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 April 2017

What We're Reading in April-a homeschool family of seven and their book choices for the month

What do you do when your 8-year-old asks if you can find him a biography of a WWII soldier and the only titles that come to mind are fictions? You head to Facebook and ask a fabulous tribe of homeschool moms for suggestions. And what do you do when your local library doesn't have any of the books the mommas mentioned, you rummage through the shelves of a neighborhood used book store to find a jackpot of vintage classics from Landmark Books, Signature Books, and Childhood of Famous Americans. You plunk down some money, drag them all home, and watch your sons eyes light up!

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That was how my April started. Since then, we've piled these and other books in our book baskets and look forward to a month of literary loveliness. 

Here's what we're reading...

Read Aloud- everybody

Tolliver's Secret- This book has sat on our shelf for at least two years just waiting to be cracked open. For whatever reason, we continued to pass it over for other titles...until now. We just started it last week and haven't been able to put it down. Set in colonial New York, this historical fiction tells of the bravery of young Ellen Tolliver who risked her life smuggling secret messages across enemy lines during the Revolutionary War. 

Jamie- that's me!

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You- I had high hopes for this one, but I've been sadly disappointed. While the writing style is pretty decent, the entire book can be summed up by the subheading...make time for you. The end. The points are a bit belabored and most of the chapters have been redundant and overworked. It's been one of those books that I have to bring myself to pick up and finish just to be able to say I've read it and can finally move on to something else. 

Uninvited- I've devoured two other Lysa TerKeurst titles in the past and can't wait to dive into this one. She has a way of combining truth and humor like few others. Admittedly, I don't tend to struggle with feelings of "less than, left out, and lonely" as I've cultivated a really exceptional circle of friends over the years. But I have no doubt that as I read this book in the coming weeks, I'll be jotting down all kinds of thoughts in my common place journal about strengthening those relationships and my relationship with Christ.

Sweetie Pea- 8th grade

Across Five Aprils- (Mom-assigned book) This coming of age story which takes place in the backdrop of the Civil War is one of the many books on my daughter's Middle School Must Reads list. While she's not a huge fan of historical fiction, my daughter has been enjoying this one. 

The Nesting Place- (Just-for-fun book) My daughter currently has two great passions...writing and interior design. She has helped to redecorate a few of the rooms in our house including my recent kitchen make-over. Not surprising, she's pouring over old issues of Country Living Magazine, Netflix episodes of Fixer Upper, and this book. Written by well-known Christian design blogger, Myquillyn Smith, it provides a really balanced view of home decor and emphasizes the fact that a home doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful; it just has to be filled with what matters most...people that you love. 

Super Boy- 5th grade

Ten True Tales of World War II Heroes- (Just-for-fun book) I love the fact that with the exception of Private First Class Desmond Doss, this book details the little known stories of relatively obscure war heroes...men and women whose courage and sacrifice deserves to be shared with the next generation.

Blonde Warrior- 4th grade

Douglas MacArthur, Young Protector- (Mom-assigned book) While this is a bit below my son's reading level, I have no problem encouraging him to read it. He so desperately wants to read real biographies of WWII heroes. But, at only 8-years-old, he's just not old enough to handle some of the mature content found in most war-time biographies. This vintage Childhood of Famous Americans will be the perfect gentle introduction. It will provide the exciting facts that he's looking for without the gruesome details that his young mind doesn't need to dwell on just yet. 

I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941- (Just-for-fun book) Are you sensing a theme with my boys' reading habits as of late? My son started reading this book at the urging of his older brother who read it a few months ago and really enjoyed it. 

Greased Lightning- 2nd grade

Charlotte's Web- (Mom-assigned book) After he finished reading Five True Dog Stories and Phoebe the Spy, my son was given a handful of titles to choose from, Charlotte's Web was among them. And although I've read it aloud to my kids many times before, I just knew it would be the book my son would select. He has a deep, abiding love for spiders and Charlotte just happens to be one of the most lovable. 

The Complete Fishing Manual- (Just-for-fun book) I don't think he's actually reading this mammoth book from cover-to-cover. I pretty confident that he's just reading the parts that interest him and skimming over the rest. But with fishing season fast approaching, he's immersed himself with this and other fishing-themed books in hopes of making this summer's catch one for the record books.

The Dude- preschool

ABeka Vintage K-4 Readers- This is an out-of-print set of readers for preschoolers that includes stories all built around sentences with 1-vowel words. They are very similar to ABeka's current Animal Friends reader series.

My Big Book of Animal Devotions- In addition to all the lovely titles on his preschool book list this year, my son and I have been reading this preschool devotional together each day. 


For the curious...

I'm often asked how I assign books to my kids and what our reading time looks like each day. The short answer is...

A few years ago, I put together an entire list of titles of book suggestions for my daughter. Shehas been working her way through them since the end of sixth grade. These are, in my opinion, books every middle school girl should be exposed to before moving on to high school. Whenever she finishes a book, she just picks another one from the list and begins reading. This gives her some reading independence while also providing her with some helpful direction.

My sons' assigned reading looks slightly different, however. Since book covers are slightly more alluring than just a title on a black-and-white list, whenever one of my oldest three boys finishes reading a book and is looking to start another one, I set out a buffet of five or six books on the table that I think he might like based on his personality, current interest, or reading level. He gets to choose one of the books and I tuck the rest away for another day. 

In this way, I'm helping each of my kids to expand his/her literary pallet, helping them grow a discernment for GOOD vs. twaddle, and giving them all personal choice.

Head here for the long answer>>>


  1. It looks like your boys really enjoy the "I survived book series." Just a few quick questions:) Have you found they are pretty historically accurate? (Or just more a fun historical fiction read?) Best age to read, 10-12 years old? Thanks!

    1. I wouldn't read them to gain a lot of knowledge of history. They are historical fiction. Best age range, in my opinion, is 8-10.

    2. That's what I was thinking. Thanks for getting back to me. Happy new homeschool year!