Archive for the ‘ Reading ’ Category

Greek Myths for Kids – Download Free Stories at StoryNory

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

This summer, hubby and the kids are going on a long road trip and will spend a lot of time in the car.  (I’ll stay back at home because I’m recovering from ear surgery.)  For years and years we have loved and listened to the free audiobooks provided by Natasha over at StoryNory.  We love her Katie stories and fairy tales.  This summer, though, it is time to revisit some of the Greek Myths she has recorded. We listened to them a lot when LD was 5-7 or so. Now that ED is that same age, it’s time to bring out these tales again.  We love the Odyssey stories.  StoryNory’s Greek Myths include:

  • Helen of Troy
  • Troy
  • The Wooden Horse
  • In the Cyclops Cave
  • Circe the Beautiful Witch
  • The Homecoming of Odysseus
  • The Minotaur
  • The Boy Who Flew Too High
  • The Midas Touch
  • Orpheus
  • Dido and Aeneas
  • Jason and Medea
  • Hercules

I put these on my IPod by right clicking on the green play button, selecting “Save Link As…” and saving them to a folder on my computer. Then I added it to our library on the IPod.

The Greek myths are perfect for a short ride around town too as each story is about 15-20 minutes long. The stories are great for kids 4-12 (even for me!!).

Greek Classic Books: When LD was little we read Mary Pope Osborne’s Tales from the Odyssey. We enjoyed her books a lot and so recently I brought them back out to read with ED and DD. The girls are loving these books and beg me to keep reading! They are a quick read and perfect for early elementary. We have the older set of six books, but now you can purchase them in two volumes. Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 has her first three books, Part 2 has the last three.

I’ve also heard great things about Rosemary Sutcliffe’s books — Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus (the versions that are illustrated by Allan Lee). I’m hoping to read these with ED and DD at some point soon and I’ll let you know what we think of those.

Changing the subject back to StoryNory… StoryNory also has a huge selection of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christen Andersen, Perrault, Aesop, World Fairy Tales and more.

My kids love the Katie, The Ordinary Witch stories. Katie is an ordinary girl who goes to school, does her lessons and plays like everybody else. But her mother is a witch. Katie gets into all kinds of adventures at school because of  her magic.

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Books and Series My 8-Yr Old Has Been Racing Through

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

My daughter reads all the time. She will grab anything that’s out and about… from the easy readers that ED brings home from the libraries to books that LD recommends.  I thought I’d share some of the series that she’s flown through this semester.

Dog Diaries: She’s read them all… Ginger, Buddy, Barry, Togo, Dash. She said they were wonderful.  I notice there is also a series called Horse Diaries

Bad Kitty books: Bad Kitty Gets a Bath; Happy Birthday Bad Kitty; Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray; Bad Kitty for President DD wanted me to get the three books she hasn’t read from the library when we were working on this post!

Here’s a Penny and Penny and Peter



Big Big Big Book of Tashi, 2nd Big Big Book of Tashi: These books are wonderful for young kids who are just starting to read on their own because there are drawings on most every page. That said, DD wasn’t interested a couple of years ago and raced through both volumes a month or two ago.

Horrible Harry: This is another series that DD was not interested in these a couple of years ago, but earlier this semester she devoured four or five books from this series a day!

Encyclopedia Brown — This was another series that my son read early on (around 6 or 7), but that DD has just discovered recently.  Again, she’s been pouring through this series one or two books a day.

Deltora Quest: LD convinced DD that she just had to read this book.  She finished the first four books and has started into the second volume (which has books 5-8).  I haven’t read this series, but from what I understand there’s a strong girl character.

Baby Mouse: This is a series that DD finishes by the time we get home from the library, but she loves them.


Ella Enchanted; Fairest: We listened to Ella Enchanted as an audiobook. DD decided to read it on her own and then borrowed some of Gail Carson Levine’s other books from the library.  When she finished Fairest, she thrust it in my lap and said, “You HAVE to read this book!!”  I think she’s reading Ever now.

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The BFG: We’re in the middle of reading The BFG aloud together at bedtime.  Both DD and ED are loving it and beg for more! LD joined in with us a couple days  later (so he missed the first couple of chapters), but he loves it too and so we have to wait for him now before we start reading! :)

The Ramona Books by Beverly Cleary: Beezus and Ramona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Ramona and her Father  Actually DD read these last semester, but I thought I would include these in my list.

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At this age, my son really loved these two series:

Beast Quest

Percy Jackson series

That’s about it for today. Here are a couple similar posts I’ve written:

I’ll be sharing some of our finds in a Children’s Literature Series that we’ll post on Saturdays this summer. Click on the picture to see what we’ve recommended so far! 

If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear from you over at our Homeschool Den Facebook page.

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15 Children’s Books Your 4-7 Year Old Shouldn’t Miss!

Friday, April 18th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a really cute idea for encouraging independent reading.  I thought I would also share some books my girls have LOVED between the ages of 4-7 or so:

And some more books:

And even more!

I think Ruby the Copycat and Chocolatina are among my girls’ top five favorite books!

When ED was around 4, she absolutely adored The Cat Came Back. I read it nightly for months!

Everyone’s probably heard of Chrysanthemum, but my girls really loved The Chimpanzee of Happytown and The Big Orange Splot so I had to include this collage as well!

My girls also love Cinder Edna:

Cinder Edna

Right now ED’s favorite books are the Madeline books and this wonderful collection, which has an amazing selection of well-known children’s stories (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom; Swimmy; A Chair for My Mother; Goodnight Moon, Millions of Cats; Guess How Much I Love You; Amelia Bedelia; Harry and the Dirty Dog; The Sneetches; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble… and on and on!) There is a total of 44 stories!  It’s the one book we take when we go away for the weekend.

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Free Kindle Book for Girls Ages 7-11 (until March 24)

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

FREE Kindle Edition of Mystery of the Secret Room – 5 Days Only! March 20th – 24th

This morning I downloaded a free book for girls ages 7-11. Obviously, my daughter hasn’t read it yet, but I thought I’d mention it because it is free until March 24th over at Amazon. The reviews look pretty good.

Here’s a bit about it: It’s raining so Brooke and Eva have nothing to do but play hide and seek in the castle’s attic. It’s just an ordinary game on an ordinary rainy afternoon. But then Brooke stumbles into a room everyone has forgotten for decades. A beautiful porcelain doll sits at a table set for tea for three. It’s as if she’s been waiting for Brooke and Eva to arrive.

The book is the second in a series of books designed to deliver positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness. We hope to engage little girls in reading through an exciting mystery and help them discover the world around them along the way.

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Tags: | Categories: Reading

Encourage Independent Reading with this Cute Activity

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

ED has finished her phonics programs and is now moving into independent reading. I was chatting with my friend and she had a wonderful idea to encourage this new-found independence. She suggested creating a reading garden.

ED decided she wanted flowers, puppies and kittens in her garden.  I chose some coloring pages, reduced them to the size I wanted, and printed them out. Whenever ED finishes reading a book on her own, she cuts out one of the characters, fills in the title of the book and glues it onto her garden.

Of course, if you have a child wild about trains they could have at train track and add train cars… or add stars to a night scene… or add leaves to a tree… or add colorful raindrops under a rainbow…  You get the idea!

You could use clipart from to create a scene like this for your kids:

My older two asked why they didn’t get to do this when they were new independent readers! :) ED’s been really proud to see her progress. Pretty soon we’ll have to add another row for her.


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Tags: | Categories: Reading