Sunday, October 12, 2003

If You See a Cow by Richard Powell, et al

My kids have had so much fun with this one! The older kids love to read it to their younger siblings and the book is simple enough that the toddlers can remember what comes next -- and after several readings can "read" the entire thing.

They act out the parts (in this particular book, it involves making animal sounds -- that's ALWAYS cute to hear the little ones do) and it's interactive, playful fun.

I am VERY glad we bought this one!

Fun Link:
Bad Astronomy

Book Review

The Handy Science Answer Book by Science and Technology Department of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Compiler), Carnegie Lib

I really liked this book because I was able to read it! For a non-scientific person, that really means a lot.

Each topic is broken up into separate questions, which helps -- it doesn't get too complicated.

The topics are interesting, even to someone who isn't normally all that interested in science. On the other hand, my husband who IS very knowledgeable about science also enjoyed this book a great deal and learned little tidbits here and there. According to him, the science is "sound" in this book, and so he really appreciated it for that reason.

All in all, it's a fun book to have. Even our kids (ages 9 and under) have enjoyed looking at it.


Core Knowledge Series

Book Review

What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning (Core Knowledge Series) by E. D. Hirsch (Editor), John Holdren (Introduction)

I have 6 children, and we are homeschoolers, so I am always looking for good resource materials.

This series is good in a lot of ways.

It stresses the old classics, more from a cultural literacy standpoint than anything else. You want your children to understand references to literature. You want your children to know what others are talking about when they refer to a mythological figure.

These books not only provide the parent with a few basic stories, but they also put it in the mind of the parent that these things are important for the child to come into contact with.

The social studies are nice and simple, with little maps and nice little pictures. For my children, I develop checksheets to go along with them -- they read a section in the book, then they draw a picture relating to it, or look at a globe and point out the place under discussion, or create an animal from that part of the world in clay -- something involving DOINGness, instead of just READING. They really love this and it makes the material stick in their minds that way.

I make a checklist out of the math section, to verify that the kids are up to speed.

Overall, I think these are valuable books, and well worth having. I would warn parents to watch for the vocabulary used in the literature -- kids will get confused if many of the words are not defined for them - the literacy level is pretty high per each grade level.