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A Homeschool Mom Reads: January-April (2016)

homeschool mom reads

So, I feel like I’ve been in a huge reading (and blogging) slump. I’m blaming it on the pregnancy. When I would normally be reading or writing I’ve been…sleeping (or working on projects for the baby). But I did read a few things over the last several months, and I’m determined to do better once the school year is over. I always feel more nourished as a human being when I’ve given proper time to reading worthy books.

Note: In the interest of getting these posts done on time, I’m going to cut down a bit on the commentary about each book.


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (RE-READ)
I read this series when they first came out, but I couldn’t remember whether I thought they’d be appropriate for my kids (since I only had a one-year-old at the time), so I decided to re-read them. I’m now of the opinion that I would let my kids read them. The only slightly objectionable thing that caught my attention was a minor mention in passing in one of the books that Sticky (one of the upper elementary aged main characters) had had a girlfriend for a short period of time over the previous summer. I think I’d recommend these books for ages 10+.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart (RE-READ)

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart (RE-READ)


Writers to Read: Nine Names that Belong on Your Bookshelf by Douglas Wilson
I have a review forthcoming for this one for Crossway. Let’s just say that my to-be-read list got a lot longer while I was reading this book!

An Owl on Every Post by Sanora Babb
This is a fascinating memoir of Sanora’s pioneer childhood on the Great Plains in the early 1900s. Reads like a novel.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
This book is both helpful and completely wacko. (Am I allowed to say that? It is truly a strange book.) Here’s how it helped me: I was inspired to get rid of a lot of stuff that I had sitting around and wasn’t using. I’m still in the process of decluttering, but I think we took about 6 garbage bags and a few boxes to Goodwill right after I read this. I started with clothes and Christmas decorations. (I don’t agree with her ideas about books, by the way!!) It’s also helpful in organizing your drawers and folding clothes (even though I still fold my socks the “wrong” way). How it’s wacko: It just is. I don’t talk to my clothes or my other possessions. I don’t thank them for their service to me. They are…inanimate. I do not touch my things to see if they spark joy in me. I think there’s a lot of Eastern religion involved in her theories or something. So if you read this, you have to take it for what it is and ignore the weird parts.


Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah MacKenzie (RE-READ)
I read the original ebook a year ago, but I picked up the 2nd (expanded) edition in print on sale at the Great Homeschool Convention. I was encouraged all over again.

Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cherly Swope
This is the other book I picked up for myself at the Great Homeschool Convention. Cheryl recounts her experience classically educating her special needs children, but in the process she defines and explains classical education very simply and approachably.


Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
I never was much into Beverly Cleary books as a child, so I was wondering about her for my own kids. On her 100th birthday, when everybody was singing her praises, I decided to give one of her books a try. I dunno. The jury is still out for me. They definitely evoke a 1950’s “innocence,” but there’s also a lot of name-calling and mean “kid behavior” like that, which I’m sure is perfectly normal and really not all that terrible to read, only, I try to be really careful that my kids don’t act like that…so I’m not sure they need to fill their heads with it. I dunno. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if my kids got ahold of this book and read it, but I’m not ready to go get the Henry Huggins collection on Audible. I think there are plenty of better choices.

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach by Lily Nichols
Because, yeah, I didn’t pass the glucose test, and I wanted to do a very healthy, unprocessed, no artificial sweetener, real food diabetes diet. This book was very helpful and informative with some recipes and menu ideas to boot. I highly recommend it if you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes.


About Becky Aniol

Becky holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and music, a master's degree in Christian education, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christian education. She taught classical upper school grammar, literature, and history and lower school composition and grammar for two years, elementary school music for one year, and Kindermusik classes for four years before the birth of her children. She now loves staying home with her four children, Caleb, Kate, Christopher, and Caroline and homeschooling them classically.