Posted on

Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February

great books to read with your kids in february

February is full of days that give us the opportunity to introduce some incredible books to kids. From Groundhog’s day, Valentine’s day, President’s day and more, the possibilities keep on piling up. To help you find some new gems for your library, I have put together a list of great books to read with your kids in February.

Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February-This month is full of days that give us the opportunity to introduce some incredible books to kids. Here are great books to read with your kids in February!

Reading aloud to and with your kids is important. Not only does it give them the ability to expand their language skills but it also gives us a chance to teach our kids about different subjects and situations.  The only hard part about reading to your kids is discovering new (and old) favorites. This list will help you find the perfect choices for your family so you can get down to the important part… reading stories.

Great Books to Read in February

Groundhog’s Day Off: This story starts with the groundhog going on vacation. But who will take his spot when it is time to predict the end of winter?

Groundhog’s Dilemma: All of the animals in the forest believe that groundhog can control the weather. But once the weather doesn’t change, groundhog has to tell them the truth.

The Story of Snow The Science of Winter’s Wonderland: If your kids have ever asked you about how a snowflake forms or how does it get so cold, this book is the perfect way to get the answer to all of those questions.

Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sweet nothings are paired up with the adorable illustrations of Eric Carle. The perfect Valentine’s day book for any kiddo of every age.

I Love You to the Moon and Back: An adorable way to show your kids just how much you love them.

     

&

Foxy in Love: Find out just what Valentine’s day means thanks to Foxy and his creative way.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!: From the author that brought you; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, brings another adorable tale to the table with this Valentine’s day story.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!: Get ready for some giggles with this fun book.

I Love You Stinky Face: A hilarious book that shows just how much a mom can love their children…. even if they are swamp monsters.

    

&

A Picture Book of Rosa Parks: This book follows Rosa Park’s life from childhood to adulthood. It is a great way to take an indepth look into her life. For younger kiddos, I am Rosa Parks, is the perfect way to introduce this incredible women.

President’s Day: A great story about a play that kids put on during class to learn about the Presidents of the United States. The story also ends with an election that takes place in the classroom.

Thomas Jefferson for Kids: Learn all about Thomas Jefferson and how he came to be President.

Jurassic Classics: The Presidential Masters of Prehistory: This book brings dinosaurs and presidents together to share a story during prehistoric times. I know everyone will laugh at some of these characters names including Theodore Rexevelt and Abraham Lincolnator.

Animals Hibernating: How do animals survive during the winter? Discover the answers in this book.

      

&

The Hibernating House: Step inside the hibernating house where things change every season and a family makes memories.

Baby Bear’s Not Hibernating: Read this book to find out what happens when baby bear decides hibernating isn’t for him.

Over and Under the Snow: Go on a cross country ski trip where you will discover what animals are hibernating under the snow.

Animals in Winter: This classic book has been given a makeover. A must have for every home library.

Hibernation Station: This is a good book to introduce younger kids to hibernating animals. A sweet story that will hopefully help your kiddo fall asleep at night.

The Little House Collection: Since Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday is in February, this gives us the perfect opportunity to read the Little House books.

      

&

I can’t wait to get started on this list! There are so many wonderful books ready to be devoured. 

More Great Book Suggestions:

      

&

 Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February

default avatar
Latest posts by Colleen Kessler (see all)
Posted on

Books for Animal Lovers

books for animal lovers

Whether we’re strewing or following an interest-led unit study, I love having stacks of books around on topics my kiddos are excited about. We’ve gone through some pretty interesting obsessions, spent years following rabbit trails, and immersed ourselves in a pretty varied number of topics. One of the most enduring interests, however, has been animals.

Whether it was oohing and ahhing as toddlers or memorizing interesting facts to spout off at the dentist’s office, animals have always been an easy interest to embrace. There seems to be no limit to species, habitats, diets, and more to learn about, so animals are a solid choice for unit studies, science subjects, gifts, art projects, or just entertainment! I’ve pulled together lists of books that range from educational to entertaining, something for the toddler and the teenager, books that are breathtaking to look at and interesting to read. Go wild! 

 books for animal lovers

Books for Animal Lovers to Learn More

Not all animal books are created equal, as any animal lover will attest to. Often they’re full of colorful photos and short paragraphs, but nothing new to feed the interests of a creature nut. The Horse Encyclopedia is a beautiful volume covering everything from the history of horses to their care and breed standards. A fun and quirky book, The Truth About Animals is packed full of interesting – and sometimes hilarious – stories about how animals behave outside of cute viral clips. Vanishing is a stunning book featuring vulnerable and endangered species that will surely be appreciated by the most avid of animal lovers. A gorgeous gift, An Anthology of Intriguing Animals is full of great information, where on the other end of the spectrum is Ugly Animals, a hilariously fun and interesting book packed with less attractive members of the animal kingdom and wildly interesting facts about them. Another interesting angle is The Wildlife Detectives, which details the science of overpopulation and how ecosystems can be affected by just one species.

      

Books Featuring Animals as the Main Character

There is something so comforting and timeless about snuggling up to enjoy a tale told by a character with a tail. Many beloved stories of my own youth featured animals as the main characters, and I’ve loved sharing them with my family and finding new classics! Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH begins a trilogy of lovable and gifted rats that are downright human. More recent favorites, The One and Only Ivan and The One and Only Bob are moving and engaging stories of animals experiencing emotions we can all relate to. As a bonus, The One and Only Ivan was recently adapted into a movie! The Redwall series is packed full of action, historical fantasy, and lovable rodents, with so many books that your animal lover will be engrossed for months. A fun and lovable classic, The Cricket in Times Square is a must read, and Call of the Wild graphic novel is a unique way to enjoy another standby animal story. One of my own favorites as a child, Black Beauty has sequals, numerous movie adaptations, and a beautiful story. Something new and fun, The Finn Chronicles: Year One is a quirky collection of stories told from the perspective of a therapy dog. My own animal-loving kiddos loved Pax and the enormous collection of Guardians of Ga’Hoole books, another series that will enthrall for months on end. 

         

Books for Young Animal Lovers

It’s a simple fact – kids love animals. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids of all ages are entertained and excited by furry, flying, scaly creatures. The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids offers tons of interesting photos and facts, and Jake the Growling Dog uses a pup to discuss emotions and the control we have over them. Perfect for the youngest of animal fans, First 100 Animals and the  Alpha Tales box set are colorful and educational, promising plenty of repeat readings. After Dark is full of poems about nocturnal creatures, and the DK readers like All About Bats are great resources for emerging readers who love animals.

      

If you’ve got an animal lover in your life, you’ll want to snap up several of these titles! Whether you use them to entertain or educate, your whole family will be certain to enjoy them. Use them in a strewing stack, a morning basket, as an animal unit spine, or just the fun of reading a good book together. Enjoy learning about so many interesting creatures, and be sure to let me know in the comments what books for animal lovers you’ve enjoyed!

books for animal lovers

More resources are now available for your child, and for you!

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children with intensities and help you as you help your child learn and grow. We provide resources just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them copy and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

default avatar
Latest posts by Jennifer Vail (see all)
Posted on

Magnificent Middle Ages Resources

magnificent middle ages resources

We love unit studies in our homeschool, and one of the most enjoyable and in-depth studies we’ve ever done has been a full-on dive into the middle ages. From the intricacies of the feudal system to the innovation and art, the middle ages have plenty to throw yourself into and learn about. I’m sharing some of our favorite books and topics from the days of yore to help you feel like you’re walking the streets of medieval Europe, no heavy chain mail required!

 middle ages resources

Non-Fiction Books

There are stacks and stacks of fantastic books to devour when learning more about the middle ages, so it’s hard to narrow down some of our favorites. Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages is one of a great series of books telling the stories of often-overlooked historical figures, from all regions of the world. Another favorite series of ours are the Horrible Histories books, and the Measly Middle Ages entry gave us the good, bad, and ugly history that we’ve come to expect. While exploring what life was like during the medieval time period, books like How to Read Medieval Art and Children and Games in the Middle Ages give unique and interesting information. No history book list would be complete without the You Wouldn’t Want to Be… series, and You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Medieval Knight is a wonderful addition to your collection. For older learners, The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England gives incredibly realistic and engrossing descriptions of life during the middle ages.

      

Middle Age Fiction

Historical fiction is one of the most enjoyable aspects of a history unit. We love gathering up for a read aloud and immersing ourselves in the world and lives of iconic characters. For something fun and different, The Three Musketeers graphic novel is engaging and entertaining. Catherine, Called Birdy is a classic, along with The Adventures of Robin Hood, Adam of the Road, The Door in the Wall, and, of course, King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.

      

Medieval Rabbit Trails

We love rabbit trails around here, especially with my love for self-directed learning. The middle ages offers a near-endless list of topics to explore, such as ink-making (which we read more about in the gorgeously-illustrated The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane), the beautiful work of scribes and monks (seen and explained in Calligraphy of the Middle Ages and How to Do It), and the beauty of illuminated texts, such as those shown in Toward a Global Middle Ages, which offers perspective from around the world. The Medieval Warrior was a big hit here, full of medieval weaponry and battle tactics to pore over, and The Story and Language of Heraldry is a surprisingly interesting tenet of the caste system and knighthood. And while I’ve already shared one from the series, You Wouldn’t Want to Work on a Medieval Cathedral has too much fantastic information on cathedrals and their construction to leave out!

      

The middle ages was a time of beauty, invention, learning, and a whole lot more. Don’t be afraid to devote an entire school year to reading, projects, more reading, and more projects as you dive down the medieval rabbit trail!

default avatar
Latest posts by Colleen Kessler (see all)
Posted on

Fun Language Arts Additions

fun language arts additions

As a writer, I don’t hate language arts. While I didn’t always know this was what I’d do, I was always engaged during language arts class and had a deep love for reading, writing, and, to my friends’ dismay, correcting grammar. But having always been so comfortable with language and writing, it can sometimes slip my mind that not all of my kiddos are naturally strong or drawn to it. In fact, some of my kiddos are bored by it.

Maybe you’ve got a bookworm whose love of words bleeds over into a comfort with language arts. Maybe you’ve got a reluctant writer or a kiddo who is in such a hurry to get their thoughts out that they can’t be bothered to worry about spelling. Maybe you’ve got a twice-exceptional kiddo working through a language-based learning difference. Whoever you have in your homeschool, language arts doesn’t have to be a chore, a bore, or a battle. Check out these fun resources and tools I’ve found to help add some smiles while studying similes! 

 language arts

Fun to Write

Writing seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it subjects with school-aged kiddos. Sadly, many more of them seem to lean more towards the “hate it” camp. Some of these resources are so fun that they could be seen as downright tricking your kiddo into writing, but we’ll keep that between us. Revolting Writing, while full of potty humor and gross-out writing prompts, keeps kids engaged by teaching vocabulary words that make them giggle and providing scenarios they’ll want to write, if for nothing else than the humor. Once Upon a Pancake and Finish This Book are like beefed-up Mad Libs, providing a structure and encouraging the child to create a fleshed-out story on their own. Of course, Mad Libs themselves are a fun way to play with language and review the parts of speech. Encourage your kiddos to get creative with their descriptions and story-telling with blank comic book strips, too! Equal parts writing and keepsake, the Q&A a Day Journal is a fantastic way to start every day with writing that’s meaningful. 

      

Fun to Play

We’re big fans of gameschooling in our homeschool. Adding in an element of fun or competition always seems to draw in the most reluctant learner! Boggle is a classic game to help practice and build spelling skills, and reading comprehension dice are an active and engaging way to discuss the books you read together. Metaphors, similes, adjectives, prepositions… the Figurative Language in a Jar and Grammar in a Jar games are easy and travel-friendly ways to practice elements of language arts that don’t always show up in fun ways. No homeschool is complete without Story Cubes, which are fantastic for creative writing prompts and imaginative story telling. One of my favorite aspects of language arts is learning synonyms, which can be practiced with games like Don’t Say It!, where players must think of alternative words… or else! 

      

Fun to Read

Explore and understand punctuation with books like Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers, or Twenty-Odd Ducks, that take black and white grammar rules and turn them into colorful, memorable stories. If you’re diving into classic literature, check out Guinea Pig Classics for a fun synopsis, like this version of Pride and Prejudice told with captivating cavies! Language arts is about so much more than just memorizing rules, it’s about learning to enjoy words and stories. Ella Minnow Pea is one of those stories, using brilliant language and techniques to enthrall readers and deepen a love for what can be done with language. If You Were an Antonym is another fun story, using pictures and examples to explain just what an opposite word is!

      

Language arts may seem dull, what with all the rules and red lines, but at the heart of it all is creativity – the ability to rearrange a finite number of characters into infinite words and stories. I know not everyone will join me in my natural enthusiasm for it, but these resources are sure to sway more than a few reluctant kiddos. 

language arts

default avatar
Latest posts by Colleen Kessler (see all)