Introducing CEB’s Book Stacks
Whether books are the foundation to your child’s learning, something you use to supplement curriculum, or you simply value what books bring into your home, CEB’s Book Stacks are something we’ll be pulling together on a regular basis to help you educate your children.
Themes are fun and a key ingredient to making memories. I use them regularly in life and book themes are no exception. I pull out all the fall-themed picture books off our bookshelves every September, we have a bin of Christmas books that gets hauled out in December, and I love finding books that coordinate with the other things we have going on. Our trip to an ocean cabin included a bin full of ocean-themed activities: picture books, puzzles, games, and coloring sheets. What stuffies do you bring on an ocean vacation? Well, the mermaid and sea star of course. During our family read-aloud time of The Green Ember, it just made sense to find picture books about Rabbits. This year my plan is to purchase books about bacteria, viruses, and pandemics.
Boundaries Help Creativity
Themes introduce boundaries. We don’t often think of boundaries as enhancing creativity or opening up our world, but they do. A few years ago, we had a fun and creative time planning our meals for Valentines’ Day when we decided that everything had to be red. And there was that year we had silent reading themes: Mondays were for science, Tuesdays were for history, Wednesdays were for fiction, and Thursdays were for bible stories. This was a good strategy to encourage reading outside of the “go-to” genre.
Books are a Curriculum Complement
Homeschool Mamas have a special relationship with books. We know that there is a heap of learning that can be pulled out of living books. I find myself leaning more and more on books particularly in the primary years. It’s such a sweet and gentle way to learn. I encourage you to weave living books into your curriculum where you can, especially when you notice a child being drawn into a particular topic.
Benefits of Living Books
-are a delight
-present facts as part of a storyline
-lead to greater retention
-are whole books
-draw a reader in
-make the subject matter come alive
Immersing a child in a topic is a great way for them to learn. This Winter Book Stack has so much to offer. Snow is Falling, Snowflake Bentley and Snowman-Cold=Puddle are all science books. Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening is a poetry book, Winter on the Farm is a social studies book, and Snow is a Language Arts book where you can introduce your children to what it means to write lyrically. I love how the pictures in Owl Moon capture the feeling of a winter’s night and White Snow Bright Snow captivates the delight children feel when it starts to snow. Katy and the Big Snow is a sweet fictional account in which your child can share in Katy’s shining moment experience, The Mitten is a traditional Ukrainian story, and in Brave Irene, you’ll be sending your child out on an adventure as the main character faces a snowstorm. How fun would it be to have these books on hand for the next snow week?
Add a snowflake craft and you’ll have a week to remember.
I hope you enjoy this Book Stack. We can’t always add the book suggestions that you all have. We sure love to hear about them though and add them to our Wishlist.
by Adrianne Curwen
Adrianne is a wife to a public-school educator/administrator and a homeschooling Mama to seven children, ranging in age from 7 to 23. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as homeschoolers to design individualized education that suits giftings, interests, and passions. She and her husband have used a blend of registered homeschooling, enrolment with independent DL schools, and participation in public trade school programs to design individualized programs for their children. She is passionate about using as many read-alouds, picture books, novels, and conversations to educate her children but also gets excited by the amazing homeschool-designed curriculum that’s out there. Adrianne is thrilled by her new role as Communication Specialist for Classical Education Books and is grateful to have an opportunity to learn something new. She is grateful, every day, for her saviour, Jesus Christ, and has no greater joy than when she sees her most important missions field walk with Him.