How to Choose an Alphabet Book

My favourite two-year-old was scrambling onto my knee with a library book for me to read to him. It was an alphabet book with beautiful pictures. As we turned the pages and chatted together about the pictures I noticed that some pages were better than others. This is often the case with alphabet books. And it’s not the beautiful pictures … Continue reading

Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore

Suitable for new readers age six and over. 104 pages, nine chapters, illustrated with cute black and white drawings on every page. Reviewed by Stephanie Walmsley Little Pear is written by an American woman who was born and brought up in Shanghai in the early part of the twentieth century.  The story is about a five-year-old boy who lives in … Continue reading

Two Best Science Books

I have chosen two top science book titles for you – books recommended by homeschoolers.  (Thanks so much to these kind homeschoolers who shared the titles and told me why they liked the books.) Science Rocks! by Ian Graham. Published by Dorling Kindersley. Each experiment only takes up one page to describe, making them not too complicated and the equipment … Continue reading

Book Review – The Princess and More

Book review written by Angie Fraser.  I have just read my eleven-year-old homeschooled girls “The Princess, The Crone and the Dung-Cart Knight” by Gerald Morris. He writes books set in medieval England using characters from Camelot with a spot of fantasy and originality thrown in. He is a Methodist minister from Wisconsin and wrote me a very friendly and fun … Continue reading

Does This Count as Homeschooling?

 “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder. Turning Five My favourite-four-year-old  turned five this month.  It felt so momentous.  Half a decade old.  A milestone birthday, somehow. Five is often the time that some sort of formal academic teaching starts. We did … Continue reading

Homeschooling with a Newborn

An interview with a homeschool mother of six. Erin Parkinson is homeschooling her six children in Auckland NZ.  We chatted when her youngest child was three months old. STEPHANIE: Hi Erin, congratulations on Jeremiah’s birth.  How old is he now? ERIN: Hi Stephanie, Jeremiah is three months old now, and our oldest is nine, so life is very busy. STEPHANIE: … Continue reading

Book Review – Pilgrim’s Progress

Retold by Gary D. Schmidt Reviewed by Monica Walmsley Pilgrim’s Progress In this retelling of the classic masterpiece by John Bunyan, Gary D. Schmidt does an excellent job of engaging the reader. There is an innocence about the characters and the way the story is told that is very satisfying. It is pleasant to read and easy to follow, the … Continue reading

The Wednesday Wars – Book Review

The Wednesday Wars By Gary D. Schmidt Published 2007 by Sandpiper Reviewed by Monica Walmsley Holling Hoodhood is a thirteen-year-old, struggling with home life, school life and his form teacher, Mrs Baker, in New York in the 1960s. With half of his class being Jewish and having to attend Hebrew School at Temple Beth-El on Wednesday afternoons and  the other … Continue reading

The Elements – Reviews of the book, cards and a calendar

The Elements; a Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe By Theodore Gray and Nick Mann Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc. 2009 Reviewed by Monica Walmsley The Elements is a well laid out, colourful, coffee-table-style book on the subject of the Periodic Table. The book begins with an introduction to the Periodic Table and how it got … Continue reading

Old Blue Study Guide

A review by Silvia Cashia   ‘Old Blue’ by Mary Taylor is an exquisite picture book with remarkable illustrations. The story, a true one, is fascinating.  The study guide has nothing complicated for the mom to prepare extensively for only a few minutes of children involvement.  Stephanie explains how to make reading aloud a special time, and she has compiled … Continue reading