Saturday, September 29, 2007

Booklist in Omni Outliner

For some time I've been wanting to start recording all the books I check out from the library for M and C. I could have just made a list of them in a Word document but I wanted a way to tag and organize them by categories with some books in multiple categories. What I need is something similar to the way iTunes organizes music with a general library and then the ability to group those songs into different playlists except my playlists would be book categories. I haven't figured out a way to do exactly what I want (working within the constraints of my system and budget) but I have developed a workable substitute in Omni Outliner.

I made an outline of all my books separating them into categories by type: baby board books, short picture books, long picture books, easy readers, chapter books. For each entry, you can make notes so in the notes section I add tags like: Halloween, animals, anatomy, fall, etc. I can then do a search of the document to find all books with the word "animals" in the notes.

Science Exploration

This week we checked out What Makes a Magnet? From the library. It's part of the Let's Read and Find Out About Science series which I highly recommend. On Wednesday morning, I usually keep M home from preschool so we can meet some of her friends from the toddler playgroup we used to have. During C's nap, we have some Mommy and M school time and this week, we did the experiments from the magnet book. We gathered objects in a cardboard box, some that would attract a magnet and some that would not. Then we tied a magnet from the fridge to a pencil and M "fished" for the objects. Then we used the magnet to make another magnet using a needle and turned the needle into a compass. M couldn't wait to tell her dad all that she'd learned we he got home. It was definitely a successful lesson!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Car Survival Kit

I was talking with a friend yesterday about what we keep in our cars so I thought I'd make a list of all the things I've found handy to keep in the car:

change of clothes for both girls
first aid kit
poison care kit (added after M ate a mushroom in a friend's yard when she was 18 mos)
towels (good for wiping water off park equipment and many other things)
water bottles
plastic bags
umbrella stroller
sweaters for everyone (and hats and gloves in the winter)

Friday, September 14, 2007

This Week's Books

Since I last posted we've done lots of chapter book reading. I'm amazed by M's capacity to listen to longer and longer stories. I love seeing her face light up at the prospect of reading. Today when I picked up from preschool, I told her that C and I had gotten a whole new stack of library books for her. She was thrilled and began looking through them the moment she got inside the house.

We're currently reading Half Magic by Edgar Eager. The chapters are very long so we're splitting them up into two or three reading session . I thought M might find the storyline too complex or be frustrated by the many literary and cultural references she wouldn't recognize but we're over halfway through and she still wants to keep going. As we read the chapter where the children meet King Arthur, M said she wanted to read some of the stories the children were talking about so checked out Young Arther by Robert Sans Souci.

I'm enjoying this stage of reading where M can enjoy such a wide range or books from short picture books to fairly complex chapter books. Having so much to choose from is wonderful.

Chapter Books We've Read Recently:
*Pony-Crazed Princess #7 and Ellie's Summer Vacation
*Goldie the Sunshine Fairy by Daisy Meadows (a bit insipid for my taste but M enjoyed it)
*Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace and the next three books in that series
*Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo
*We started reading The Penderwicks but the themes were a little too advanced for M so we decided to stop and read it when she's a bit older.

Picture Books We're Enjoying
*Many Moons by James Thurber
*Big Brother Little Sister by Papa Oyibo
*The Three Little Witchs' Storybook by Georgie Adams
*O'Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott
*Let's Make Rabbits by Leo Leoni
*Leon the Chameleon by Melanie Watt