enlarge my range of poems to share with the children. 

Please add your favourite resources to the comments.

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