Harry is a lovable little pooch who lives with a sweet family in suburbia.
There's one thing you should know though: Harry hates taking a bath!
In Harry, the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Harry grabs the scrub brush his family uses on him when they give him a bath, runs down the stairs, and buries in the back yard.
Harry's adventure has just begun! He travels all over town, getting dirtier and dirtier. Finally, he heads home, but he is so dirty that his family doesn't recognize him.
Even when he does tricks, digs up the scrub brush, and tries to show his family his identity, they still don't recognize him. He is just too dirty.
Petunia is a silly goose who finds a book. She carries the book everywhere she goes, knowing that books are valuable. Pretty soon, Petunia thinks that she is wise because she owns a book.
Thinking that she is wise because she owns a book and puffed up with pride, Petunia dispenses advice wherever she goes in the farmyard. Unfortunately, her advice is terrible and brings harm to all the other animals. A terrible accident humbles Petunia and she realizes that owning a book doesn't make one wise. She decides to learn to read.
This book is a sweet story about pride, humility, wisdom, advice, and books. The life lesson Petunia learns is one that the Lord wants everyone to learn.
However, you children won't know they are learning a life lesson when you read them this delightful tale.
Maybelle the Cable Car by Virginia Lee Burton is another delightful story from the author of The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow, and MIke Mulligan and HIs Steam Shovel.
Maybelle is a cable car that lives in San Francisco. She has been part of the enchanting city since the early days when it was so small that everyone knew everyone. She remembered the terrible fire and how the city was rebuilt. Cable cars, created to climb up and down the steep hills, were becoming obsolete as the story opens. Maybelle's nemesis, Bill the Bus who makes fun of the cable cars.
The people of San Francisco learn of the news that they are going to phase out cable cars and there is quite a mixed reaction. A movement to save the San Francisco cable cars begins and when a vote is taken, Maybelle and her friends win. They even get a fresh coat of paint.
Cable cars are an iconic part of San Francisco. In fact, they are one of the first things people think of when San Francisco is mentioned.
I love the way Virginia Lee Burton brings these cable cars alive.
Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber is a classic picture book about a crocodile who lives with an American family. Lyle is a loveable crocodile and displays admirable traits for children to imitate.
Lyle lives with Mr. and Mrs. Primm and their son Joshua. The book opens with Lyle helping Mr. and Mrs. Primm decorate for Joshua’s birthday party. The party is fun. Everyone enjoys themselves, but Lyle is struggling with jealousy. Later, he is so sad and ashamed of his jealous behavior that Mrs. Primm thinks he is sick. After some funny adventures, Lyle ends up in the hospital where he reaches out with kindness to all the other patients. Soon, he is feeling much happier and the doctor thinks he has recovered from his illness. Lyle gets to go home. A few days after his homecoming, Lyle is surprised by his own party—it’s been three years since the Primms found him.
More than an entertaining picture book, Lyle and the Birthday Party touches on jealous feelings that most children struggle with and feel bad about, just like Lyle did. This book can lead to an honest talk about how to deal with jealousy and envy.
I recently pulled out an old book which has been gathering dust on my shelf for years. I’ve required my children to read it, but never read it myself. When the upcoming movie of the same title was announced, I decided that it was time to see what this book was all about.
Written by an American author, this book is actually set in the beginning of the first century AD. It’s a long book, divided into eight books and 81 chapters. It’s well worth reading every one.
If you’ve heard anything about Ben Hur; A Tale of Christ, you probably know about the chariot race. That’s how most people refer to it. “That’s the movie with the chariot race, right?” While the race is exciting and there is a bit of build up for it, the book is so much more. As a matter of fact, that famous race happens near the end of Book Five, a little over half way through the book.
Ben Hur; A Tale of Christ follows the trials and victories of Judah, a young Jewish man. Surprisingly though, we do not see our first glimpse of him until Book Two. Book One is all about three wise men coming together and following a star in search of a great king. I have to admit that I was confused by this. After all, what do the three wise men have to do with a chariot race? Then I remembered that the book is subtitled “A Tale of Christ.”
Our hero, Judah, has been raised next to a young Roman whom he considers a great friend. We learn very quickly that now in their older teen years there is tension in this relationship. Both young men come from great families. Both hold great promise and have much to live for, and lose. Messala, as the Roman is known, does all things for his and Rome’s glory, including insulting Judah’s culture, choices, and God.
One of my favorite homeschool podcasts is Vintage Homeschool Moms at the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
Maybe it's because I trust and respect Felice, knowing that what she shares is real, lived out in her home.
Or maybe it's because I love her wisdom--it's so practical. She is so real. She doesn't sugarcoat her imperfections or mistakes. Felice doesn't gloat about her successes either. She is relatable to us ordinary homeschool moms.
Moms Mentoring Moms
Many women who homeschool feel like they are pioneers, ploughing new paths. They long for a Titus 2 mentoring relationship. In Titus 2, Paul mentions older women teaching younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, and to be busy at home. In a special way, older women who have "been there/done that" have so much wisdom for the next generation of homeschool moms.
Chances are great that whatever you are facing right now is something that an older homeschool mom has met with in the past. Whether or not she handled it successfully, you can learn from her. My grandmother used to challenge me to learn from other's mistakes so you don't have to fall into the same pit.
Some Of My Favorite Podcasts