Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Social Studies 101

Or, 'Why on earth would you skip history to fit in 'The Fireman is Your Friend' lessons,
when your kids will spend hours pouring over these books anyway.'

Or, 'Why I love Sonlight.'

Or, 'Kindergarten = Reading, Writing, Counting, (a library card) and These Books'

What can I say about this book that will tell you how much I love it? The illustrations are worth pouring over for hours and hours. People in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Clothing, hobbies, homes, sports, feasts and holidays, pets, foods, religions, languages... from all over the world. Scotland, West Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Arabia, Caribbean, South America, Holland, and more.

My youngest two boys have logged more hours on this book than I can count. The building of a home fascinates Luke. Beginning with an empty lot, and moving on through various stages, the book shows the bare bones of a house, with hot water pipes, cold water pipes, dirty water pipes, furnace and air ducts, electrical wires, and more. The firemen pages are his other favorites.

Learn how the mail system works, visit a hospital, travel by train, follow a seed from farm to grocery store to a home to a home garden, find out the many ways we use wood, build a new road, go on a ship voyage, and watch wheat turn into bread. These pages are packed with simple step by step stories, detailed (and labeled) illustrations, and entertaining characters.

This book is invaluable for keeping young children quiet.

Want to add in science (including the calendar, holidays, weather, and seasons)?

All three boys are mesmerized by this book, as well. I am astounded by how much information is packed in these pages. After the almanac, we learn about animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects), plants (trees, cactus, algae, ferns, moss, mold, fungus, and carnivorous plants), and the earth (topography: plains, deserts, caves, hills, valleys, dune, marsh, inlet, bay...). Then we move on to machines and how they work, the science of matter, energy, projects and experiments, and things to make and do.... Highly entertaining with fully illustrated pages.


Timi said...

Richard Scarry's books are my daughter's favorite, too! And I like them, too...:o))

Laura said...

Thanks, Heidi, as always for the book recommendations. All three are added to my list to buy or at least check out at the library. Do you follow Sonlight's science program or just purchase books that they have listed. I am thinking and praying on what to do for science next year.

Heather said...

Peter Spier is one of my favorite author/illustrators. I also like the Star Spangled Banner and the We the People he does. And many, many others.
Richard Scarry are very popular here too. My favorite was always Cars and Trucks looking for Goldbug and the big messy accident page with all the vehicles. Love it!

Heidi said...

Laura~ I only purchase individual books and resources from Sonlight (a lot, though) and plug them into our own lesson/subject structure. We use the 'Christian Kids Explore' series as our organizing science narrative, much like we use 'Story of the World' for history. The series has four books (Biology, Space & Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics), which correspond with the recommended sequence in The Well-Trained Mind. We are just starting book #3, so maybe I'll post more details in the next week or two.

Timi and Heather~ Richard Scarry and Peter Spier are both favorites around here in general, too. I love Peter Spier's Circus. I wish I had read their books when I was little!!!

Anonymous said...

We have these books and love them as well. Spier's "Noah's Ark" is a favorite of my 2 yo son.
I am interested in hearing more about how you incorporate Sonlight into your Classical Ed approach. I am in the thick of all the reading and research regarding all of the methods. Kindergarten starts for my oldest in the fall. As always, appreciate your shared insights and experience.
--April H.

Renee said...

I didn't know about the B. Bears science almanac. My kids would enjoy that book! They have loved the other two, as well.

Laura said...

Okay Heidi, remind me that you don't do everything. : ) I know you don't because you are human. I know you are honest about such things (which I love). I want to do all these things. I see all these interesting books and the many choices of wonderful curriculum. But, now I am to the point of thinking maybe I need to just give them something to do on their own instead of thinking that I can lead all this learning. I mean, someone has to wash the clothes and dishes and cook the meals, etc.. I'm not complaining. This is all I ever wanted to do. But, I just wish I could "get it all together". I know you are not one of those people that can go on four or five hours of sleep a night. Could you maybe share an average of how much time you spend doing all these things daily. Are you scheduled? I could go on and on; but, you get the idea. I am just trying to be realistic as I plan and order for next year. What am I really able to do/going to be disciplined to do. Thanks, as always. You are a blessing to me!

Heidi said...

Laura~ Oh, rest assured, I don't do everything. :) I'm on the computer, my house is a mess, and my boys have snuck on Wii. :) Time to go get busy... (I'll be posting more homeschooling details over the next few weeks.)

Luke Holzmann said...

Glad you're loving it! [smile]


Renee said...

Would you mind reading my post on femininity and commenting? I would love to hear from someone with the perspective of 1 of 3 sisters. Hope you are well!

Shannon said...

My kids too LOVE Richard Scarry's book. Much time spent pouring over those illustrations.

Aja Jenise said...

Your help and insight here is limitless Heidi... thank you!! I needed this...

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi,
I enjoyed reading the comments following your book recommendations! I, too, love what you have to say, specifically to homeschooling! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more when that time comes. Are you all okay, just checking in with you and sending some love your way. I am 1/2 way done with my chemotherapy, 3 more to go. One at the end of this month, one in April and one in early May! FYI!
Love, Connie in Tualatin

Leslie said...

oh goodness... very happy to discover your blog via simple homeschool. I just started sonlight and have these books and I am just loving them. Peter spier's People is simply fabulous. I am so impressed by it. As well as the berenstain bears almanc, and of course richard scarry is always a favorite. I'll be checking in here again for sure. p.s. I have four boys - ages 7, 4, 2 and 5 months, so always interested to find another mom of boys!!