There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, structured schooldays have ended, and we now fully embrace the new pace of summer. I confess that welcoming wide perimeters of time for each individual’s curiosities and pleasure is the sweetest gift to me as a homeschooling mother. It is satisfying physically, mentally, and emotionally for all of us in our home to rest from new lessons and long academic days. While we seek to maintain simple structures of chores, meal times, piano practice, Bible reading, family read-aloud, and bedtime, we’ve exchanged formal lessons for copywriting (from classic, favorite books that they each select) and Bible memorization. One of the ways we continue to learn is through reading which is truly the most longed for summer delight. We fill our baskets with books and also pick a long book series to listen to.
Our family loves audio books for many reasons, all of us bond with the characters, share laughs about the stories, and enjoy retelling them long after the series has been returned to the library. Sometimes the audio versions are read by the author (my favorite), or they might be dramatized. Sometimes we listened to them while the children built Legos. Sometimes we all climbed on my bed and folded laundry while enjoying the stories, but mostly we listened to the book series in the car. We took the CDs with us on road trips, to brunch, farm milk pick-up, and to the grocery store. Nonetheless, we’re never found without the next CD!
The first 7 titles that I have listed are book series that we listened to in audio form in the order in which we listened to them over the years. We listened to one series per summer. The last 3 have been recommended to me, but we have only listened to the audio book of the first in the series. We haven’t read the sequels (some may be for older children than mine are at this time).
Alexander and Eva wanted to write a short review on these book series! Here are their words:
The Magic Tree House
Jack and Annie (bother and sister) take us on countless adventures in the past. Through the 55 small books that make the series, it’s a fun way to learn history! -Eva
The book series begins when Ramona is a very little girl and grows with her. She’s very mischievous and it’s written through her perception of life. There are 8 books in the series. -Eva
Little House in the Prairie
Laura Ingalls Wilder in the series of 9 books tells about a little girl and her family moving from the woods of Wisconsin to Iowa to Minnesota to North Dakota. It seems to be mostly autobiographical. -Alexander
The Indian in the Cupboard
Fantastic series of 5 books! A boy named Omri gets a small medicine cabinet for his 9th birthday from his brother. He thinks it’s a boring gift until he discovers the magic. -Alexander
The Boxcar Children
Four children are left orphans. The Alden siblings are afraid that their grandfather is a mean old creep. In the story, they realize otherwise. Many books have been added to the series. -Alexander
The Chronicles of Narnia
C.S. Lewis wrote the most popular children’s series (selling over 150 million copies). Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in order to escape the bombing of London during WWII move to a rambling country estate where they discover the secret land of Narnia in a wardrobe. There are 7 books in the series. -Alexander
An intricately woven story with endearing characters. Brian Jacques’s realistic depiction of the animal’s stories is why the author has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien. 22 novels in the series (we have not read them all). -Alexander
A father and four daughters take a vacation in a gardener’s cottage in Connecticut and have daily adventures with the son of the lady who owns the manor house on which the gardener’s cottage is situated. A series of 5 books. -Alexander
A Wrinkle in Time
Overpowering the evil brain with love, Meg is able to save her family from the magic’s grasp. Interesting fantasy book! 5 books in the series. -Eva
Ann of Green Gables
Ann was a girl adopted at age 11 who finds a bosom friend. It’s full of tales of dangerous dares. 7 books in the series. -Eva
with love, Damaris