Book Basket - Can we do MFW without it?

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints

Book Basket - Can we do MFW without it?

Unread postby cbollin » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:49 pm

Julie L. wrote:Do you think, without using book basket, that a student at least gets a grade level's worth of history, other information etc a year?
I will use the book basket as much as possible, but due to family schedule I don't know how much we will be able to get to the library and I want to know if that will be a problem? Will my dc at least be getting the equivalent of a textbook worth of info. just using the deluxe package every year? I don't want to be sweating the library issue.:)

Thank you
Julie L.

Yes. I do think it will be ok.

and in CTG last year and RTR this year (until the last couple of weeks that is), that's almost how it has been over here. After moving out of state, I had a lot of problems getting a routine back for library. It doesn't make sense really, as the library in my new town is right around the corner (on the way to exercise class), and if they don't have the book, they can get the book from another branch. Or, the "out of city library" (where I pay $50 a year for a card) will have others book, and I'm right by that library twice a week (near speech clinic). so.... other than just not wanting to do it because of emotional reasons from relocating, I was not using "book basket" all that much for the last 1.5 years when it came to history and science. (collective gasp on the internet!)

Before that, when I live in Indiana, I was checking out books once every 3 weeks or so. I'd just go on Saturday morning and pack it up. There were some weeks where my dh did it for me or picked them up from being on hold when he came home from work. Some years it was a once a week out of the house sanity break for Crystal to go to library without children around.

But, I have found that with the history content in the spines, that is at least as much as using only textbook approach would offer on history. Book basket is great to do. It's not that hard. And yet, when we weren't doing a good job with it over the last 1.5 years (wow, have I really lived here almost that long?) it has been fine.

It meant that my middle daughter had other fiction reading that wasn't as related to history study. Or we'd grab one of the internet links from the Ancient World and Medieval World usborne books in the package. (I'll even admit it.... we got the inexpensive version of that discoverystreaming online videos and watch horrible histories series. (giggle)


Book basket has several goals one of which is to enjoy reading -- so that element of book basket we were doing this past 1.5 years, but just with lots of fun books in the house, or getting something for middle gal with mystery books.

So, look for ways to make library use easy on you:
*online catalog,
*placing holds
*going once every other week or 3 weeks (I did 3 weeks since that was check out time)
*ask dh to pick it up on way home from work, or to be the one to go on weekends and maybe even take kids with him.


If you have a week or two or a stretch of weeks without enrichment reading in history, it will be ok from basic package and even better with deluxe, and then all of book basket can be enrichment.

p.s. right now though, we have a lot of book basket on history.

-crystal
cbollin
 

Re: MFW question

Unread postby LA in Baltimore » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:15 pm

Agreeing with Crystal.
The curriculum stands alone, especially if you have the deluxe package.
Book Basket is a wonderful addition and often gives:
a) an avid reader an outlet to explore the topics in further detail, and
b) a reluctant reader books on the topic that may have additional pictures, etc. to spur them on with reading.
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!
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Re: MFW question

Unread postby Julie L. » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:41 am

Thank ya'll for sharing. That makes me feel less stressed especially since I am switching from the children being mostly independent from me to using MFW, which looks like it requires quite a lot of my time. So I was thinking of easing in to this transition slowly and if I didn't get to the library because I was concentrating on scheduling and such I didn't want to feel too guilty!

Julie L.
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Another book basket question

Unread postby cbollin » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:45 pm

Metairie wrote:We haven't gotten to the State study yet. I have a lot of the books in the book basket for the American History part, but not very many for the State Study. I don't really want to buy them. My local library isn't that great. I guess I'm wondering if I could just relax and leave it as is without the book basket for some States. It's complete without it, right?

I'd relax. :)

One idea?
about how checking out the official state tourism websites for states when you don't have lots of book baskets? Many state sites even have kids fun pages to do.

I just was browsing some books at the library this morning. Found a series. Maybe? your library might have them?
A Kids' Guide to Drawing America
How to Draw (insert state name)'s sights and symbols.

wonderful book series.... plenty of photos, text is good for elementary, extra things to draw (like state symbols and a few things).

I brought some home today to preview since we'll be in EX1850 next year again... and here's this thread. weird when that happens.

-crystal
cbollin
 

Re: Another book basket question

Unread postby Metairie » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:51 pm

Wow, Crystal, thank you! I love, love, love the idea about State tourism websites, brilliant! I want to save my money because we are going to buy MFW K (hopefully deluxe) at the convention right around the time we get into the thick of the State Study. I can't do both. Priorities, you know. :-)
Cindie, wife to Gary for 18 years, mom to girls,
Juliette MFW 1st grade Adv (01/04)
Jordan MFW K and Adv tag-a-long (07/06)
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Re: Another book basket question

Unread postby tangomoon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:59 pm

I just saw that our library has a series of A-Z books on the different states. M is for maple syrup : a Vermont alphabet / written by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds, for example. Your library might surprise you, especially if a local school happens to assign state reports.
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Re: Another book basket question

Unread postby Lucy Robertson » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:23 pm

Cindie,

You have some great ideas and I hope more will come your way as well.

You asked if it would be complete without the extra books. It is nice have the books since pictures books have colored pictures of the state usually, but with all the great information on the back of each state sheet, this gives more than enough to share about each state (just pick some of the facts to share with 2nd and 3rd graders). So, yes it is complete even if you do not have books for each state :).

Lucy
MFW Board Moderator

Wife to Lee
Mom to Twila 21 and Noel 19, Used MFW Fall 2002-Spring 2013
Both MFW graduates, now attending college
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Re: Another book basket question

Unread postby IdahoGrown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:24 am

There is a really great book by Lynne Cheney called Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America. It gives details about each state and would allow you to get some details without having to buy more than one book.
Jean
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011
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Question for those of you who purchase book basket books

Unread postby IdahoGrown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:19 am

Postby IdahoGrown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:16 am
I think I purchased 7 or 8 books to go with the first half of CtoG.

What I found is that other than the biblical picture books I got (Joseph and Moses), the chapter books have almost all gone unread...we end up learning a lot just from the MFW history books! And to fit anything 'extra' into our schedule...well, I just don't think I can.

So for next year, I think I will only get a couple to squeeze in between scheduled read alouds...but not many. One reason I appreciate MFW so much is that I am not reading aloud all.day.long just to get history done. :) Also, next year I want to read numerous Christian Heroes books during read-aloud time. We have read a couple over the years and my what faith builders they are!

My suggestion would be to order the MFW package, start school, and then add in as you feel you can or when interest is there. That way you wont' end up spending money on books that don't get read...like I did. Lol!
Jean
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011
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Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby cbollin » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:39 am

Metairie wrote:From all the reviews I've read on MFW, I've read a lot about the book basket and how amazing of a resource it is. While I wholeheartedly agree, and we have enjoyed some selections, we are about to finish our 3rd week with Adventures and I don't think it's "necessary" to the program. We have plenty of reading, and I feel our school is complete without it. What is the reason for it? Is it to enrich a topic just in case there is extra interest, or is it necessary? I can see there being weeks we would struggle to get just the schedule done, let alone thinking about any "extra" books from the book basket.

I would love to hear the philosophy behind it or a link where this has already been discussed.

For a concept that is kinda simple, there's a whole book basket archive section, including a FAQ
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2525

From my point of view (and just saying out loud, I'm just and only a customer), I think the concept of book basket is an important educational tool to help meet several goals:
learning to love books
learning to glean extra info from books
exploring various genres of reading without pressure to finish or like it
develop independent learning on a topic of interest -
or even "keep older in school time when you have to deal really quick with something in life with younger child, or life in general"

I don't see book basket time as a time of "you must read this book!" or "you have to finish this book" or even "sit down and I will read it to you". Instead I see the time of "book basket" on the grid, as a time to encourage "free reading" instead of fretting on reading comprehension, or having to finish a book.

so, in that sense, it is my opinion "book basket" is "necessary" to overall education of my children to learn to spend time with good books with no pressure about it.

In the sense of "are these specific lists of books required in order to do MFW?" then, I think "no, those books are recommended, optional, extra" but not required.

It's about 10-20 minutes a day to just enjoy books on a topic, or even enjoy some free reading time on topics of interest. I know many times my middle daughter (6th grade right now) takes book basket to her room while I teach younger sis (or even do laundry or dishes, or hang out and take a break here) and she will read to our cat while the cat naps. apparently, the cat really likes it too.

-crystal
cbollin
 

Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby Metairie » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:55 am

Thanks again, Crystal! I love this forum. I've been approaching it from the wrong angle. I have been adding them for required reading/narration instead of letting my oldest pick and choose. I can see the benefit really coming alive when I take them to the library, or even our bookshelf, just for fun.

Thanks for the clarity!
Cindie, wife to Gary for 18 years, mom to girls,
Juliette MFW 1st grade Adv (01/04)
Jordan MFW K and Adv tag-a-long (07/06)
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Location: Texas

Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby cbollin » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:50 pm

Cindie,

on another thread this weekend, Sarah (user name shera) had a cool point she made about some insights on book basket and then I wanted to share something else about book basket in my family.
On this thread
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10391&p=70414&p70414#p70414
she wrote
shera wrote:But I remember hearing Mr. Hazell speak once and he said he didn't care if the kids read the books or not to start with. They had to sit there with a book for 15 min. Eventually they would open it and then eventually they would start to read it if for no other reason than boredom or curiosity.


well... in my family this weekend, I did a huge library run. Well, I actually went to 4 branches yesterday instead of just using the online hold and send to local branch. I wanted out of the house. ;) anyway, I get home with my rolling crate and the kids went hog wild!

oooh mommy mommy.... book basket! (says middle child, age 12)
(I'm serious)
then high school teen who was in a mood and a half, came darting in the room "let me see what she got..... ohhhh, and she snatched a book from the floor and sat down and read it for fun. and said "ahhh... book basket is sooooooooo cool. Look here on this part, I'm learning about some of that in high school too, but I love more pictures. this is so cool."

youngest... my autistic kid.... walks over, peers in the crates, looks on the floor, and picks up several books out of curiosity. She flipped through pages, pictures and sat down with a book that wasn't Madeline's Rescue.

keep it causal, keep it fun, don't stress on book basket. and maybe someday they'll get into the crate before mom even has her coat off. I don't know if it's the newness of "ooh... what did you bring me?" or enjoyment of a book, or what. I just know it's worked over the years.

-crystal
cbollin
 

Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby HeyChelle » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:56 pm

It might be because you are doing Adventures with a first grader? We are in Adventures with my third grader (who is an avid reader), so our book basket is always full and well utilized. With an 8 year old, Adventures would be a much slimmer curriculum without the book basket.
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog
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Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby Metairie » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:15 pm

Thanks again, Crystal, for trying to help me wrap my brain around philosophies here.

Chelle, I guess it's an age thing, never really thought about it since she reads so well. She pulls books off our shelves and reads them on her own also. I have never thought about it being a book basket time, but I guess we have "unofficial" book basket here without realizing it. The girls have bookshelves in their bedroom and they go pick out books for Daddy to read at night. He reads to them for about an hour sometimes two. We have books in the living room as well. I guess I should send them over there for our book basket time also, see how it works. We adore half-price books, and whenever we are there, we stock up on good books....

I think I'm getting hung up on the "these books, this week only" mentality I've filed the book basket under in my brain. :-)
Cindie, wife to Gary for 18 years, mom to girls,
Juliette MFW 1st grade Adv (01/04)
Jordan MFW K and Adv tag-a-long (07/06)
Metairie
 
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Location: Texas

Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby gratitude » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:19 pm

Hi Cindie! Our oldest two children are close in age to your children, and I understand what you are saying about ADV being enough for them as it stands. I found an extra book this week on Jamestown, and it was fun to read, but it did seem like Marie and the Pioneers book had already given enough for their ages.

I Love Crystals story though and wanted to add what I have figured out about book basket from my 3 threads last week.

It seems that the curriculum (at least at these ages) is enough, but that perhaps MFW is really going after something else with the idea of book basket and that listing books of similar topic is a way to encourage moms to implement this great idea of looking at books.

Since I started MFW I have asked my DH, "Is book basket something more than we do, or is our house a book basket? 8[] " On my threads Crystal & Julie confirmed this notion of mine that perhaps this is something we already do; but not with a 'specific topic' in mind.

With this thought, I thought I would share this book idea (at least as I understand it) that I was raised with and have passed on to my kids. When my oldest turned 3 it dawned on me that I had created the same book environment that I had grown up in, and that I had the same pictures of my kids at age 1 sitting looking at books by themselves that my parents had of me. As soon as my oldest could crawl he crawled over to the book shelf, pulled off a book, sat down and looked at it. I am not exaggerating.

So the question would by, "Why?" Well these are the reasons I can think of:
1. We started reading to all of are kids as babies (OK less than 4 months) Baby board books, bible stories in board book form, etc.
2. They have always seen me read. It is how I relax. When I desperately needed 10 minutes to clear my head I sit down at the table and read a book and let them play. I still do. I have to for sanity. It calms me down, when I need to.

So they copied me. So why am I sharing this? To encourage people to do book basket, or some form of it. I have invested money in kids books (we are far from well off). I have spent $10 - $20 a month on kids books since my oldest was born. So they do go to the book shelf and look at books off and on throughout the day. Habit. It is how they calm down when they need to. I always have given them a book to look at during their time outs. The result: they love to be read to, my oldest enjoys reading, and hopefully they will use it as I have to find information when they need it.

My dad was the nerdy professor... he grew up in a book family.. and so did I.. and so on it goes... hopefully my DH and I can manage to pass on Christ to our kids the way books were passed on to me.

Have A Great Home school Week! :)
MFWK (twice), MFW1 (thrice), ADV, & ECC
ds11 (5th), ds9 (3rd), dd7 (2nd), & dd5 (Trisomy 21)
Thankful for home schooling, my children, my DH, & my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ
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Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby Metairie » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:28 pm

Carin,

Yep! That's us. If we have money, we buy books, then food. Well, maybe not that bad, but even date nights with hubby are at the local book store. ;) Our living room wall is lined with bookshelves (not the ritzy build-in kind, but lined nonetheless). I hope to have them full one day! :-)
Cindie, wife to Gary for 18 years, mom to girls,
Juliette MFW 1st grade Adv (01/04)
Jordan MFW K and Adv tag-a-long (07/06)
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Location: Texas

Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby Julie in MN » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:42 pm

gratitude wrote:Our oldest two children are close in age to your children, and I understand what you are saying about ADV being enough for them as it stands. I found an extra book this week on Jamestown, and it was fun to read, but it did seem like Marie and the Pioneers book had already given enough for their ages.

I want to reinforce this point. With the exception of ECC, my ds often said that he had "enough" history and Bible by reading the assigned books and the "real" Bible. Book basket can be about musicians and scientists and fairy tales and geography. It doesn't have to be about history all the time :)
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane now
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (18) hs 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014); always used MFW
Alexandra (27) hs from 10th grade (2002); mother
Travis (30) never hs; engineer in CO
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Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby HeyChelle » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:27 am

We just finished a couple of the book basket books in Adventures. Excellent reads! I sat and read 8 chapters aloud out of one book the other night because I wanted to finish the book and the kids were all enthralled. We LOVED it. I doubt I would have found that book (had to request it from another library) if it had not been suggested.

For that reason I would encourage you to go through the list just so you could find these gems. If you don't need more history, check out Honey for a Child's Heart for other great book basket options. Anyway, I know I already posted. I just wanted to come back and talk about how much we have loved the book suggestions in Adventures.
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog
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Re: Book basket, fun, not necessary?

Unread postby momtogc » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:04 am

Julie in MN wrote:Book basket can be about musicians and scientists and fairy tales and geography. It doesn't have to be about history all the time :)
Julie

Ditto here. I put in all kinds of things for our book basket. Of course I start with the topic of study, but then I may add books on a different topic that is of interest to my dd. Sometimes I choose topics that she's not familiar with to see if she will enjoy it. You can also print info from online sources and put that in book basket, or magazine articles, or anything that will enrich your child's learning experience.

Enjoy!
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850
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Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby cbollin » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:39 pm

RedwoodMom wrote:Have any of you used MFW successfully without the recommended book basket? One of the reasons I chose MFW (this is our first year) is because I was looking for a curriculum that would keep me from always having to look for books. I really like what I see with MFW, but will it be enough if I am unable to include many outside books?

Everything you need is in the basic and deluxe packages. Book basket is like having dessert.

Some weeks in my city it is hit or miss on titles. That's ok. I like that MFW gives lists to check. I can do that from home. In fact, I get the fun of checking the city and then the county catalog. got to love politics in the library systems.

You don't have to have many books each week, nor the exact titles. Part of the academic benefit of book basket is to let children engage with books without the pressure of "having" to finish it. You can do that with cookbooks in your house, Bibles, magazines, craft books, whatever.

Another option is to look through the appendix with the book suggestions and just buy one per week (or less!) of those books with the asterisk next to them. Think used books for less cost.

But all required reading for the program is in the basic/deluxe packages. book basket is extra, and there to let the children investigate more of a topic that got them interested.

PS in order to use MFW, you are not tied to the titles on the extras list. I know the first program I used was a literature based unit study. If you didn't have the exact book, you couldn't do that unit with those lessons. MFW is nothing like that.

Also, there are some people who say mfw is too light without book basket, but I"m not sure that's really true. If you get done with school.... it's more of how do you want your children to spend their time.

-crystal
cbollin
 

Re: Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby Cyndi (AZ) » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:50 pm

The library system in our old state was perfectly suited for MFW. I was able to check-out nearly every book for K, 1st and ADV - and part of ECC. They had everything, as well as a large number of Christian Children Books. We loved that library . . . it was our second home . . .

New state. New year of curriculum. They have next to nothing on the book basket list. But we're not really missing it. Maybe it's because my dd is older and reading so many advanced book on her own? She used to sit in front of the basket and read the books over and over. Now she's exclusively choosing longer chapter books for herself. So I try to get as many picture books, easy readers, whatever, from the book basket list or related to the topic we're studying -- then she can flip through them quickly for 10-15 minutes a day. I *think* that's more what the TM has in mind anyway, than laying there and reading each book all the way through.

That's just how it's worked for us - now that my dd is in 4th grade. (She's always been an advanced reader/book lover.) So my only point is that we've had "healthy" book baskets and "lean" book baskets, and it's worked great both ways.
2014/15: 1850MOD
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Re: Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby DS4home » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:25 pm

Cyndi (AZ) wrote:So my only point is that we've had "healthy" book baskets and "lean" book baskets, and it's worked great both ways.

Agreeing here. Some years I did great getting to the library. Then we moved and I had a pity party poor me - refused to go for a couple of years. :~ I got over it and use the interlibrary loan through our town library now. (I still don't actually go in and find books here very much.)

We have had great years using MFW. When I didn't use the book basket concept, I still think we had fantastic years.

Dawn
Celebrating our 24th Anniversary this year <3
Amber (HS Grad & Married), Carmen (HS Grad & in college), Nathan (11th), & Bethany (5th).

2014: RTR & Synergy Group
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Re: Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby Julie in MN » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Yes, I look at the book basket lists as a bonus in the manuals. MFW lists what you need and sells what you need, but then there's this bonus that shows up when you get home with your manual. There may be seasons when that is more useful to you, but if it's not now, don't worry yourself. We used it a lot in ECC but not always during the other years.

Enjoy,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane now
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (18) hs 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014); always used MFW
Alexandra (27) hs from 10th grade (2002); mother
Travis (30) never hs; engineer in CO
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Re: Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby 8shininglights » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:37 pm

I would agree with Julie about ECC. We were living in Indonesia for half the year we did ECC and I think my kids missed the books. I think the kids enjoy seeing pictures of what the people and land looks like in the various countries. Yet, saying that, those kind of books should be easy to find at a library. You don't have to do a lot of research to find those books. The other half of the year we did ECC, we were in Australia. So, the books we had here were different. So, I just got whatever they had on the country we were studying. When we were in Indonesia, we did not have any options. So, if you are just able to grab books during the ECC year that are about the country you are studying, that would be a huge plus!!!!
Wife to my BEST Friend, Roger, for 22 years!
Blessed Mother of Victoria (20), David (19), Anna (16), Elisabeth (14), Rebecca (12), and Daniel (8)!!!!
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Re: Is it a bad idea to not have a book basket?

Unread postby BHelf » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:35 pm

I just try to keep in mind topics we will study ever, lol, and pick up books at thrift stores when I see them. I have banned myself from the library. I am terrible at not getting the books back on time and then owing a hefty fine. :( so, we sometimes have books but not always the ones in the manual.

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
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