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5 Tools that Spark Meaningful Family Conversation

Conversation is an important part of our family life and an important part of our homeschool.

Meaningful conversation contributes to the atmosphere of learning in our homeschool and it enhances our relationships with one another. My kids are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with me and others. They learn to defend their point of view, explain their reasoning, and consider what someone else has to say.

Conversations give my children the room and freedom to process what they are learning. We might talk about current events, the plot of a book, or whether parallel universes truly exist.

Our Brave Writer Lifestyle has taught me to value our conversations just as much as I value any part of our homeschool, sometimes even more. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be in a book, on a worksheet, or written down at all.

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Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

More Than a Shelf of Books

I am not one of those moms who can’t get rid of books. I am a purger. And I have no problem purging books.

The way I see it, that is what libraries are for. Libraries house my books.

But even I have my soft spots and my memories, so I must admit that there is a section of our hallway bookcase that is more than just a shelf of books.

It is a collection of memories that will always be exempt from purging.

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Uncategorized

Book Club Titles 2017-2018

Another year of school is about to start and another round of book clubs are ready to begin. Of course, these are just your average book clubs. We love to dive in with a memorable, themed party school book club!

This will be my third year organizing book clubs for my kids. While the girls have been in a book club for two years, last year was the first year that my boys participated in a book club.

It takes a bit of organization to pick the dates and then we choose the book titles. We typically choose books from the Brave Writer annual subscription lists so we can use the Arrow and Boomerang Guides, but that isn’t a hard, fast requirement.

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Geography, Uncategorized

Learn Geography using Fun and Games

Homeschool Geography doesn’t have to include workbooks or endless copies of boring maps to fill in. There are so many ways to learn about geography with your kids through games and fun activities.

Our family is spending a year focused on Geography and I have started gathering ideas.

My goal is a year of fun, not a year of worksheets!

Geography games for fun and learning. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Geography, Homeschooling

Geography using Brave Writer

We are going to Learn Around the World this school year, and I am feeling inspired and a little overwhelmed with great ideas.

Most of that is due to our Learn Around the World Facebook group. The Facebook group is filled with inspiring homeschool moms who are sharing great tips and brainstorming resources.

This post was inspired when one mom began a thread with a question: Anyone pairing up Brave Writer books with the different countries?

Great question.  I decided to do a little research on the titles and sort the Brave Writer Boomerang and Arrow titles by continent and country.  They are available below and in the files section of my Facebook group as a downloadable PDF.


Explore Geography using Brave Writer. You'll find Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Titles organized by Geographic Location.

The following titles are used by Brave Writer for the Arrow and Boomerang Literature Guides. You can simply read them aloud to your family, or if you want to dig deeper into these titles, a literature guide for each of these books can be purchased in the Brave Writer store.

The books on this list range from a 3rd-grade level through high school. Please note that you should use your own discretion when it comes to the appropriateness of a book’s content for your family.

In addition, I recommend doing your own research to be certain that a title lines up with your educational goals for that particular country or continent.

I have listed titles that take place in a specific location or help the reader better understand the experience of someone who is from that country, even if the book takes place in a different country.

Geography Using Brave Writer

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.}

North America

(USA not included as the majority of titles take place in the USA)

Anne of Green Gables – Anne’s adventures take place in Canada
Esperanza Rising – Mexico and California
What the Moon Saw – Mexico and USA
Mountains Beyond Mountains – Haiti

         

Asia

A Single Shard – Korea
Master Puppeteer – Japan
Sadako and 1000 Paper Cranes – Japan
The Big Wave – Japan
The Ghost at Takaido Inn – Japan
The Thing About Luck – Japan
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Chinese Folklore
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze – China
Cracker! Best Dog in Vietnam – Vietnam (NOTE: content is about the Vietnam War)
Inside Out and Back Again – Vietnamese refugee flees to the US (Entire book written in freeverse poetry)
Same Sun Here – India (Immigrant from India in US)
I am Malala – Pakistan
Persepolis – Iran (Graphic Novel)
Sold – Nepal (NOTE: content is descriptive about Human Trafficking)
The Bronze Bow – Isreal

Europe

The Midwife’s Apprentice – Medieval England
Crispin: The Cross of Lead – England (14th century)
Shakespeare’s Scribe – England (Black Plague; Globe Theater)
The Inquisitor’s Tale – France
Echo – Germany (Three tales intertwine. One begins in Nazi Germany)
The Book Thief – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Diary of a Young Girl – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Number the Stars – Denmark (WWII)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Russia (WWII)
Endless Steppe – Russia/Siberia (family taken from Poland)

Africa

Journey to Jo’burg – South Africa
Cry, The Beloved Country – South Africa
A Long Walk to Water – Sudan
The Red Pencil – Sudan

Oceania

Kon Tiki – Polynesia

Antarctica

Mr. Poppers Penguins – takes place in the US, but a penguin is involved.

South America

Secret of the Andes – Peru

If you want to print this out as a PDF document, then you can find it in the files section of the Learn Around the World Facebook group. I’d love to have you join us.

Traveling the world through literature is just one of the many ways to study geography without leaving your home.  Happy Travels.

RELATED POSTS:
Combine the Happy PLanner with the Homeschool Planner by Pam Barnhill.Using the Brave Writer Arrow Guides in like having a trail guide through the woods of Language Arts.

Books for Mom, Homeschooling, Literature

My 2017 Booklist

The summer is coming and reading by the pool is a high priority on my agenda. I love to sit poolside with an iced tea (of course) while reading a good book.

In the spirit of the summer season, I decided to organize my reading list. Because it is so huge and I need to record it all in one place.

Will I actually read all of these books before 2017 ends?

Perhaps. But maybe not.

And that is okay with me because I’ll just put the remaining titles on a list for 2018.

Without further ado, this is “Mary’s Completely Ridiculous Amount of Books to Read Booklist” otherwise known as the “2017 Booklist”

My 2017 booklist Continue Reading