Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Latest over at Crafting a Green World: The Backpack and the Biography Fair

I LOVED both of the projects behind this week's Crafting a Green World posts. These vintage medal zipper pulls are one of my favorite finished projects EVER, I think:
First place in the district History Day in eighth grade!
Third place in the State History Day!
Silver medal in the National Latin Association exam in twelfth grade!
In other academic pursuits, the kiddos and I created display boards out of recycled cardboard for their Biography Fair projects:

Poor Syd was frozen with terror, basically only able to stand up in front of the other children, squeak "Harry Potter!", and then sit back down, but Will gamely read her report out loud--more quietly than we'd discussed, but at least the other kids could hear her, I was in the second row, and nobody else would care:

Matt's still reading The Mysterious Island out loud to us at bedtime, and I can't recommend the practice of reading "big" novels out loud to children highly enough--sure, I've read them "kid" novels like Little House in the Big Woods before, and we've listened to novels on audiobook, and goodness knows that Will has read a small library's worth of grown-up books, but this has turned into something different. Matt pauses his reading all the time so that we can discuss the Civil War, or bemoan Verne's racist depiction of Ned, or make fun of how all the characters hero-worship Cyrus Harding ("Oh, Cyrus! If anyone can build us a fire out of nothing it's YOU!!!"). The second that it takes to pause an audiobook is just enough to make us not bother with many of these discussions when we're listening together in the car, and I'm sure that the girls simply skip over the more sophisticated stuff in their own reading.

Together, though, we're finding that everyone has a lot to say about... well, everything! So Matt reads, I braid tiny braids into the girls' hair, and we interrupt him constantly to talk. It's perfect family time.


Tina said...

You know how you "picture" someones voice in your head when you see pictures of them? Willow's voice is totally her and super cute.

I love the idea of family bedtime reading. We have sort of started this, with the hubby reading to Emma while I do supper clean-up (I love that our place is little enough that I can hear and see them from the kitchen). I was just thinking that we should start reading "bigger" books (as opposed to Stallions by Starlight by Mary Pope Osborne).

julie said...

We tend to do the MTH books on audiobook--thank goodness, because the Rainbow Fairy books mostly don't have audio versions, so those I have to read aloud to Syd, and I seriously actively have to fight falling asleep as I read them, they're SO boring.

A few months ago, we tried reading The Hobbit out loud together at bedtime, but it just didn't hold the girls' interest then--imagining that mental world is a lot of work when you're sleepy, perhaps? The Mysterious Island is our first great success; I'm already wondering what we might try after it, although considering how *long* it is, it might be years before I have to make that decision!

Tina said...

Just a thought, but what if, say, I suggested to my child that she read/record the reading of the Rainbow Fairy books, then we can perhaps send them your way. She might be interested in doing that, then Syd could listen whenever she wanted.

Or you could pay Willow to read to Syd :0)

I mentioned the family bedtime reading to the hubby yesterday and he was all for it. Might have to see what the library has available.

julie said...

Syd would LOVE that! Rainbow Fairies may be the kind of book that it takes a kid to read to another kid--only a kid could stay awake through it!

Tina said...

Does she have a preference on the series? I can see what our library has, though it may not be much (they don't stock paperbacks).

julie said...

I don't think she has a preference--she loves those annoying fairies, no matter what their annoyingly on-the-nose name+theme!

Tina said...

We'll get on it!


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