I always struggle about what to post on Sundays. We mostly have repeat dishes on the weekends or like this weekend we spend it traveling so we are eating out for all our meals. So, I have decided to make Sunday our family day for awhile. What I mean is sharing about my family and who we are.
One of my favorite things about my family is our family books. Just like in most families we read to our children every night from the time they were infants. Each child had their favorite books that had to be read each night. My son loved “Where’s the Baby?” and anything by Dr. Seuss. My daughter was more particular. Her favorites were “Chick-A, Chick-A” (which I can still repeat almost the whole book from memory), “Bad Case of Stripes” and “When I Was Little.” But, like most children they eventually grew out of these books and we moved on to chapter books about the time my daughter was in second or third grade.
Chapter books take longer and are more involved so we moved to reading them together as a family each night. We would gather on our bed and read one, two or three chapters depending on the book and time of year. We could read more during the summer when bed time was a bit more flexible than we could in the winter.
It was the time when the “Harry Potter” series were really popular and our family rule is that we cannot see a movie without reading the book it is based on first and they really wanted to see the movie. So, we started with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I am so glad we read this book together as a family. The language is rich and I could explain vocabulary words to them as we were reading. I could talk about foreshadowing and have them make guesses as to what was going to happen next based on clues we just read. I could give our family perspective on certain topics or things that happened in the book. It took us almost six to eight months to finish that book but we kept going. The best part is when they saw the movie they were a bit disappointed. The movie is different from the book and both children were explaining, “But, this is not how it was in the book.” This was the first time they could see how much better most books are than the movies that are based on the books.
Now that my children are 13 and 16 we are still reading together. We don’t do it so much during the school year anymore as they are both busy with rehearsals, classes and homework but on vacations and during the summer we start back up again. I hope to continue to read with them until they both leave for college. I think it has helped both of the children and me with talking about our family beliefs and values in a non-threatening manner, as well as improving vocabulary and understanding dramatic devices in writing.
I have just chosen our book to start this summer, “The Book Thief.” I started reading this book for me but I was less than half-way through the first chapter when I decided we needed to read this book together. I am looking forward to starting the book tomorrow night. After that who knows what we may choose for our next book.
In case you are curious or need a good Children’s or Young Adult chapter book recommendation here is a list of some of the books we have read together:
Books We Have Read as Family Books:
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- Harriet the Spy
- Little House in the Big Woods
- By the Banks of Plum Creek
- Little House on the Prairie
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
- Igraine the Brave
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Prince Caspian
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- My Side of the Mountain
- Our Side of the Mountain
- Frightful’s Mountain
- The Great Brain
- The Golden Compass
- Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
- The Guardians of G’aHoole
- Extra Credit
- The Mysterious Benedict Society
- The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
- The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
- The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
- The Hobbit
- A Wrinkle in Time
- The Kingdom Keepers – Books 1 and 2
To Read List:
- The Book Thief
- Biography of Helen Keller
- I am Malala
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
- The Chocolate War
- Watership Down
What would you add to our list of books to read?