Thursday, January 25, 2007

Halfway Through the Bantams' Book List

So far this year the Bantams [5th and 2nd grade] and I have read together (that means me reading aloud while they color or build with Magnetix):

Walk the World's Rim (this was a slow starter that we ended up liking; Bantam 11 wrote about it for writing class here and here. On a scale of 1 to 5, they both gave it a 5, and it was Bantam7's favorite Read-Aloud.)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond (I really enjoyed this story about a girl from Barbados, now orphaned, coming to live with her Puritan relatives in New England; Bantam7 gave it a 3, and Bantam11, a 4. I think they'd have given it higher marks if the main character weren't a girl.)

Johnny Tremain (I'm so sorry that we listened to this one on tape; it made it pretty disjointed for the Bantams. I have always loved this book; they both gave it a 3.)

Moccasin Trail (the boys enjoyed this one, but were disappointed by the ending. They both gave it a 5 though, and Bantam11 picked it as his favorite Read-Aloud so far. I'm going to write a separate post on it soon.)

They read the following books to themselves. I asked them to rate each one on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being a really good book. The first number is Bantam7's rating; the second, Bantam11's:

Om-Kas-Toe 5, 5
Pocahontas and the Strangers 5, 5 (Bantam7's favorite) (Bantam11's descriptive essay is here)
The Matchlock Gun 3, 2
The Cabin Faced West 4, 3
What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? 5, 3 (Bantam7's other favorite)
Phoebe the Spy 5, 4
And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? 4, 4
The Sign of the Beaver 4, 4
The Lewis and Clark Expedition 4, 2

Bantam11, but not Bantam7, read:

By the Great Horn Spoon! (his favorite reader; he LOVED this book and gave it a 5)
Freedom Train (he gives it a 4)

Bantam7 really balked at the smallish print of By the Great Horn Spoon!, so I let him have a break from the chapter books. He was keeping up magnificently for a 7-year-old, but I didn't want to burn him out. So he read several a day of the short, simple biographies and stories in History Stories for Children (which he gives a 4). Right now he's reading or re-reading all the skinny little American History books we have, like Abe Lincon's Hat, The Statue of Liberty, Meet Ben Franklin, If You Grew Up With George Washington, etc.

They both enjoyed the exercise of evaluating these books on the 1-5 scale!

Not to be outdone, Chicklet4, began ticking off her favorite movies and giving them each a number, in imitation: "Bambi...1;, Nutcracker. Let me see. Bambi....1, Nutcracker...4...." (I should have tried to get her to tell me her favorite books, but then someone offered to put her down for her rest-time, and of course, I wasn't going to refuse!)

And that concludes this mid-year homeschooling series of posts. I thought about a "typical day" post, but the truth is, there have been no typical days since sometime before Thanksgiving, I think. We've just been getting it all in, somehow, before we go to bed, or catching up a little, the next day, if we don't.

Now...any questions?


Sherry said...

Yes. My seven year old doesn't like to read anything except the easy readers. She's my seventh child, and I don't think I've ever experienced this before. I was looking at the list of books your seven year old read by himself, and I thought I could never get Betsy-Bee through those.

Voracious reader that I am, I'm not sure what to do with her. What I've been doing is assigning her books and and stories at the level that shelikes to read, but I think she needs a challenge. She can read the words, but . . . Do you have the boys narrate back to you after they read?

At A Hen's Pace said...


On good days--yes. Often enough to know that their comprehension is there. But not as often as would be good for them. I'm afraid I often don't have the patience. (sigh)

On the Read-Alouds, my 7 year old gets the gist more than the details, but when he reads to himself, his narrations become very detailed. None of my older three were reading at his level either, at 7!