Monday, 1 September 2014

The Book List - September 2014

I've organised this month's reading list according to when it'll be read, with only two days a week of lots of chopping and changing between titles and the rest working through a book until it's finished. I'm intrigued to see which approach best suits me.

"Morning Time" with James (Monday-Saturday)
- The Book of Romans
--- alongside our commentary, re-reading in depth, we're hoping to read through to about chapter fourteen
- Westminster Shorter Catechism
--- I'll begin to put James over the first four/five questions and answers (one a week) along with the next title
- Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism (PB, Starr Meade)
--- Six days a week of short devotionals about each Q&A of the WSC (one a week)

"Morning Time" is sometimes at lunch rather than breakfast ;)
It's a homeschooling term/approach that I only just found but the execution of it had developed organically already for us. I'm choosing to add Catechism this month as I feel it is important to look at the over-arching themes and teachings of the Bible as well as the individual books/chapters/verses. Whilst I know James is young to be beginning on this, getting him into the habits of learning is good training and knowing that that which he learns will always be accessible to him (for when he is older and more able to understand it) is a huge motivator for me. Also there are 107 questions and answers so he won't be so young by the time we finish ;)
MT also includes memory verses, prayer time and nursery rhymes or learning rhymes or songs such as those teaching the books of the Bible, days of the week or months of the year etc. this certainly does not happen everyday and won't, such is life.

Sunday Morning/Evening with James
- The Book of Proverbs
--- a chapter or a section of a chapter read-aloud and discussed

Independent Reading Time (between lunch and naptime)
- James
--- Three different picture books each day
- Mummy
--- (Mon-Sat) Something Other Than God (HB, Jennifer Fulwiler)
--- (Sun) Beyond the Sling (HB, Mayim Bialik)
--- If I finish SOTG my next choice is another Christian autobiography, Kisses from Katie, HB, Katie Davis, about the founding of Amazima, a Ugandan ministry and charity.]

Read-alouds (during nursing)
- Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know (free e-book, Edited by Hamilton Wright Mabie) and
--- I continue to read-aloud to James during nursing (before nap and before bed) and we'll continue our way through Fairytales before continuing on to Mother Carey's Chickens...
- Mother Carey's Chickens (free e-book, Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin)
--- A classic American children's novel about the life of a family following the death of their father and near destitution, it is filled with much love, respect, community, thrift and character-building morals and they are a wonderful picture of joyous family life, and hospitality.

Naptime Reading/Learning for Mummy (Monday-Saturday)
- Westminster Shorter Catechism
--- With the advent of the new "school year" I'm going to spend this month reviewing (the only ones I've memorised) the first 25 questions and answers (and reading through their Scripture proofs) by myself (which this wonderful set of CDs will definitely help with)
- Breastfeeding Matters (La Leche League UK magazine)
--- One article at a time as I have the time. (I got two new magazines at my August meeting.)

Storytime (post-nap)
- I'll read James' independent reading books to him directly after nap

Bedtime Stories
- Daddy takes charge of bedtime stories unless he's working and they involve reading through J's (current) children's Bible and three picture books

Mummy's Evening Reading (Monday-Saturday, except Wednesdays)
- The Valley of Heaven and Hell: Cycling in the Shadow of Marie Antoinette (free at the time e-book, Susie Kelly)
--- An interesting travelogue of cycling, French Revolution history, random tid-bits of local knowledge and finding vegetarian fare in French restaurants, nine chapters to go so I'll begin the month by finishing this book off
- Dying to Run (purchased e-book, Cami Checketts)
--- Short sequel to Dead Running. I'm hoping this will finish off the romance storyline of its predecessor.
- Thirty Days Hath... (e-book, Chautona Havig)
--- Because how could I not read this book in September y'all? I may not "Southern" but that needed a y'all in my head, sixty-three short chapters in all
- The Giver (PB, Lois Lowry)
--- I read the sample of this more than a year ago and am looking forward to reading this as the sample story has never left my mind. The movie version came out this summer but I wanted to read the story first so held off seeing it. The tale concerns a boy living in a colourless, emotionless so-called utopia; Jonah lives in an assigned family unit and people who do not fit are dispatched with or so my impression of it reads, twenty-three chapters in all
- The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden (purchased e-book, Jonas Jonasson)
--- This is the second novel from Jonasson following "The Hundred Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" which I bought on a whim in a twenty pence sale and devoured over our trip to Australia. It was amazing and I expect no less of this (unrelated) follow-up. I suspect the twenty-four chapters will leave me wanting more as Jonasson's last book did. Again this one seems to wind the main character's story around major (recent) historical events and world leaders. A fascinating way to overview the history of a particular year with the everyday man.

Mummy's Evening Reading (Wednesdays)
A chapter or so from each title:
- Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother (e-book, Joyce Swann)
--- A how-to as well as an encouragement to homeschoolers. The Swann family took a rigid approach to school hours, year-round and used a private-school-linked-curriculum but only worked for about three hours a day. Fascinating to read the words of someone who has completed their journey of teaching their ten children through to Masters level in some cases (perhaps all)
- 100 LB Loser (purchased e-book, Jessica Heights)
--- Short auto-biographical chapters that challenge you as you consider your own weight-loss journey
- ConDeceived (free e-book, Cindy Dyer)
--- Available here, this e-book tackles the subject of what I always refer to as "God family planning" and giving your fertility over to the Creator who gave it to you. Cindy's blog-writing is challenging, thought-provoking and forthright so I think this should be a contemplative read.
- 50 Veteran Homeschoolers Share... Things We Wished We'd Known (PB, Edited by Bill & Diana Waring)
--- Re-reading in tandem with my Hubby
- The Happiness Project (PB, Gretchen Rubin)
--- I began looking at my own level of happiness/contentedness through Gretchen Rubin's writing/videos/links on her blog and it's been fascinating looking at the theories of happiness through the lens of her thoughts and those she links to or quotes. A fascinating, subjective but deeply researched, project that should help me as I seek to do battle with my black dog using the science of analysing what makes me happy and focusing thereon. Sometimes you just need someone else to word it differently to "hear" what you already heard.

Mummy's Evening Reading (Sundays)
- Why Love Matters (PB, Sue Gerhardt)
--- I borrowed this title from my La Leche League library. It concerns a gentle approach to parenting and discipline. I definitely could be more gentle in my disciplining! Here's to learning and growing.
- Homeschooling Day By Day: A Thriving Guide for Mothers (e-book, Kirsty Howard - Editor)
--- A chapter or so and associated Scriptures, these are very short but encouraging articles
- ConDeceived (free e-book, Cindy Dyer)
--- See above
- 50 Veteran Homeschoolers Share... Things We Wished We'd Known (PB, Edited by Bill & Diana Waring)
--- See above
- The Happiness Project (PB, Gretchen Rubin)
--- See above

I'm *hoping* that assigning a time to each section of reading will make it easier to follow my plan. Over the last couple of months I've read up to four different titles each and everyday and it involved lots of switching between books so this month will be an experiment. Will only a couple of nights a week of switching between (the more intensive/challenging/thought-provoking) books and otherwise just working through books start to finish be more suited to me?

The Happiness Project book and accompanying blog is actually part of the reason for this series of book lists. I realised that although I love to read and learn, I wasn't making the effort to do so. Reading was always being pushed aside by blogs or television viewing (often inane) so I made a plan and it has helped so much. I'm reading more and viewing less and I no longer feel guilty about the shelves of unread books, instead I just can't wait to read them.

The Happiness Project also led me to my 5for30 challenges and signing myself up for a few contracts (only one of which has a monetary forfeit). Stickk contracts with a forfeit send money to your choice of recipient (I chose my sister) if you fail at your goal (my main one is weight-loss). So far the contracts are working though I'll blog more about the particulars at a later date.

My 5for30 post for September will be up tomorrow.

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