Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

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About the book: The Phantom Tollbooth is a book Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. It’s first copyright date is 1961, our best guess on the publish date. The story was reprinted 2001. It’s a satire/fantasy-adventure about a boy’s adventure in a land of knowledge. The author has written more »

Kidnapped! (Reading and Writing Tales of Woe)

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The latest round of reading and writing with Primo has been … challenging. If you remember from our post “The Same, But Different” we were struggling with getting Primo to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. He didn’t like the abridged version, as it seemed “rushed”, but delving into the original text more »

Book Review: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

The abridged version of Kidnapped (by Robert Louis Stevenson; adapted by Deborah Kestel) left a bad first impression and the full version did nothing to make me like it any more. The book drags out the more boring parts and the parts I might like are super-sped-up. For example; the more »

The Same, But Different (Abridged vs Classic vs Modern Literature)

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Several years ago, when we first started educating Primo and Secondo at home, we set out to fill our library with the classics that we remembered, as well as a few we never got around to reading ourselves (gasp :-0). In some cases we bought abridged or adaptations of the classics that more »

“Creation” Writing

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In the beginning, Primo detested writing. But, with the help of BraveWriter’s The Arrow program his reluctance is waning quickly. If you remember our post on Fusing Skills: Writing, Math, and Science the focus was, obviously, technical. This week’s effort is a bit more creative. The topic was stories of creation based on more »

Kids’ Book Reviews

We really love to read around here. Part of encouraging the boys to read consciously is to have them tell us about what they have read, either by chapter or full book. Rather than a traditional book report we are encouraging them to summarize and review the books in a more »

Fusing Skills: Writing, Math, and Science

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Since we’ve found bravewriter.com things have been starting to turn around in the writing department. We’ve learned to relax and let things develop a little more naturally (especially on those Friday Free Writes). However, today we did it on a Thursday! I decided that it would be good to use Primo’s more »

Jot It Down: The Story of the Hahiko Fish

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One of the cool concepts we’ve picked up from bravewriter.com is the concept of “jotting it down” when the little ones tell us stories; i.e., catching your child in that act of thinking. This really helps them see how ideas transform into words. The Story of the Hahiko Fish By more »

A Tale of Two Children: Readiness for Readin’, ‘ritin’, and ‘rithmetic

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I never understood the “Three R’s” label for reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am sure that someone thought it was cute at one point, but, looking at the state of education in the country today, the joke may be on us. Certainly without these basics no other course of study is possible, but one more »