50 Chapter Books Down!

Monday, September 28, 2015

I am so excited!  We just finished our 50th chapter book.  When we started this chapter book challenge a year and nine months ago, I had no idea that this time during our day would become my favorite time during our day. It has become the part of the day that I look the most forward to.  I love settling on the couch together and opening the pages of our book to see where the story will take us. Our past 50 books have taken us to The Hundred Acre Woods, Narnia, and the deep south in the 1930's. We have read survival tales, stories about man's best friend, and about children who hold the incredible power to make a difference.  We have covered divorce, abuse, adoption, racism, autism, bullying, disabilities, and death. And every single book we have read together has opened doors for discussions that may have been difficult, uncomfortable, light, or  even silly.

I cannot wait to see where our next 50 books will take us!

Here is the list of books we have read so far:

  1. Matilda By Roald Dahl
  2. From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler By E.L. Konigsburg
  3. Ramona Forever By Beverly Cleary
  4. The Boxcar Children By Gertrude Chandler Warner
  5. Little Cabin in the Woods By Laura Ingalls Wilder
  6. Freckle Juice By Judy Blume
  7. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective By Donald J. Sobol
  8. Nate the Great By Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 
  9. Three Tales of My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  10. Holes By Louis Sachar
  11. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  12. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  13. Stuart Little by E.B. White
  14. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  15. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
  16. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
  17. George's Marvelous Medicine By Roald Dahl
  18. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
  19. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
  20. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  21. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
  22. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  23. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
  24. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  25. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  26. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  27. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Crowell
  28. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson                                                 
   Finished in 2014
29. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
30. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
31. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
32. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
33. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
34. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
35. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
36. The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
37. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
38. Winnie-the-Pooh By A.A. Milne
39. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
40. Frindle by Andrew Clements
41. Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Cleary
42. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
43. Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
44. The Field Guide: Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
45. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
46. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
47. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
48. Loser by Jerry Spinelli
49. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
50. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor


At the end of 2014, I wrote a post about my top 5 books for the year.  Four out of the Five were books I had never heard of before our reading challenge.  You can read that post HERE

If you are interested in making read a part of your routine, I recommend a blog that I just recently found out about.  Amongst Lovely Things Read Aloud Revival Podcast.  It is so encouraging and a great way to help you introduce reading into your day.  

And if you want to see an amazing story about what positive outcome reading can have in your child's life, listen to the podcast by Author Alice Ozma.  I was one minute into the podcast and had tears streaming down my face.  Reading can have a HUGE impact on your child's life.  Her story is heartwarming, so check out The Reading Promise

Now it's time for us to start book #51!  Happy Reading.

What are your favorite books from our list so far?  

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Week in Review: Week 7, September 14-20, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Attentive is our virtue of the week and boy, is this one we need to work on.  "I am not...forgetful, or distracting, and I don't ignore or interrupt."  Being distracting is a problem with my boys. They always want to get their brothers to laugh, which causes my blood pressure to rise.  I want them to have fun during our school time, but I also want them to listen and be respectful during teaching time. This is a virtue that is going to need a lot of work. 

Morning Work

Morning work packets are still going well.  The boys are continuing to work hard and get their work completed by Thursday night in order to have some free time in the morning on Friday.  

Tea on Tuesday

I was very excited about Tea on Tuesday this week.  I started a Tea on Tuesday group here in Bangkok with members from our homeschool co-op.  I was sending letters to the States almost every week and we loved that our co-op back in the States included us, but it was getting pretty costly.  I asked my co-op here and we had a total of 6 families interested.  We will be exchanging poetry every week and I will also be adding in additional poetry lessons with the boys.  

This week was about the circus to go along with the FIAR book that Britton was reading.  The boys had clown cupcakes and tea for a treat. 

 100 Book Challenge: Book #50

We are still working on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The book is getting really intense and the boys are interested in the story.  This is book covers the deepest topic we have read so far, and it continues to bring up great discussions with the boys.



We took the whole week to learn about Vermont this week.  There were so many fun topics to cover that we could not get to everything in one day.  We started off learning a few facts about Vermont.

We learned that Vermont is one of the largest Maple Syrup producers in the United States, so we read a couple books on how syrup is made. 

 We compared artificial syrup to real maple syrup.  There is just no comparison!

We watched a Postcards from Buster about Maple Syrup.

Here is the episode

We learned about Lake Champlain and the Champ sightings.  The boys had a Champ snack one day. 

 We watched a Monster Quest about the Lake Champlain Monster.

 We finished the week with Vermont's best ice cream, Ben & Jerry's Half-baked.

Yes, that says 299 Baht.  Do you know how much that is?  Almost $10!!  This is why it was the boy's first time trying this ice cream.


                                                Working on shapes in Spanish.

 Making Popsicle stick shapes 

 They had to write the English and Spanish name of the shape on the sticks. 

FIAR- Mirette on the High Wire

This week we rowed Mirette in the High Wire.  It's a sweet story about a young girl in France who meets a retired wire walker and become his protégé. In the process of Mirette learning to walk the wire, she pushes Bellini to face his fears. I love the relationship Mirette and Bellini develop throughout the story.

We found France on the map. 

We read a story on boastfulness. In Mirette, Mirette boasts that she will never fall again. We read this Caribbean tale about how others feel when you boast.

This story was a little hard to follow, but Britton understood because at the end when the frog lost all of his color, I looked over at him and he was tearing up. He was so upset that the frog lost all of his color. He had the sweetest heart. It was not the reaction I thought he would have at all. He understood by the end that boasting can hurt friendships and feelings.

We learned about balance and the water in your ears. We put water in a bottle with glitter and spun in circle. It demonstrated how the liquid in your ears continues to move even after you stop spinning and makes you feel dizzy.

Trying to balance on the masking tape after spinning. 

We watched a Bill Nye all about balance.

We also watched a video about Nik Wallenda, the man who crossed Niagara Falls in 2012. We also learned that his grandfather lost his life after a fall from the high wire. 

We made a little clothes pin guy to balance on a high wire. Britton loved playing with this little guy. Inspiration from this photo. No link. 

We watched a video on Niagara Falls. Bellini crossed Niagara Falls on a high wire in our story. 

Water coloring a photo from the book. The book has beautiful water color illustrations. 

Practicing a little high wire walking on the balance beam. 

We finished our week with crepes, omelets, and hot cocoa. 

We even made funnel cakes to go along with the "circus" theme. 

Artist Study- Georgia O'Keefe

 Finished O'Keefe flower paintings.  Idea HERE

 Finished O'Keefe skull paintings. Idea HERE

 Artwork from the past two weeks


The boys have loved their chemistry unit. Here they are learning what chemical change takes place in a marshmallow when heat is added.  

Special Moments

                                         A sweet friend brought us a yummy lunch. 

 I made my favorite Burmese Salad.  It's called Lahpet Thoke and it is fermented tea leaves.  So delicious. 

 We got a good laugh out of this crazy squirrel.

And the school room at the end of the week. 

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Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschooler's Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up
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