The Book Whisperer – Part Two


Here in Texas we have a very early Spring Break – it is next week!  We’ve decided to go exploring a bit and are going to see what we can find in Arkansas.  What I am really looking forward to is shutting off the kids’ phones for a few days.  I figure that this is a family vacation and their friends do not need to come along.
   I began this blog post in 2014!  I found it while searching for my original Book Whisperer… It only contained these two photos which are straight out of my old Family Home Evening scrapbook.  They are from 1999 and contain a list of some of the books that we had been reading aloud… OH!  How I wish I had kept that list going!  Anyway, reading the original Book Whisperer post was fun.
My sister, Lori,  just asked me what we are doing for Book Whisperer now… I am glad she didn’t ask me much sooner since I finally got my act together just a couple weeks ago.  I’ll explain our new program right after I report on our first one.
We began in September of 2014 and officially ended last summer.  Kimberly wanted to be done by the end of the school year and she did it.  Mark and I completed ours soon afterward with David and Natalie following up this past fall – mostly finishing up I think.  IT WAS GREAT!  The fact that we were required to read was wonderful!  It meant that there was always a book nearby and I reawakened my old habit of reading before I fall asleep.   In fact, everyone was going to bed sooner so that they would have time to read when possible.  We had a lot of quiet evenings as we sat together reading – when does that happen if you aren’t Book Whisperers?

When Lori texted me her question
I looked up and there was Kimberly
reading “Standing Next to History”
A fun book we have all shared about
the Secret Service during the
Reagan years.  How we miss
Ronald Reagan!

The other really positive aspect of our program was that we were required to read so many different genres.  They included Realistic Fiction (5 books), Fantasy/Science Fiction (5), Biography (5), Historical Fiction (5), Mystery/Western (4), Informational (4), Poetry (2) and My Choice (10).  This really worked to broaden the scope of my reading.  It also gave me permission to read some really fun books – before this I felt that I should be reading all “informational” books – and they can get rather boring.  Another aspect I loved… we shared books.  Someone would read and recommend a book and we could all pass it around over the next month or two.
  I had intended to report on some of the books that I read, but I cannot find my list – when I find it I will write about it.  For now, I will share our new plan:
This time around we aren’t counting books, we are counting pages.  We can read a lot of small books, one large one.and anything in-between   (Natalie just pulled out the unabridged Les Miserables which should fill her Historical Fiction requirement by itself… ) We will each read a minimum of 1,500 pages in the following genre:  Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Biography, Information and Historical Fiction.  We will also have 3,000 pages in My Choice.
A new twist… This time we have to write.  Yes, write… and I heard more than a few grumbles about this.  I bought the set of Moleskine notebooks from Costco – a little nicer to write in than composition books.  Inside of each book is the record sheet (since I kept losing my last one… seriously, once I found it outside in my backyard?!?) and the new rules.  We just have to write a short report on each book and what we learned.  I know… this kind of defeats the purpose of the Book Whisperer -reading-for-the-joy-of-reading… but last time there wasn’t a prize.  This time we have prizes… and it isn’t hard writing – more of a record that I wished I had from before.  What if I had written down a few notes on every book I have ever read? What a treasure (for myself)!  So… we will be writing.
  Kimberly has a big head start since she finished our last program in June 2015 and hasn’t quit reading.  I explained this new program to her at the time… but (this will make everyone feel better) – I didn’t get around to making these books and explaining it to everyone else until last weekend (Feb 2016).    Oh well, that’s the way it goes…
So – next week is Spring Break (without  friends texting).  The sunshine which has been so beautiful and present each day is going to be hiding behind some clouds/rain. We will be in Arkansas… and just in case rainy Arkansas doesn’t keep us busy… we all have instructions to pack a couple books!  Let the games begin!

For more information search for my first Book Whisperer post – or Google “Book Whisperer” and learn about this incredible teacher.  It is inspiring!

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