Our August Reads (2018)

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A new learning year has begun, and we’re well underway.  While formal book work does occupy a portion of our day, the enjoyment of good literature and the study of the world around us is also being given equal exploration. In the midst of all the adventure, it’s time to share which reads we’ve enjoyed during the month of August.

We’ve broken down our list into categories and included our personal rating from zero to five stars. To read more about a particular book, simply click the title!

Learning Resources:

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  • Basic Economics (Thomas Sowell) – This is the revised and enlarged edition of a new kind of introduction to economics for the general public-without graphs, statistics, or jargon. In addition to being updated, Basic Economics has also become more internationalized by including economic problems from more countries around the world, because the basic principles of economics are not confined by national borders.
  • Imprimis– A free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College and is dedicated to educating citizens and promoting civil and religious liberty by covering cultural, economic, political, and educational issues. The content of Imprimis is drawn from speeches delivered to Hillsdale College-hosted events.
  • A New Literary History of America (Greil Marcus) – In more than two hundred original essays, “A New Literary History of America” brings together the nations many voices. From the first conception of a New World in the sixteenth century to the latest re-envisioning of that world in cartoons, television, science fiction, and hip hop, the book gives us a new, kaleidoscopic view of what Made in America means. Literature, music, film, art, history, science, philosophy, political rhetoric cultural creations of every kind appear in relation to each other, and to the time and place that give them shape.
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Children’s Books:

  • Iron Giant (Ted Hughes) – An iron giant saves the world in this contemporary classic.
  • The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls : Journey to Jericho (M.J. Thomas) – Our time-traveling trio journeys to an ancient desert to find the Israelites preparing to enter the Promised Land. With limited time to solve the secret of the scroll, Peter, Mary, and Hank go on a spy mission to Jericho; sneak Rahab to safety; and ultimately face the scheming “man in black” as the walls of the city begin to crumble.

Parenting & Educator Helps:

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  • Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying (Barbara Oakley) – A surprisingly simple way for students to master any subject–based on one of the world’s most popular online courses and the bestselling book A Mind for Numbers.
  • The Read-Aloud Handbook (Jim Trelease) – This new edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook imparts the benefits, rewards, and importance of reading aloud to children of a new generation. Supported by delightful anecdotes as well as the latest research, The Read-Aloud Handbook offers proven techniques and strategies—and the reasoning behind them—for helping children discover the pleasures of reading and setting them on the road to becoming lifelong readers.
  • The Read-Aloud Family (Sarah Mackenzie) – Founder of the immensely popular Read-Aloud Revival podcast, Sarah knows first-hand how reading can change a child’s life. In The Read-Aloud Family, she offers the inspiration and age-appropriate book lists you need to start a read-aloud movement in your own home.

How are we rating these reads? Good question! If the book has a five, whether learning or for fun, it’s clean and we want it on our bookshelf permanently. Four stars are sorely tempting us, but as our local library carries them we’re in luck. Three stars are worth a look, but we don’t see ourselves reading them too often. Two stars were entertaining, but once was enough. One star was acceptable. And zero. Well, it’s zero.

What to be on the lookout for… 

  • The three reads under “Learning Resources” are currently being employed in our daily routine. They add so much to our studies I cannot imagine doing school without them. Imprimis is an incredible free resource. If you do not currently hold a subscription, we highly recommend getting one.
  • Both “Children’s Books” reads were a great deal of fun. We had never read Iron Giant before, having only ever watched the movie. It was interesting to read the book for the first time and have an open discussion on them both. As always, Mr. M.J. Thomas has delighted us with another fantastic book in the Hidden Scrolls series. We can’t wait for the next book!
  • Learning How to Learn… was an interesting read. There were a multitude of tips on how to get the most of your learning time and a great deal of information regarding brain development. All-in-all a good read.
  • And a confession… I had never read The Read-Aloud Handbook or The Read-Aloud Family before. Not once. I do a great deal of reading aloud; always have. I’ve just never picked up these two volumes. I do not know as I learned anything new, but at least now I can say I’ve read them both and agree wholeheartedly with their perspectives.

With a return to formal book studies, classic literature is being explored in a major way and there’s more fun on the way. Join us again during the month of September as we explore a world of books and the adventure of reading. What will we read next?

We’re curious… With school activities picking up during the coming month, will finding time to read be a challenge in your home?

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”
~ Psalm 101:3

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