Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Tag: books

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

We are just at the beginning of our astronomy and space unit! The kids have been looking forward to this unit for months! I have spent so much time collecting resources, books, supplies, and organizing activities and I can’t wait to share it all with […]

5 Cherries is a Celebration of Imagination

5 Cherries is a Celebration of Imagination

Children have an amazing gift of imagination. Have you ever listened to your children play and been completely amazed at some of the things they think up? 5 Cherries is a celebration of that imagination!  I was immediately drawn to this book because of the […]

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!

 

Earth Day is right around the corner! My kiddos are so excited to celebrate by heading to the beach to pick up some trash! In addition to helping clean up the beach, we will be reading a LOT of books! Whenever a holiday, special occasion, or celebration arises I feel the need to compile a collection of our favorite books on that subject!

Since my kiddos are so into learning about the Earth, recycling, and conservation, we have a long list of favorites already! I wanted to share the list with you! These are great books not only for Earth Day, but for any time you want to learn about how to take care of our planet and the creatures on it!

Our Top 10 Favorites for Earth Day

1.) It will probably come as no surprise that my first book is a Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Book. I have talked at length about my love for them! To read all about how we use them in our homeschool click here.

S if for Save The Planet: A How-to-be Green Alphabet is a must have in your home library! It is written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss. Learn all about environmental issues from A to Z in this beautifully illustrated and informative book. Learn all about the 3 R’s…reduce, reuse, and recycle as well as many different ways we can help our environment! Don’t forget to head over to Sleeping Bear Press’s website to grab their free teacher guide to go along with the book. You can grab it here.

2.) Up next is  Wild World written by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Hvass and Hannibal. This is an absolutely breathtaking book that shares lovely poetry relating to 13 endangered habitats. The illustrations are stunning…you will feel like you are a part of each habitat that is mentioned. Not only is this a great book for Earth Day but it would be a wonderful addition to Poetry Teatime and a study on habitats! This is another gem from Wide Eyed Editions!

 

 3.) Next up is The Wonderous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and it’s Ecosystems by Rachel Ignotofsky. This is a book that you will use over and over again. It is absolutely beautifully illustrated and stuffed full of amazing information about our planet, how it works, and how we can protect it. From the ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest to the ecosystem of the Arctic Circle down to the smallest drop of water…this book covers it all!

 

 

4.) The next book that would be a perfect read for Earth day is Follow the Moon Home. Follow the Moon Home is written by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So. We originally got this book to go along with our lesson on Sea Turtles, but I quickly realized that this book was about so much more. This is the story Viv who moves to a new school on the coast and develops a passion for saving the baby turtles. This is such a powerful book that tells kids that it doesn’t matter how young they are, they can still make a difference if they work together and don’t give up.

 

5.) Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever is next up on my list! This book has some of the most lovely illustrations I have seen. Beautifully written by H.Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, it is the story of Katherine Olivia Sessions and how she created a movement to turn San Diego from a dry desert to a lush garden oasis. I have a not-so-secret obsession with biographical picture books…and this book is another gem! Another wonderful book that shows the power a single person can have! Definitely, a must read!

6.) Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats is brand new…Just arrived in my mailbox TODAY. I pre-ordered it so that I would have it on its book birthday. I wasn’t even thinking of Earth Day when I ordered it. I was just thinking that it looked absolutely gorgeous and that it would be an amazing resource to have. It is all of those things…plus so much more. The illustrations are absolutely insanely gorgeous. The book is all about some little known habitats around the world that are home to SO many plants and animal species. These habitats are in danger and need protecting. Kiddos will be drawn into the bold and beautiful illustrations…and will love learning about some animals and places that they may have never heard of. This is a must buy! Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats is written by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Marcos Navarro.

7.) The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families is a beautiful book that shares a message that one person can make a huge difference. The people of Hargigo in the African country of Eritrea were so hungry. They didn’t have enough food for themselves or their animals. One day, a scientist named Dr. Gordon Sato came along and with the help of mangrove trees, turned their world around. Such amazing illustrations and a powerful story! We especially love this one because in Florida we are surrounded by mangrove trees…and they truly are so special! The Mangrove Tree is by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore.

 

8.) Next up is Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save our Feathered Friends. Oh my goodness is this book beautiful. So, we are a bunch of bird nerds at my house. Absolutely LOVE them. I come from a long line of bird nerds and have proudly raised 3 of them myself. Counting Birds teaches kids the importance of watching birds and counting birds. It teaches children how they are able to help the birds just by watching and counting. The book also teaches them about self-taught ornithologist Frank Chapman and how he began this bird-count. Such beautiful illustrations with tips on how we can help! Counting Birds is written by Heidi Stemple and illustrated by Clover Robin!

 

9.) This next book is another newcomer. The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng is written by Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Kayla Harren. This gorgeous book tells the story of Jadav Payeng, a boy from India who became devastated at the deforestation and erosion that was happening in his small village in India. He began his journey to help by simply planting a small area of bamboo. That area grew and grew and helped his people and the animals around it survive. It is a lovely story of how one small person can make such a huge difference. Such a heartwarming and inspirational book.

 

10.) Last, but certainly not least is a long time favorite of mine. The Lorax by the incredible Dr. Seuss is a must-read on Earth Day…or any day really. Though the Lorax was published in 1971, it carries with it a message that is still so pertinent. Taking care of our Earth and the things on it, because they might not always be here. The Lorax and Dr.Seuss seemed to be ahead of their time sending messages of the dangers of clearcutting and pollution. In true Dr.Seuss fashion, The Lorax is filled with whimsical illustrations and fun flowing rhymes, but the message is crystal clear. “Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…its not”

This is just the tip of the iceberg of amazing books to read on Earth Day. There are so many beautifully written and illustrated books that would be perfect to share with your children on Earth Day, or any day! Sharing beautiful books is such a fantastic way to share an important message with our kiddos. Even though these books are geared for children, I think all people, young and old, can benefit from reading them. I hope you found some new books to share with your family.

I would love to hear from YOU! What are some of your favorite reads for Earth Day?

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My Go-To Books for Homeschooling

My Go-To Books for Homeschooling

Have you ever found an amazing shirt and you love it SO much that you have to buy it in every single color? You know that it is the perfect shirt for you and you must have all of them? Well, I am about to […]

A DINO-RIFIC Experience Box for your Little Paleontologists!

A DINO-RIFIC Experience Box for your Little Paleontologists!

  Do you have a dinosaur obsessed kiddo? You know the one I mean…the kid who can pronounce Piatnitzkysaurus without missing a beat (totally a real dinosaur…just ask google). Well then, stay put, because this is the post for you. I have created an awesome collection of […]

Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

 

I have loved books for as long as I can remember! My Mom actually used books as bribery to potty train me when I was 2 (OK, that is moderately embarrassing!) We would walk to the store together and I would get to pick out a brand new Golden Book! Even today I can be easily bribed with books…just sayin’!

Though I love all books, Children’s Books have my heart. There is something magical about Children’s Literature. I started my own library of kids books well before I had my own kids. It wasn’t even that I was putting books away for when I one day had kids of my own…I was buying them for myself because I love them so much!

I always knew that it would be a goal of mine to raise children who loved books and reading as much as I do. I am happy to report that we are well on our way to having 3 little bookworms! They may not have reached full book hoarder status yet like their mother…but they are young yet 😉

SO…How DO you raise a reader???

 Be a Reader Yourself

Let your kids see  you reading! Let them see the joy you get from getting lost in a book!! I know we are all so busy and it is so hard to carve out time to sit and read, but even if it is just for 15 minutes it is so great for you and it sends such an awesome message to your kids! When your kids see you pick up a book and read for pleasure it is sending a message to them that reading is something fun and enjoyable.

Read Aloud

This may be my very favorite tip. Read aloud to your kids. Not just your young children. All of your children. So many parents stop reading aloud to their children when their kids learn to read on their own. Don’t do it! Keep on reading aloud to them. Even if it is just for a little bit before bed, reading aloud is such a wonderful experience for both parent and kiddo. We start every single day with a read aloud. My kids and I agree…it is our favorite part of the day. They absolutely LOVE having me read to them and I LOVE getting to experience so many amazing books with my kids. My oldest is almost 12 and she still absolutely loves getting to sit with her brother and sister and hear Mama read books. We have experienced so many awesome stories!

Talk about Books

My almost 12 year old could talk your ear off about Percy Jackson…or any Rick Riordan book for that matter. She gets so excited to tell us about the characters in her books and what is happening and what she THINKS will happen next. She loves to compare the books to the movies…and tell you exactly why the makers of the movie got it totally wrong at certain parts. I LOVE it! I love seeing that excitement. It tells me she is not only loving what she is reading…but she is absorbing and comprehending what she is reading.

Ask them questions about what they are reading…not just as a test to see that they are retaining information…but show them that you are genuinely interested in what they are interested in. Let them ask YOU questions about what you are reading…you don’t have to give a play by play of the steamy scenes in your romance novel or the gory details of your murder mystery…but letting them know what your book is about and why you like it is a great way to connect with them over reading. My kids are constantly asking me about my books. They are so curious about the types of books I read and why I like them!

Have Easy Access to Books

In the words of the great Dr. Seuss…”Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” If books are easily accessibly then they will be picked up and read. Our home is full of books. They are everywhere. We have shelves, baskets, bins, cubbies…you name it…we’ve stuffed it with books!! Now this isn’t to say that you have to spend a gazillion dollars on books and shelves…you can have easy access to books without spending a cent! Take advantage of your local library!! We are so lucky to have access to not only one library, but several libraries within our county. If I have a book I am looking for chances are one of the libraries has it! Its such an amazing resource. There are sites online as well where you can get access to free books to read. Amazon often has free or very inexpensive books to download for your Kindle as well!

Another tip that I have learned that has helped immensely in my house is to display your books with the covers facing out. We have recently purchased some picture ledges to display our books on…without fail the kids gravitate toward the books that they see on that shelf. It can be a book that we have had in our bookshelf for years…but once they see its cover they are drawn to it! Seeing those beautiful book covers entices kids (and mamas!) to pick it up and flip through it!

bookshelf pic
This is one of my favorite places to display our books!

Embrace ALL Types of Reading Materials

This may not be a hugely popular opinion among reading professionals…but I don’t stress over reading levels. If my kids have a topic they are interested in reading about I will gather anything and everything I can get my hands on regardless of reading level. Through my years as a consultant with Usborne Books & More I have had so many parents refuse a book for their child because it is “too easy”. That bums me out big time! If you have a child that loves horses…let them read about horses!! It’s OK if it is below their reading level…they are reading…and you know what? They are ENJOYING it because it is a topic that interests them!

If you have a child who loves comic books or graphic novels…let them read them! They are great choices for a reluctant reader!

If you have a child who is a non-fiction buff…let them read non-fiction! Some of my kids favorite books are non-fiction!

If you have a child who still loves to read picture books…bust out those picture books! Picture books are some of my very favorite books and are filled with amazing writing!! We often stop reading picture books once our kids have begun reading chapter books, but we are missing out on some seriously amazing reading material!

 

These are just a few simple ways that we have created an atmosphere of reading in our home. How are you raising readers at your house?

 

 

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Magic Awaits…A book review of The Crowns of Croswald

Magic Awaits…A book review of The Crowns of Croswald

  If you are looking for an escape from reality then The Crowns of Croswald is the perfect book to get lost in! I was hooked from the very first pages! Author D.E. Night creates an amazing world of magic and adventure. This is a […]

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 1

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 1

  My obsession with Usborne books came long before our decision to homeschool! I fell in love with these amazing books. My home has always been filled with books…picture books, fiction books, poetry…but never non-fiction! I am not sure why I was just always drawn […]

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 2

My Top 10 Usborne Books for Homeschooling- Part 2

 

It is time for the continuation of my Top 10 Favorite Usborne Book for Homeschooling! These 5 are equally as fabulous as the first 5…and I could have added so many more into this mix! So, here they are:

6.) 365 Science Activities– This book is so much fun! This is a great way to add hands-on science experiments into your homeschool. This book is recommended for ages 6 and up so it works perfectly for all 3 of my kids. We are having a blast! We are going to be featuring many of our science projects in upcoming blog posts! So much fun!

7.) Illustrated Grammar and Punctuation– So, I bought this book for me. I absolutely LOVE writing…but my grasp of grammar and punctuation is seriously lacking!! I didn’t know the difference between a noun or a verb until I was in 10th grade…and I remember this because I was placed in an advanced English class and was LOST when it came to grammar and punctuation. Sure I was a great reader and creative writer, but what in the heck is an adverb? I was determined to teach my kids all about grammar and punctuation as early as possible…this book has been amazing!

8.) Beginners Non-Fiction – Ok, this is a total cheat on my part. We have over 40 books in this amazing series! I adore these books. They are the most economical powerhouse books! They are only $4.99, but they are packed with information. They have wonderful photos and illustrations, the picture to text ratio is perfect for children, and these books are internet linked! Best of all, we have almost any subject you can think of! If you have a child that loves elephants, castles, bugs, dinosaurs, weather, horses, cats…we have you covered! We have a wonderful box set now, our Beginners Animals Box Set is a great way to start your collection!

9.) Usborne World of Animals– If you plan to learn about animals at any point during your homeschool years then I highly recommend this book. It is GORGEOUS! Amazing photographs of animals and tons of information. We adore this book. Like most of our other non-fiction books, this one is internet linked.

10.) See Inside series- again, I’m cheating…forgive me 😉 I just LOVE all of these books. If you know anything about Usborne Books & More you will know that we are known for our Lift the Flap books! Kids.Love.Flaps! We have lift the flap titles for all ages, but for the sake of this list, I will narrow it down to our See Inside series. These books are phenomenal. They are recommended for ages 7 and up, but my 6-year-old loves them too. I use this as a supplement to many of our units. See Under the Sea was an amazing addition to our ocean unit, See Inside Weather in Climate was perfect for our weather unit, See Inside How Things Work was a gift to my 40-year-old engineer husband…he loved it! These books are loaded with flaps…and kids retain information so much better when they are actively engaged in lifting a flap. SO much wonderful information. Love these books.

So there you have it…my Top 10 Favorite Usborne Books for Homeschooling! Trust me when I tell you that this list could have been SO much longer! Usborne Books & More are some of the most fun AND educational books I have ever had the pleasure of owning!! If you are ever looking for a recommendation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I could talk about books all day…in case that wasn’t obvious 😉

 

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