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Book Report Forms – Free Printable

Last week I shared a set of Scientific Method Printables with you all (a fun flipbook and poster). While this set of book report form printables is rather opposite of science, the clip art involved ties in with the Zoey and Sassafras series – but can be used for any book report your child may work on. (We just liked the clip art and thought it would be fun to make something else!)

These forms have been great for our children over the years (especially those who are more hesitant writers) because they have a limited space and clear direction. 

The set includes three forms that all include the following: 

  • space to record book information (title, author, copyright, etc)
  • story setting
  • characters
  • a brief summary
  • two vocabulary words
  • a book rating

The summary area is varies a bit on each form

. One page is blank so your child can write freely. If you have a child that needs a little assistance in keeping lines straight (or maybe writing a bit smaller), print off one of the lined pages. 

For those beginning the book report journey, this is a great look at important information to gather while reading and a fun way to document reading progress through the year. 

Enjoy!

October Reading List (for Mom and Kids)

Hello, October!! This is about the point in the year when I go back to my original reading list to see how I’m keeping up with what my goals for the year were. Overall, I’m doing great – only one book remains on my “must read” list, but several have managed to sneak there way into my pile over the year as well. 

Each afternoon I have been trying to set aside at least 15 minutes to read. It doesn’t always happen, but it is a quiet time goal when the day has a bit of a lull (or needs one). With fall weather now turning cooler here, that encourages me to curl up with a cup of tea and enjoy a few moments of reading. 

Here’s the list I want to tackle during October. Yes, there are a few that have been carrying over from month to month, but I keep finding additional books I want to read that weren’t originally on my list! 


  • Moral Revolution by Kris & Jason Vallotton (our youth group is working through the video series based on this book)
  • Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber (been working on this for months)
  • Loving Our Kids on Purpose (re-reading this one)
  • An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter
  • Awaken (devotional) by Priscilla Shirer
  • Cherish by Gary Thomas
  • random Kindle books (bedtime reading)

The Kids are Reading…


  • Laurianna – a whole lot of her college texts :)
  • McKenna – Walden and Count of Monte Cristo
  • Zachary – Treasure Island
  • Kaleb – Boxcar Children book
  • Family read-aloud – Gregor the Overlander

What I Finished in September

Here’s a peek at what I finished in the month of September. The last few days I really tried to  buckle down and complete one of the non-fiction books. 

I have to say, both Finish and Come and Eat were two of my favorites so far this year. Finish is written in Acuff’s typical style – a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and really something I needed to read in this moment because it focused a lot on how we set unrealistic/unattainable goals for ourselves and then don’t end up finishing things because our goals can’t be met, then drop the ball on that and more. For people who are perfectionists (hello, me), this ends up being a huge issue. Just read it! :) 

Another one to love – Come and Eat by Bri McKoy. Mixed in with her rich storytelling and humor, Bri challenges us to open our homes and tables to develop relationships with friends, strangers, and more. Rick and I have been in training to lead a small group, and one of the things I really wanted to add in was a meal with one family each time we meet – because so much happens around the table (food is a fabulous neutral ground). 



 

  • Finish by Jon Acuff
  • Come and Eat by Bri McKoy
  • Grave Matter by Anne Lee Huber (love this series!)
  • A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd
  • The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  • a few other random Kindle books that I forgot to track…

That’s it for this month – what is on YOUR reading list??

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) September 2017

August slipped by without my sharing a reading post, but several of the books have carried over the last few months. Time to sit and read hasn’t been something I have prioritized (at least when it comes to books with a little more meat between the pages). 

Now that we are getting back into a school routine, we’ll be adding our daily quiet time and read aloud time back into our daily loop, as well as audiobooks. The hard thing with summer for us is we have been in so many different directions with swim team, the pool, Laurianna working, and other things happening. I’d honestly rather be at home, so I’m looking forward to the fall and relaxing a bit more in that aspect. 

Here’s the list I want to tackle during September, especially since several have been in my pile for a bit (that may be bothering me a bit!!): 



  • Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber (been working on this for months)
  • Come and Eat by Bri McKoy
  • All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth (I’ve read one chapter!!)
  • Awaken (devotional) by Priscilla Shirer
  • Cherish by Gary Thomas
  • Grave Matter by Anne Lee Huber (love this series!)
  • random Kindle books (bedtime reading)

 

The Kids are Reading…


  • Laurianna – a whole lot of her college texts :)
  • McKenna – Robinson Crusoe
  • Zachary – Treasure Island
  • Kaleb – Zoey and Sassafras series
  • Family read-aloud – Ember Falls by S.D. Smith (with boys)

What I Finished in July and August

Reading has been a bit slow over the last bit – at least during the day, but here’s the 

  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  • The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller
  • The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller
  • An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter
  • Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
  • a few other random Kindle books that I forgot to track…

That’s it for this month – what is on YOUR reading list??

What I’m Reading (and the Kids Too)

Although summer seems like it would be the optimal time for reading, it honestly seems like it is the opposite for me. I may have mentioned once or twice that I tend to get distracted easily and this year when the kids want to go to the pool, I end up working on something swim team related or chatting with a family. Which is all good, but I’d love to just curl up in a chair on the porch and read…but then the house doesn’t get clean. :)

One thing that I started using toward the end of last year was a blank journal to write down all the quotes from books that strike me as I’m reading. I have a hard time letting go of a book when there are things I’ve underlined or dog-eared, so this has been a great way to help me release more and still track the quotes I love. 

Feel free to follow along with me on the Good Reads app  as I attempt to knock a few more books off  my 2017 reading list. There are only four more books in my primary “to read” pile and another four on my “if there’s time” list, so we’ll see! It’s so much fun to see what others are reading and recommend too.

Here’s the list I want to tackle during July and hereby resolve to finish: 

The Kids are Reading…

We’ve been so busy that reading has honestly not been happening. One of the things that Kaleb and I will be doing together this month is reading the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro. There are three books in the series and they are fairly quick read-alouds that he will enjoy. 

Other than that, Laurianna has been busy working (not as much time for reading) and the other kids are enjoying time in the water whenever they can. 

What I Finished in June

The short answer is: not much. Much of what I read was teen lit (so pretty light reading). Laurianna and I read a five book series together by Kiera Cass. Some of the books in the series were better than others and we both felt the series sort of ended suddenly, but still enjoyed it overall. 

My least favorite read was Scary Close by Donald Miller. While there were some great points, overall it felt really scattered and full of name-dropping. I haven’t read any of his other stuff, but personally that turns me off. Otherwise, here’s what I finished up. 

That’s it for this month – what is on YOUR reading list??

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) May 2017

The last few weeks, the front porch has been one of my favorite places to sit and relax. We finally purchased a new cushion for our porch swing (someone picked a hole in the old one) and now the swing is nice and cushy soft. Although there aren’t any flowers in the pots, it’s been fun watching a few birds build a nest in our hanging ferns – more definite signs that spring is here and the lovely weather is here to stay.

Although I didn’t get through quite as much of my non-fiction this past month, I did read a few other books that weren’t on my list that I’m glad not to have missed.  The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines was one of those I added because it was a Kindle deal recently and I was cracking up with some of the back story between those two. A few of the books are still in my pile to continue reading this month, and we have some more car trips coming which hopefully means some reading time (and not fielding disagreements between the backseat passengers). 

I did knock a few books off  my 2017 reading list (and again loving the Good Reads app to help me track my progress), which always is nice. Feel free to join me there and follow along! It’s so much fun to see what others are reading and recommend.

Here’s the list I want to tackle during May:

The Kids are Reading…

The girls have finished up their required reading for the year, so they are taking a bit of a breather in that area. Laurianna is working on other subjects to get caught up and McKenna needs to head to the library soon. Kaleb recently finished his first chapter book and I thought for sure he would pick an easier book to read, but he asked to read the second book in the Boxcar Children series – and I couldn’t be happier! 

What I Read in April

The best two books I read this past month by far were How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig (gave me some great talking points to use with one of our high school lit classes) and also A Fall of Marigolds  by Susan Meissner. I honestly LOVED this last one- cannot say how much, quite honestly. It wove the stories of women from two different eras (early 1900s and 2001) along with their personal losses – and it was just fabulous. 

Books I read…

That’s all for this month! I’ll share what I’ve managed to finish next month with you all. What books do you and the kids have set aside to read this month? 

Teaching Shakespeare to Your Kids

Reading Shakespeare can seem a bit like a foreign language to both children and parents. Despite having studied (and loved) Shakespeare in college, teaching it has been a bit daunting. I don’t want our kids to just read it, muddle through, and not really appreciate it and all the subtleties each work contains. Granted that’s true of any piece of literature our children read, but works by Shakespeare tend to seem even more overwhelming because of the format and language.

A few weeks ago I picked up a book  How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig (aff link), dragged it along with me through multiple airports, and FELL IN LOVE. You all, if you have ever doubted your ability to form a way to work on Shakespeare with your kids, you need to check out this book. Yes, you will have to read the actual book itself, but it has a plethora of information inside (I promise, it’s worth it). Technically, there are a few chapters you really want to read first and the remainder you could skim through unless you are studying those plays (definitely read the intro and chapters 1 – 6, 10, 14, 21, 31, and the epilogue), but I would recommend reading the entire book.Personally I would recommend a hard copy of this book (instead of Kindle) because it’s a book you will likely do a lot of flipping around back and forth.

Ludwig believes the younger you start kids learning and memorizing the better. While memorizing seems daunting, he breaks down the process, making it manageable and even something young children can work on. In addition to memorization techniques, Ludwig talks about Shakespeare’s life and history, components of Shakespeare’s plays (imagery, humor, poetry/prose, metaphors), and so much more.

While not an exhaustive look at all of his plays (Shakespeare wrote many!), the insight Ludwig provides into the various works is very helpful and will prompt some great discussion. In addition to delving into the reason for his book, how to use it, and giving a biography of Shakespeare’s life and works, a variety of Shakespeare’s plays are discussed in detail:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Twelfth Nigh
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • Henry IV, Part 1
  • As You Like It
  • Henry V
  • Hamlet
  • The Tempest

This year is the third year that I have taught a high school literature course as a part of a small co-op we belong to, and each year we have discussed one of Shakespeare’s plays and also attended a nearby Shakespeare production (more on that in a bit). Rarely do the play we are studying and the performance line up to be the same, and this year was no exception. We are studying The Tempest and the one performance we could attend was Romeo and Juliet. While I have quite a few notes and guides for each play, I loved the chapters of help on the both plays that Ludwig provides in How to Teach Your Children ShakespeareEach chapter offered some different insights and discussion ideas for our class (and a little something “fresh” for me to ponder as well). 

Understanding the Language of Shakespeare

Even if you understand the plot of one of Shakespeare’s plays, muddling through the language of the day can be hard for kids. There are key words and phrases that are interpreted differently today or than how we think they were written. A few resources I highly recommend are the No Fear Shakespeare guides or the Shakespeare Made Easy series which both offer the original words of a text on one page and then a modern day translation on the facing page so kids can better understand what is happening. While we go over and review various phrases in class with the kids, these have been extremely helpful for kids when reading through on their own.


Go See a Play (or Watch One) with Your Kids

We are also fortunate to have an incredible Shakespeare theatre not too far from us. Each month they offer student matinees and a “talkback time” with the actors after the show is over and we love to take advantage of their acting and knowledge. The theatre we visit is a recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre and the actors and actresses are fabulous.  It’s one thing to read a play, but seeing it come to life in front of you is a completely different thing! The subtle delivery of a line or the mannerisms that go along with a monologue can completely change the meaning and understanding of a scene (body language speaks volumes). 

If you have a theatre nearby, I highly recommend taking time out of your day to attend with your kids (granted, remember that Shakespeare has quite a few innuendoes in his plays that may not be suitable for younger kids, but often pass over their heads as well). Our high school group laughed and followed the bulk of the performance we saw, but at times the dialogue moved so quickly some parts were lost on the kids. Still, it brought a deeper level of respect and understanding of Shakespeare to the kids, and they went home not dreading their upcoming reading as much (and that’s a win in my book!). 

A Few (Fun) Additional Resources


While reading the actual plays are key, above (and below) you’ll find a few other fun resources to go along with your Shakespeare studies.