Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Exams with Friends

It was exam week here last week. SA(9) finished Ambleside Online Year 4, and JJ(7) finished Year 2. I was feeling very "done" by the end of the school year, and though I intended to do full exams with the boys, in the end I didn't have the energy to do all of it. However, we did do something special that I think I will repeat in future exams. We had friends and family over for tea!

Charlotte Mason style exams are not high-pressure academic exercises. They are more an opportunity for the children to remember what they have learned, and to enjoy realizing how much they know. For me they are an opportunity to assess how I am doing in facilitating the "science of relations." There always seems to be at least one area that I neglect to some degree, and exams are always a gentle reminder to get back on track. On the other hand, exams are also always a reminder that no matter how poorly I may think we did in a term, the children still come out of it with Scripture, poetry, pictures and songs hidden in their hearts and a heart-warming eagerness to share all their favourite books and knowledge. 

Really, an ideal opportunity to share with friends, wouldn't you say?

We had two friends come over for tea one morning, and Grandma and an uncle another morning. I wrote up some exam questions and recitation prompts on strips of paper and put them in a teacup.


As we enjoyed our tea and snacks, we all took turns pulling out the strips of paper and doing what they said.


If you'd like to try this in your family, I have some tips for you:

1. Invite encouraging, supportive, loving people. 

We are blessed to have family and friends who are supportive of homeschooling in general and us in particular. I know that for some of you these people can be hard to find. Don't discount the obvious. If daddy is not involved in the day-to-day homeschooling, he will probably be a great person to include in this celebration. 

2. Do not invite "quizzers." 

Sometimes the most loving, well-meaning people can none-the-less be "quizzers." You know them...whenever they meet your children they challenge their knowledge. How old are you? Can you read yet? Do you know all the provinces of Canada? How far are you in math? If you do really want to invite a quizzer, maybe you could drop a hint that your purpose is to celebrate what your children have learned, and the questions in the teacup related to this term's studies are the only ones to be asked today.

3. Ask the right questions. 

Not all exam questions are suitable for the purpose of sharing like this. Here are some that are:
- Recitations. Scripture passage, hymn, catechism, folk song, poetry, and Shakespeare recitations are ideal.
- Show and Tell. This is a great time for your children to show drawings, nature journals, handicrafts, music they've written out, and even math, copywork and dictation notebooks.
- Performance. Playing a musical instrument is an obvious choice, but also think about other demonstrations of skill. If your child has learned to read, have him read something. If he is quick at mental math, try a math question. 
- Child's Pick. Have your children choose their favourite school book of the year and tell something interesting about it. My children surprised me by both choosing their Singapore math books the first tea time. The second time I had them choose their favourite book of reading and narration. 

4. Limit narration questions.

Questions that involve narration are fine, but don't do too many at an occasion like this. For my two oldest children (introverts who need a minute or two to process before the words start coming), these questions feel more difficult and high-pressure in a situation where we are all eagerly waiting on their every word. For more extroverted children, these questions might release a flow of words that will take a disproportionate amount of time in the context of a casual teatime. I limited myself to one narration question for each child from a book that had consistently good narrations throughout the term.


5. Move on if something isn't going well.

Your purpose is to celebrate what your children do know. If, for any reason, they don't know, keep calm and move on to the next exam question as quickly as possible. Do not be embarrassed, do not take it personally. Do not prompt more than once or twice, or allow your guests to prompt. This will happen. For your children's sake, treat it as no big deal and carry on. A bit of humour at your own expense as the teacher can deflect the attention from your students and help them move on as well. 

At our teatime exam with Grandma, I asked my boys a narration question about the great Canadian explorer David Thompson. They each said something, but I felt they could have said so much more. I started prompting ("I noticed you didn't say anything about crossing the mountains. Can you tell me more about that?"), and regret prompting more than once. I should have let it go. The boys also completely bombed a poetry recitation. I helped them a little, but in the end I let it go and moved on. Exams do expose where we have fallen short. We obviously didn't review our poetry recitations enough this term. We will do better at that next term. Moving on...


6. Don't overdo it.

Put lots of questions in the teacup, but don't put pressure on yourself to get through them all. Keep pulling questions out for as long as it feels enjoyable for everyone, both students and guests. If you notice stress or boredom rising, end with one last song and call it a day. For us, with two students and two preschoolers, our limit was about 40 minutes. We got through about ten exam questions in that time.


7. Don't forget the little ones.

I have an extroverted year 0 student that I knew would also like to share what he learned. Of course, he had learned all the recitations his brothers had. I also asked him to tell us about his favourite book, and to read some three-letter words. I did forget AJ(3), and didn't consider that he probably would like to do what his brothers were doing. Thankfully, one of our guests did not forget him, and asked him to tell all about our cat. He was ridiculously proud to do so. MM and AJ also took their turns pulling questions from the teacup.

I hope this gives you some ideas! We really enjoyed the exams we did with friends. I would love to hear if you try this.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Moment in Our Homeschool


11:45 AM, and SA(9) is reading about Phaeton in Bullfinch's Mythology.


JJ(7) is writing a Thank You card for some Christmas gifts he received. He also folded the envelope.

MM(5) and AJ(3) are playing on the floor with Megabloks. AJ is not yet dressed.

This morning, we have already read and narrated from Robinson Crusoe, reviewed our hymn, Bible memory, and catechism, read the Bible and prayed, done chores (inside and outside), reviewed poetry (Emily Dickinson), sung our folk song (The Riddle Song), done picture study (Thomas Davies), read and narrated from a biography of Joseph Brant (Canadian history), and done math (multiplying decimals for SA). It's almost lunch time, and after that the boys will go out and play in the snow.

Monday, January 22, 2018

My Four Most-Shared Posts

These are the posts that I personally share the most often in response to questions people ask in Charlotte Mason Facebook groups that I'm a part of.
I hope you enjoy them!

Charlotte Mason and Preschool Priorities 1: The Outdoor Life for the Children
This post is part of a series of five posts for mothers of preschoolers. I wrote them in 2014, with my children aged five, three, and one. I had recently started to read Charlotte Mason's own writings, and was zealous to encourage every mother of preschoolers to read Charlotte Mason.
Here is the series:
Why Read Charlotte Mason as a Mother of Preschoolers?
Encouragement for Mothers of Preschoolers
Charlotte Mason and Preschool Priorities 1: The Outdoor Life for the Children
Charlotte Mason and Preschool Priorities 2: Habits
Education is Bigger than You Think


Education is a Not-So-Perfect Atmosphere
When I first started homeschooling, I struggled with trying to create a Charlotte Mason atmosphere. Understanding that the atmosphere she is talking about is one "that no one has been at pains to constitute" helped me to relax.

 A Timeline That Works for UsA Timeline that Works for Us
I still use a version of this timeline with a slight difference: I now create columns for each century to keep it a little neater. I still love this one, though, and it worked well for us in Form 1 (Grades 1-3).





Minimalism for Homeschooling Book Lovers
When I say "minimalism," I mean removing the clutter of books that are not living books and do not bring you joy. I share this post a lot, and it still represents the ideal that I am constantly working towards. My husband prefers that I call it curating rather than minimizing, and I suppose that is more accurate. We have a LOT of books! What can I say? They make us happy.






Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Reading Goals of 2017 and 2018

This year, I started out with big reading plans. Here's how I did with them:

1. Learn from C.S. Lewis
At the beginning of the year, I lined up all of our C.S. Lewis books in chronological order. At the time, I said "I'm pretty sure I will not get through all of them this year." Well, I didn't. I got through five, and am still working through another two.

The Pilgrim's Regress (1933)
Out of the Silent Planet (1938)
The Problem of Pain (1940)
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Perelandra (1943)

The Abolition of Man (1943) (in progress)
That Hideous Strength (1945) (in progress)

Now that I know my pace, I am setting a new goal of reading seven more C.S. Lewis books in 2018 in addition to finishing the ones in progress.

The Great Divorce (1945)
George MacDonald: An Anthology (1946)
Miracles (1947)
The Weight of Glory (1948)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

2. Keep up with my book clubs.
I read some good books with my book clubs this year! With them, I finished 
The Iliad
The Brothers Karamazov
The Innocence of Father Brown
Northanger Abbey
Oliver Twist
The Man Who Was Thursday

In 2018, we are continuing with The Odyssey and reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. I anticipate we will read an additional four or five classics or other worthy books.

3. Keep reading Charlotte Mason.
I finished following Brandy Vencel's study guide Start Here with an online study group. It was great! Using it, I read For the Children's Sake and most of Charlotte Mason's Volume 6. Then, in the summer I read through Charlotte Mason's Volume 3 again: School Education

I also read Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page. What a great addition to any Charlotte Mason library! It is carefully researched, beautifully written, and clearly demonstrated.

In 2018, I plan to read Charlotte Mason's Volume 2: Parents and Children. Also, in our local Charlotte Mason study group, we're watching the video series from Ambleside Schools International and reading the accompanying study guides which contain passages from Charlotte Mason's volumes.

4. Pre-read at least some of next year's school books for SA.
Well, I did do this, but often it was the night before. In other words, I did not get very far ahead of him. At all. But still, I read some excellent books. Some of my favourites were:
Robinson Crusoe (almost finished)
"MacBeth"
Romulus (Plutarch)

Looking ahead into 2018, I know I need to allot a significant amount of time to pre-reading, especially considering that SA is now at an age that he will be reading most of his school books on his own. Beginning Term 2 of Year 4, I will be reading
"Twelfth Night"
Publicola (Plutarch)
George Washington's World
Kidnapped
The Ocean of Truth
Madam How and Lady Why (already in progress)
Age of Fable (in progress)
Great Canadian Adventures (in progress)

And of course, later in 2018 I will be beginning Ambleside Online Year 5 as well. By necessity, this will likely become my primary reading goal. 

5. Read through the ever-expanding list of books people have recommended and/or lent to me.
I didn't do very well with this in 2017. I have so much to read, I often don't prioritize books that other people want me to read. The one I did manage to finish was probably one of my least favourite books of the year (Wild at Heart). So I'm going to change this goal in 2018:

5. Read books on my own shelves that I have been wanting to read but just haven't gotten to yet.
Krakatoa (Winchester) (in progress)
John Adams (McCullough)
Respectable Sins (Bridges)
As these are all pretty hefty, I doubt I'll get through more than four or five on this list. Still, it's good to set a goal, as if I don't, I may not read any of them.

I know I haven't listed any light reading, and not much fiction. That's not because I won't be reading any. Those just tend to be more spontaneous choices. I will also probably be reading a fair amount of books on health this year, but I can't tell exactly what direction that will take at this point. (psoriasis, autoimmune disease, diet...)

This is almost an afterthought for me this year...I love the idea of it, but with so much else to read I'm not sure how far I'll get. Still, I would like to check off the categories of a "Light" reader (and it's great that I can use books that I'm already reading for other goals to check off several of them.). The categories are:
A biography
A book about Christian Living
A book published in 2018
A book by an author who is no longer alive
A novel
A book for teens or young adults
A book more than 100 years old
A book targeted at the opposite gender
A book your best friend recommends
A book with at least 400 pages
A book of your choice
A book about theology
A book about current events

Do you make reading plans, or do you just read whatever comes your way? I like planning for about half of my reading, and allowing the rest to be more spontaneous.



Monday, December 11, 2017

Join Our "Starting the Day" Chat Tomorrow

I'm excited to announce a fun, free video chat hosted by Mystie Winckler of Simplified Organization along with 4 other moms, including me! We're going to talk about starting the day - tips, hacks, troubleshooting, and confessions. The chat will be happening at 9 AM PST tomorrow (that's 1:00 PM if anyone is in Atlantic time with me.). You can register here.


The participants:
  • Nelleke is married to a pastor and homeschools four sons in Prince Edward Island.
  • Mystie and her husband are second-generation homeschoolers, now homeschooling their brood of 5 (ages 14-5) classically, learning to repent and rejoice every step of the way.
  • Nina + her husband raise two little menfolk on an island in the PNW for the glory of Christ alone.
  • Stefani is a Christ-following, classically homeschooling mother of three, ISTJ, and recovering perfectionist.
  • Hailey lives with her hubby and 5 children in the Southern California desert and loves to eat tacos, wear lipstick, and go hiking, in no particular order.
I'm not joining this chat as an expert, or because I always get my mornings right. This will be a time of sharing what works for us (and what doesn't). You can join us in the chatbox with your own questions and tips.

If you can't make it tomorrow, registrants will receive the free replay link.

I look forward to seeing you there!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Great Canadian Adventures {Canadian Living Book Review}

At first glance, Great Canadian Adventures is not a living book. Published by Reader's Digest in 1976, it is a compilation of 48 stories from the history of Canada. The editors clearly state that "we have amended some of the original texts, by rearranging and abridging the material..."

However, this book gives us access to many first-hand accounts that are not available anywhere else unless you want to go hunting in archives. While some of the stories are taken from published works, these published works are ones that I desperately want to be introduced to as a Canadian Charlotte Mason homeschooler. Of course, this book also has multiple authors, another living book no-no. However, these are all excellent authors, including such figures as Stephen Leacock, W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat. This book is well-written from cover to cover, and I suspect that the editors are to be thanked for the readability of the first-hand accounts.

I am using Great Canadian Adventures now for my Year 4 and Year 2 students. I think it is an ideal supplement to a "spine" (chronological) text, particularly for grades 4-6 and up. Do your own due diligence before handing it to your children, though. There is violence, as you might expect, as well as some strong language.

The main obstacle for use in a Charlotte Mason homeschool is that the stories are not presented strictly chronologically. Instead, they are divided by subject (pioneers, explorers, sailors, war, etc.). I have gone through it and listed each chapter chronologically for my own use. I'll share my list below for those of you who are blessed enough to find this gem.

Like many good books, this book is out of print. I found mine at a second-hand store. You may also be able to find it through bookfinder.com. The ISBN is 0888500513.

For more Canadian resources, check out my page CM in Canada.

Great Canadian Adventures

Indexed in chronological order

11th Century
The Quest for Vinland (p. 122)
Subject: Norse settlements, Leif Eriksson
Place: Present-day Newfoundland and Labrador
Years: around 1000
Author: Farley Mowat, condensed from Westviking

17th Century
Champlain, the Father of Canada (p. 140)
Subject: Samuel de Champlain
Places: Acadia, Quebec
Years: 1603-1635
Author: Morris Bishop

Mutiny in James Bay (p. 160)
Subject: Henry Hudson, Abacuk Pricket (a servant on board the Discovery)
Places: James Bay
Years: 1610-1611
Author: Abacuk Pricket (eyewitness), edited by Farley Mowat

Huronia’s Immortal Scoundrel (p. 17)
Subject: Etienne Brule, first coureur de bois
Place: New France
Years: 1608-1632
Author: Herbert Cranston

Martyrs of the Wilderness (p. 618)
Subject: French Jesuit Missionaries; Jean de Brebeuf
Place: New France
Years: 1626-1650
Author: Francis Parkman

The Epic Feud Over Acadia (p. 29)
Subject: Charles and Marie de La Tour, Charles d’Aulnay, Acadia
Place: both sides of the Bay of Fundy (present-day NS and NB)
Year: 1645
Author: Francis Parkman: adapted from The Old Regime in Canada

John Gyles’ Amazing Ordeal (p. 38)
Subject: John Gyles, Conflict between New France and New England, First Nations.
Place: Pemaquid (in present-day Maine), Meductic (in present-day NB)
Years: 1689-1698
Author: Stuart Trueman
A 9-year-old Puritan boy from New England seized by the Malecites and remains with them for 9 years. Based on Gyles’ own memoirs.

The Battle for Hudson Bay (p. 338)
Subject: Iberville; French and English struggle for the Hudson Bay fur trade
Place: Fort York, west side of Hudson Bay
Year: 1697
Author: Nellie M. Crouse

18th Century
The Lost Treasure of Le Chameau (p. 513)
Subject: Le Chameau, a ship from France, is shipwrecked with treasure
Place: Atlantic Ocean, near Fortress Louisbourg
Time: 1725 and 1961 (when it was discovered)
Author: not mentioned. Condensed from Canada Illustrated.

Escape from Michilimackinack (p. 58)
Subject: 23-year-old Alexander Henry, Pontiac’s Conspiracy
Place: British Fort Michilimackinac, between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan
Year: 1763
Author: Alexander Henry (first-hand account)

Search for the Coppermine (p. 462)
Subject: Samuel Hearne
Place: Fort Prince of Wales (present-day Churchill, Manitoba); Canada’s north
Year: 1769
Author: Stephen Leacock (excerpted from Adventurers of the Far North)

Ensign Prenties’ Dispatches
Subject: Shipwreck on Cape Breton Island; American Revolutionary War.
Place: Gulf of St. Lawrence
Year: 1780
Author: Walter Prentiss (first-hand account), edited by G. G. Campbell
British ensign is sent with dispatches from Quebec to New York and is shipwrecked on the way.

The Birchbark Brigades (p. 72)
Subject: French Canadian voyageurs, The North West Company
Places: from Montreal to Lake Winnipeg
Years: late 1700’s to 1821
Author: “the editors”
Despite the fact that this account is drawn together by “editors,” it quotes extensively from several first-hand accounts.

The Rover, Private Ship of War (p. 474)
Subject: Privateers (Pirates) from Nova Scotia
Place: The Spanish Main
Year: 1800
Author: Thomas H. Raddall

19th Century
Down the Roaring Fraser (p. 172)
Subject: Simon Fraser, North West Company, Fraser River
Place: The Fraser River
Year: 1808
Author: Bruce Hutchinson

Lieutenant Worsley’s Revenge (p. 346)
Subject: The War of 1812
Place: Fort Michilimackinac, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron
Year: 1814
Author: C. H. J. Snider

A Voyage to a New Land (p. 220)
Subject: William Bell family, immigration from Scotland to Upper Canada
Place: A ship on the Atlantic
Year: 1817
Author: William Bell (first-hand account)

Winter Without End (p. 180)
Subject: Sir John Ross, Captain of the first steam-powered ship used in search for the North-west passage
Place: Canada’s North
Year: 1829
Author: Sir John Ross (extract from journal), edited by Farley Mowat

Roughing it in the Bush (p. 83)
Subject: Susanna Moodie
Place: Upper Canada, near Cobourg; Douro Township, northeast of Peterborough
Years: 1832-1837
Author: Susanna Moodie, taken from Roughing it in the Bush

Franklin’s Last Voyage (p. 207)
Subject: Sir John Franklin, search for the North-west Passage
Place: Canadian Arctic
Year: 1845
Author: Fred Bosworth

Overland to the Cariboo (p. 488)
Subject: The Cariboo Gold Rush
Place: British Columbia
Year: 1862
Author: Bruce Hutchison

The Damnedest Man That Ever Came Over the Cariboo Road (p. 522)
Subject: Judge Matthew Begbie; The Cariboo Gold Rush
Place: British Columbia
Years: 1858-1894
Author: Bruce Hutchison

The Saga of “Rudder” Churchill (p. 254)
Subject: George Churchill; stamina and resourcefulness of Nova Scotia mariners
Place: A ship in the Atlantic
Year: 1866-1867
Author: Archibald MacMechan

Tales of the Plains Crees (p. 98)
Subject: Chief Thunderchild, Cree life before they were forced onto reserves in the 1870's.
Place: North Saskatchewan River area
Year: 1867
Author: Edward Ahenakew (as told by Chief Thunderchild), edited by Ruth Matheson Buck

Confessions of a Secret Agent (p. 356)
Subject: Second Fenian conspiracy; Henri le Caron, a spy
Places: United States and Upper Canada
Years: 1868-1870
Author: Henri Le Caron (first-hand account)

Memoirs of a Master Detective (p. 566)
Subject: John Wilson Murray, detective for the province of Ontario
Place: Ontario
Years: 1873-1887
Author: John Wilson Murray

The Great Ship (p. 270)
Subject: The William D. Lawrence, biggest ship in the Bluenose fleet of Canadian vessels
Place: Maitland, NS
Year: 1874
Author: Joseph Schull

Wild and Woolly Days (p. 548)
Subject: Sam Steele, one of the first to join the North West Mounted Police
Place: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta
Years: 1873-1885
Author: Samuel Benfield Steele (first-hand account)

The March West (p. 532)
Subject: The North West Mounted Police
Place: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta
Year: 1874
Author: Ronald Atkin

The Wreck of the Codseeker (p. 261)
Subject: Shipwreck
Place: East of Cape Sable, NS.
Year: 1877
Author: William M. Murphy (adapted)

The Captain’s Boat (p. 283)
Subject: Nova Scotia skipper Capt. Henry MacArthur is shipwrecked with his family and crew
Place: People are from Maitland, NS. Story takes place on a ship in the Pacific Ocean
Year: 1881
Author: Archibald MacMechan

Van Horne Moves the Troops West (p. 368)
Subject: Metis rebellion; Canadian Pacific Railway
Place: North of Lake Superior; Saskatchewan
Year: 1885
Author: Pierre Berton

The Stampeders (p. 499)
Subject: Klondike gold rush
Place: Chilkoot Pass: Alaska/British Columbia border
Year: 1897-1898
Author: Pierre Berton

A Tibetan Tragedy (p.644)
Subject: Dr. Susie Carson Rijnhart, Canadian Christian missionary to Tibet
Place: Tibet, China
Year: 1898
Author: Susie Carson Rijnhart

20th Century
Isaac Barr’s Fiasco (p. 109)
Subject: Rev. Isaac Barr, British settlement in Western Canada
Place: Saskatchewan
Years: 1847-1937
Author: W. O. Mitchell

West with Thomas Wilby on the All-Red Route (p. 664)
Subject: Thomas Wilby, first man to take a car across Canada
Place: Halifax to Vancouver
Year: 1912
Author: Hugh Durnford and Glenn Baechler

Death on the Ice (p. 294)
Subject: The Great Newfoundland sealing disaster
Place: Newfoundland
Year: 1914
Author: Cassie Brown and Harold Horwood

Bombardment (p. 376)
Subject: WWI; in the trenches
Place: France and Belgium
Years: 1914-1918
Author: Charles Yale Harrison
Excerpt from Harrison’s novel Generals Die in Bed, based on his experience in the trenches of WWI.

The Courage of Early Morning (p. 392)
Subject: William Avery “Billy” Bishop, WWI Flying Ace
Place: France; England; Owen Sound, Ontario
Year: 1917
Author: William Arthur Bishop

The Mad Trapper of Rat River (p. 584)
Subject: Albert Johnson, outlaw
Place: Canadian Arctic
Year: 1931-1932
Author: Dick North

Frontline Surgeon (p. 678)
Subject: Norman Bethune
Place: Spain
Years: 1936-1939
Author: Sydney Gordon and Ted Allan (with extensive quotation from Bethune’s journal)

The St. Roch and the Northwest Passage
Subject: Henry Larsen navigates the Northwest Passage from west to east.
Place: The Canadian Arctic
Year: 1940-1942
Author: Henry A. Larsen

‘Bonjour, tout le mond a la maison d’Alphonse’ (p. 402)
Subject: WWII; Sgt. Maj. Lucien Dumais
Place: France, Britain
Years: 1943-1944
Author: Lucien Dumais

Haida, the Deadly Destroyer (p. 428)
Subject: WWII; Royal Canadian Navy
Place: Atlantic Ocean
Year: 1944
Author: William Sclater

The Two Jacks (p. 444)
Subject: WWII; Allied invasion; Jack Veness and Jack Fairweather from NB
Place: France
Year: 1944
Author: Will R. Bird

Through Nightmare to Freedom (p. 695)
Subject: Igor Gouzenko, exposed Canadian Soviet spy network
Place: Ottawa, ON
Year: 1945
Author: Igor Gouzenko

Two Who Refused to Die (p. 716)
Subject: Ralph Flores and Helen Klaben; Survival in the Canadian North after a plane crash
Place: British Columbia, Yukon
Year: 1963
Author: Thomas Whiteside

Doomsday Flight 812 (p. 600)
Subject: Paul Joseph Cini; Hijacking of a DC-8 airplane
Place: Calgary, then in the air
Year: 1971
Author: Paul King

Monday, October 23, 2017

Using Children's Books for French Language Study

As a supplement to our French curriculum this term we have been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar in French. I borrowed La Chenille Qui Fait Des Trous from the library, and we have been watching it on YouTube weekly so the children hear it read with a good accent. What's nice about this book for beginning French students is that it has a fair amount of repetition. It also includes numbers from 1-5, the days of the week, and the names of several fruit and different kinds of food.



The only drawback to this particular choice could have been that it is not an exact translation (The title is translated back into English as The Caterpillar that Makes Holes). However, the vocabulary is simple enough that we haven't found it to be a problem.

It was so fun last week to hear AJ(2) on the couch with the English version of the book saying, "Look Mama! Un papillon!" He also likes pointing out "la chenille" on every page.

My choice for the second six weeks of our term was going to be Georges va au Zoo (Curious George Goes to the Zoo), but sadly it is not on YouTube. I'm not sure if I want to read it to the boys myself. I could do it, but my French accent is not that great. (My husband has told me that I put emphasis on all the wrong syllables, and gave me an impression of how this would sound if I did it in English. My confidence is gone!)

Does anyone out there have any good ideas for other children's books I can use in this way? We really enjoyed doing this with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I'd like to keep going.