What's the big deal about Young Living

Read Aloud Lists for All Ages

Read aloud lists for all ages

*This post contains affiliate links. 

I have written before about the many benefits of reading aloud to children of every age, and now I’ve compiled some read aloud lists for all ages. This list is by no means comprehensive. These are just a few of our family favorites. I believe it is so important to expose children, from an early age, to great literature, and this is how we do it.

By the time my children are reading independently, I cannot keep books out of their hands! I have to make them put the books down and stop reading to come to dinner, or get their chores done. For this reason it is so important to have excellent books available for them to read. This method has resulted in both of my homeschool graduates excelling on their SAT scores, thanks to their extensive vocabularies.

For more read aloud lists for all ages, check out the Read Aloud Revival and also Ambleside Online.

What books would you add to this read aloud list?

Preschool

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Winnie the Pooh series by A.A. Milne

Peter Rabbit series by Beatrix Potter

Early Elementary

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield

Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Upper Elementary

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maude Montgomery

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Middle School

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Tom Sawyer

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

High School

Animal Farm by George Orwell

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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Fort Worth Texas Homeschool Convention ~ {GIVEAWAY}

I am super excited that a huge Texas Homeschool Convention is coming my way! Great Homeschool Conventions is coming to the Fort Worth Convention Center March 17-19, 2016!

Fort-Worth-TX-Homeschool-Convention

AND I’M GIVING AWAY A FAMILY PASS TO THE HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE! (See details below.)

This event is chock full of amazing speakers, relevant sessions, and a HUGE exhibit hall with over 200 booths with curriculum on hand to touch and feel and flip through.

Some of the sessions available are:

  • Homeschooling 101
  • Special needs homeschooling
  • The how-tos of teaching math,
  • Science,
  • English,
  • Literature,
  • Reading
  • All core subjects are covered
  • Inspirational sessions
  • How to homeschool through hard times
  • Common core awareness
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Classical
  • Hands-on homeschooling
  • AND MORE

Ann Voskamp Great Homeschool Conventions

The keynote speaker is Ann Voskamp, author of *One Thousand Gifts, A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are and one of the top 10 most-read Christian blogs on the web today, A Holy Experience. Ann was named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today. She will be speaking on “When There Doesn’t Seem Like Enough of You for the Calling: What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be enough time, enough resources, enough of you to make it all happen for your family like you desperately want? What if there was another way? A broken way—that turns about to be a more-than-enough, abundant way?”.

 

And here are a few other speakers I’m excited to meet and to hear speak:

Great Homeschool Conventions Speakers

 

Steve Demme is a former math teacher who has taught at all levels of math in public, private, and Christian schools, Steve is also the author and founder of Math-U-See. He addresses a variety of topics at homeschool conferences to encourage parents in their God-given responsibilities of raising and training their children for His glory.

 

 

Heidi St. John is a popular author and conference speaker, Heidi brings a refreshing mix of information and inspiration to listeners on the radio, in person, and through the written word.

 

 

Dr. Jay Wile has published 30 articles onNuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning “Exploring Creation with” series of junior-high and high-school science courses.

 

 

If you can’t make it to the Fort Worth homeschool convention, don’t worry! There are 2 more locations coming up!

I’ll be at the Fort Worth event with my family, and I hope to see you there! Please, let me know if you will be there and we can meet up. I love to connect with my readers!

Now, if you would like to win a family pass to the homeschool convention location of your choice, please comment below and tell me which event you would like the family pass for: Fort Worth, TX, Cincinnati, OH, or Ontario, CA. 

The family pass includes mother, father, children/teens, and grandparents for all three days of the convention. The winner will also receive up to four (4) tickets to each of the special events for that specific convention. Those include:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe performance by Friends of the Groom. (all locations)
  • The Willis Clan performance (TX and MW)
  • Ann Voskamp keynote (TX and MW)
  • John Stonestreet keynote (CA)
  • Holocaust survivor, Dr. Inge Auerbacher (MW)
  • Thursday Night Out Comedy with Bob Smiley (TX)
  • Thursday Night Out Comedy with Dennis Regan (CA)

Leave your comment below with the location of your choice to win! 

*This sponsored post contains affiliate links. 

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Tip to Promote Good Attitude During Reading Lessons

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Reading lesson smarty tip

I have used *Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach all of my children to read, and I am currently using it on my 8th child.  Same old, trusty book, minus the cover, plus a few scribbled on pages.

I love this book for so many reasons.

  • The lessons are short, usually around 15 minutes long.
  • The book is all you need. There are no worksheets or flashcards involved.
  • The parent part is scripted. Simply read aloud the words in red. No wondering exactly how to present the lesson.
  • The child REALLY CAN read on about second grade level at the end of 100 days.

However, my children don’t always love doing these lessons each day. (They also don’t love doing their chores and going to bed on time.) Because the lessons require the child to sit still, concentrate, and remember and repeat what they hear, there is occasional whining, crying, stalling, and/or complaining. They are children, after all, and they don’t always like to do what they should do.

So, sometime during the teaching of 8 total children to read using this book, I figured out the following tip to promote good attitude during reading lessons.

  1. Line up Smarties in fold of book.
  2. Every time student whines, stalls, complains, refuses to cooperate, etc, Mom mercilessly, and without comment, eats a Smarty.
  3. Student gets all Smarties left at end of lesson.

I am telling you THIS WORKS LIKE MAGIC FAIRY DUST if done consistently.

You’re welcome.

*affiliate link

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Winter Summit 2016 ~ Homeschool Moms’ Retreat

winter summit girls weekend graphic

I just spent another weekend with a few hundred of my friends at the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit 2016. This is a fantastic, Jesus-centered retreat specifically designed to encourage homeschool moms.

There is really very little talk about homeschooling and absolutely no talk about curriculum, but do you know what there is a HUGE focus on?

GRACE. Rejoicing in the beautiful grace God has given us, extending grace to ourselves when we fail, and offering that same grace to others when they disappoint us.

This retreat will benefit ALL moms who are just looking for someone to encourage them to keep giving it their best shot, and to keep relying on God to give them the strength to do it. Anyone who would like other moms to lock arms with her and say, “We’re in this parenting thing together sister,” would love The Summit.

winter summit dance party

Saturday night dance party

But one of the things that makes it so extra special to me is that this is where my people gather. I know without a doubt that this hotel ballroom will be filled with women just like me who know exactly what it feels like to be a stay at home mom in a one income family who spends all day every day directly responsible for her children’s education.

They know what it is to wonder if they will have to explain again at the family reunion that homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Or the nervous, deer in the headlights look your child gets when he stalls and stammers upon being asked asked what grade he is in. They know what it is to wonder if you are ruining your child’s chances of getting into college, his future, his life because of your weaknesses and inadequacies.

winter summit blogger skit

Mrs. Homeschool Universe finalists

The whole weekend is chock full of heartfelt praise and worship, hilarious skits, transparent honesty, encouraging sessions, and plenty of advice from moms who have already traveled the road I am still on.

winter summit q&a panel

This picture represents 97 combined years of homeschool wisdom and 23 homeschooled kids whom they have graduated.

GRADUATED! They have completed their homeschool journeys! Can you believe they are all still standing tall and they come to The Summit every year to cheer the rest of us on? THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART! These ladies take anonymous questions that have been submitted throughout the weekend and they answer even the most difficult ones with honesty and transparency. I am telling you right now that it is SOLID GOLD to have these ladies speak life and encouragement into us bone weary moms who are just trying to get through one more school year without running away from home.

In between the general sessions, delicious food, and skits, there were 12 breakout sessions to choose from during the weekend, so it was easy to tailor the topics to suit different needs.

winter summit bio

I was asked to speak in 2 of those sessions, and I brought along my 15 year old daughter to be a “Summit Server.”

winter summit mother daughter

Cami and me

She had a ball with some of the other daughters running errands, helping ladies find where the restrooms were, and holding babies.

Winter Summit photo booth

Me and Kelly

winter summit bloggers

Kris, Lisa, Heather, and me

Another one of my favorite parts is just getting to hang and laugh with some very dear friends that I have grown to love. When you spend the entire weekend with someone, you never know what you might find out. You could hear that she has met and danced with Jon Bon Jovi, and you might squeal and be very jealous because there was a time that you and Jon shared a very rich history (in your head) and yet he never invited you on stage to dance with him. (No comment on which of the above ladies was the lucky one.)

Wouldn’t you love to grab a few girlfriends and make it a weekend to remember? We would love for you to join us at The Summit next year! Read what these ladies had to say about the weekend below.

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Get HALF OFF Homeschool Winter Summit Registration

Can we be real for a minute?

Homeschooling is hard. Really hard.

Like there are some days when I don’t know what I was thinking when I committed to doing it. Like there are some days when I don’t think I can make it to graduating all these kids. Maybe not even to May. And sometimes I find myself just trying to hang on until Christmas break.

That’s why the founder of The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit, a homeschool mom herself who has graduated 4, planned the event to take place every year during the dark months smack in the middle of winter.

Summit Facebook party

And now The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is quickly approaching, and I couldn’t be more excited! This is my all time favorite event every year, and here’s why:

  • I get to hang out with homeschool moms who have graduated all their students and are still standing tall.
  • I get to pick the brains of homeschool moms who are a little farther down this road than I am.
  • I get to laugh until I cry with other moms who are going through the same exact season of life I am.
  • I get to hear homeschool moms being real about their struggles, their fears, and their failures.
  • I get to encourage homeschool moms who aren’t quite as far along as I am.
  • I get to pray and sing praises to the Lord with all these beautiful ladies.

Truly, this one weekend is such a breath of fresh air, such an energizing boost, such an encouraging experience on a deep, deep heart level, that I look forward to it all year, knowing that it will give me the vision I need to make it through May.

And now The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is having a virtual Facebook party, from 9-10:00pm CST tonight, December 1st, to introduce us to all the speakers (I’m one of them!) and offer one participant HALF OFF your registration! It’s so easy to attend. Just click “going” at the top of the event page, tuck the kiddies into bed, put on your comfiest pajamas, open up your laptop, and jump into the discussion to be entered to win. (For an extra entry, invite your friends.)

See? Easy, peasy, mac and cheesy! Whether already registered, or planning to soon, one participant will get to attend The Summit for HALF PRICE! It might as well be you, right???

And if you don’t win half off, I still have a deal for you. At check, use the discount code “Smockity10” to get $10 off!

I’ll see you at The Summit!

(*I don’t get paid at all for promoting this non-profit ministry. The other team members and I even use our own money to buy door prizes and make casseroles to help feed the speakers. I am just so in love with this ministry that I can’t help sharing it with you!)

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Usborne Books Online Party ~ FREE PRIZES!

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Do you like high quality, award winning educational books?

I am hosting an online Usborne book party tomorrow, October 23rd at 2:00 p.m. CST, and there will be FREE PRIZES! You don’t even have to order any books to win a prize! Simple RSVP here by clicking “Going” or “Maybe” (under the picture at the top) and show up some time during the party to leave a comment, and you’ll be entered to win.

Usborne publishes high quality, award winning children’s books (ages newborn – young adult). These books are also used in many homeschool curriculums such as: Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, The Well Trained Mind and Veritas Press just to name a few. I would love for you to come and hang out with me, learn about these great books, and possible win a prize!

You can get a head start in entering to win a prize by commenting right now before the party starts!

Hello? Christmas shopping anyone? This is the perfect opportunity to knock out some of the gifts on your list without waiting in long lines.

Even if you can’t be online during the time of the party, go ahead and click “Maybe” so you can drop by the page later to see the great deals on these wonderful books.

See you at the party!

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