I read to my kids every day. If anything else, if I "school" my kids at all right now its by reading books to them, a lot. Some days lately up to 3 hours......not including the time spent listening to audio books....
My theme right now is pioneers - I'm kind of going on a history whirl - We're also listening to "Story of the World" about Egypt and Mesopotamia - which the two older boys like! (Yay!) It seems more and more that the unstructured Charlotte Mason route is the way to go. Hay is that an oxymoron? Can one say "Unstructured CM"?
Back to what I wanted to write about.
I order books from Sonlight's reading lists and most have been a big hit. Tornado, The Long Way Westward, Dolphin Adventure. Great twaddle free literature albeit somewhat dumbed down. That's probably my greatest complaint, the dumbing down of the stories. I guess it's so new readers can read easily without difficult sentence structure and vocab hindering their understanding.
So among others I'm reading Little House Books, Sarah, Plain and Tall series; and tonight read "Horrible Harry Moves up to Third Grade" I won't be finishing it. In fact, I'm wondering why it's recommended at all or available say in Scholastic catalogues. OOOO don't get me started on Scholastic! What a stupid book. Especially for homeschoolers as it takes place at school. This book, written especially for kids, bored my kids to tears. How in the heck did it get into my house? They were begging me to read Little House...... my copy of which is unabridged. I'm also reading Abel's Island another fabulous book with amazing descriptions - we can feel what that poor snobby mouse is feeling. The kids also listen to Thornton W. Burgess books at Librivox.org
These are stories and books you can sink your teeth into, you can paint pictures in your mind with the words, the rhythm of the reading pulls you in, and the kids beg me not to stop. I'm not a writer but I think I'm communicating here. Dumbed down boring stories just don't do it for my kids. Thank god.
Ok, I have to admit that we just finished Z of AtoZ mysteries, finally. My kids loved this series - the clues, the misdirections, the red herrings.....they loved figuring out whodunnit. And these are exactly the books I want to avoid, but sometimes it's not my choice. I'm so glad they tired fast of Magic Tree House books quickly, I couldn't bear to read all of them to my kids.....as for Junie B Jones, I have to admit I laugh out loud at that little punk - but my kids are bored of her. I guess a balance in the literature you present to your kids is important, and then following their lead. It's amazing where it goes.....