Tag Archives: third grade

Required Reading Redux

It’s now been several months since we started our “required reading” program.  You can find the first post with the book list here.  Basically, I made a list of books I thought would be good third grade books.  Every month, they had to read one of their own choosing.  I purposefully listed some easier and some harder books as well as a wide variety of genres.

Fast forward to now.  Early on, we made a rule that you could choose one sequel or book by the same author to count as well.  And now we’re pretty much untethered from the list and I need to make a new one.  However, I wanted to celebrate all the books the kids read so far.  Of course, they’ve continued to read their own books for fun as well, but those are mostly easier and lighter reads than these.

Mushroom’s Books

Tornado by Betsy Byars
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
Frindle by Andrew Clements
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averil
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

BalletBoy’s Books

Tornado by Betsy Byars
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averil
Jenny at Sea by Esther Averil
Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
Freddy the Detective by Walter Brooks
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farmby Betty MacDonald
*Additionally, I’ll give BalletBoy half credit.  He read half of Ribsy, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Poppy.

Overall, I’ve been incredibly happy with our required reading system.  Mushroom has read a great variety of books, which he has loved.  BalletBoy has discovered that while he dislikes real animals, he really likes them in books.  Also, I’ve discovered that he’d rather read a sequel than anything else and that while he’s more likely to stay up late reading, he also is the pickiest reader ever!

Right now, Mushroom is working on The Bad Beginning from the Series of Unfortunate Events.  BalletBoy is thinking about reading another Freddy book since he’s so fond of always picking the sequels option.  I’m thinking about having them read a book together, namely My Side of the Mountain, which I think we would all enjoy and which would fit in with our nature study this year.

Of course, the kids read for pleasure as well, but neither of them are voracious readers and if given the choice, I’m pretty sure BalletBoy would never finish anything.  This has ensured that everyone keeps going with reading a good, challenging book, even though making time for it can be tough sometimes.

Box Day and Other End of Summer Adventures

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  We are enjoying the final days of summer.  We used our Read to Succeed tickets to Six Flags and made it to Brickfair.  We also went to the county fair (of the more suburban county to our north, the subway-accessible Give us Statehood Fair is in a few weeks) and have been checking off a few more things on our American History checklist.  Did you know that you can get Civil War trading cards from National Parks?  Well, now we do.

Also, because the kids began nagging, I let us have our Box Day a little early.  On Box Day, we put out all the materials for the next year as well as exciting new school supplies, like Lego pencils for all, a purple sparkly notebook for BalletBoy and everything orange for Mushroom.  I put up new school posters in the hall, including this one of animals and a reading tree for the kids to add a leaf when they finish a new book.  We had our largest order from Home Science Tools, which you can see below.  We bought petri dishes, stains for slides, agar, bug boxes, a plant press, dissection kits and number of things to dissect, including a cow eye that sat there in its packaging as a subject of jokes for several days.  I lay it all out like Christmas, except for school supplies.

If you’re curious about our curriculum, I actually, for the first time, stuck a page on my links above that lists it all.

It’s hard to say if it’s really “third grade” now or not.  We will still put one more entry in the portfolios labeled “second grade.”  Mushroom is finishing up the last couple of weeks of the math and phonics I had intended him to finish for second grade.  On the other hand, both boys have already started in on the third grade reading list I made and BalletBoy started on third grade Math Mammoth several weeks ago.  Plus, we’re talking about two kids who would have been in one grade this year here and another one if we lived five miles north.  So who knows what “third grade” even is anyway.  Whatever, we’re still swimming along and Box Day was fun, as always.

In any case, we’re enjoying the last days of summer, gearing up for fall and starting to see friends again.