I absolutely love to read. In our home we read often - from scriptures to historic journals to fantasy novels. There is so much to learn from a good book and if I listed all the things I've learned, I'd have a really long post that would take days, maybe months to compose.
Last night we finished FARMER BOY (which is the 3rd in the Little House on the Prairie Series.) While the first two books in the series were about Laura and her family, this book was entirely about Almanzo's family. It took a couple of chapters to get to know the characters, but then we were in for a great ride. When we first meet Almanzo he is 8 years old - the same age as Mason. Which makes it extra fun.
One of the many lessons taught in the book was the value of money and hard work. Absolutely priceless!
We've really enjoyed this book. Of course we had to immediately begin the next one - ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK, which returns us to Laura and her family arriving in Minnesota.
We've been tracking and learning about the different States through items of interest and the books we read; for example Mattie and Mason can tell you where Wisconsin is and that that is where Laura's house was in 'The Little House in the Big Woods'. They can tell you about the weather there as well. They also know about Kansas and the Prairie, and now Minnesota from Laura's journey in the wagon. They know where New York is and what the weather is like there, because Almano's family lived in upper New York State. They also know the ball drops there on New Year's Eve. They know where Mississippi is because Dad's school is there, and they know where Ohio is because Thomas Edison was born there (Mason loves reading about inventors.) Mattison can tell you that in 'The Trumpeter Swan', the swan eggs hatched in Montana in a pond with cattails in it. :) Anyway, my point is, that when there is interest in something, I've found there is a desire to learn and remember. I can just say something like "Do you know what else happened in New York?" and they are interested immediately. It's quite fun tagging states with different pieces of info. For Illinois, we know that Aunt Lou lives in the northern part of the state, and that the Chicago Fire happened not far from where she lives, and also that Nauvoo and all that church history is connected to Illinois as well. It's really enjoyable. Isn't that what learning should be?