Monday, September 29, 2014

A Classic Term

I have come to realise that there is far too much that I want my children to learn, and that I simply do not have enough time to do it all. The same goes with classic books. I would love to read them all with them but in order to do so we would never have any other time for any of our other subjects.

Also if I am completely honest, I feel that just because a book is termed a classic, it doesn't automatically mean that it is a good, or easy or even an enjoyable read so I made the decision to read some abridged versions. That way we could get through more books in a quicker time and if the girls really enjoyed them then we can read the full version or they can in their own time and if they didn't then well at least they had the general gist of it.  So we have been reading the Classic Starts books. They are a little young for The Fashionista and even Agent Smelly really but we can get by with them.

We read one chapter each day (unless it's huge) and complete a wee lap book with each book; and I couldn't believe my luck when I found on Pinterest that Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler has been using the same book series and produced lap books we could use. Yeah what a time saver. When we finish reading the book we then watch related movies or mini series (OH boy have we found some stinkers doing this, but we enjoy picking it to pieces!) and sometimes we make a craft, an activity or meal to accompany the book. It's been taking us a week or two to complete each book and the work with it.

En garde ... All for one and one for all.
They made their swords from scratch!
We read in 10 weeks:-

  • Dr DOLITTLE - Neither enjoyed it much; I was a bit surprised, I thought they might. Haven't been able to find the movie yet.
  • KING ARTHUR - They LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this so much we have read many more versions and watched a couple of different movie and mini series too.
  • ROBIN HOOD - Unsurprisingly after King Arthur they LOVED this too. We have since read the full version. I even managed to find a copy of the Errol Flynn version of the movie ... and now they love it as much as I always have.
  • THE SECRET GARDEN - They enjoyed this, despite no sword fighting.
  • JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH - We all quite enjoyed this book. Sadly the movie versions are often very loosely based on the book so whilst most are enjoyable (btw if you come across a version with Bryan Brown avoid it!) they have left us a bit disappointed.
  • THE THREE MUSKETEERS - Again a firm favourite. They love the characters in this book and this is another we are reading the full version of.
  • CALL OF THE WILD - We finished this book at the end of term and when I finished reading (I struggled with the last bit with a rather wobbly voice) I looked up to find my two girls with tears streaming down their faces, which then turned into full blown sobs. So guess who joined in. The Papa then walked in from work found us all walking around wiping our tears and passing each other tissues, etc and wondered what had happened.  I had to explain it was all over the book. He just raised his eyebrows, shook his head and went on his way ... hahaha.  We girls now have a good laugh over it but was told not read any sad animal books like that again.

When we finished Robin Hood I surprised the girls with a couple of $2 shop plastic bows and arrows and drew a target on our whiteboard and placed it up the end of the hallway for them to shoot at. They had quite a bit of fun and still pull them out to play with.
The little horrors turned on me and found it funny. I had to high tail it out of there!


  1. You are such a fun mum! I love the classics, and insist my boys read a lot more of them than they would like ;) Call of the Wild is a firm favourite here!

    1. Mwaw thanks. I was avid reader but am amazed to see how many classics I missed growing up. I am enjoying it as much as the kids.

  2. That series looks great. I was thinking of listening to The Call of the Wild (uabridged) with my kids soon as it's a Boomerang book for this year. But they hate it when dogs die in books so perhaps I better rethink :-| Love the Robin Hood shots.

    1. I really must get onto audio books more. The girls tend to find some books that are "boooring" really good when I actually read them to them. I am not sure whether it's because of the way I read it or the fat we discuss as it we go along or what it is but I must confess I am a bit over reading out aloud.


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