Summer Books & Films


While most of this summer’s learning was in the baby-care department, we did get some good books & movies in there.

I assigned four books each to both of the older boys.  I had ambitions of them writing a paragraph on each book, but we settled for one paragraph for the summer. It was an eventful summer, after all.

After these four, they could read whatever they wanted the rest of the summer. Ben and Marie just had to either read or listen to an audiobook of their choice every day. This worked fine because we only keep good books on the shelves!

Louis’s assigned books:

Misty of Chincoteague

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A classic about the wild ponies that roam an island off the coast of Virginia

Stormy, Misty’s Foal

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More about Misty and the wild ponies

On the Banks of Plum Creek

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My favorite Little House book

Beezus and Ramona

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A book about girls, but pretty easy for any older sibling to relate to…

William’s summer reading:

The Westing Game

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The only mystery to ever win a Newbery Medal and a favorite book from my childhood

The Boys’ Body Book: Everything You Need for Growing Up You

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Cartoons and lighthearted text about puberty. I picked it up at a used book sale because I recognized the title from a health curriculum of Sonlight, Christian homeschool book distributer. So I was surprised to find a PC “families come in all shapes and sizes and gender of parents” comment in it. Since we had just talked with W. about the SCOTUS decision a few days before, I decided to let it slide and figured either he wouldn’t notice it or if he did, would recognize it as part of that trend. Anyway, something to note.

Make Way for Sam Houston

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We’ve really enjoyed Jean Fritz’s picture books about American history, and it looks like she’s written chapter books too.

The Forest: A Dramatic Portrait of Life in the American Wild

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I like reading Roger Caras’s nature books too–they are not just for kids.

Summer Movie Nights

We introduced the kids to musicals this summer and watched most of the classics, except for My Fair Lady which isn’t on Amazon Prime! We did listen to the soundtrack though.

We’d read several novels set during World War II this year, and of course The Sound of Music was part of the musicals track, so even the younger kids now have some sense of what that time was about. Recently we watched Little Boy, a new film about an 8 year-old boy whose father leaves for the war.

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“Little Boy” (who is very short) decides to take Jesus’ words about the power of faith the size of a mustard seed literally, and he wants to put that faith into action to end the war and bring his father home.

A kind priest advises Little Boy to grow his faith by befriending a Japanese-American man recently released from an internment camp and shunned by the rest of their California town. Little Boy and Hashimoto (who seems to be an atheist) form an unlikely friendship that leads to a deeper understanding of faith in both of them.

The movie was rated PG-13 for some intense battle scenes and one beat-em-up scene. We watched this film with the kids and removed Teddy from the room during the battle scenes.  The violence felt incongruent with the rest of the film, which was otherwise family-friendly.

There were some moments where the film got a little strange, especially around the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which had the code name “Little Boy.” But overall, the film gently questioned our tendency to assume that the right prayers or actions are formulas for making God do whatever we want. And it did that without becoming either overly simplistic or completely ironic.

(I received a copy of this film in exchange for this review. No other compensation was given.)

Now on to homeschool planning…