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Book Giveaway: Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

Own Your Life Book

A book that has meant so much to me and has touched my heart on so many levels is Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. I mentioned earlier this month that it should be the first book you read this year. And I mean that.

It will challenge, encourage, and push you to be more of the woman that God created you to be. Sally shares what it means to live your life in a meaningful way, follow God in all you do, and gives practical guidance to build a life that is intentional.

Win a Copy of Own Your Life

Own Your LIfe book giveaway bundle-1

Sound like this is  something you need right now? I would LOVE to give one of you a copy of Own Your Life and also include a boxful of other great books from authors like Jen Hatmaker, Mary DeMuth, Crystal Paine, and Priscilla Shirer! (see note below)

If you’d like to enter to win this stash of books, just follow the directions in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Own Your Life is a brand-new copy. All other books are in gently-used, loved condition. Some are duplicate copies, and a few may have one or two dog-eared pages or a few underlined passages. This giveaway is not sponsored by anyone, but is a book that I am personally providing to a reader.

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Recent Audiobooks We’ve Enjoyed

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy

Our library has an amazing audiobook section (huge score for us). Every now and then we find a new author or book that we just love. Equally, there are a few that we try so hard with, but they just don’t click.

Trips in the car are made much more enjoyable when an audiobook is running. Typically that means peace and quiet as everyone listens along, compared to the arguing over what music to listen to or who gets to sit where (Side note: My kids are just like yours. Unless your kids don’t argue. Then they aren’t just like yours, and we need to chat sibling dynamics).

But I digress….

Audiobooks We Recommend (or maybe don’t)

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been listening too, age recommendations, and a little blurb about the story/plot.

A-Year-Down-Yonder-by Richard Peck

Last month we started listening to A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (read by Lois Smith), and we fell in love with Grandma Dowdel and her crazy antics. We laughed and practically cried at some of the things she puts her neighbors through. The story follows a 15 year old girl who moves to live with her grandmother  – and the happenings in their small town. All of our kids enjoyed this one so much that on our next trip to the library we bulked up with a few more audiobooks by Peck. Recommended ages 9 to 13.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Next up for the CD player was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (read by Hope Davis). Years ago (back in my 5th grade year, and we won’t talk about how long ago that was), our teacher read the book aloud to us as a class. Either I have fond memories of another book (or just the read aloud time), because we were only able to get through about two of the six disks before we called it quits. Quite honestly, even though we listened to that much…I’m still lost on the story.  Maybe it was the weird way some of the characters were read, but we just had a hard time getting hooked. (Makes me sad, but on we go.) Recommended ages 10 to 14.


Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck

Our 7 year old picked out the next audiobook, Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck (read by Jayne Entwistle). This fun story about a family of mice traveling to  England with their human family. Super cute book that made us giggle at their trouble with the ship’s cat and love Peck even more. Recommended ages 9 to 14, but I think 7 and up based on content.


A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

Have I mentioned how much we loved Grandma Dowdel? Next up for listening was A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (read by Ron McLarty). In this adventure set in 1958, there’s a new pastor in town and his family moves in next door to Grandma Dowdel. While it seems like the last place on earth they want to be, the small town quickly becomes home. Recommended ages 9 to 14 – there are a few things that would definitely stick it close to this age range, especially the outhouse scene (funny, but might need some explaining – nothing bad!).

Other Audiobooks We’ve Enjoyed

That’s what we’ve been listening to lately, but below are a few other audiobooks that we’ve loved and recommend. Click on the cover to find out more!

What audiobooks are YOU listening to?


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Books I Want to Read this November

With the year wrapping up soon, there are a few books on my 12 Books to Read in 2014 list that I need to finish up. ‘Need’ may be a strong word – maybe compelled would be better. The books that are on the list, so they have to be completed. (grins)

November Reading Pile

Overall, my non-fiction reading has been so much better than in years past (I’m at least happy with all I’ve been reading), but I have learned that I need to be a whole lot more flexible with my initial list. There are SO many great books that are released over the year, and often I’m not a patient waiter. I like to read it right NOW, which then results in my getting frustrated because the pile of books grows and grows.

Am I alone in this?

My reading pile for November has a little bit of everything in it – reading for fun, for homeschooling (the lit class I’m teaching), for learning and growing, and to keep ahead of books that our kids may read in the near future and develop a thought process (yay/nay). Inevitably other random books are thrown into the mix because I fall asleep reading every single night, but we’ll see how I do this month.


Books I Hope to Finish in November

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain – this is for the lit class. I read it years ago and loved it, so reading it again will hopefully be as enjoyable.

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster/Cline – I’m about 1/3 of the way through this book and while no parenting method is perfect, there are some helpful tips that I am taking from it so far. Looking forward to the rest of the book.

Start: Punch Fear in the Face by Jon Acuff – ironically the book I started months ago, but put down. Loved what I read, just need to finish it up.

Four by Veronica Roth – this is a part of the Divergent series (which Laurianna hasn’t read yet – my call is to hold off on it for her at this point). But since I’ve read the other three books, I *have* to read this one, right?

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp – I’ve heard some great things about this Advent book based on the Jesse Tree. Although it may be a bit early (and I may carry this over into December), I definitely want to start it soon.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp – really looking forward to reading through this with the kids this Advent season!

Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh – the other books that I’ve read by Gresh have been practical and given some great tips (and they are typically quick reads too).

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd – I’ve loved her other books and definitely can wait to read this one!


Books finished in October

Here’s the short list of books that I finished reading this past month.

What books have you read lately and enjoyed? I’d love some suggestions on what you’re reading!

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4th Grade Homeschool Reading List

4th grade homeschool reading list

(almost all books picture – minus the one someone walked off with)

The primary goal this year for our 4th grader was to instill a love for reading in the boy. While we read a lot out loud together, picking up a book independently isn’t something he does for fun. When we head to the library, he tends to be the kiddo that wanders around, asks to play the computers constantly, and comes back with a stack of books somehow related to Star Wars, but well below his reading level.

Keep in mind, he CAN read, but there’s something in his head that has convinced him that he cannot – and definitely won’t enjoy it. My encouragement tends to fall on deaf ears, and it can be incredibly frustrating.

The Boxcar Children was the first book on our list, and can I tell you how EXCITED Zachary was when he finished it (and one more since??). It’s helped him do a complete turn around in his approach to reading, and that makes a mom super happy too!

Our primary reading program is All About Reading 4, and the boy has been flying through the lessons already (yay!). We both love the new program, and these additional books below will round out his reading list for the year.

Books to Go-Along with our Language Arts Program

We switched out our language program to use Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Orange) this year, because there are five book studies built into the yearly program. Each of the books includes more detailed study with our language program.

One thing I found this summer – Zachary like autobiographies, and two of the books in the program are focused on historical characters.

A Peek at Additional Reading

Since four books isn’t quite enough to cover the year, I added several other books based on recommendations from the Reading Roadmaps guide from the Center for Lit. These are books that we will complete more detailed studies of, including filling out book reports, literature summaries, early story charts, and character studies. Adding these books will essentially put him on pace to finish one book (plus a little more) a month and give us plenty of time for the study activities.


What books are on your kid’s reading list for this year?


Homeschool Reading Lists for our Other Children

Interested in seeing reading lists for our other kids as well? Check out our reading choices for this year by clicking on the images below. Stay tuned for our 2nd grade reading choices!

6th grade homeschool reading list

9th grade reading list

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6th Grade Homeschool Reading List

6th grade homeschool reading list

(not all books pictured – because someone still has ordering to do!)

Out of all of the book lists, I think our 6th graders reading list is the one that I am looking forward to the most this year. Much of that is because of the time that McKenna and I are spending sitting down to talk about the various books and discussing in-depth the story lines.

Her reading list alternates between her assigned list and the additional reading list, typically finishing two books a month. The below lists do not include those that we will be reading aloud as a family or the books that she chooses to read for fun.

A Peek at the Assigned Reading List

All of the books on this list are based on the Ready Readers 2 guide that we are using this year for literature and reading. During the week we are using Ready Readers to look at our current book and take a comprehensive look at the conflict, plot, setting, characters, theme, literary devices and author of the stories. The guide provides us with a fabulous set of questions (and answers) to get us started – and it has already been great!

Additional Reading

Along with the above books, I’ve pulled together some additional books using the  Reading Roadmaps guide (also put out by Center for Lit). Overall, I’m really appreciating the book suggestions it offers for grades K – 12. Although it doesn’t offer the same in-depth questions and comprehension as Ready Readers 2, it does provide some basic information for discussion (theme, plot, and conflict) for all of the recommended stories.

We’ll be filling out a book report form, story chart, or creating a simple literature summary for the below books (including plot, characters, setting, theme/conflict, and one literary device used in the story).

Since a few of the books also have movies to go along, we’re going to have some fun with that aspect as well – comparing the book to the movie version and just spending some fun time together! While this isn’t a huge list, the main goal for this year is learning more about various aspects of literature and assuring that McKenna has a firm grasp on key lit terms, literary devices, and knows how to look for those things in her reading.

What books are on your kid’s reading list for this year?

Our Other Reading Lists

Interested in seeing our 9th Grade Reading List as well? You can check out our reading choices for this year.

9th grade reading list

4th grade homeschool reading list


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