I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

What We're Reading In November 2014

What We're Reading in November 2014 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

The snow is upon us...already. With one day-long dusting behind and a big snowfall projected for later this week, I'm already focusing my efforts on my attitude. (This warm-blooded, southern girl sometimes has trouble being thankful during the tundra-like temps of midwest winters.)

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Although I could tighten my fists and bristle at the thought of the cold, dark months ahead, I'm trying to focus on the positives of hibernation season...eating lots of soup, wearing comfy sweatshirts and wooly socks, smelling cider boiling on the stove, and reading books...lots and lots of books. Yep, I'm gonna be grateful IN all things...even winter. I think I can...I think I can...

Well, while I work on my sturdy resolve, take a look at what we'll be reading...snow or no snow.

Read Aloud- Everybody

From now until Thanksgiving, we will be using our read-aloud time to enjoy some Thanksgiving-themed books. I'll be sharing my complete list for this mini-unit in a few days. But, here's the book that we are currently reading.

Jamie- that's me!

Out of a Far Country- About a month ago, Dr. Christopher Yuan, a prodigal son turned Moody Bible teacher and preacher, was the key-note speaker at a day-conference hosted by my church. He told of God's redemption and restoration in the broken lives of both he and his mother. Theirs is the story of forgiveness and faith that only God could write. I bought their book and have recently begun reading it.

PLEASE NOTE: While this is a Christian book, it may not be suitable for all audiences as it paints a very vivid picture of both the drug and homosexual community in order to show God's absolution in the midst of both.

Sweetie Pea- 6th grade

The Care & Keeping of You- (Mom assigned book) Since this book was meant to be a practical guide to some sensitive topics, I asked my daughter to only read a couple of pages each day. I wanted her to really soak in the information and not just rush through the book to check it off her list of "to do's." For that reason, it has taken her over a month to read through it. It is an excellent resource for tween girls that approaches body changes in a respectful and matter-of-fact way.

When she completes this book, Sweetie Pea will be moving on to The Body Book. While this book is very similar to The Care and Keeping of You, I feel that reading both will make for a more well-rounded approach to the topic of a girl's developing body. I'm not a huge fan of the author's "cool" writing style and acknowledge that it is not as comprehensive a guide as the other. But, I do appreciate the fact that The Body Book  displays puberty and menstruation from a Biblical perspective, as a gift of God...not a curse or something to begrudge. 

Don't Know Much About the Presidents- (Read-for-fun book) For her current independent project, my Sweets is using a blank game board and a set of build-your-own game pieces to create a board game based on presidential trivia. Normally, her independent project reading remains separate from her personal/pleasure reading, but she has been so fascinated with the lives of the presidents, that she's been reading her project books in her free time.

Super Boy- 3rd grade

Twenty and Ten- (Mom assigned book) This moving drama set in a French boarding school during WWII has my son hooked! I read it to my daughter several years ago and thought it would be a great book to tuck away for my son someday. Turns out, I was right. Even after reading his required number of pages/chapters per day, he asks, "Mom, can I read just one more page?" What homeschool mom is going to say no to that?!

Creepy Crawly Critters- (Read-for-fun book) All I can say is...I'm glad my son is the one reading this book, not me! 

Blonde Warrior- 2nd grade

Five True Dog Stories- (Mom assigned book) This true story about the adventures of five different dogs throughout history has my son just itchin' for reading time each day. After each chapter, he immediately runs and tells one of his other brothers all about what he just read. This is one of my favorite early chapter books and I'm privileged to have shared it with three of my five kids. 

The Best Nest- (Read-for-fun book)

Greased Lightning- Kindergarten

Scholastic Phonics Ready Readers- This is a series of graduated phonics readers that come in a boxed set. This is set 2 in the series. 

So, that's what we're reading. How 'bout you?


  1. What a great list of books!

  2. My son has just finished AAR 1, he is now reading beginning Dr Suess books! I also just looked into the Nate the Great series for him. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

    1. There are so many wonderful Dr. Seuss books to enjoy. What a gift to be able to share them with a new reader!

  3. I'm am trying to make my way through Buddhism for Mothers as I am really struggling at being a first year homeschooler. The Monk is reading a variety of comic books as we are studying how to create our own (which is pretty interesting with are 2nd grader who had are wildly vivid imagination).

    1. We just made home-made comic books together a few weeks ago. So much fun!

  4. Our daughter has read a few of the Magic Tree House series and is in the middle of one now about the Amazon. I think they are really fun books (though I do to pre-read them for content that might not line up with our worldview or be scary, etc etc.) But both books she's read so far have brought up a ton of conversations and digging about things in the book. Lots of time on youtube looking up Amazon related topics this past few weeks ;)

    Good luck in the cold, mama. We just got back from the Switchfoot show in Minneapolis and narrowly missed the big snow that socked them in right as we were leaving for our own cold and desolate land. We got our first two inches here and though I am always excited for the first snow, I know, all too soon, the shine will wear off and I'll be wishing for above zero weather with every fiber of my being. Here's to warm soup and hot cocoa anyhow, eh?

    Ohhh, I thought of another couple for beginning readers that we've busted out again! The "Little Bear" books by Else Homelund Minarik are favorites as are the "Plenty of Pelly and Peak" books by Sally Wittman. They are both oldies (and probably out of print), but GOODIES!

    1. Switchfoot is one of my husband's all-time-favortites. He got to see them in concert at a beach in Florida when we were in college.

      Yes, the snow is fun for a few days. By Christmas, I'm usually over it and in need of a healthy dose of attitude adjustment because I tend to become a wee-bit grouchy until spring.

      I've not heard of Plenty of Pelly and Peak! Time to investigate...

    2. Do! Pelly and Peak are fun! And as an added benefit, it taught my kids about the solar system and leap year. ;)

      Yes, Switchfoot are our all-time-favorites too. My hubby has seen them (now) eight times. I don't know why but every time I've seen them myself, I cry. It's rare these days to find musicians who mean what they sing much less live it. And listening to them play songs that matter, songs that MEAN something makes me weep like a kid cutting onions. We've joked that we'd sell just about anything (including our own kidneys) to be able to have the money to go see them whenever they come within 600 miles of us. And while we both still have our kidneys, my hubby did donate a whole bunch of plasma to be able to go this time ;) Good man. Good man.