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Book Clubs, Homeschooling, Literature

Green Ember Book Club

“My place beside you, my blood for yours.  Till the Green Ember rises or the end of the world.”

The Green Ember by SD Smith is the first book in the Green Ember Trilogy. Our family listened together on audible.

I’ll admit that it was a slow start for me but once the action and adventure kicked in, we were engaged until the exciting, cliff-hanger ending. Of course, this means that we are currently halfway through listening to the second book in the series, Ember Falls.

Three of my children participated in a book club for The Green Ember as part of our ongoing monthly book clubs. This book inspired a fun celebration at the end of the month for both my girls boys book clubs.

I have no doubt they will remember these characters and our adventure for years to come.

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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!
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Books We Read, Literature, Uncategorized

What’s in Our Morning Basket?

We have had a very different year than we have ever had in the past and it has taken me a little while to learn to love the year I am with.   But we finally seem settled into aspects of our new routine.

That meant that this month we finally found our Morning Basket groove and have started a more consistent habit of reading together.

Our October Morning Basket continues to include a little of this and a little of that and we like the variety.  Of course, I started a Morning Basket Pinterest Board so I can collect ideas.  You can follow me there, or on pinterest in general, and explore new titles as well!

Check out what was in our Homeschool Morning Basket for literature this October.

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Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature, Uncategorized

The One and Only Ivan: Learning Ideas

(This post contains affiliate links.  Read the full disclosure here.)

Meet Ivan.  The One and Only Ivan.  The Mighty Silverback of Exit 8.  Whose tiny domain existed in a mall for 27 years.

His story is told in Katherine Applegate’s engaging book, “The One and Only Ivan.

Of course, Ivan isn’t just a character in her book.  He actually existed and lived in a small cage in a mall in Tacoma, Washington until he was taken to the Atlanta Zoo.

This book has captured our hearts.  The day I began reading it to my 12, 9 and 7-year-old, my 12-year old immediately took it to her room so that she could finish reading it.  And then she continued to listen the next few days as I read it out loud to her brothers. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

Top Ten Brave Writer Arrow Guides

I confess.

I am a paper girl trapped in a world of PDF’s.  Despite these handy electronic files,  I continue to print out most everything. And this includes my homeschool curriculum guides.

{This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support of Not Before 7.}

Open my file cabinet in the basement and preview the stacks and stacks of Brave Writer Arrow guides from three full years of subscriptions.  Thirty printed guides are sitting in my files in addition to their PDF counterparts sitting on my computer.  I am not really sure why I feel the need to save the printed copy, but I do.

So as part of my procrastination file cabinet organization, I pulled out all of my Brave Writer Arrow Guides and sorted them until I found my favorite guides released in the school years that began in 2013, 2014, and 2016. This list does NOT include any titles from the current school year (2016-2017).


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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.

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Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

Innovative Homeschooling: Let’s Talk Literature

Homeschooling parents love literature lists. love. love. love.

Quality literature is an important part of our homeschools.  Historical fiction.  Classics. Biographies. Non-fiction. The list goes on. and on. and on. Till we finally narrow down the titles we will attack for the school year.

Want to listen to this post instead?

And as we sift through our literature options, I’d like to offer a few thoughts to encourage homeschooling parents to embrace the role of an innovator when it comes to literature.Lets talk literature Continue Reading