Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Reading Baskets

We have a number of reading baskets around our house. Two of them are actual baskets. About 6 years ago, I got an inexpensive coffee table and end table from Big Lots (they were on sale for $25 for both. They are laminate, and six years later, have their share of evidence of lots of children in the house.) The coffee table has three slots for baskets, and the end table has one slot. Now, three years before, I had ordered a set of Pottery Barn baskets in a honey color. The first set that they sent smelled strongly of gasoline. I called to see if that was normal, and they said that sometimes the stain has an odor to it, but that they would send me a new set. I asked if they wanted me to return the first set, and they said I could keep them. Well, I asked my mom if there was anyway to salvage them, and she said to try spraying some polyurethane spray on them. It worked like a charm, and there was no more odor, and I had four baskets for the price of two. Still, I did pay $35 for two. When I got the tables, I found the PB baskets that were in various rooms in the house, and tried them in the tables. It was a perfect fit - almost like they came together. I joke that the baskets cost more than the tables!

Anyway, the coffee table baskets hold puppets and a wood train set, and a Mr. Potato head, but the end table basket is for Flower's history books and her art study and music study books. Right now, she is studying Ancient Greece, Chinese Art, and Handel.

Here are the books in her basket:

  • The Magic Horse of Han Gan by Chen Jiang Hong
  • Liang and The Magic Paintbrush by Demi
  • Handel by M.T. Anderson
  • Handel and the Famous Sword Swallower of Halle by Bryna Stevens
  • Olympic Games in Ancient Greece by Shirley Glubok & Alred Tamarin
  • The Greek News by Anton Powell & Philip Steele
  • The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki
  • The Robber Baby: Sroies from the Greek Myths by Anne Rockwell
  • The Hero and the Minotaur
  • Spend The Day in Ancient Greece by Linda Honan
  • The Traveler's Guide to Ancient Greece by Fiona Macdonald
  • The Usborne Illustrated World History: The Greeks
  • What Do We Know About The Greeks? by Anne Pearson
  • The Parthenon by Peter Chrisp
I also have a basket in the preschool classroom that has our reading books for the month. I generally have some sort of theme. Last week, I read books about squirrels and leaves. This week, I'm reading books about fire fighters and fire safety. Next week, we will read about pumpkins, and the following week, we will read about scarecrows, autumn, and the Statue of Liberty's birthday.

Here are the books in the preschool reading basket:
  • Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
  • Fall Leaf Project by Margaret McNamara
  • I am a Leaf by Jean Marzollo
  • The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter
  • Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane
  • Big Fire Trucks by Joanne Barkan
  • Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons
  • Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell
  • I Can Be A Fire Fighter by Rebecca Hankin
  • The Fire Engine Book (A Little Golden Book)
  • From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
  • The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
  • Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
  • Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
  • The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Night the Scarecrow Walked by Natalie Carlson
  • Every Autumn Comes The Bear by Jim Arnosky
  • A Picnic In October by Eve Bunting

Then I picked up a wood magazine holder and a wood box at a garage sale recently. Here's pictures of them.

The magazine holder hold the books for our science topic for the month. These books live on one side of the couch, and everyone - preschool students and my children are free to read them at any time. In October, we are studying about bees.

Here are the books in the science "basket":

  • Fiona's Bee by Beverly Keller
  • The Bee Sneeze by Beverly Keller
  • Magic Schoolbus: Inside a Beehive
  • The Honeybee in the Meadow by Christopher O'Toole
  • The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre
  • The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
  • Busy, Buzzy Bees by Allan Fowler
  • Bees: A First Discovery Book
  • Ant and Honey Bee: What a Pair! by Megan McDonald
  • Buzz by Janet Wong
  • Beekeepers by Linda Oatman High
  • Bees! by Elizabeth Winchester
  • Honeybees by Joyce Milton

The wood box holds the books for the topic that Flower is studying for her Main Lesson. Right now, she is studying about Mathematics.

Here are the books in the Main Lesson "basket":
  • Multiplication Made Easy by Rebecca Nelson
  • Multiplication On The Farm by Jennifer Roy
  • Anno's Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno
  • Can You Count To A Googol? by Robert Wells
  • Mummy Math: An Adventure In Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander
  • Archimedes by Susan Keating
  • The Librarian Who Measured The Earth
  • The Warlord's Beads by Virginia Pilegard
  • Make Four Million Dollar$ By Next Thursday by Stephen Manes
  • On Beyond a Million by David M. Schwartz

The books about fire fighters and fire safety are Super's books, but all the rest of the books are from the library. On the last Wednesday (my planning day) before the end of the month, I search for books for all the topics for the next month at the two local libraries. I generally have to go to both libraries to get all the books that I need/want. There are always books that I want that are checked out, but there are always books I take my children on the following Saturday to both libraries and they do a variety of activities at the libraries while I look for the books. Both of the libraries have very kid-friend, separate children departments, and so I am able to look for the books while still keeping a close eye on the children. I buy a few books that we MUST have, but otherwise, we use the library to help us save money. We all really enjoy our Library Day and we are reminded monthly that the library is such a fantastic resource.

- Mrs. F

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