Connections: Books and Fun


My kids and I have enjoyed a number of great books lately.
I've mentioned before that we use a curriculum called Sonlight which is rich in literature (for some reason I can't get the link to work, but you can visit Sonlight at to learn more). All of these books were part of school for us in the last 6 weeks or so.

 Old Yeller was a book my daughter read on her own. She really liked it and was sad to reach the end, as she is with many of our Sonlight books. 

Looking back, I think this book was also good preparation for my daughter. Old Yeller dies at the end of the book. For Christmas my daughter received a fish for a new pet. She'd been asking for a fish for a few months. She was so excited and surprised with this gift! Unfortunately, her new fish only survived a few days. She handled it  very well, though, and perhaps a part of that was the fact that she'd read through (and very much enjoyed) Old Yeller just prior to her own experience with a pet's death.

I read Caddie Woodlawn aloud to the kids a few weeks ago. I'm sure I read this as a child, but I didn't remember it. What a great classic! It reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie series, but is more tomboyish and adventure-filled.

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs was a fun read-aloud book. A little silly, but a good reminder that there are wondrous, even miraculous, things that surround us no matter where we are, if we only have eyes to see them.

I like that Sonlight strikes a balance between "girl" and "boy" books. The main character in Caddie Woodlawn is a girl, but she is quite tomboyish and spends more time with her brothers than her more refined mother and sisters. The main character in Seven Wonders is a boy and the book we're currently reading - Little Britches - is another great book written from a boy's perspective of farm life

The last book I want to highlight is The Great Wheel. This book is all about the first Ferris Wheel, told from the perspective of one of the workers who helped build it. I expected it to be a bit dry, but it had a good storyline that moved it along. There was some technical engineering language, but it generally helped us envision the work as it was going on. 

The timing of this book was neat. We started reading it just after Christmas. For Christmas, my kids got a box of K-Nex toys and the first thing we built with them was a ferris wheel. So between the language and pictures of the book and our own visual, we could more easily imagine the process of putting together that first-ever ferris wheel.

I enjoy these special moments as they come along. It's wonderful to be a part of that eye-opening "aha" moment for my kids, seeing them make connections between what we read and real life. It's what education is all about!


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