Homeschoolers Can Plan Their Own Garden Unit Study

 

How Does Your Educational Garden Grow?

One of the most rewarding ways to learn about a whole range of subjects is to focus in on one topic and create a unit study from it. 
Unit studies are one of the most rewarding ways to incorporate all of the curriculum into a fun project.

This group of activities creates a break from dull workbooks and tiresome drills ( as necessary as those sometimes are).

This article takes you all the way through how to plan and implement this form of curriculum to specific topics to explore. Included are convenient links to books on Amazon.

Steps To Teaching Core Subjects Through Garden Unit Studies

How-To

  1. Plan the overall unit, write down which projects you wish to accomplish. Plan the reading for literature, with writing projects such as how to keep a journal, writing an expository essay,etc.
  2. Make a list of books to purchase or borrow from the library. Obtain them. buy your folders or journals.Create math projects from cost lists, geometry problems from garden layouts, etc.
  3. Make a supply list of everything you will need to do the projects and then go shopping! Scavenge around the house for everything that will be used instead of purchased. Get pots, soil, seed starting supplies, or whatever you think you will need.Add a history lesson on tools and the materials they are made from as a way to measure the advance of civilization (stone, bronze, iron) . Or compare societies that were hunters and gatherers with those who farmed. Or create a lesson on the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
  4. Begin your unit study with seasonal appropriate activities, field trips, and science experiments. Surprisingly, a gardening unit study can be done at any time of the year.Use science projects on weather, soil testing, botany, etc.
  5. Grow things!

A Garden Topic Covers Every Spectrum of Curriculum

Why is this one of my favorite group studies?
I spent a lot of time and effort in the pursuit of gardening, and have always tried to include my childrenin gaining an appreciation of nature. For their homeschool studies this included lessons in the satisfaction of working outside.

Let’s Run Through a List of Subjects
  • History
  • Language Arts
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Art
  • Character Development

History Outside, For Example

Gardening is one way to include indoor and outdoor pursuits. The history of gardens is so interesting that it can encompass whole eras as well as many famous people who had interests or stories somehow related to the garden.

For instance, did you know the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ involved the transport of breadfruit plants in the great plant exploration era of England? Or that Josephine Bonaparte had a well known rose garden?

The opportunities for garden math, horticulture, chemistry, and journaling are plentiful in the garden… come see.

History in the Garden

Gardens in history
Gardens in history

Plants in Garden History
Plants in Garden History

Penelope Hobhouse is one of the premier garden writers in my book. she tackles the task of presenting plants throughout garden history. She will make it interesting for you, I promise.

History Topics

Investigate the School Garden Movement

  • How did children make a difference in their communities?
  • Henry Lincoln Clapp, a teacher at the George Putnam Grammar School in Boston, MA, established the first school garden. And the idea spread from there.
  • What does the Edible Schoolyard Movement look like today?
  • Make a specific era your focus for art, history, and science. Find out about the gardens of that time, the plants common to them, and how they were used in the medicines and manufacture of clothing.
  • Make a scrapbook page of dye plants. Learn about which plants to avoid eating, or explore the history of the tomato…. where did it originate ( the New World) and what did Europeans think of it ( it was feared to be poisonous)
  • Plant hunters and explorers- who were they and how are our gardens different today?
  • OR why do we have plant transport and import laws? Why are there no more American Elm or Chestnut trees in our gardens?

These are just a few of the topics to chose for your own garden unit study.

Hidden Stories in Plants
Hidden Stories in Plants

Plants are exciting when viewed from the perspective of the mysteries they hold, instead of a compilation of dry facts.
Let them tell their stories, and children will be intrigued.

Geography in the Garden

Where does that plant come from?
China

China

Plants From All Over The World

Plants in our gardens are rarely native, and with a  Horticultural Encyclopedia

or any plant book which describes the origination of the plant (many do) it is s simple task to locate the geographical location where the plant originated.

A study of a great plant explorer like E. H. Wilson can combine fascinating history with a geography slant.

 

Teaching Unit Studies

One of the best ways to engage your child’s interest in learning, there are many great guides available and even the planning work of the unit study all plotted out beforehand.

Language Studies and Writing

 

What Type Of Writing Will You Learn?

Expository writing is the type of writing you create for term papers, essays,etc.

Narrative writing is a type of writing that requires you to tell a story that describes an event or relates a personal experience.

Persuasive writing argues a point and is often called argumentation.

All three can be used in the Garden Unit Study.

Expository: Write a paper about why improving the soil is important, or a biography of a famous plant explorer.

Narrative: Relate a funny or interesting thing that happened while making the garden, tell a story from a bugs point of view!

Persuasive: To spray or not to spray, that is the question… choose a controversy and argue why your opinion is the right one.

Include How-To Books for Success

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children

Hands on how-to is what makes this unit study so much fun.

But how do you make learning and working in the garden seem more like fun and less like work? And how to best present gardening to children? Find your ideas in this nicely illustrated guide.

Keep Nature Journals

The best writing exercise for young children is a garden journal with pasted pictures of the plants and projects and words.

Garden catalogs, hardcopy or digital are a rich supply of pictures and information – just print out or cut out and paste into the journals. Seed packets can be saved and used, too.

Nature journals, garden journals, lapbooks about plants, can be worked into your homeschool curriculum and are especially useful in studying with the unit method. They are lasting items for school portfolios.

gardening issue of good housekeeping magazine
Use pictures cut out from magazines on the topic of gardening and plants.

 What is a “Lapbook”?

Lapbooks are a system of file folders in which the student stores creative summaries of their work.

Lapbook creation is a lot like notebooking,  another alternative way to keep and showcase your child’s Garden Unit Study projects and papers.

“An educational learning tool made from a folder and meant to take the place of worksheets.” AKA “shutterbooks, graphic organizers, fold books, presentation books, flap books, and project books”.

To find out more about the concept and difference between lapbooks, notebooks, and scrapbooks, “To Lapbook, Notebook, or Scrapbook– that is the question”.

Basic Supplies for a: Lapbook
  • Folders (regular or legal size)
  • Various types of paper (construction, cardstock, index cards, etc.)
  • Writing tools (markers, pencils, pens, crayons)
  • Stickers, Rubber Stamps , Clipart -for illustration and accents
  • Glue

Why Bother to Create These Projects?

The beauty of such projects are the physical keepsake results of your schoolwork endeavors, and the motivation it provides for your child to see that their schoolwork matters and is not just a bunch of vain or repetitious effort.

Organize Your Lapbooks

Lap books store easily in the plastic, up-right, magazine holders on your bookshelf.

Make a Nature Lapbook

 

Look at these informative links

 

 

Science and the Garden – it is all about science…

Photo from the Smithsonian lesson on "Plants and Pollinators".
Photo from the Smithsonian lesson on “Plants and Pollinators”.

Beneath the garden soil and above it, it is all about the science of growing things. From botany to chemistry, there are a myriad of topical experiments and learning exercises in gardening.

  • Find out about the pH of the soil and test your garden soil.
  • What are the ingredients of common fertilizers and what do their numbers stand for? (Nitrogen, Potassum, and Potash)
  • How are flowers pollinated? What is the life cycle of a plant?
  • What about microorganisms, how important are they in soil health?
  • Discover more about the garden than meets the eye. Take a lens ( a real lens) out into the garden to spy on bugs, look at leaf veins, inspect pollen in flowers.

 

68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps – Science fun

An easy science experiment for small children is to grow a plant from a kitchen scrap. Old carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes… many will grow roots and sprout a plant.

Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsam

Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps
Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

Learn how to grow vegetables, fruits, and nuts, even herbs, spices and Asian vegetables. Lots of projects to make exciting plants from a trip to the grocery, great way to get across the lessons on how what we eat comes from the earth, not the store shelves. Humorous and informative, this book will teach you more about growing plants and have more fun doing it.

More Garden Unit Studies Help

Field Trips

Visit public gardens like those listed in Gardens of Ohio. Many educational events are to be found!

 

Math by the Yard

The opportunities for math skills multiply in the garden

Example of Garden Math problems.

“Gardens are a source full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers that provide for and sustain life. But did you know a garden, from its creation to harvest, is rich in mathematical concepts and connections as well?” so says Gardenmath blog and gives us one very helpful post of diagrams and examples.

You can think up all sorts of ways to apply math within the garden unit study including the suggestions included here. Measurements, accounting, and ratios may all factor in the making of a garden.

Classic and Topical Books – for young gardeners

A Child’s Garden

by Molly Dannenmaier

 

A guide for parents to nurture their children’s sense of wonder and curiosity within the garden with projects and lots of information on how to give a sense of imagination and play to learning

Great book to use for one of the most exciting unit studies right in your own backyard.

The longer you garden the better the eye gets, the more tuned to how colors vibrate in different ways and what they can do to each other.

You become a scientist as well as an artist,with the lines increasingly blurred.

The Arts

The Garden and Art – Many artists depict garden subjects

Millet

Millet

Art History

Whether you chose Millet, Renoir, or Monet, Fragonard or even Gustav Klimt, the historical time or genre can be explored as well as the gardens or garden related work depicted. An entire tour of the life of Monet, Impressionism, and the garden at Giverny yield rich discoveries within a garden unit study.

Jean-Francois Millet painted many works of people busy in the fields.

A Little Garden Music

Ketelbey: In a Monastery Garden

THE COMPOSER: Albert W. Ketelbey was born in Alma Street in the Lozells area of Birmingham, England, the son of George Ketelbey (written with no accent), and Sarah Aston. At the age of eleven he wrote a piano sonata that won praise from Edward Elgar. Ketelbey attended the Trinity College of Music in London.

The Ballet, ‘The Firebird’ has scenes in a garden.

Character Development

 

My Family, Hard at Work

Raking is a good team project
Raking is a good team project

in the Garden – Character Building: Diligence and Teamwork

One of the lessons that a garden unit study can teach is the value of being diligent and working together as a team. This is something that will be naturally absorbed in the garden work, but can be formally instilled through underlining within the teachable moments and with written assignments geared towards thinking about these characteristics.

We used this nature character study through all grades. Interesting facts about many animals integrated with Bible studies and lessons.

We used this nature character study through all grades. Interesting facts about many animals integrated with Bible studies and lessons.

  • The Bible points to the ant as an example of diligence, and there are usually plenty of ants to observe in the garden. It is easy to perform experiments in how easy it is to get a job done when working as a team and this could also be useful for civics or social studies lessons.
  • Many maxims, quotes, and poems originate in the act of gardening, ever heard of “a hard row to hoe”? That makes literature and language arts easy to incorporate.Many have to do with exercising diligence and working together to create a garden.A classic book like “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a famous one.
  • Diligence in following directions can be gained from the directions on the backs of seed packets. Plant a few in contrary conditions and note the difference between plantings

— Marjorie Harris

For Little People – Children younger than 8 yrs old benefit from their own sized tools

A colorful garden tote filled with tools will give a sense of fun and play to any garden activity. Real garden tools, but in a small size useful for light garden projects for children. Use any sharp tools, such as secateurs, with care.

Garden Outfitters

For a range of ages, tools that will stand up to digging in the dirt and a handy wagon for playing or hauling garden supplies around.

 

Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon
Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon

I had one as a kid, my children had them, and I used them in the garden. This is the classic all purpose wagon.

And after years of hard use, when the wagon rusted out from being left in open weather… my Dad scavenged the wheels and made two wheeled garden carts, one for me and one for him.

The only caveat I’ll give you is that these tough little wagons last better if they are put away when not in use (another “do as I say and not as I do” piece of advice.)

I’ve used the plastic kinds, but nothing is as good as the Radio Flyer Classic.

 

  • 5 Tips
    useful tips for getting kids interested
Ilona has gardened actively for most of her life, and been a writer and webmaster online since 1998. Homeschooled all 10 of her children.

List Of Great Books That All Children Should Read

International Children’s Book Day

SPEND TWENTY MINUTES A DAY READING TO YOUR CHILD

International Children’s Book Day is always celebrated on April 2nd. Why April 2nd? Because that is Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday! And what better day to choose for celebrating children’s books than the birthday of the beloved collector of fairy tales, which so many of us read as children?

There are more days set aside for reading and books, including Library Week and numerous Book weeks, but this celebration is just for children’s books.

What a wonderful way to revisit old favorites and discover new books for children:

A day to inspire a love of reading.
Discover
  • What makes a book a classic
  • Why parents should read to their kids
  • Lists of great books according to age groups
  • Short reviews of recommended books for children, with convenient affiliate Amazon links.

Classic Children’s Books

Don’t miss these beloved books

Before I had my own children there were many books that I loved as a child: Dr. Seuss Stories,The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist, Nancy Drew Mysteries. But after having children I found myself reading many I had somehow missed.

When looking for quality books for my children I discovered Good Night Moon, Ping, Lyle the Crocodile, Amelia Bedelia, Anne of Green Gables, The Laura Wilder stories, The Boxcar Children, The Girl of Limberlost, and so many more classics. I hope as you journey through this page you will find your own favorites to share with your children.

What Makes A Classic?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Meg, Jo, Beth and… Poster at Allposters.com

Why a book should be on a must-read list for children? What makes it a classic? This involves a certain recipe of factors, not unlike those for “big people”, the same basic ingredients are baked into memorable children’s books.

  1. Great characters. Just like any great book, it starts with characters that reflect the inner life that humans experience in some way, a complete picture of personality with hopes, dreams, fears, and quirks. We ought to be able to identify them, even if not identifying with them.
  2. There should be action, plot, and purpose. Even if the purpose is just a time to enjoy silliness, a great book has momentum that holds our interest.
  3. Pictures. For some children’s books the secret ingredient is the illustration.
  4. Ability to capture the imagination and affections. The best books capture our imagination and make us love the characters and the stories. Inspiration to dream and do, to believe we understand better than before we were immerse in the pages.
  5. Longevity. Something that lasts from generation to generation. Some messages, characters or events carry through many generations. They touch our humanity. Classic literature does this very well.

Great Children’s Books Should Be Accessible

You can go to the library, and you should, but nothing replaces the home bookshelf of well loved favorites. They are ready for reading anytime 🙂

A reading nook, a shelf of beloved books, encourages parents to read to their children. It places reading in a place of importance, and makes the books themselves accessible to kids.

Why Read With Your Children

Experts Give Their Advice On The Subject

According to experts, if you read to your children regularly it will help develop their own love of reading, help them master language skills and learn to think logically. They will experience reading as something fun! It will also foster their relationship with you and encourages communication skills.

Reading together builds an academic foundation with basic speech skills and basic knowledge in how to read a book. Children are likely to do better in school, later on.

The Children’s Reading Foundation recommends 20 minutes a day

Reading to children fosters the habit of reading, it will encourage a lifelong love of reading books and helps to build a superior vocabulary. It can take only minutes a day, but what important minutes those can prove to be. Reading Is Fundamental website

link:10 reasons from the Early Moments website

My ‘Great Book’ Choices

FOR OLDER CHILDREN

  • Oliver Twist
  • Little Women
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Hobbit
  • The Last Of The Mohicans
  • Treasure Island
  • At The Back Of The North Wind

FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN

  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
  • Runaway Bunny
  • Beatrix Potter Books (The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
  • Corduroy
  • Cat In The Hat

This is my short list of books for Child Book Day.

The Silver Skates
Hans Brinker

 

 

Not on many lists today, but it is ideal reading for celebration of an International Children’s Book day. Filled with Dutch cultural information and a heartwarming story. ‘The Silver Skates’ is one of those great books that has fallen from the reading lists of many. That should not be. It is a story that has important lessons, as many of the old classics do, creates a time and place which weaves understanding into the fabric of today’s world. Many of the earlier works of children’s literature attempted to give children a window into other cultures, along with universal character traits that make up the best of our humanity.

That is why they still make worthwhile reading today.

A Good Book

Makes the Best Gift

 

Are you familiar with some of the old favorites like “Wind In The Willows”? An English tale set on the banks of a river in England, all the characters derive from animals one might find along the Thames.

With much of the charm found in “Winnie The Pooh” or the Beatrix Potter stories, but for a child a few years older, this is one of the books I discovered in the quest of building my own children’s exploration of good literature.

Wind In The Willows is perhaps better known to the children of England, but it is a classic tale of camaraderie and quirky personalities that children on this side of the pond have come to love.

The Wind In the Willows
The Wind In the Willows

Delightful, wonderful characters who lead a long line of adventures on the river. You will love the wild, oddly lovable, Mr. Toad …and Rat, Mole, Badger… the entire gang.

GO AHEAD AND BUY A SET

You can’t go wrong to start your home library with series sets of books for your children. When an author, and their illustrators, get the formula right expect clamor for continuing the series.

This extends the pleasure of reading about favorite characters, or delving into new adventures. So look for a series of books by an author and work your way through them, savoring the details. This makes these books ideal for birthday and Christmas giving, stretching the discovery of fine writing year after year.

Look For These Authors, And Their Collections

FOR TOTS:

Five beloved Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss includes ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish’, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. Children love these rhyming texts, silly stories, and humorous drawings.

There is a reason Dr. Seuss has been beloved for generations of young readers and listeners. Made for reading aloud and for beginning readers.


Peter Rabbit, Et Al

Beatrix Potter animal characters and the engaging stories are illustrated with beautiful and memorable watercolor pictures. Just recently a son of mine mentioned how he had remembered some of the plots and scenes well into adulthood.
I, personally, have always considered these books to be top notch reading entertainment for children.

Beatrix Potter Story Characters

 

Books for Very Young Children – Beautiful pictures and edifying text.

The Runaway Bunny
The Runaway Bunny

 

 

Books that appeal to the very young have lots of illustration, but they are also books that comfort or entertain them.

Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon are both books with beautiful illustrations which follow the way a child thinks to provide a comforting end to the day. They make great night time reading.

‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ is so well loved it has spawned an entire set of similar books, but the original is always my favorite. As a parent, and now a grandparent I never tire of reading it. Droll illustrations and the cutest story line of slippery slope events makes this a book you and your children will have fun reading together.

 

 

More Than Fifty Years Old, But Still Modern

Cat In The Hat and Corduroy are two books that have stood the test of time. I remember them in my own library as a child and reread them often to my children when they were small. That makes them classic, doesn’t it? I’d say so, when joined by millions of readers spanning several generations who also love these books!

Goodnight Moon Big Book
Goodnight Moon Big Book

 

 

Harry the Dog

A Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury: Three StoriesA Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury: Three Stories

This collection of fine books were some our family enjoyed over and over again. Winnie the Pooh is loved for the tender and humorous stories and characters, and I prefer the original drawings over the Disney renditions. I own the hardback collection of stories and carefully brought it out for reading together, while another copy of stories was for the rough and tumble handling of everyday.

Harry the Dirty Dog is a darling book that isn’t so well known nowadays, but well worth the purchase. You and your children will love Harry.

Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Classic Books With Holes) is an interactive book, and I find that young children are delighted with this type of reading entertainment.

Clifford doesn’t need to be introduced, does he? A super popular series of many books starring the huge red dog.

The Very Best “I Can Read” Books

You will adore Frog and Toad

Wittily written, Frog and Toad have engaging illustrations and delightful little stories.
Frog and Toad Book Set: Frog and Toad Are Friends; Frog and Toad Together; Days with Frog and Toad; Frog and Toad All Year
Frog and Toad Book Set: Frog and Toad Are Friends; Frog and Toad Together; Days with Frog and Toad; Frog and Toad All Year

Arnold Lobel is one of those authors who “gets it” that children deal with real emotions and understands how important friendship is. Frog and Toad are two of his most delightful characters, who draw you into their circle while they tackle situations together, from fears and scary things to a day of being down in the dumps.

 

Elementary Age Readers Will Love These Mysteries

The Boxcar Children Bookshelf (The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Books 1-12)

Book 1-12 in a cute case makes a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift for a young reader.

Boxcar Children

How cute! A boxcar bookcase with twelve of the Boxcar Children mysteries. Room for 32 such books, The Boxcar Children have adventures that early readers are eager to follow through a series of mysteries. There are educational materials created for these books=great for Homeschoolers.

Get Your Boys To Read Books: Encyclopedia Brown to the Rescue!

Girls and boys love these books! Because there is an age when they can’t get enough of these mystery style stories, this is a great choice for ages 8-10. Books that center on ideals of equality and justice, with a dash of ingenuity and fun.
Encyclopedia Brown Box Set (4 Books)
Encyclopedia Brown Box Set (4 Books)

A set of four mysteries.

Boys will find themselves identifying with the main character and seem to especially enjoy the Encyclopedia Brown Mystery books. These are early reading books, so you may read to them or find they pick them up on their own.

For Pre-teen Girls

The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside)
The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside)

My girls and I loved these enchanting stories full of imagination and life! Anne is spirited and always getting into scrapes, but she manages to win her way into the hearts of those around her…including us.

The characters, particularly of Anne, make for a cult following. Fans take treks to her house in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island to see the real farm and home that inspired the beloved stories. That is the power of good writing!

This book centers around the life of Prince Edward Island in Canada, and manages to take readers back in time while still holding onto the struggles and joys that real teens still encounter. No wonder generations of girls have come to love Anne.

Complete boxed set of L.M. Montgomery’s books- don’t miss this! Young girls are entranced by such stories as ‘Rainbow Valley’, and all of the Anne of Green Gables stories.

Two More Collections Loved By Fans

Movies, TV shows, and lots of related showcases for the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder and C. S. Lewis tells the story of how attached the readers become to these examples of excellent children’s literature.

The characters and plots draw the reader into history, fantasy, and clashes of good and evil. All the makings of what makes a book draw readers for generations.

The Secret Garden

There is something transcendent about the lives of the two unhappy children who find friendship, inner confidence, and the beauty of life in the romantic surroundings of a big Victorian mansion and its secret garden that still speaks to children today. I think that transcendent feature lies within the healing power of nature … no matter what our age or circumstance.

Yes, there are movies, and inexpensive cut-down versions of the book, but this is a book that is best in its original form, with real pages to turn and with enough time given to allow the words to create the spark in the imagination that all great books seem able to do.

Every bookshelf should hold this story of how a long neglected garden opens up the lives of three children with different challenges and stations in life, bringing a love of nature to them and by way of their experience, to us.

An evocative book you will enjoy reading and discussing with your child, which will build a love for gardens and a new appreciation of the wonder of plants. Many gardeners cite this book as being instrumental in their childhood fascination with gardening.

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen understood the fun and fascination of the fairy tales told to children. He is famous for his collection of folk tales that we have been familiar with, as children, for generations.

Another beloved book by this author is ‘The Little Princess’. Young girls enjoy the tale of trials and triumph of Sara Crewe. A Cinderella story set in Victorian times, Frances Hodgson Burnett writes with delightful grasp of what makes a story grab our heartstrings.

The Little House Books For All Ages

The Little House Books (2 Volume Set)
The Little House Books (2 Volume Set)

Laura Ingalls Wilder

We wore through our set of Little House books. A wonderful way to develop a fascination with American history and a love of reading. Laura Ingalls Wilder created books filled with warmth and feeling.

C.S. Lewis

The complete Chronicles of Narnia in one finely illustrated, hardcover book. Every child should have the chance to enter Narnia and make friends with all the wonderful characters of these C. S. Lewis books.

International Children’s Book Day

For The Home Library – Beloved Books

At the Back of the North Wind (Everyman's Library Children's Classics)
At the Back of the North Wind (Everyman’s Library Children’s Classics) A fantasy which, like the Narnia books, has spiritual messages and looks at the conflict of good and evil.

 

The Railway Children
The Railway Children

The triumph of family love and justice as children struggle with the unjust imprisonment of their father, but his final vindication, has been a well loved classic book

Translated

Many of the classic books for children are translated into different languages- making them truly internationally celebrated!

Celebrate A Day For Children’s Books

This day is a perfect opportunity to discover high quality reading books which have stood the test of time. Books that build character, that widen horizons, and engage a child’s imagination. Embark on an adventure of discovery that can result in a full year of reading fun.

Make reading a celebration and help encourage the development of the habit of sitting down with a book.

A special day for emphasizing reading can help offset the modern tendency to ignore book reading in favor of the clamor of electronic entertainment.

This Observation Celebrated

~since 1967

Things To Do – – to observe the day

  1. Why, read a child’s book of course!
  2. Go to the Library with your child
  3. Make a gift of a book to your child today
  4. Make a “children’s hour” to read your child’s favorite books to them.
  5. Don’t have a child? Adopt one for the day and give them a book

More Reading Adventures

There are so many great classic children’s books.
Fantasy Worlds

Besides Narnia and The Hobbit, there is the world of “The Borrowers”, the tiny people who you just know live in your house and account for the little items that always go missing!

Ozma of Oz is less well known than The Wizard of Oz, but it was my favorite of all the L. Frank Baum series. In a Kindle edition with the classic illustrations of John R. Neill. Who does not love the idea of a new head and personality to match whenever one feels like it?

Certain Settings

Where the Red Fern Grows takes place in the Ozarks, and follows the story of a boy and his beloved dogs. The bond between man and dog, the reality of life and loss, are eloquently dealt with in this fine story.

Don’t Miss These Great Children’s Books

Some of the Best Book Choices to Fascinate Older Children

 

The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with play on words and fun characters for concepts that intrigue an older child (age 9-12).

The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition
The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition

For intermediate readers, this is a witty and fun book to read. It hones a child’s sense of humor and the ability to see things from more than one perspective. Word play abounds, which incites a reader to develop a love of language.

A Wrinkle in Time is mystery, love, and time-travel all rolled into one! What is not to love about this adventure of Meg and her brother in finding their scientist father, who has somehow disappeared? And meet Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which….

 

 

Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Boxed Set of 4 Books
Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Boxed Set of 4 Books

Eventually you will want the entire set of Tolkien’s classics. Exciting adventure fantasy books. Loving the movies is no excuse to skip the books! This is a case of there being so much more inside the literature than could possibly be included within a movie. But even so, the film versions of the stories create an interest to know more and continue the discovery of the creatures, world, and exciting plots of Tolkien.

 

 

A Girl of the Limberlost [Annotated]
A Girl of the Limberlost [Annotated]

This is not only a touching book, but one that introduces us to a particular time and place. The Limberlost swamp of Indiana is the background for a story of love and relationships.

The Last of the Mohicans (Oxford World's Classics)
The Last of the Mohicans (Oxford World’s Classics)

This is one of my own top favorites, it embodies the noble characters and the villains of early times with a historical background illuminating the complex conflicts of Indian tribes, The English, and the French.

More Than One Day To Celebrate Reading

…because it is so important

There are many special times set a apart during the year, the world over, to encourage reading and a love of books.

A few others, besides the International Children’s Book Day:

  • World Book Day
  • Many different “Book Weeks”, includingAustralia’s
  • Library Week
  • National Read A Book Day

Wyeth: Treasure Island

Discover What’s New In Children’s Literature

Fine books are being written all the time

We all love the classics, but every day new books are being written and published and they might well be a classic some day. Discover exciting new additions to children’s literature.

Amazon has a list, “New Books for Children”, that is categorized for discovery of what’s new and what’s great.

Check the list of Caldecott Winners from 1938 to the present year.

Read the New York Times reviews of new children’s books.

 

A GUIDE GIVES AN OVERVIEW

Because there are so many books which appeal to a wide range of ages, it is not possible to cover all of them in even a book, although there are guides that I found very helpful, especially Honey for a Child’s Heart.

Book Guide to All The Best Books – A huge help for parents who care about their children’s reading habits

Reading the right books, which capture a child’s imagination and inspire their hearts and minds, begins a lifetime of reading adventure.

“Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever” will inspire and guide you to include reading time with your child.

Early in my homeschool endeavor I was looking for great books to give my children and use in their reading program. This guide was priceless! It categorizes books by their appeal to specific age groups and reading ability.

Honey for a Child's Heart
Honey for a Child’s Heart

An entire book dedicated to revealing the great Children’s books to purchase and read with your children, all the way through the high school years when they may be guided to pick up and read the greatest and most wholesome books. You, as I did, may find yourself engrossed in books that you missed as a child from the extensive lists of quality children’s books.

Make a Reading Nook – Create a special space just for reading

Take notes from your favorite bookstore memories, and get a cozy big chair (big enough for two, you and your child) a small bookshelf or two, and a reading lamp. It can be in your child’s room, in a corner of the living room, or anywhere that a quiet space is reserved for those 20 minutes of reading time together.

HOW TO MAKE A READING NOOK

Cute Allposter.com wall art

How To Create A Cozy Reading Nook

  • A small table and chairs,
  • a large comfy chair for reading together,
  • a good lamp for reading by,
  • and a small bookcase are all ideal (as mentioned above),
  • but what about a comfy window seat?

 

IKEA has inexpensive modules that connect to create a low seat and nearby bookcases, snap-on reading lamps and cushions for comfort.

A place free from the distractions of TV and video game is probably best, and you might be surprised to rediscover life outside of electronics.

Even an area on an outside, screened-in, or all season porch may be the place you and your children most like to spend reading time for many months of the year.

Homeschool Focus: How to Make a Unit Study

homeschool help

Unit studies are one of the most exciting ways to learn in an homeschool setting. While they may take some preparation, they are well worth it in fun and learning. This is how to put one together.

Create your own unit study? Yes, you can

There are so many fabulous homeschool resources available that you might be able to find a unit study for almost any topic desired, but what if you want to craft your own? At one point that is how many of the teaching materials came to be created. You might have experience, expertise, and interest in a topic that you want to teach your children, but fear taking away time from core subjects, or maybe schoolwork has become a little boring for all involved. Making and implementing a unit study can be the answer to all those concerns.

This is a loose guide to inspire your own creative ability to plan and follow a unit study.

  • Outline the process of putting together your own unit curriculum
  • Give you pointers on creating unit studies
  • Suggest guides and supplies I found helpful when I homeschooled my children

Unit Study

Defined: an in-depth look at one topic while integrating all the academic subjects in that study.

Find Resources In The Local Library

Your local library is a free resource for many of the materials and research you will need to create your own studies.
Your local library is a free resource for many of the materials and research you will need to create your own studies.

Use Classic Children’s Literature

There is an entire method of teaching based on this idea alone. Using the classics to teach good language skills in integral to all academics, but there is so much more you can do with these good stories! Many are filled with historical background and characters to branch off into history stories, geography, and more depending on the particular books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Unit Study
Laura Ingalls Wilder Unit Study

Laura Ingalls Wilder is a captivating writer, and her stories include real history. These beloved books are ideal for a unit study

Topics…which one will you choose?

Unit Study Topic Tips

PICTURE THE OVERLAP OF SUBJECTS

Almost anything can be a topic which provides a foundation to a unit study.

Try to narrow down the focus to a children’s interest, a famous person, or an era. Anything that holds either interest or importance is a good place to start for building your theme.

Then do some mind mapping. Imagine that subject in each of the core studies: is there a correlation in math problems, or are there uses of math in that particular subject.

Poultry as the study topic, for example:

  •  Is math used for computations of space per animal in the chicken coop?
  • How about feed rations?
  • In English: How are chickens used as metaphors or similes in writing, and why?
  • Geography: Where did the domesticated chicken originate?
  • Science: breeding fancy chickens.

REFINE AND FOCUS

Sometimes it is better to refine the topic into a manageable size… “rivers” might be too broad a topic, while “Rivers of Ohio” might be a better focus.

CENTER ON SOMETHING YOUR CHILD ALREADY LIKES

star wars robots
Star Wars triggers interest in astronomy

Desire oriented learning brings immediate involvement with a subject. Or center on something you believe your child will like and be interested in, we often don’t know if we like something until we try it . Desire oriented learning helps the student branch out easily into more challenging, less liked, areas of study.

This is the whole point of many unit studies. It is also what makes this such a powerful tool for learning. Choose a favorite book or a specific year, or something far-out like Orson Wells “Attack from Mars”. Begin exploring science through the lens of science fiction to engage young minds.

Science And Star Wars

American Educational Complete Astronomy Study Unit
American Educational Complete Astronomy Study Unit

Science can be difficult for some homeschooling parents to incorporate, but a unit study will create an avenue into this important part of your studies.

Unit Study Inspirations: Make Your Own

There are quite a number of ready made unit studies to be purchased on Amazon, from homeschool sites, and through many curriculums. This is a sampling.

Putting together your own might start with one of these, or it might be tailored to a topic within one of your children’s interests.

Empowering You With Confidence To Begin

Ready to go with a guided study, all the work done for you is a great time saver and confidence builder. Homeschool doesn’t have to be hard for the teaching Mom. So many resources to sift through might be the only work needed to put together a really stellar year of fun and learning.

This type of unit study was what I liked to add in after the Christmas holidays, when no one is very interested in buckling down to rote work. It can also include lots of field trips to museums or science exhibits.

If you decide to study birds, it can be used in all seasons to build habits of observation, note taking, and related skills.

Birds of North America Unit Study
Birds of North America Unit Study

This has to be one of my favorite topics for a unit study- birds are so fascinating and the possibilities for a great unit study are endless.

Homeschool Tip: Set A Schedule

Include a start time and schedule projects. Decide on the length of time to devote to the unit study.

Activities: Units almost create themselves once you put these components together

Many resources are available through membership fees, and homeschool conventions are also a good source for finding unit study ideas and supplies.

  1. Field trips to match up with your learning focus
  2. Lapbooks and Journals to record and collate your child’s work
  3. DVD’s of documentaries or pertinent movies.
  4. Create a book list of reading materials
  5. Add research and mapping skills by encouraging self-study in these areas of the topic
  6. List artists related to topic (i.e. John Audubon for his bird studies if topic is ‘American Eagle’)
  7. Brainstorm writing assignments highlighted in the topic. Science centered? Then, “what is a research paper?” might be a pursuit in English branch of the unit study

Unit Study Tip: Hone In On The Topic

In your study: focus, focus, focus. Then branch out to topic-related activities inside each discipline of study.

Writing Driven Study

Writing, for some students is quite challenging, but incorporating it daily into the backbone of your teaching can overcome the natural tendency to fear the blank page.

Don’t be discouraged if you have a tardy writer. I had a son who I almost despaired would ever learn to write reports and essays. Eventually, he “got it” and in college turned out to be quite gifted in poetry and writing. This type of method, where writing is seamlessly leading learning is a more painless way to teach.

Whatever teaching method you choose as your homeschool’s main one, try out some of the others occasionally, especially if your child is having some trouble tackling the concepts.

Study Driven: A Framework for Planning Units of Study in the Writing Workshop
Study Driven: A Framework for Planning Units of Study in the Writing Workshop

This is a book about writing. A method that uses the same type of thinking that drives unit studies: find out what is in the real world, study it and use it as a way to gain academic skill. Not a book about creating unit studies per se, but a book that will help with the very necessary part of an education: writing well.

Homeschool Moms Discuss The How-To

Learning Resources

Homeschool Help Online

Take a favorite book- discover Hobbit trails in math, science, and history.

Literature as a Starting Point

What child, or teacher for that matter, can resist delving into the world of the Hobbit as J.R.R. Tolkien created him? My children and I loved this book and the studies in this teaching guide. It covers vocabulary and reading comprehension in a wonderful way.

Study Disciplines you will want to cover – Use these as headings for your plan

  • Science
  • Math
  • Writing and Grammar
  • Literature
  • Art and Music
  • Geography and Social Studies
  • History

The Hobbit: A Teaching Guide (Discovering Literature Series: Challenge)
The Hobbit: A Teaching Guide (Discovering Literature Series: Challenge)

A fun way to study a favorite book. The hobbit is loved for good reason and makes an excellent basic topic for a unit study.

What About The Great Outdoors?

Use Your Camera: Document, Create

Don’t overlook how much your digital camera can add to both creating the unit study materials and documenting the work and activities. If you don’t have a camera already, consider buying one. Of course, many phones come equipped with a perfectly adequate one.

Making A Botany Unit Study

This writer has tremendous amounts of super helpful information on all aspects of homeschooling.

Have you thought about using a vacation or daytrip as a basis for teaching history or a complete curriculum for a couple months?

  • What’s All This Fuss About Unit Studies?
    A unit study is a teaching method where you choose a topic and try to accomplish as many academic subjects around that topic as possible. It is a very appealing to home educators for many reasons: you accomplish more in

Ever made your own unit study? – Did your children enjoy it?

Travel Ohio History Sites For Fun, Educational Daytrips

Family Activities and Fun

Timeline Journey Through The Buckeye State

What Do You Know About The 17th State?

Historical landmarks
The Fun Way To Learn About History

 

There are many ways to explore history, but one avenue has a lot of family fun included.

Take trips through the State of Ohio to visit the places you are learning about, and have hands on experiences about the times long ago in museums and adventure parks.

Find historical markers and even make a challenge of traveling to the top fifteen (twenty, eventually) places in the history of Ohio.

Along the way, especially during the summer season, there are areas of wonder and beauty, and plenty to keep the family entertained.

It doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg, either.

So for fun entertainment, economical travel ideas, and plenty of Ohio history, a trip through the state might be one of the most memorable ways to enjoy learning and being together as a family you have ever had.

The 17th State:
Ohio joined the United States of America on February 19, 1803

Important Events – Landmarks in Time

It is said that the Iroquois Indian word for “beautiful river” is the origin of the state name, and the Ohio River has certainly done much to shape the boundary, literally. It forms the southern border while Lake Erie forms the northern one. The earliest history of our land was made by the Indian populations, some tribes and civilizations long gone before the White man arrived and some changing as different groups of native peoples were increasingly pushed west.

A pioneer land that produced a number of the early presidents of this nation, a place where inventors and famous persons were born and their lives and work was formed. Ohio has plenty to teach us… guideposts along the timeline that have all sorts of stories to tell and to hear.

History Comes Alive

Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees (American Indian Lives)
Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees (American Indian Lives)

This is one of my favorite biographies of an American Indian Chief. Blue Jacket was the war chief of the Shawnees, a tribe that settled in mostly Central Ohio. The historical perspective is balanced and gives great insight into the tribal customs of the Shawnee. You will not regret time spent reading this well written and fascinating book.

A Travel In Time

Travel ideas taking history from earliest eras to today.

15  Suggested Historical  Excursions

Indigenous Cultures, Woodland Tribes

Native Americans In The MidWest

What are some great ways to find out about history? Look through the following entries to find out facts, resources, and some of the history of this important member of the Union.

Ohio, formed from the Northwest Territories became a state in 1803, but was that the beginning of its history? What sort of land was this before the European arrived? Who first settled this State and what struggles did the land witness? Here is a taste of some of the facts, some of the legends, and some of the story, to introduce you to the land bound by the Beautiful Ohio River.

  • Where was the first place white explorers and settlers entered the State?
  • Who were the Native American tribes here, and what were they like?
  • Why are there “Perry” place names around the shores of Lake Erie?
  • Why were cities or counties named those odd, but familiar names?

Those are the types of questions that can create our quest to know more of the past of this place.

The Buckeye State
Known as the “Buckeye State”, Ohio’s State Tree is The Buckeye, “Aesculus glabra”, so-called for its beautiful brown nuts with a similarity to the eye of a deer (male deer called a “buck”)

Hmmm, let’s see, where to start? How about right in the middle of the state, where I live? And how about early times when Indians were the sole human inhabitants of this land of hills and plains, Deep forests with massive trees, and shining,rippling streams and rivers at the edge of the largest fresh water lakes in the world?

The Ancients

1

The Serpent Mound in Adams County is not a lively place with amusement park atmosphere or rides, but it is an interesting place to see a prime example of the Mound Builder people’s work. There are many mounds and different earthworks throughout our state, but this is preserved and is a great place to enjoy a picnic and a quiet walk. It is also a geocache site.

Serpent Mound is the largest serpent effigy in the world.

Are you interested in following the trail of ancient earthworks?

Ohio’s Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound
Serpent Mound

Central Ohio And Ancient History

2

Olentangy Indian Caverns

have been a local tourist attraction for many decades and there are lots of fun activities for a family outing. Besides taking a tour of the caves there is a miniature golf course, a gem mining experience, a museum and trading post, and it is nearby to other area attractions- the Columbus Zoo and Highbanks park (which has its own modest earthworks site). If you are looking for fun activities to pair with your history discovery, put this place on your bucket list. You may want to visit before the opportunity disappears forever. ( It is closing)

3

Ohio Historical Center in Columbus will take a day to see all the exhibits.  I think you should carry your bucket list of sights to see along with you, because you are going to find lots of information in the museum that makes this discovery trip richer.

There is a fee for parking and entrance. This will grant you access to two levels of exhibits and quite a bit to see inside an air conditioned building. Ohio Village is also on the grounds, which replicates a town of circa the Civil War era. It holds special events, consult their Calendar.

Upper Sandusky

 

4

Indian Mill gives insights into the Wyandotte tribe and the early interactions between Indians, the American government and the small community of free and slave blacks who settled here after the War of 1812. Overland Inn Museum is also in this area, for a pleasant drive in Upper Sandusky.

Captured By Indians, Daniel Boone Blazed The Trail To Ohio

Life of Daniel Boone, The
The Life of Daniel Boone

An exciting life of one of the first white settlers to enter this part of the nation and settle here (for awhile). Captured by Indians and made a member of their tribe, he escaped and returned to his family… this was but one of the larger than life adventures of this early American.


Zoar Village

Zoar Village
Vintage engraving of Zoar Village

Northern Ohio Discovery

5

Zoar Village is a restored village of the religious Separatists. Ten restored building with costumed interpreter staff to give a Williamsburg-like experience of life and products of this pre-Civil war community that exists within a living community of private homes. Visitors can also buy nineteenth-century reproduction wares.
Plan your visit between April and late October- things are closed up during winter months. Homeschoolers may be interested in Spring Homeschool Day with special events and pricing.
April 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

6

Oliver Hazard Perry is pretty famous in the Great Lakes history, and there are many natural things to see while enjoying the beautiful Lake Erie Firelands area. Plan a trip to Kelleys Island, crossing the water in a ferry boat to arrive on a large Island. Visit Inscription rock and see the bare rocks that illustrate how glacial grooves were carved across the land in the last ice age. Lots of opportunities to camp, swim, and fish.
I’ve always loved the Lake Erie shore and there are lots of activities for family vacations. If you get tired of the history and want to indulge in plain old fun go to Cedar Point! It is one of the premier Amusement Parks and calls itself the “Roller Coaster Capital”.

Cedar Point Amusement Park is located in Sandusky, on the Sandusky Bay.

Hanker for Archaeology?

7

More for Ancient Indian and Indian culture aficionados, The Sun Watch Indian Village, in Dayton, has interpretive center and a store with lots of books and crafts. Restored prairie.
Their programs and events, and more about what they offer can be found on their site.

Ohio Documentary, Quick Synopsis

Find Landmarks

Map of the State

Ohio Map
Ohio Map

8

Zanes Trace started out as an Indian trail, but became a major trail in early exploration days( until after the War of 1812 ). Travel through the cities of Zanesville, Lancaster, and Chillicothe followed this pathway leading to the Northwest Territory’s early development. If you start at Wheeling, you can simultaneously travel the National Road. Visit Degenhart Paperweight & Glass Museum in Cambridge, OH, and see the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site in that vicinity.

9

Nothing tells a story better than a stage play, and the historical drama of Tecumseh is one of the most popular. Depicting Ohio country of the early 1800’s with the tale of one of the most famous of Indian Chiefs. Located at 5948 Marietta Road, Chillicothe, OH. | Phone: 740-775-4100

10

One of my favorite areas is the Hocking Hills of the Southwestern part of the state. I have long loved visiting Old Man’s Cave for hikes. But did you know there is a Hocking Hills Train Tour that will take you on travel into times when Railroads forged a westward track through the nation? Find out more: 33 W. Canal Street, Nelsonville Phone: 800-967-7834

Traveling Train Tour for an unusual and memorable daytrip adventure.

11

If you like self guided tours and want to see actual log cabins of the original pioneers, built by them and lived in, you are going to like Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village. Supported by entry fees.

The two routes that pioneers followed to enter the Northwest territory as the lands were known at the time:

  • Zane’s Trace overland route
  • Via the Ohio River.

The oldest settlement was Martin’s Ferry, while Marietta claims to be the oldest permanent settlement (the official explanation is that “Martins Ferry remained an unincorporated settlement for a relatively long time”).

Building log cabins much like those seen in the Pioneer Village from the copious giant trees of forests that covered the territory, settlers soon began filling the forested wilderness with farms and then cities. From Lake Erie in the North and the Ohio River in the south, settlers made their way into the interior of what is now the Buckeye State.

12

The Statehouse is full of significance and is home to an  Abraham Lincoln monument. Take tours of the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, There are many types available.

13

Thomas Edison, an inventor who lastingly impacted our lives has a birthplace museum in Milan. Rare exhibits of examples of many of Edison’s early inventions along with mementos and documents, the museum has the distinction of being run by members of the great inventor’s family.

14

If you want to investigate more of the Civil War time history, there are many places that served as Underground Railroad stations for slaves fleeing slavery in hopes of a life of freedom. One of the entry points was the John Rankin House in Ripley, OH.

15

Johnston Farm & Indian Agency in Piqua covers Native American, Frontier, and Canal History with lots to see and do. You might call it a one stop for all your history needs if time and travel are limited. Farmhouse tours, Canal boat rides, an education center and many events means that your family will have both a learning experience and lots of entertainment.

From Native Indian History to Early Settlers


Source: Wikipedia Commons

Milan, Ohio Was Home To Thomas Edison

Edison: A Life of Invention
Edison: A Life of Invention

Thomas Edison invented what arguably might have most changed life for everyone in the modern age: the light bulb.

Combine a daytrip to his museum along with some background reading of his biography. Especially interesting to homeschoolers since he was homeschooled by his mother, due to struggles with academic learning.

Biographies for History Insights

The combination of learning history through visiting sites and reading the biographies of those who shaped their world is powerful. Get a perspective that is full of living drama and pertinence.

INSPIRED YOU TO EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF THE PLACES YOU VISIT, YET?

Do you think this is a fun way to learn history?

Athens in Hocking County

Ohio was once the Northwest Territory

The Northwest was not always the description of Washington State or Oregon. It once was the furthermost frontier for pioneers. Read about those times when our nation was first forged: 1720 through 1830.

This Was Once The West

The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)
The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier)

Many events of history, heroes and villains created the nation we know as the United States. It is a fascinating story with the clash of English, French, Indians and early pioneers and patriots.

Ohio History Facts

  • Claimed by France and considered part of “New France” during the 17th Century
  • 1756 – 1763 French and Indian War is fought to determine whether the territory is French or British in domain.
  • The American Revolution
  • Treaty of Greenville ends the Indian Wars in the state.
  • Official Date of Statehood : March 1, 1803
  • 1842- The date that the last Indian tribe, the Wyandot, leave Ohio.

The Mighty Ohio River

Quick Facts

  1. Chillicothe was Ohio’s first capital city.
  2. Ohio’s state fossil is the trilobite. Lots of them are to be found in the native limestone.State Animal? White Tail Deer.The state stone is Flint. You may wish to visit the museum at Flint Ridge which has all sorts exhibits to learn about the ancient flint quarry at the site. (Located at 15300 Flint Ridge Rd in Glenford, OH)
  3. Abraham Lincoln visited the Statehouse here three different times
  4. Marietta was the first permanent settlement and was named in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France.
  5. Daniel Boone was held captive by the Shawnee tribe near the Seven Caves area in Ohio. The area can be visited by going to the the Seven Caves Nature Preserve
  6. State Motto: “With God, all things are possible”
  7. In 1835, boundary disputes between Michigan and Ohio cause the Toledo War- so it wasn’t always about football!

Hearkening to the 1800’s

 

 

German Immigrants Comprised 26% Of The People And Culture

Random Facts And Strange Tales

Strange Tales Book Cover

Exciting Places To Visit, Interesting Things to Know

The Ohio History Center

The States center for many historical exhibits about Ohio from its earliest history through to our modern age. Located in the vicinity of OSU campus in Columbus, Ohio.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight

We take flight for granted, but it started with the successful invention and bravado of the Wright Brothers

Up, Up, And Away

Dayton holds plenty of aviation history and museums to mark all the important highlights.

Want to know more about the astronaut who became a state senator? Look no further than the JOHN & ANNIE GLENN HISTORIC SITE in New Concord, Ohio. The National Road/Zane Grey Museum is in the same place, so you get more than one era and lots to look at in this one trip.

72 W. Main Street
New Concord, OH 43762

May – October
Wed. – Sat.: 10 – 4
Sunday: 1 – 4

The Funniest Children Books Are Ideal Gifts For Ages 4-8

This is a list.

I collated some of the best and funniest kids books so you know exactly which ones to look for for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Birthday giving. Want to have some laughs with your children or grandchildren? Get some funny read aloud books, sit down in a comfy chair, and let the hilarity begin! 

Have You Laughed Out Loud While Reading To Your Child?

Some of the classic books for children will hit your funny bone, and more importantly your child’s, too. Witty, well-written stories and amusing illustrations can not only entertain the children, but appeal to parents, too. I found that out while reading to my small children.

Some authors, like Dr. Seuss, are very well known and even movies have been made from the unique characters and inventive stories. Other authors, or even some of the books you’ll see on this page, are less known… but should be better broadcasted for their way of delivering a great message with humor and imagination.

Keep In Mind

That one persons humor treasury might be another’s trash. Wimpy Kids is soundly criticized by some, for example. Just like the different appeal of The Three Stooges or Marx Brothers.

How Do I Find Good Books For My Children?

When my children were young, it helped to belong to book clubs, but that isn’t always the best way to locate good books. Many homeschool resources will provide guidance, and you don’t have to be a homeschooler to use the information!

A book called “Honey For a Child’s Heart” by Gladys Hunt categorized books by age appropriate categories and gave me lists of classics.

Libraries always highlight the newest books, or the ones the Librarians most value, along with seasonal selections.

Schools often have interesting books for kids to enjoy in their libraries, and you might find out what their friends families find enjoyable.

Last but not least are curated lists like this one.


Here is my collection of what I thought were the funniest children’s books- the ones that delighted both my children and I. A few newer ones are thrown in that I will be giving to my grandchildren.

I hope you and your children will enjoy them, too.

 

It’s Humorous

child reading a funny book
Capture interest in reading with a humorous read-aloud book.

Capture interest in reading with a humorous read-aloud book.

On My List
  • Nate The Great
  • Frog and Toad
  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
  • Bad Kitty
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Knucklehead
  • Ramona
  • Clementine
  • Big Orange Splot
  • Olivia
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
  • Cat in the Hat
  • Amelia Bedelia

 

Love of Reading Starts Here

father reading to his children
Love of Reading Starts Here
Did you know that reading aloud to your children

  • Creates a higher aptitude for learning
  • Develops better communication and a mastery of reading skills
  • Gives quality bonding experiences

 

For Beginning Readers

Tip:
To encourage children to read on their own, it helps to have books that are written for their reading level AND which appeal to their imagination. That means that two specific kinds of books to have on the book shelf are those which are either humorous or of the mystery detective genre, preferably both!

Appeal to their funny bone

Boys, especially, may rather run outside, play sports, or sit with video games rather than read. Entice them to discover the joy of reading with books that appeal to them and their sense of adventure.

  • Gear towards their reading level
  • Appeal to their imagination and sense of adventure

Suggestions to pique their interest and tickle their funnybone.

Nate The Great

~By Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, with Illustrator Marc Simont

Nate The Great is the main character of a hilarious set of mystery detective, read-aloud books. Written for ages 4-8, look into these books especially if you want to engage a boy’s interest in reading.
You can't go wrong with one of the Frog and Toad books. They are funny and their friendship is heartwarming.
You can’t go wrong with one of the Frog and Toad books. They are funny and their friendship is heartwarming.

My Family’s Favorite Amphibians

Frog And Toad

by Arnold Lobel

No list of books for children is complete without the likes of Frog and Toad, in my opinion. I think I enjoyed these books as much as my children.

Droll illustrations coupled with funny plots that ring true to how we relate to common situations such as being in a bad mood, being friends, struggling with fears, and more. It is easy to perceive ourselves in the many ways Frog and Toad help each other out and learn important lessons about friendship along the way.

Thankfully for the joy of young readers everywhere, there are more than one of these story collections following the adventures of Frog and Toad. I think they are a great way to encourage reading time, and appealed to both my sense of humor the children’s.

This is one of the cutest books, with adorable illustrations and a truly funny slippery slope of events.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie…

YOU MIGHT END UP WANTING MORE BOOKS WRITTEN BY LAURA JOFFE NUMEROFF!

So well loved, it inspired a whole slew of books using the format to create Pig and Pancakes, Cat and Cupcakes, and more. But this is the original story that started things off in this hilarious direction.

If you buy a child a book, you may find you will want another, and soon a bookcase to house them all…

Lyle the Crocodile – He’s Lovable

Another family favorite of ours.

I laughed out loud, and had a hard time resuming reading when reading this book to my children.

A croc who really is the most lovable guy once you get past the fact that he is… well, a crocodile.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Lyle the Crocodile)
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Lyle the Crocodile)

Lyle is a lovable crocodile and his well meaning efforts are children’s literature’s version of slapstick humor.

Baaad Kitty – Find out why this is a great series of books

Even if you aren't a cat lover you will love the antics of this baaaad kitty
Even if you aren’t a cat lover you will love the antics of this baaaad kitty

I Nominate This For Cutest and Funniest

Bad Kitty 4 Book Set in Slipcase (Includes Bad Kitty Meets the Baby; Bad Kitty Vs Uncle Murray, Bad Kitty Gets A Bath; Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty)
Bad Kitty 4 Book Set in Slipcase (Includes Bad Kitty Meets the Baby; Bad Kitty Vs Uncle Murray, Bad Kitty Gets A Bath; Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty)

Trying to be a good kitty is so hard, follow the bad kitty’s adventures in this and a series of other hilarious books.

Try each one of the Bad Kitty series of books.

Must Watch This Hilarious Bad Kitty Video!

What Books Are You and Your Children Reading?

Which books do you read aloud to your children?

  • I read Disney movie-based books
  • I read fairytales and fantasy books to my kids
  • I read Caldecott award books
  • I read them the ones I loved as a child
  • Any good, age appropriate book I can find
  • I haven’t read much to them but would like to start
  • We use picture books, without much reading.

The Terrible No Good Day – Alexander had one and helps your child laugh at theirs

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Taking the feeling that the day is turning out badly to hilarious lengths.

Knucklehead Might Be New To You

KNUCKLEHEAD: TALL TALES AND MOSTLY TRUE STORIES OF GROWING UP SCIESZKA by Scieszka, Jon (Author) on Oct-02-2008[ Paperback ]

Side splitting antics of six boys who manage to get into plenty of trouble, based on author Jon Scieszka’s own childhood.I hadn’t heard of this one when raising my kids, but it has quickly reached “classic” status.

KNUCKLEHEAD: TALL TALES AND MOSTLY TRUE STORIES OF GROWING UP SCIESZKA by Scieszka, Jon (Author) on Oct-02-2008[ Paperback ]

A Series Of Fun

Beloved Ramona books are proven to delight children for more than one generation.
Beloved Ramona books are proven to delight children for more than one generation.

When you can’t read just one!

A series creates the building blocks of reading a larger, longer book. It develops the characters and the interaction between them. Some of our favorite novels like Charles Dickens’ books were published in a series mode.

The best children’s books sometimes turn into a series because kids love them so much. I don’t really know if that is the reason, but I am happy that there are more than just one of these funny books that encourage children to read, and are a hoot for parents as well.

Get the Collection For Hilarious, Fun Reading

Books beloved for their funny plots, well drawn characters, and relate-able dialog and situations. I had these books for my children some twenty-five years ago- and they have become classic reading for the younger reader age group. Ramona and Henry make a great pair of counterparts in series of wonderful early reader books.

Beverly Cleary, The Author, Interviewed

Clementine

clementine series

Clementine and “Ramona” are favorite characters for 3rd grade girls

… but younger readers, including boys, and parents are all going to enjoy these books with wonderful drawings and fun filled stories.

Don’t let age or gender keep you from enjoy some of these well written and illustrated classics.

Celebrate Everyone’s Uniqueness

big orange splot
Big Orange Splot was a runaway hit with my kids

This book was not on my radar at the time, but one of my cousins who has a masters degree in Child Development sent it to us one Christmas. It’s humor resides in the colorful illustrations, but the message is clear: we should embrace our individuality.

Fun to read, it has a more subtle type of humor which makes it a real favorite for young children.

To Help You Find Funny Books

Start With A Reason

The important thing for new readers is to get them started discovering the great way reading can ignite their imagination and give them windows into the world at large.

How can we best do that, as teachers and parents? Give them books they like, and children LOVE to laugh. Parents love to laugh too, but that is just an aside to our goal of opening the world of great reading in a child’s life.

Just mastering the sounding out of words, and understanding the story is a wonderful accomplishment for a child, but when it tickles their funny bone a new appetite for reading is initiated.

That is why some of the best and most loved books for early readers are in this genre. But really, I don’t think we ever outgrow our appreciation of a well written humorous book. Which is another good reason to add as many of these books to our library shelf as possible.

For ferreting out the best children’s books in any genre, an entire book of recommendations can be a genuinely helpful resource. I liked the “Honey For A Child’s Heart” paperback. It gave list and description by age group. I was always an avid reader, but would have missed some real gems, if not for the guidance of this book.
Honey for a Child’s Heart For a short List of some of the books I always liked, here is a quicklist rundown.
Older Classics
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic

Funny, classic reading for children

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle inspired a musical play and a TV series, but it was her books (by author Betty MacDonald) that children and their parents have loved reading for so many years.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books were some I enjoyed as a child. They were funny, and poked fun at common childhood foibles while delivering an adult point of view and lessons on good behavior.

Because these are older books, they can be a little hard to find. Try eBay or used book stores. There are a few selections on amazon.

Cat in the Hat Is A Dr. Seuss Classic

This book series just grew in popularity until they popped up everywhere!
Make your book nook with colors of the book inspiring the color scheme.

You supply the green egg colored bookcase, and Dr. Seuss supplies the “Ham”. After you read and enjoy the ‘Cat in the Hat‘, ‘Green Eggs and Ham‘ is sure to follow. -You may find a whole shelf dedicated to the various Dr. Seuss classics.

I like the idea of borrowing a child’s color scheme for their play and sleep areas from their favorite book.

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the HatThe Cat in the Hat

Most of us are familiar with the mischief of the Cat in the Hat and his crew. This is a classic book for a home book shelf.

Silly Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish

Did you know?
Amelia Bedelia was based on a real life character, and her funny hat and literal interpretations create havoc. Yet, her employers and the readers come to appreciate this lovable, well meaning housemaid. “Dust the furniture ” takes on a whole new meaning.

Amelia Bedelia Collection (I Can Read Book 2)
Amelia Bedelia Collection (I Can Read Book 2)

The lovable Amelia Bedelia takes everything quite literally with outcomes that somehow end with one of her delicious baked goods being served and a happy ending.

More – don’t miss these cute, humorous books

Olivia

Olivia

She is the cutest little piglet ever, and she has very definite ideas.

Starring Olivia the Pig!

I find that if I am unfamiliar with a book, or what has become a very popular character with the kids set (there are new ones all the time) a video is often made that showcases the books or the character in such a way that you can easily identify the enjoyment that the stories offer.

Attesting to her popularity, there are many gifts to accompany a gift of the books.

See other gifts available on Zazzle.

Create A Reading Corner

Here’s an idea that goes along with a collection of books and the dedication to creating a real lifelong love of reading: create a reading nook.

Keep books in their place with a beautifully crafted bookcase. Create a reading nook with a comfy chair and all their favorite read-aloud books. Little Colorado Traditional Child's 40 in. Bookcase
Keep books in their place with a beautifully crafted bookcase. Create a reading nook with a comfy chair and all their favorite read-aloud books. Little Colorado Traditional Child’s 40 in. Bookcase

Keep books in their place with a beautifully crafted bookcase. Create a reading nook with a comfy chair and all their favorite read-aloud books. Little Colorado Traditional Child’s 40″ Bookcase

Encourage Reading Time

Create a special corner for the “Children’s Reading Hour”. A bookshelf filled with all their favorites, a comfy chair and light. Let it invite you and your child to share some of the best times that you will both remember.

The funny books and the cozy nook will cultivate a young chidl’s love of reading- a love that will last a lifetime.

Click for Longfellow's Poem

Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day’s occupations, That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me The patter of little feet, The sound of a door that is opened, And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight, Descending the broad hall stair, Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence: Yet I know by their merry eyes They are plotting and planning together To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway, A sudden raid from the hall! By three doors left unguarded They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret O’er the arms and back of my chair; If I try to escape, they surround me; They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses, Their arms about me entwine, Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditi, Because you have scaled the wall, Such an old mustache as I am Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress, And will not let you depart, But put you down into the dungeon In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever, Yes, forever and a day, Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, And moulder in dust away!!

wimpy kid poster

Accessories Build Interest

The Posters, T-shirts, and Action Figures!

…they also make good gift ideas.

Read the book, and get the poster for their wall because a cute poster goes along with a book for the bookshelf. Great reminder to re-open a beloved book. I think these combos of poster and storybook would make a thoughtful gift.

I have bought the Wimpy Kid books for my grandsons. They love them and become avid readers. Of course the books have lots of competition from video and games, but all the more reason to provide them entertaining books that whet their appetite for the world of reading.

Amazon Recommendations