Grades 3-5

Galileo's Leaning Tower Experiment

Author(s): 
Wendy Macdonald
Illustrator(s): 
Paolo Rui

Science readers are to be found if you look around enough as this book demonstrates. It is the fictional story of Massimo, a boy who regularly throws his uncle's lunch off a bridge to his boat as his uncle rows by below. Galileo happens to see that the bread and the cheese land at the same time. The story ends atop the leaning Tower of Pisa, as legend suggests Galileo did.

Show, Don't Tell!

Author(s): 
Josephine Nobisso
Illustrator(s): 
Eva Montanari

Show Don’t Tell! Secrets of Writing by Josephine Nobisso

About 25 years ago, I attended a workshop for teaching writing in which the presenter talked about writing that "shows" as opposed to writing that merely "tells." As she described her method, I thought it was astounding and could quite possibly revolutionize the writing of my students. When I tried to teach it to middle school students, though, I had to break it down into components: What exactly is “showing” writing? How I wish I had had Nobisso’s book at that time. She breaks it down and makes it highly entertaining.

First Start French

First Start French from Memoria Press
Author(s): 
Danielle L. Schultz

I learned to speak French YEARS ago. I was blessed to go to a bi-lingual Catholic grammar school where French was a large part of the day. I didn't take French in high school, college or graduate school; that said, I still remember songs and rhymes and simple vocabulary learned many years ago.

Bigger Stories for Little Folks

Author(s): 
Nancy Nicholson

This summer I had the supreme pleasure of reading Nancy Nicholson’s Bigger Stories for Little Folks to my two youngest girls, ages 5 & 7. After flipping through the first, more well-known volume of Devotional Stories for Little Folks, I was hesitant, thinking that perhaps the stories would seem a bit involved and preachy to my two precocious gals. I am happy to say that my fears were unfounded.

How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?

Author(s): 
Brian P. Cleary
Illustrator(s): 
Brian Gable

Do you know what homonyms and homophones are? If not, this book will certainly help you understand them. With clever writing and silly cartoon illustrations (and a somewhat obnoxious typeface), they give many clever and memorable examples of each.

Here's a small sampling of text from each of the two segments:

Homonyms are words that sound and also look alike.

But they have different meanings, as in "Can you pass that can, Mike?"

Or "May I sail with you in May and coast along the coast?

The Sally Series

Author(s): 
Elizabeth Coatsworth
Illustrator(s): 
Helen Sewell

The Sally Books by Elizabeth Coatsworth
Away Goes Sally (pgs 117), Five Bushel Farm (pgs 142), The Fair American (pgs 134), The White Horse (pgs 168), The Wonderful Day (pgs 139)

Cuisenaire Rods

When I first researched homeschooling products and resources, I spent quite some time looking at different math manipulatives. For one thing, there are so many, and for another, I love math. I remember wondering whether these colored rods would really be worth purchasing, as they are on the expensive side. And my math education, as far as I could remember, had been accomplished without a single manipulative.

Then I found Miquon Math, and immediately liked the concept. Miquon uses Cuisenaire rods as their primary manipulative, so with some trepidation, I acquired a starter set.

The Bard of Avon

Author(s): 
Diane Stanley

Diane Stanley's picture book biographies are wonderful! I can think of a number of titles I have seen so often on homeschool families' shelves: Joan of Ark, Michelangelo, Peter the Great, Saladin, Charles Dickens, and more! She has a very unique and captivating way to write--and illustrate--these great historical figures' biographies! These are longer picture books with a pretty good amount of text on each page.

Old Sam, Dakota Trotter

Author(s): 
Don Alonzo Taylor
Illustrator(s): 
Lorence Bjorklund

Fresh and as exciting as the first time I read it, Old Sam, Dakota Trotter is one horse of a story!

10-year-old Johnny Scott and his inseparable younger brother, Lee, go on a series of adventures in the Dakota territory with their beloved horse, Old Sam. From collecting buffalo bones to catching thieves to the thrilling climax at the 4th of July trotting race, the reader experiences the joys of two boys discovering the wonders and excitement of prairie life in the Dakota territory in the 1880s.

Adventures of Saint Paul

Author(s): 
Oldrich Selucky
Translator(s): 
Marianne Lorraine Trouve, FSP
Illustrator(s): 
Zdenka Krejcova

In this house, all I have to do is leave out a book with a bright, colorful, intriguing cover like Adventures of Saint Paul and someone will ask, "Hey, Mom, can I read this book?"

For the emerging reader, who has a few words under his or her belt, Adventures of Saint Paul relates the fascinating story of St. Paul on a simple level without the dumbed down language of the early reader.

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