Great Read Alouds for Horse Lovers (Read Aloud Wednesdays)

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I love it when books we read aloud and things that we study can be related to interests my kids have. Lately I've had several great review items that let us explore an interest of my younger girls- horses. In the process, we've come across some great read aloud books for horse lovers. I'm going to share some of those in today's Read Aloud Wednesday. And then please link up your read aloud posts below. I love seeing what you're reading and what book related activities you've been up to.

We've had the privilege of reviewing several horse related products lately. Just recently I posted here about using the Horsing Around unit study from Homeschool Legacy. And a couple of months ago, I posted about a Susan K. Marlow book- Thick as Thieves- that we had the opportunity to read. Susan's books are about Andi Carter, a girl growing up on a ranch in the early 1900s. She loves horses, so they feature prominently in her stories. We're also looking forward to another Susan K. Marlow book coming up for review. In all of this horse study, we've come across some fun horse related read alouds. Here are a few.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan: A Practical, Heart-Based Approach to Changing Your Child's Behavior

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Early in the year, I had the opportunity to be on the launch team for Motivate Your Child, an excellent parenting book that gives Bible based, practical advice for dealing with areas in your child's life that need change, using a heart based approach. I was quite taken by this book. (You can read my review here.) It resonated with me because (1) we've always tried to use parenting techniques that will get at heart issues in our kids and (2) it actually had practical examples and suggestions- not just theoretical advice. I was so encouraged by the book that I wrote a blog post series- 5 Days of Insight From Motivate Your Child. Because the book had such an impact in my parenting thinking- and Jason's as I shared with him- I was very excited to be on the launch team for an accompanying book- Motivate Your Child Action Plan.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan (and the previous Motivate Your Child book) was written by Dr. Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN,BSN. Dr. Turansky is a pastor with two masters degrees and a doctorate degree. He has parented his own four children and now has grandchildren. Joanne Miller has been a pediatric nurse for 25 years and has parented her two sons who are now grown. These two bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Motivate Your Child books.

Learning About John Wesley With (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

All year this year the younger girls and I have been reading about missionaries and Christian leaders from different countries as we studied geography. It coincided very well that as we finished up our year's study we had the opportunity to review Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story as part of a Schoolhouse Crew review.

We received the DVD from is an online Christian and family movies shop. They have a wide variety of Christian films, biographies, family and kids movies, documentaries, and educational films. The Torchlighters DVD- The John Wesley Story- includes a 30 minute story of John Wesley's life, especially suited for 8-12 year olds, a printable study guide and teacher's manual, and an hour long documentary of John Wesley's life, more appropriate for older children or adults. I chose this DVD for Ashlyne and Rachel- ages 9 and 11. But I also found that I really enjoyed the longer documentary on the DVD.

I began by giving the girls a little bit of an overview of John Wesley who, along with his brother, Charles, was the founder of the Methodist movement. We then watched the video together. I've seen several different Torchlighters movies. They have a wide variety or movies about Christian missionaries and/or martyrs. So I knew what to expect, and I really like the way that these videos present the life of the featured person.

This Week @ As We Walk Along the Road: Finishing Up And Enjoying the Spring

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 I finished up our regular curriculum with Ashlyne and Rachel this week. We are headed to homeschool drama camp next week, and I was glad to be finishing up in time for that. Kathryne and Charles have about two weeks of regular curriculum left. I think they'll need the distraction because they are too old for camp now.

This has been a hard week for me physically. Pain- both fibro pain and migraine pain have been ever present. I'm very thankful for the prayers of my friends from the TOS Crew. The middle of my week picked up, I'm sure due in large parts to their faithful prayer. I know camp's arrival next week is a little to blame for the flare. I coordinate our camp, and as much as I love doing it, the busyness and stress don't always work out well for me physically. Despite this struggle, we ended up having several great days. And there were some very pleasant moments enjoying the end of the school year and the beautiful weather we've had.

My week started with some sweetness in the form of breakfast in bed as a late Mother's Day treat. Charles goes with Jason early on Sunday morning and couldn't oversee a breakfast plan. So he helped the girls bring breakfast for me Monday morning.

Exploring Horses With Homeschool Legacy (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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Although I don't truly do a delighted directed homeschooling approach, I do like to follow things that the kids are interested in and give them opportunities to enjoy learning. But sometimes I feel torn when I choose an interest based unit study because I feel as if we are neglecting our "real" school. That's why I've been so excited to find and use several Once a Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy. I've reviewed several of their studies- most recently one of their brand new Micro Studies. And I was very excited to receive for review the download of their Horsing Around study.

For a Schoolhouse Crew review, we received the PDF download of Horsing Around, called a Grab-N-Go. This is a digital once a week unit study for grades 2-12. The digital version is $14 on the site. With the digital version, you can print as needed for your family. (There is also a physical version available.) I used it with my younger girls- grades 4 and 5. We've actually had a horse theme going on around here with some other Crew reviews as well as some books the girls have been interested in. So I thought a horse related study was a good choice.

Favorite Read Aloud Resource Websites (Read Aloud Wednesdays)

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Although I'm convinced of the importance of reading aloud in our family, I admit that sometimes it's a daunting task to plan reading aloud and pick good books. And sometimes the love of reading aloud just seems so counter cultural. In today's Read Aloud Wednesdays post, I'm sharing some of the websites I consider favorites when it comes to read aloud resources. Don't forget to link up at the end with any reading related posts you have.

The Read Aloud Revival podcast site

I cannot say enough good things about the Read Aloud Revival podcast. I stumbled upon it around the end of last year and immediately went back and started from the beginning of the podcast episodes. Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things is the host of the podcast, and she's had a awesome list of interviewees over the twenty-five episodes currently available. Interviews with people like Andrew Pudewa of the Institute of Excellence in Writing, Adam Andrews from Center for Lit, and  many more are so informative and encouraging. Sarah also has a membership site now for Read Aloud Revival members. For $5 a month, you can have access to many other useful goodies and encouragement from others who love reading aloud.

S is for Smiling Sunrise from WordsBright: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Although my kids are getting older and my youngest is nine, I love seeing little kids' books. And my youngest still enjoys a good picture book now and then even though she can read chapter books. So I was glad to have the opportunity to review S is for Smiling Sunrise, a unique new ABC book, with the Schoolhouse Crew.

We received S is for Smiling Sunrise by Vick Wadhwa. The book is published by WordsBright. WordsBright is a small, independent publishing company in California. They are committed to publishing books that are fun and educational and S is for Smiling Sunrise is their first book. We received a hard backed copy of the book.  There is also a PDF lesson plan on the site, designed to help teachers of K-3rd grade students use this book, and there is a page of teaching tips for preK children as well. There is also a song from the rhymes in the book that can be downloaded for free on the site.