Saturday, May 14, 2011

What My Child is Reading - Summer is Here!

Our reading this week was all over the place. The weather has magically turned a corner from a wintry spring, into a beautiful summer, and suddenly there are interesting things to investigate, and research everywhere.

Following up on the caterpillar the children found last week...

...I brought in the Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars by Amy Bartlett Wright.

It's not really a children's book, but is full of pictures, and quick facts, about all sorts of different caterpillars. We're about 95% sure our caterpillar was some type of cutworm, which means it will turn into an ugly brown moth, so the children are on the watch for cocoons in the yard now, and the Man of the House is on pest control alert.

In the meantime, our butterfly pavilion has arrived from Insect Lore (we've had these a couple of times in the past, and I can completely recommend them, and the company), and we've sent away for our caterpillars - which we know in advance will become Painted Lady butterflies - much nicer than ugly brown moths.

To pass the time while we wait, we've been enjoying Little Critter's caterpillar capers. We love Little Critter, except that Mercer Mayer, like Eric Carle, has his caterpillars emerging from cocoons instead chrysalises.

As I said, we've turned the corner into summer weather, and besides bugs in the yard, that means the library summer reading program is quickly approaching. A (age 10) has settled into the Abby Hayes series for the summer. She's read a few of the books, about the ordinary, red-headed, middle child, in a dark haired, talented and gifted, sort of family.

They're short, and fairly easy to read, but they encourage creative writing (A has already started working on her own book), and there are a number (20ish) in the series, so if she can hold off a couple of weeks to read any more, they might last her through the summer.

T (age 13) will have no such problem, as we've started reading Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels together, and I'm pretty sure it will take us the entire summer to complete...

...unlike the condensed easy reader, and graphic novel versions...

...I made him read before I agreed to rent the movie version, starring Jack Black.

I noticed Focus on the Family dinged the movie for bathroom humor, and it is full of it, but so is Swift's original novel, quite frankly. And, I was surprised at the amount of satire (accidental, or not) the screenwriters directed at American political policies, and culture at large. Watching it together with a reading of the novel, has made for an interesting comparative study.

Find out what other families are reading, and recommending this week, at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns' What My Child is Reading link-up.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy said...

The movie is full of potty humor. Actually, I haven't seen it - my husband and T went to see it. I have just heard about the potty humor.

We typically get Insect Lore caterpillars every spring. I haven't ordered them yet because we were away, but I hope to do that soon.

Susan @ learning ALL the time!! said...

"The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes" series sounds like one my girls would like. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I haven't seen that one before.