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From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler Book Celebration

Whew! That blog title is a mouth full! Funny story, when I tried to introduce this book to our book club, I couldn't spit the title out. A fellow mom came to my rescue and introduced the book. I don't know why it was so tricky, but I just couldn't say it!

Anyway...We took a few months off from book club because of the holidays and came back together in February to celebrate the reading of From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. If you are not familiar with this book, the Metropolitan Museum of Art serves as the background for a mystery surrounding a work thought to possibly be Michelangelo's. A brother and sister spend the book looking for clues while living at the museum. It was a fun read.

As an appropriate celebration, we decided to host our book club at the local Art Museum. They have a great wing with classrooms that we were able to meet in and then we went for a short guided walk through part of the gallery!

Our craft this time was …
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Book Celebration!

Last week I shared about our September book club party for Alice in Wonderland. This week I'm going to show you our November book party for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! I think this one was even more fun than the last!

Since it was a wee bit colder around here in November, we opted to have this book club at our local library. They have a great story hour room that you can reserve for community events, and it works perfectly for our group. The younger siblings can wander back and forth between our event and the children's area of the library! Brilliant!

As the children arrived, they got to go through a wardrobe! Ok...so maybe it wasn't a wardrobe so much as a clothes rack with long coats hanging on it, but that didn't stop the kids from going through it over and over and over!


When they stepped through they were greeted by this loveliness! I had several trees situated throughout the room to create the feeling of Narnia! The white fabric at the base was supposed…

Alice in Wonderland Book Celebration Club!

This past year, inspired by the BraveWriter idea of  "Party School"  I started a Book Celebration group with a few local homeschool families. Every other month we read a book and come together to celebrate it! It's a book club with a festive flair, and so far, the kids are having a blast!

So, I thought I would blog our parties for anyone who would like to read, you know, like the grandparents.

Our first Book Celebration was in September for Alice in Wonderland. We met at a local park to have our very own Mad Hatter's Tea Party! 


We started with a introductions and an icebreaker. Make the Cheshire Cat Smile was a winner!

One person was the Queen of Hearts and tried to get anyone at the party to smile, proving that they were, in fact, the Cheshire Cat! The Queen could do anything to make them smile EXCEPT touch them!

When the Queen revealed the Cheshire Cat, we crowned a new Queen and began again!

This was a fun way to get everyone laughing and comfortable with each ot…

Our Favorite Phonics Program

Reading. Without a great foundation of reading the remainder of a child's education will be a struggle, and for me, that was incredibly daunting. So, how do you teach it? Phonics? Sight words? Whole language? Some combination of the above? There are advocates for all sides, research for and against them all, but through the research I have done, we chose to utilize phonics.

Now, I could bore you and go on and on about the why, but there are already great resources out there for that. Instead I'm going to share my struggle with teaching reading (fun!) and some resources we used along the way.

Our Favorite book series for the emerging reader

So...I've been thinking of writing a series for you guys. Teaching reading was very emotional for me over the last two years and I want to share the incredible resources we utilized. So, over the next few weeks I'm going to be writing about reading. I hope you'll join me.

Today I want to focus on the emerging reader stage because we LIVED here for what seemed like the FOR-EV-ER. My working definition of emerging reader is that reader that can read chapter books but doesn't want to. They are finally emerging from the pitiful world of early readers but aren't fully ready to plunge into the vast realm of chapter books. It is a painful place to be because there are so very few good options at this level.

The last two years I have felt as though O's reading progress has been how I measured our homeschooling success, and ultimately, my own success. Because isn't that exactly what we mamas do?

Poetry tea time with boys

In our home we can easily fill our days with busyness. With two little boys, life IS busyness. But the chaos that is the modern life can easily push that busyness into chaos. We have sports and activities on top of a educational plan that challenges each of the boys. It's easy to get lost in the challenge and tally up your successes. It's harder to slow down and find beauty and just savor a moment. In my heart I desperately want the boys to remember more than just their multiplication tables from our journey together. I want them to have wonderful memories of our time. So, I'm very diligent about making sure we have those opportunities. We take hikes, we ride bikes, we do science experiments, we build legos. Have you notieced a theme? We DO. In case you missed it earlier, boys are BUSY! (Disclaimer: I'm sure girls are too. I just have no frame of reference. Sorry)

So, I have my hands full with these two little boys and then I read these lovely, I mean, Lovely, did you …

It's dizzy time!

You spin me right round, baby right round. Like a record player blah blah blah blah.

 This song has been stuck on repeat in my head all morning. Now maybe it will be stuck in your head too! You're welcome! Right now, my boys are gathering the mountain of books that need to be returned to the library and I'm taking hiding in the school room to take a quick break. From what you say? From the spin cycle.