Browsing Tag

books

Homeschooling, Literature

100 Modern Picture Books

Who doesn’t love a good Picture Book?

Well-written and creatively illustrated picture books communicate beautiful truths about life and introduce us to delightful characters. Best of all, they are perfect for family snuggle time.

Well-written picture books make us laugh, think, and even cry!

It is easy to find great lists of picture books all over the internet. And while I love a good classic picture book, I know that the “future classics” are being written today!

Therefore, in the spirit of “future classics”, I present…

100 Modern Picture Books

The books on this list were published in the last decade. (2006-2016)  There are so many fantastic categories for finding titles that you are new to you.   And of course, you can find my Top Ten Modern Picture Books if you hang in until the end!

NOTE:  I read every single one of these books this month while writing this post.  It has been such fun and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

A fantastic list of 100 Modern Picture Books. This is where you will find your future classics! Check out the list and download the list in a free PDF!
Continue Reading

Homeschooling

An Open Letter of Love: To My Rolling Cart

{This letter contains affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure for more information.}

Dear Collapsible Rolling Cart,

I didn’t want to face your demise.  Layers upon layers of duct tape were used for almost a year to keep you together but in the end, the tape could hold no longer.  You were finished.  And we had to move on.

The obvious solution was a replacement, but I didn’t want to spend the money.  I know.  I know.  You are the most valuable part of our library trips. But in my frugality, I tried to live without you.

 

Continue Reading

Books We Read, Homeschooling, Literature, Poetry

Most Beautiful, Imaginative Art and Poetry Books Ever

Our family has a favorite modern day artist. His mind-bending, beautiful images take us on an exciting trip into the surreal every time we view them.  His artwork stimulates our imagination and leaves us wondering how it is created so perfectly.

Meet: Rob Gonsalves

Rob is a Canadian artist who creates illusions in his art that will intrigue every viewer.  You can find him on facebook and you can find his images in several places online.  Our favorite place to view his artwork is in the four picture books he has illustrated.

Art and Poetry come together in these beautiful books by Rob Gonsalves.

Continue Reading

Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

Literature List for our 5th and 6th Grade Book Club

The previous school year has ended, our exciting summer of travel is almost wrapped up, and it is time for this teacher to begin planning the next school year.

As I look back, one of my favorite successful endeavors this year was the creation of two book clubs for my daughters.  The older girls book club, the Boomerang Book Club, included titles for 7th and 8th graders.  The younger girls book club, the Arrow Book Club, includes titles for 5th and 6th graders.

arrow bookclub

{This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support of Notbefore7.}

Our book club title – The Arrow Book Club – was derived from my use of the Arrow Book Guides at Brave Writer.   The Arrow Book Guides are designed for students in grades 3-6.  These Brave Writer guides provide grammar, copywork, and literary element discussions surrounding a book title.  Our family uses the guides at home during the month and our book club provides an opportunity to discuss and celebrate the reading.

Without further ado, here are the fantastic titles we used for our 5th and 6th book club.  (Arrow Guides for each of these titles can be purchased individually.)

SeptemberHow to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell.

Our first book was a ton of fun because the host mom did a great job. She creatively came up with some fun crafts and foods for these girls based on a book that was tailored more toward a group of boys.

While I am glad we read it, most of the girls didn’t enjoy the book. They found it gross.

OctoberFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo.

The unlikely friendship of a superhero squirrel and the self-proclaimed cynic, Flora, make for a fantastic journey. This delightful tale is full of memorable lines and delightful characters.  All of my children, ages 6, 8 and 11, enjoyed this story..

Our Arrow book club included nutty themed snacks and superhero crafts, including a superhero themed T-shirt created by each girl.

NovemberThe Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

While this book is quite a time commitment to read, it is well worth it. We used the audio version for the sake of my voice and enjoyed the narration quite a bit.

While dozens of kids answer an ad in the newspaper seeking gifted children, only are chosen to be part of the Mysterious Benedict Society.   Their admittance to the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened takes them on a fantastic series of adventures as they go undercover to save the world!

DecemberPoppy by Avi.

Hands down, this was my family’s favorite book this year. Not only was our party school book club an amazing experience, but we fell in love with the characters in this book. In fact, after reading this title, we returned to the prequel, Ragweed, and then finished the rest of the books in the series.

Our family christmas ornament was an owl this year, representing Mr. Ocax, a character in Poppy. Because when I say that we loved this book. I mean that we loved this book.

JanuaryLove that Dog by Sharon Creech.

This creative tale is written as a series of poetry journal entries. Jack, the main character and author of the journal is a student who is studying poetry and poets at school. He experiments with his own poetic voice and finds it as the journal entries progress.

This book was a perfect jumping point to play with poetry in our own homeschool this year.

FebruaryCourage Has no Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickels: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone.

This was an incredible non-fiction story of America’s First Black Paratroopers.  Told in a conversational story style, Tanya Lee Stone includes narratives, facts and quotes to communicate this important piece of American History.

We took the opportunity to dive deeply into this topic and looked at the segregation of America during this time period.  As part of our month, we enjoyed the “Remember the Titans” movie and the sounds of Motown!

MarchUnderstood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

This is a delightful coming of age story as Elizabeth grows into herself while becoming known as Betsy. This tale is filled with deeper themes of love, friendship, and parenting. As a homeschooling mom, I was delighted with commentary found on education within the pages of this tale.

AprilCracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata.

While we all enjoyed this difficult story, my boys especially were drawn to it. This wasn’t an easy read as the realities of war are descriptive, but it was an important story and one we all enjoyed. I learned quite a bit about the way dogs were trained during the war. It was an informational book based on true events during the Vietnam War. Pictures and more historical details are included in the book.

Note: There is some language in this book, used by the soldiers, and while appropriate to the setting, it is important to note for parents.

MayLove, Ruby Lavendar by Deborah Wiles.

We loved this book as well. Ruby Lavendar and her grandmother, Miss Eula are as close as can be, so when Miss Eula announces a trip to Hawaii to visit another grandbaby, Ruby is just certain she will not survive. Not only does she survive, she makes a new friend, confronts some deep realities about her grandfather’s death, and keeps in touch with Miss Eula through letter writing. We all laughed at the memorable events in this book and talked through some of the deeper messages.

That sums it up! We had a fantastic year of challenging and fun literature.

As for next year, we will continue to use the Arrow Book Guides at home and focus our monthly book club meetings on the selected titles. The titles for the coming school year can be found on the Brave Writer site.

(NotBefore7 is an affiliate with Brave Writer and uses the curriculum in our own homeschool. I am happy to share how we implement this curriculum on my blog. I do earn a small commission if you purchase through one of my links. NotBefore7 is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)

Books We Read, Homeschooling, Literature

What did we read this week? Our Homeschool Week in Books.

homeschool week books

(FYI: I periscope – @notbefore7 – every Saturday to share these books.  You can find the one for this list here.!)

So what did we read this week?

Non-fiction:

(How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous is one that we read a little each day.)

Our read-aloud chapter books:

Geography, Antarctica Focus:

Poetry:

Fun and Learning, General Literature:

Crunch Munch is a book of the sounds that animals make while eating. It would be a good example of onomatopoeia if you needed one!

Cork and Fuzz is the first book series that my 6 year old is delighted with. He waits for them to come in at the library and then reads them right away!

What do you do with an idea? is a cute story about letting your idea take shape regardless of the opinions of others.

Some Bugs is a picture book nominee for the North Carolina children’s book award.

We love the Bats and the Froggy book series!

So what are you reading?

(NotBefore7 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)

Books We Read, Homeschooling, Literature

Our Homeschool Week in Books?

(FYI: I periscope – @notbefore7 – every Saturday to share these books.  You can find the one for this list here.!)

So what did we read this week?

Non-fiction:

(How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous is FANTASTIC.  Interesting.  Informative. We read a little each day.)

Non-fiction Picture Books (Colonial Focus):

Our read-aloud chapter books:

(I adore all of the books in the Great Illustrated Classics series.)

Geography, Antarctica Focus:

(This book wasn’t only about Antarctic Animals, but had two sections specifically on them.)

Poetry:

(This book was unique in that every poem was written in both English and Spanish.)

Fun and Learning, Winter Theme:

Fun and Learning, General Literature:

(You’ll notice that this section has a lot of books this week, but I had a sick six-year old so we did quite a bit of reading on the sofa.)

So what are you reading?

Books We Read, Homeschooling, Literature

Our Homeschool Week in Books – February 8

(FYI: I periscope – @notbefore7 – every Saturday to share these books.  You can find the one for this list here!)

So what did we read this week?

Non-fiction: reading a little each day:

(How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous is FANTASTIC.  Interesting.  Informative.)

Geography: Antarctica Focus:

Our read-aloud chapter books:

(We just started, Courage Has No Color, and it is FANTASTIC. All four of my kids are enjoying the book and it has been a platform for some excellent discussions)

Vocabulary: reviewing and adding a few words each week:

Poetry:

(Both of these poetry books are fantastic. I found them at the library, but have added both to my amazon wish list. You can view my periscope to learn more.)

For Fun and learning – winter theme:


Toys Meet Snow is a picture book based on the characters from the Toys Go Out series. Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home are hysterically funny stories with delightful characters.  The reading level has makes them perfect for kids entering the stage of chapter book reading.

For fun and learning:

Books the Kids read on Their Own:

(The GameKnight999 series is based on a character in minecraft. I can not speak to the content or writing, but the reluctant reader in this house has read them over and over. She doesn’t put them down.)

A little fairy tale viewing: Draw Me a Story, season 2 (Draw Me a Story – free on amazon prime)

Have a great weekend!

(NotBefore7 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)