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August Titles // 2017

an ambitious stack, I admit

In August I got back to my books, after a whirlwind July where I finished very few books. Even though three doesn't seem like a lot, I'm just chapters away from finishing two others. I also read quite a few magazines this month, so appearances here can be deceiving. I felt like I got a lot of good reading time in this month, which is great since the start of the school year (next week!) is always a bit unpredictable with free time. Will I be able to read during the afternoons, or will I be drooling on the couch taking a 30 minute nap because my brain is wiped and my emotions are near-feral? None can say. Here's August's reads!

*The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - This YA novel was one I had seen over and over again, and so on my family's weekend in Portland I was lucky enough to have plenty of hours in the car to read and read this in just over 3 days. The story is about a girl named Starr and deals with a death of a loved one (not a spoiler) and her action or inaction as time moves on. This novel is based on the Black Lives Matter movement, and is a really well-written and fast-paced book. It doesn't surprise me that it's going to become a movie, and it's one I'll definitely be watching. 

*Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler - File this one under 'professional development'; I checked it out based on a child's math anxiety that I am determined to help get back to 'love of learning' as opposed to 'dread it with tears and gnashing of teeth'. I learned a LOT from this 200 page book, from strong research coming out about math classrooms to different ways to teach and understand math, for children and adults! Although this is a very academic read, it was so helpful it made me excited to teach math again to the child who would rather be taking out 100 bags of garbage instead of doing a math problem. Let's hope the reinvigorating (growth!) mindset sticks. 

*Teach Like Finland by Timothy D. Walker - This book is also filed under 'professional development' but I'll check out any type of book that has to do with education and Finland. (See also: nature schools) This book is about an American teacher who married a Finnish woman, moved, and started teaching in their system, later reflecting on how (and why) the differences in Finland just make more sense in a holistic -even academic- way. The students there are stars at the international level (PISA) and are in the classroom much less than their global peers. This book is very readable and gave me some really great tips I'm going to try to incorporate where and when I can in our homeschool. 


Read Alouds

*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - This little middle-grade novel (not even 200 pages) is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful books I've ever read to my kids aloud. Think Charlotte's Web for older students. The writing is perfection-you really believe a young 11ish year old boy wrote it and the story is so good, if a little rushed in some spots. I can't tell you much more, but consider a box of kleenex towards the last 1/4 of the book. We watched the movie after and although I didn't love the film adaptation, it wasn't as terrible as sometimes one expects. 

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