Vocabulary and Books

I'm a home school mom. I know I don't talk about home schooling much on my blog, but it has been part of my weekday routine for 8 years now.  In between math and English, I do some cleaning, some cooking, and some blogging.  When the kids have a day off from school, I have a day off from teaching, and lots of projects and cleaning happen on those days-not much cooking though.  I try to stay away from that as much as possible! (hehehe)

 This isn't a "home school" blog though and this post isn't really about my home school life.  To be honest, I don't think I'd be very good at blogging about home schooling.  Actually, I know I'd be pretty terrible at it.  I'm sure one day, I'll share with you all how we decided to home school, but today I just want to talk about vocabulary and books.  I read a really interesting post yesterday from Amy at Raising Mighty Arrows.  She's a home school blogger and talks about why she doesn't "teach" vocabulary!  What???  That's just rebellious talk right there- I thought! Or is it?  In her post, she talks about teaching vocabulary through  books.  Ok, though I'm not completely getting rid of our vocabulary lessons tomorrow, I understand her point and can even get on board with it to a degree.

I'm a former high school English teacher.  Did I ever tell you that?  I don't think I've mentioned it before.  Anyway, here in Lewisville Academy (like that?), I give great emphasis to reading and writing...and vocabulary.  My kids have grammar books, reading/literature books, writing books, and spelling/vocabulary books.  All this combined is just one subject-English.  They are 4th-7th grade and everyone reads, reads, reads! So do they have an extensive vocabulary?  Their testing scores show they are far, far above their grade levels. Proud mama, here!  But I can't take all the credit.  I have to say it absolutely does have a lot to do with all those books they read.

We go to the library weekly and my girls are involved in a monthly book club, which is awesome.  Our group of jr. highers each read an assigned book and then meet to share their book project.  They write essays, creative stories, or compose poetry & songs and add their artistic flare whenever possible, which is almost always.  They've read Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, and Hamlet, just to name a few.  I didn't get into some of those until I was in college!  I'm rather pleased.

But you know what's great about our little lit club, the kids love it!  They love to read the books...really.  I think it has to do with the fact that I read to them almost daily when they were young, and I always encouraged them (maybe strongly encouraged them) to read.

We started our reading routine the way most kids start.   My kids read and loved every Disney and Dr. Suess book they could get their hands on, dirty, little hands I miss!  We'd sit on the sofa and I'd read in my best character voices.  Mr. Lewisville is actually the king of voices, but I'd try my best to appease them.  Soon enough, the kids were reading (because they memorized the books) to me.  In those days, we got involved with a delivery book club and every month they'd get their new books.  Today, my kids have outgrown these books, but guess what?  We still have them.  They want to keep them for their kids and I'm pretty sure it's because I still have some of those classic Disney books from when I was a kid!

Today, for all my lovely readers, I want to introduce you to a great delivery book club for your munchkins or your grandmunchkins.

Click for more info

Here are the details of this monthly book club:
• Get started with 4 Disney books for just $.99 each, plus a free Disney activity book
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• Receive 3 new books each month
• Convenience of home delivery for less than $5 per book
• Control your membership online
- Adjust your shipping interval
- View account history
- Preview upcoming packages
• No purchase commitment
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This is exactly how we started.  The kids had their books and mom and dad had their own "big" books.  So the kids' love for reading stemmed from our love for reading and perhaps our example.  We have a pretty extensive library with book shelves everywhere, including the garage!  If you want to plant a love for reading in your own kids, read to them at an early age, have a special chair or place where you read, and make it party of your daily routine, like reading "together" right after you have lunch or as soon as they wake from their nap.  This was always our special time.

Who wouldn't love to read here!  {Source? I tried}

Today, my kids are still reading the Disney books, just not the colorfully illustrated kind.  The girls, on top of their book club reading, are enjoying a  new Disney series called Kingdom Keepers.   A new book is coming out next month and they can't wait to get their hands, bigger and cleaner hands now, on it.

It's never to late to get started.  Even if your kids are older, start a reading routine with them now.  When I taught high school I heard all the hems and haws when I announced which books I expected my students to read.  With weekly quizzes, most of them read the assigned chapters, and by the end of the year, there wasn't one complaint when we started a new book.   Today, some of my students still talk about how much they like Uncle Tom's Cabin or To Kill a Mockingbird.  That's music to an English teacher's ear!

READ! Then READ some more.  And when you're done READING, READ again!

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