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We listen to a lot of audiobooks in our home. I’ve admitted before that this is mainly because I am not great at reading chapter books aloud, and also because I like a fairly quite lunch time.

I’ve written a whole list of tips and tricks from when we use audiobooks to how we get most of ours for free, you can check that out here.

I can’t believe I haven’t compiled a master list of our favorite audiobooks yet, sheesh, it’s about time!

I’ve done my best to break the list up into age categories, but every kid will be different. I also tried to put the best of the best on this list, so they are books almost anyone will enjoy. Just because you have a middle schooler doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy most of the books off of the elementary or preschool/kindergarten lists. I’m an adult and some of my favorite books on this list are in the middle school section!

These books would make great family road trip books – just pick one or a few from the average age of your kids and listen as you drive along.

THE BEST AUDIOBOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL – ADULT

To make things a little easier, you can jump directly to the category you are interested in:

+++ Preschool & Kindergarten Audiobooks

+++ Elementary Audiobooks

+++ Middle Grade Audiobooks

+++ High School and Adult Audiobooks

PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN AUDIOBOOKS


 

There’s a reason Charlotte and Wilbur have stood the test of time!

Charlotte’s Web

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

This is a great audiobook for kids who are new to audiobooks, my kids have both listened to the Ralph Mouse collection multiple times.

Ralph S. Mouse

In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.

When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.

Mr. Popper and this troop of penguins will crack your kids up.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

The 1938 classic tells the story of Mr. Popper, the small-town house painter who dreamed of exploring Antarctic regions, and Captain Cook, the redoubtable penguin who turned Mr. Popper’s world upside down.

While I recommend this entire series for elementary, this book is great to listen to with preschool and elementary aged children.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children.

When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way.

All-of-a-Kind Family

It’s the turn of the 20th century in New York’s Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five young sisters – Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa’s peddler’s shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

To be honest, I’m not a big Ramona fan, I’m suspecting it’s because I never read the books growing up, but my kids love them and have listened to them multiple times over.

The Ramona Quimby Collection

Meet Ramona. She lives on Klickitat Street with her mother, father, and big sister, Beezus. She’s not afraid of anything and is always up to something. And that’s just the beginning…. In this audio collection, join Ramona, one of Beverly Cleary’s most beloved characters, on all her wacky adventures!

Little House in the Big Woods

Told from four-year-old Laura’s point of view, this story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura lives in the little house with her pa, her ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her family celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers and listeners as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier history and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

Little House on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls and her family are heading to Kansas! Leaving behind their home in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, they travel by covered wagon until they find the perfect spot to build a little house on the prairie. Laura and her sister Mary love exploring the rolling hills around their new home, but the family must soon get to work, farming and hunting and gathering food for themselves and for their livestock. Just when the Ingalls family starts to settle into their new home, they find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict. Will they have to move again?
 

ELEMENTARY AUDIOBOOKS

Um, should I admit that I got teary listening to a book about a robot? Cause I definitely did.

The Wild Robot

Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

Katherine Applegate has quickly become one of my favorite authors, we loved this one!

The One and Only Ivan

Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

If you’ve already listened to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I would suggest starting with The Magician’s Nephew and going through in order.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Magician’s Nephew: Narnia…where the woods are thick and cool, where the Talking Beasts are called to life, a new world where the adventure begins.

Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory’s Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to…somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion’s song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis, before they finally return home.

We’ve been listening to quite a few audio dramas from Lamplighter Theater lately and so far this one has been our favorite!

Frozen Fire

You are about to become acquainted with a young girl who changed the world! The events that lead up to Betty’s pivotal decision demonstrate the true meaning of humility, servant-hood, and love. Inspired by a true story, Betty must come face-to-face with a dreaded foe. Facing myriad trials, including abandonment and the death grip of a terrifying blizzard, her love for her devoted servant trumps all. You will fall in love with Betty, whose loyalty is demonstrated through tremendous courage and sacrifice.

This book is a good introduction to WWII for elementary kids.

Number the Stars

As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

Nim’s Island

Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea, shared by only her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, a turtle called Chica, and a satellite dish for her e-mail. No one else in the world lives quite like Nim, and she wouldn’t swap places with anyone.

But when Jack disappears in his sailing boat and disaster threatens her home, Nim must be braver than she’s ever been before. And she needs help from her friends, old and new.

Who doesn’t secretly wish they had a friend like Pippi? From sleeping backwards in her bed to being able to lift her horse she’s one amazingly silly girl.

Pippi Longstocking

Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

Seriously one of the funniest books out there. We’ve listened and read this one a couple of times, and we’ll be doing the same again soon.

Fortunately, the Milk

A tale of the bravery and selflessness exhibited by a father taking care of his children while his wife is away. Despite Mom’s advance warning, the family finds itself ready for breakfast but without milk for cereal and tea, so Dad takes a trip to the store to get some. Upon his long-awaited return, he gives the children a fantastical and descriptive explanation of the adventures he faced while trying to make it back home. Not only did he embark on a time-traveling hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, but he also confronted pirates, aliens, wumpires, and a volcano god, never losing possession of the milk.

Written like a classic it’s kind of hard to believe this book is so new.

The Penderwicks

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the..

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All month I have been sharing some of my favorite nature resources over on Instagram and this week things are coming to an end, but not without a little fun.

There is a big giveaway going on where one lucky winner will come away with shop gift certificates, a nature journal, This Is My Classroom tee and one of my favorite nature journaling books, Watercolor With Me: In the Forest.

The giveaway is over at the end of the day on Friday, June 28th, so be sure to come over and enter now!

I teamed up with some great shops to bring this giveaway to you and I’m excited to give one lucky winner an awesome collection of nature items.

ENTER THE NATURE GIVEAWAY

The post A Nature Giveaway You’re Not Going to Want to Miss appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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This month I decided to go with a bugs and insects theme for the monthly book list!

We are observing bugs all spring, summer and fall long but since I’m currently wrapping up my nature resource month over on Instagram (you can view the links to all the resources here), I was feeling extra nature-y and thought this would be a good theme for this month’s book list.

The only problem about this list is that it could have been much, much, much longer. I may come back and add more books to it over time but I wanted to start out with some of our favorites and as we get new favorites on the topic I’ll add them in.

Normally for my monthly book lists the books on the list are picture books, and while I do have some strictly picture books on this list (a couple), they are more the informative picture book this time.

There are some excellent authors and illustrators creating these books and I think you’ll be able to tell some of my favorites because I feature more than just one of their books.

If you have a favorite book about bugs and insects let me know, we would love to check them out!

The Best Books for July About Bugs and Insects

We love Usborne books and this one is no exception!

Usborne Big Book of Bugs

A skin-crawling introduction to the world’s biggest bugs, from gigantic spiders as big as a dinner plate, to butterflies larger than dogs Find out about the biggest swarms and colonies, the deadliest insects and the bugs with the best camouflage. Huge fold-out pages with life-size illustrations show children just how big the bugs really are.

This book has the same name as the one above but I would definitely suggest taking a look at both – they are both great.

The Big Book of Bugs

From moths and beetles to worms and spiders, the world is crawling with fascinating bugs. The Big Book of Bugs is the first fact-filled book for children to explore the vast array of creepy-crawlies that share our Earth.

In the first pages, children learn that bugs live nearly everywhere on the planet and gain tips on how to become a young bug spotter. As the book continues, the scenic compositions on each page are dedicated to key groups of bugs, including beetles, moths, butterflies, bees, snails, crickets, grasshoppers, worms, and spiders. Some spreads approach the world of bugs thematically, such as bugs that come out at night, baby bugs, and life cycles, how bugs hide and show off, and how some bugs love to live in your home. 

One of my favorite books from one of my favorite book series’, this one is a must.

A Butterfly is Patient

A gorgeous and informative introduction to the world of butterflies. An incredible variety of butterflies are celebrated here in all of their beauty and wonder, from the tiny Arian Small Blue to the grand Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing.

This is from the same series as A Butterfly is Patient and is just as beautiful.

A Beetle is Shy

The award-winning duo of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long team up again, this time creating a gorgeous look at the fascinating world of beetles. From flea beetles to bombardier beetles, an incredible variety of these beloved bugs are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design.

I’ve used this book as a reader for both of my kids, it’s a cute story that is easy for those just starting to read.

A Fly Went By

A fly is followed by a menagerie of characters in this humorous cumulative tale edited by Dr. Seuss. When a young boy sees a frantic fly buzzing past, he asks where the fly is headed—and with that, a chase begins. The fly and the frog, the cat and the dog, the pig and the cow, the fox and the hunter . . . who is causing all the fuss? 

It’s a classic so I needed to include it here. I can actually remember the first time I heard this book read aloud, it was in my elementary school library . . .

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Watch as the very hungry caterpillar eats his way through the week – and the food!

Um, Gail Gibbons may have a few books on this list, obviously she’s doing something right.

Ladybugs

When you think of a ladybug, you might picture a little red beetle with seven black spots on its back—but did you know there are thousands of types of ladybugs, spread across the world?

Follow a ladybug through the four stages of its development from egg to adult, and learn about its behavior and habitat—plus, how little ladybugs help protect crops by eating harmful insects.  Bright illustrations and an easy-to-read text make this ideal for young readers studying the natural world.

Spiders

Spiders help us by eating insects that are harmful to people and crops. From baby spiderlings to large tarantulas, here is information about ballooning, molting, and how different spiders build their webs. Spiders have been on earth since before the first dinosaurs. About 30,000 kinds of these creatures are known to be living, and more are still being discovered.

Monarch Butterfly

Follow the transformation from a tiny white egg laid on a leaf to a brilliantly colored butterfly in this kid-friendly introduction to metamorphosis.  With detailed, bright watercolors, Gail Gibbons illustrates the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, stage by stage, as it grows, changes, and takes flight. 

The Honey Makers

Ever wondered how a jar of honey is made?

Thousands of bees visit more than one million flowers to gather the nectar that goes into a one-pound jar of honey. Every page in this picture book reveals how these remarkable insects work together to create this amazing food.

This book is large and beautiful. It’s got a ton of information and is a real eye-catcher.

Bees: A Honeyed History

One part science, one part cultural history, and countless parts fascination, Bees celebrates the important role that these intriguing insects have played in our ecosystem throughout the ages. From Athena to Alexander the Great and from Egypt to Ethiopia, Bees explores different methods of beekeeping and uncovers the debt that humans owe this vital species. With beautifully accessible illustrations depicting everything from bee anatomy to the essentials of honey making, readers will be captivated by the endless wonders of this seemingly small speck of the animal kingdom.

This book taught ME so much about bees!

The Bee Book

DK’s The Bee Book is a wonderful introduction to the humble honeybee: nature’s hardest worker, and much more than just a provider of honey! Bees are incredibly industrious, brilliant at building, super social, and–most importantly–responsible for a third of every mouthful of food you eat! Find out how bees talk to one another, what it takes to become a queen bee, what the life of a worker bee is like, and more. The contents include bee anatomy, types of bee, hives, colonies, pollination, making honey, and more. Discover just how much they matter, why they are declining, and what you can do to help!

Okay, any suggestions for other bug and insect books we should check out? Let me know in the comments!

The post The Best Books for July appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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If you have been here for any length of time you’ll probably already know that I am not big on schedules.

I mean, I’ve created broad annual goals each year to avoid them and my mini planner is perfect for those with schedule avoidance. But I wanted to go a little deeper into my heartschooling plan for the summer.

I actually think this is more than a schedule, I think it may be . . . dare I say . . . a routine.

Me and routine, we have a love-hate history. I’m not a fan of her but I see the benefits of getting to know her so I’m slowly exposing myself to this idea of routine and honestly, the more I get to know her, the more I see her benefits.

I don’t even know who I am any more.

In the past my beef with routine has been this idea of monotony and the only routine that I had was to not have a routine. But in the past year I’ve gotten into a few good personal routines and I’ve come to realize how they can benefit my children and our days (even though I’m still not a big fan of the word – let’s officially call this a rhythm – that is a way better word).

I am still waiting on a few resources to arrive but I think I have finished creating my ideal heartschooling rhythm for the summer and thought I would share it with you all.

Before we get into it, I guess I should back up a few steps and explain what heartschooling is.

I’m sure someone else has used the term “heartschooling” before but I’m not drawing from anyone else’s words or ideas when it comes to this idea of heartschooling. It is something I feel like I need and want to do with my kids and the definition I came up with is as follows:

HEARTSCHOOLING
Heartschooling is teaching and reaching the hearts of our children so they can know the heart of God.
This is done by spending time in God’s word, setting a gentle and loving example for them to follow and showing them how to love and forgive in their daily lives.

With that bit of information, for the rest of the post I will share some ways I plan on going about this.

HABITS

I think we need to start with this one even though it is not the most important item on this list. I am working on instilling some good habits in my children this summer and I really think a regular rhythm or routine will make this a lot easier. I am so out of my element in this area though, I would appreciate any advice.

One thing that I am not a fan of are rewards charts/stickers/jars/etc. I know they work for some kids and families but not for ours, nor do I really care to make them work for us.

That being said, I do think rewards can be motivating and my kids to get some screen time a couple days a week but only once the things I want them to get done are done. These days where they have this screen time the list gets done a lot quicker.

I know the formation of habits will require consistency from me, something I am working on.

Some of the habits I am currently trying to instill in them are things like: getting better at cleaning up after themselves, helping more before and after a meal, getting some of their chores out of the way in the morning, etc.

BIBLE & MEMORY VERSES

This is one of those things that is really the most important but I struggle with doing consistently – with the kids that is, I am fine with studying the Bible on my own but for some reasons have a hard time sticking with Bible reading with the kids.

I did mention in my original heartschooling post that we plan on going through Our 24 Family Ways, I ordered the book and it should arrive early next week. Each week we will be going over a different “way” – each of which include a memory verse so we will follow along with that.

Currently we have been listening to the first week of the Same Page Podcast and memorizing those verses (the also have a passage from Shakespeare, a poem and some US president history in each episode).

I’ve heard really good things about The Life and Faith Field Guide for Parents, the subtitle is: Help Your Kids Learn Practical Life Skills, Develop Essential Faith Habits, and Embrace a Biblical Worldview. I know there are chapters all about teaching children how to read the Bible based on their age and it seems like a really good resource. I hope to also grab this book soon and put some of what I read into action.

IMMERSE OURSELVES IN GOOD LITERATURE

The last few months I feel like I’ve been even more intentional with making sure we are reading good books and listening to good audiobooks. I want my kids to be exposed to characters who love God and are willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Here are just a couple of recommendations:

The Chronicles of Narnia – it has stood the test of time for good reason. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will also be my favorite book in the series.

Frozen Fire – this audio drama is so, so, so good. We’ve listened to a few audio dramas from Lamplighter and have enjoyed them all but this one has been my favorite by far. My kids are 6 and 8 and I think they were a great age for it, though it would also be good for an older crowd (maybe up to 14 or so?).

Redwall series – we listened to the first book on audio and Raeca is currently reading book two, if you have kids that enjoy animal fantasy books, this series is great.

The Wingfeather Saga series – I read this one myself and plan on listening to it with the kids soon. The book is funny and yet has strong good vs. evil, with characters showing real courage and learning to use their gifts to help others.

Christian Heroes Then & Now – fiction books can be great but there is something special about listening to true stories of courage and bravery and this series has some great ones.

EXPLORING GOD’S CREATION

I want to take some intentional time this summer to explore and learn about nature. I bought Exploring Nature with Children last year and am only starting to use it now.

I plan on sharing some snippets of our time with this curriculum over on my personal Instagram in the following weeks, we’ll be starting with Summer Solstice next week, I’m looking forward to diving in!

BEING CREATIVE

I come from a line of crafty women and it appears that trait has been passed down to my daughter. I want to make sure we all work on handicrafts of some sort – things that are useful and are not going to just get thrown out immediately.

Lately Raeca has been making notebooks for her travelers notebook – she’s been taking pages of a phonebook (that for some reason still get dropped off in our neighborhood even though I doubt anyone even uses the things) she then glues decorative pages over top to make the pages sturdier and prettier. I might just have to get her to make a couple of notebooks for mine.

I have lots of other ideas for handicrafts as well and we will experiment with the ideas as needed.

THE RHYTHM

I’ve said so many times over that there is so much that I like about the Charlotte Mason method, but for us, in this season, it’s not the method that we are following, but I still pull so much inspiration from her method. When I look at the rhythm that I want this summer it comes down to this simple idea that Charlotte Mason shared, that each day, each child should have: something to do, something to love and something to think about.

SOMETHING TO DO – the kids have been doing a bit of school work in big curriculum books we recently picked up, they are currently in the stage where they are excited about this because they are already “in” the next grade. They are also doing their daily chores and some days also doing some handicraft stuff.

SOMETHING TO LOVE – we are in a season of learning to love the people in our home, even as we recognize they may have personalities that totally clash with our own. Some days there is more love than others.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT – they are thinking about the stories that we read, the verses we memorize and the nature we learn about.

We may not get to every single thing every day but it has been nice to stop throughout the day and think about just these three things and ask myself if they have had something to do, something to love and something to think about. I find it to be a nice, simple rhythm for summer.

What does your summer rhythm look like? I would love to hear all about it!

The post Our Ideal Summer Heartschooling Rhythm appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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Hey guys, so, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now. Really, ever since I shared what did and didn’t work this past year in our homeschool, but I just had so many other things on my list I needed to get checked off and I just barely sent our stuff in to our school division and now I feel like it is officially summer!

While I told the kids we were done school a month ago (cause I have that authority) I felt like I wasn’t done until those reports were done so now I’m done for the year too!

Except, not really.

While I may declare the year “done” or “started” the truth is, we never stop learning.

I have shared our summer plan for previous years (here and here and then apparently I didn’t make one last year) but this plan is going to look completely different than those ones.

This year instead of having an academic focus I want to have a heart focus. Instead of homeschooling, it will be HEARTschooling.

The summer is the perfect time to make this switch because I feel like during the school year I get so focused on academics and put the things of the heart, the more important things, off on the back burner. But now that we are done for the school year there is nothing to distract me.

We are almost to the point in our family where our oldest is about halfway done her childhood in our home and I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is I want her to have learned during her time here. And you know, it’s not the academics. What I want most for her is to love and obey Christ with her whole heart. It’s what I want for both of my kids.

I want to make that the focus, not only this summer but for the rest of their lives.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

THE PLAN

So really, there isn’t much of a “plan”, but here is what I have so far:

I want to go through Our 24 Family Ways as a family.

I want to regularly memorize verses with the kids.

I want to live life with them and constantly point them to Jesus.

I want to read books with them that show of God’s power.

I want to admit my faults and my need for Jesus.

I want to get excited about nature and the creativity of the Creator and share that excitement with my kids.

I want to make sure I am spending time in the Word so it will naturally pour out of me.

So, that’s pretty much my “plan” for the summer. Maybe I’ll update halfway through or at the end of the summer and share some more specifics on how it is going.

Do you have any suggestions for heart schooling? I would love to hear them!

The post Our Homeschool Summer Plan – Teaching the Heart appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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For the month of June I will be sharing a variety of the best nature books and resources over on Instagram.

Because Instagram doesn’t allow links in posts I am also going to keep a running list of the resources I share here.

If you have some great nature resources to share I would love for you to join in throughout the month over on Instagram, just use the hashtag: #homeschoolingwithnature and tag me (@intentionalhomeschooling) so I can see and share your posts!

You can also go ahead and pin this post so you can come back and access it at a later date.

To see the resources first follow along on Instagram and then check back here during the first week of June for the beginnings of the list!

NATURE STUDY BOOKS

Coming soon!

NATURE STUDY RESOURCES

Coming soon!

SUGGESTED BY OTHER HOMESCHOOL PARENTS

Coming soon!

The post The Best Nature Study Resources appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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Today I have another monthly picture book to share. We are on to June which means the year is nearly half over!

For this month’s list I decided to mainly go with a water theme.

Since the weather has warmed up here we’ve been spending a lot of time at a local pond looking to see what kind of animals we can find. We’ve found lots of birds, feathers, lots of bugs, including this awesome water beetle:

If you are looking for some great books to guide you on your water adventures, read on!

Plus a couple of oddball summer books that I had to include because they are awesome, even though they don’t fit the theme at all.

I will add books to this list as I find more great ones that fit the topic, be sure to pin it so you can find it again in years to come.

The Best Picture Books for June

We love all the books in this series!

Over and Under the Pond

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered…over and under the pond.

I love this “one small square” series!

Pond

Fish and fungi, plants and protists, mammals and monera all seem to get along swimmingly in and around the peaceful-looking pond environment. But a closer look at a small square reveals an ever-changing world. . .home to a larger variety of creatures and goings-on than you’d ever imagine, even in just a drop of its water! This beautifully illustrated “you are there” science book–part of the critically acclaimed One Small Square series–is brimming over with fun-to-do experiments and activities for children ages 7 and up. Includes a pond field guide, a glossary-index, and a resource list.

Pond

The joy of the seasons, the wonder of discovery, and the appreciation and respect for the natural world is at the heart of this book, drawn from the childhood of award-winning illustrator Jim LaMarche.

When Matt is out for a late winter hike he sees a trickle of water in the old deserted and junk filled dirt pit at the edge of his neighborhood. With quiet appreciation, Matt can imagine the pond that must once have been there, shining in the early spring light, freezing in the winter for skating and the perfect place for swimming in the summer.

Can Matt’s discovery transform a forgotten pond to its natural wonder? With his idea of making the pond whole again, Matt rallies his friends, Katie and Pablo, and together they work through the spring, clearing debris, moving rocks to hold the water, and looking for leaks. But would there be enough water to fill the pond? Can they bring the pond back?

This is such a great book for using on your pond adventures!

Be a Pond Detective: Solving the Mysteries of Lakes, Swamps, and Pools

From the life cycle of mosquitoes to the many uses and varieties of pond plants, naturalist and artist Peggy Kochanoff takes young readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour of life in and around a freshwater pond. Full of detailed illustrations and clear answers to creative questions, Be a Pond Detective is the perfect way to discover the nature mysteries in your own backyard!

Gail Gibbons writes some of the best non-fiction children’s books!

Frogs

From tiny tadpoles to master jumpers, frogs get an exciting introduction in this detailed picture book.

Did you know that frogs can jump ten times their body length? How about that frog eggs are encased in jellylike coverings that make them too slippery to be eaten by predators? Discover these facts and more in this brightly illustrated addition to any non-fiction collection. Frogs are unique creatures that play an important role to the environment, making them an important topic in any educational setting. Plus, there are over 3,800 different kinds!

The Brilliant Deep

All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world’s coral reefs—with hammer and glue, and grafts of newly grown coral—are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer in this brilliant tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.

The Web at Dragonfly Pond

A boy goes fishing with his father and describes the interrelationships among the insects and animals he encounters, from the mosquito that bites him to the dragonflies, bullfrogs, and fish that he finally catches and eats.

Water is Water

Drip. Sip. Pour me a cup. Water is water unless…it heats up.
Whirl. Swirl. Watch it curl by. Steam is steam unless…it cools high.

This spare, poetic picture book follows a group of kids as they move through all the different phases of the water cycle. From rain to fog to snow to mist, talented author Miranda Paul and the always remarkable Jason Chin combine to create a beautiful and informative journey in this innovative nonfiction picture book that will leave you thirsty for more.

The Flower Fairies series are some of my favorite poetry books so I had to include them on this list!

Flower Fairies of the Summer

First published in the 1920s, Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairies books have been loved for generations. The book features poems and full-color illustrations of over 20 flowers and their guardian fairies.

We love the Brambly Hedge books and since summer officially starts in June I needed to add it here.

Summer Story

It was such a hot summer. They sky was deep blue and the sun never faltered. All along Brambly Hedge, the mice did their best to keep cool. Poppy Eyebright sought refuge in the mossy shadows of the mill wheel; Dusty Dogwood took to walking by the banks of the cooling stream. Dusty and Poppy spent more and more time together, so no one was at all surprised when they announced their engagement. They decided on a very unusual setting for the wedding ceremony, but even they didn’t realize just how unusual it was prove to be!

The post The Best Picture Books for June appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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Hello fellow book lovers!

A couple of weeks ago we got our Intentional Family apparel in and I’m excited to show off the first design “we” came up with!

I say “we” because honestly, this was all her.

Yes, my eight year old sat down to think of shirt designs and came up with “just one more chapter” and an image of a book.

Be still my book loving heart.

When the shirts came in (after she immediately grabbed a book and sat down) I took her out to grab a few photos and she says “they usually stand like this” and then poses for me, how does she even know this stuff?

Also, I did something new-to-me when ordering her shirt: I bought her a women’s shirt.

I was looking at the sizing on the tees and the youth size I was looking at for her was the same as the women’s but the women’s was more slim so I went ahead and ordered the ladies small. I mean, it’s still big on her but seriously, this is a momentous occasion. (The tees do run a little small, I ordered a large for myself and it’s none too big and I’m normally a medium. Definitely look at the sizing, the baseball tees are different sizing and I think I would order a medium in those.)

Anyway, the shirts were fun to design and we may think of more book-ish designs in the future.

In the meantime, if you want to order a book-ish shirt for yourself you can do so here.

If you’ve got a book-ish friend with a birthday coming up may I suggest a shirt as a gift? (Or there are even bags, blankets, notebooks and towels!)

The post Just One More Chapter appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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I am really excited to share today’s book review with you!

So, I have one reader and one not-quite-a-reader-yet-but-listens-to-a-lot-of-audiobooks, both of them have loved the Magic Tree House series, my daughter has read almost all of them and listened to tons on audio and my son has listened to a number of the books on audio.

If you are wondering why I am talking about the Magic Tree House when I’m reviewing a different book, here’s why: I think if your kids love the Magic Tree House books (as most kids do) they are going to love The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series.

I was sent The Beginning, book 1 in The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series by author M. J. Thomas and was asked to review it. Now, here’s what you need to know about my book reviews: I actually share what I think about the book. I don’t try to sugarcoat things or praise books I don’t really like, that’s not a helpful book review at all.

So, even though I was sent this book to review I didn’t promise to only write nice things, it just so happens this book is one I would highly recommend, but you can read the full review to decide if it’s right for you.

THE STORY

The series follows siblings Peter and Mary (plus their dog Hank), in this first book their parents have just dropped them off at their great-until Solomon’s house for a month. The kids uncover a set of ancient scrolls in a secret room and are transported back to the beginning of the world.

They spend a week watching the world and earth being created and trying to solve the secret of the scroll before the seven days are over or they will get stuck in the past forever.

Throughout the series the kids (and Hank) are transported to different key moments in biblical history.

WHAT I LIKED

NARNIAN – The first chapter where the kids are dropped of at great-uncle Solomon’s house feels very Narnian, it reminds me of the kids arriving at the Professors house.

HUMOR – There was some fun humor in the book, I actually laughed out loud when reading this paragraph in the first chapter:

All Peter knew was that his Great-Uncle Solomon didn’t know anything about kids. The last time they had seen him, four Christmases ago, he had given them each a new toothbrush.

CREATION IN A NEW LIGHT – I have no idea how many times I’ve read the story of creation in the Bible, many, many times, and it’s such a short section I find myself skimming through when I read it and not stopping to really think about it. This book made me pause and think about what it really would have been like at each point in creation and really brought the story to life.

EASY TO READ – At a grade 1-3 reading level these books make great first chapter books for kids.

ADOPTION – It’s just a brief mention but there is mention of Mary being adopted from China and as an adoptive mom it’s nice to see that in books.

REFERENCES – At the end of the book there is a page that lists the Bible chapters and passages the book is based off of so kids can go and read them straight from the Bible themselves.

WHO I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO

This book was an easy and fun read and I think it would be great for kids in grades 1-3, especially those who love Narnia or the Magic Tree House books.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and hope they bring the Bible to life as much as this one did. If you’re curious, here are the other titles in the series:

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark, Book 2 – the trio must rush to help Noah and his family finish the ark before the coming flood.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Great Escape, Book 3 – Peter, Mary and Hank journey to ancient Egypt where they see firsthand the devastation of the plagues.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Journey to Jericho, Book 4 – they join the Israelite spies on a mission to Jericho as the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd s Stone, Book 5 – they travel to Bethlehem, where they befriend a young shepherd named David and witness the epic fight between David and Goliath.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion’s Roar, Book 6 – This one is being released June 4th! In Peter and Mary’s sixth adventure, the Hidden Scrolls take them back to ancient Babylon, where Daniel is about to get thrown into the lions’ den.

If you read the books let me know what you think of them!

The post The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls – Book Review appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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For those of you that have kids in the preschool and/or kindergarten stage (or are going to soon), I have an amazing deal for you today!

Back in the winter we (over at Intentional Bundles) launched our first ever Early Learning Mini Bundle. It included over $175 products and was sold for just $15.

Of course, we can’t have that kind of deal on forever so it was only around for a week, so a lot of people missed out.

But, here’s the good news: for the next two days it’s back!

That’s right, until Wednesday at 9pm PST you can grab over $175 in products for just $15 right here.

Make sure you don’t miss it again. Check out the bundle.

 

The post The Best Deal for Those Teaching Preschool or Kindergarten appeared first on Intentional Homeschooling.

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