Thursday, January 8, 2015

Our Winter Book List for Preschool to 2nd Grade

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With a new baby in January, I know the early winter months will be harder than usual, since we won't be outside as much and we will be trying to find our new normal as our family dynamic changes. That means our homeschool will flow a little differently for awhile too.  In order to keep some semblance of routine and order, I want to get back into the habit of a daily reading (or two) from our Book Basket.  We love living books, but I've fallen out of the habit of our daily read-alouds.

So what I did was put together a Winter Book Basket.  Instead of relying on the library, especially in the winter, I combed our personal bookshelves for every book that was remotely related to winter, that cover different subject matter and that will {hopefully} appeal to all of the kids.  This way we can still do "school" by reading and enjoying time together in a relaxed way, even when things are crazy.  The kids are 2 yrs, 5 yrs and 8 yrs old, so the books I chose are geared towards Preschool - 2nd graders.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Okay, so this one is a well-known picture book for preschoolers.  It's delightful, and geared at my youngest.  I might pull out some other Ezra Jack Keats books that we own as well.

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
A classic children's book about a tractor who digs her town out of snowstorm.  We have a Burton audio collection as well, so we'll probably listen to these as well.  Since this is a Five in a Row selection, I may save it for later, so we can dig a little deeper into the lessons.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
This is a sweet book about a child who can turn a simple activity with Father into an exciting adventure.  This is another FIAR book that I might hold off on.

The Great Horse-less Carriage Race by Michael Dooling
I found this book at a used book store during my annual Small Business Saturday excursion.  While it technically takes place in November, it takes place in a good two feet of snow, and I really think this historical book will appeal to my second grader.

The Year At Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen
I chose this book because it gives a look at how farm animals are affected throughout the seasons.  Since we live next door to their grandparents' farm, I thought it would allow the chance to do some winter nature study and observations to compare their experiences with the book.

Arctic Memories by Normee Ekoomiak
This is a neat book by an Inuit of Quebeck (or an "Eskimo") that gives us a glimpse into their culture.  His art is lovely, and included throughout the book.

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo
We received this book as part of the Imagination Library book club.  It's a cute book about a boy (named Elliot) who brings a penguin home from the aquarium!  Not specifically winter, but since Penguins are often associated with winter themes, it seemed a good fit.

The Little Penguin by A.J. Wood
Another penguin book, this is a very simple book for my youngest two.

Little Porcupine's Winter Den by Susan Thompson-Hoffman
I think this was a thrift store find.  It is part fo the Smithsonian Institute Wild Heritage Collection, and it's about a porcupine in the Grand Canyon who must learn to find safety in the winter.

Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett
A classic tale set in wintery Russia, this was another Imagination Library book.

You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest
This book is about a little bear named Sam, who is given a grown-up job by his mother to help deliver treats to neighbors.

Winter's Orphans: The Search for a Family of Mountain Lion Cubs by Robert C. Farentinos
Another book sale find, this is a true story about the rescue of the cubs by a field biologist.

A Calf Is Born by Kiyonori Kaizuki
This tells the story of a calf born on a cold winter night.  I found this one at a used book store and had to grab it, since I like to find living books to help the children understand what goes on around the farm, and the oil paintings are beautiful!

Polar Bear Math: Learning About Fractions from Klondike and Snow by Ann Whitehead Nagda & Cindy Bickel
Polar Bears, like penguins, seem to be included with "winter" units, so I threw this one in here.  It's a full story, and the fractions are separate, but it can definitely be turned into a living math lesson.

Water by Emily Neye
This is a reader for Elliott to read to us, but it is about the properties of water, and does discuss snow.

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford
This story takes place in Alaska and tells us about Balto, who led a sled dog team in order to transport medicine during a diptheria outbreak.  It's another reader for Elliott to read to us.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
Jonathan is told there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain . . . but what does he discover one cold winter night?  This is a short transitional chapter book, which makes it ideal for my second grader.

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
I remember reading this Newberry Honor book when I was younger.  A fun book about a family raising and training 12 penguins in their home.

Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost
This book is divided into sections by seasons, so I pulled it out so that we can read through the winter poems.

*I have other poetry anthologies that have winter/seasonal poetry as well, and we may very well get to those, but I wanted to start with this one so we could kind of do a mini poet-study.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
This book is a little bit longer and geared for slightly older readers (Elliott is on the youngest end of the recommended age range) but it takes place in the Alaskan wilderness, and I thought the "survival" aspect might appeal to the boys.  It's there more for strewing purposes, but I'll be happy to read it if they show interest.

Draw Write Now: The Polar Regions, Arctic, Antarctic
We have the whole series available, but I pulled out this book so it gets seen more.  They can choose animals to draw along with some of our readings, or do their own thing, as is often the case.

As you can see, I've found literature, poetry, science, social studies, art and math to keep us busy.  Since we are using our bookshelves, rather than the library, there are some lesser-known titles, but I'm okay with unique and diverse.  Even if we don't get to every book, we have a nice selection to get us started, and who knows where we might rabbit trail!

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  1. Oh, these look great! I love Mr. Popper's Penguins. :-)

    1. I don't know anyone who doesn't love Mr. Popper's Penguins!