I think one of the problems may be that I have a book lover and he is constantly craving something new (and even challenging) to read. I would love to keep his interest with stories geared to fit the curriculum but alot of what I have looked at isn't going to fit the bill (for him at least). We are voracious (like that big word
) readers and so that is part of the problem. The other part of the problem is he isn't going to read anything remotely girly (thinking Anne of Green Gables). I am actually thinking of looking into the expansion pack for 7th-8th graders and maybe letting him read those with one of us (to make sure he understands the content) but then I am still stuck on what to have him read during book basket time.
This week I just did books as read alouds with all three boys and that was fine. If I had told him to pick from the book basket he would have done it but it would have been a chore for him and I don't want that when it comes to reading. So instead he started one of the chapter books I picked up that deals with Texas history. Any specific titles to look for would be greatly appreciated. Any other advice is appreciated too.
I wasn't blessed with a single voracious reader in my bunch, but as a reader myself, here are some ideas:
1. This book basket thread has some suggestions: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2539
2. The ECC Ideas Board also has suggestions throughout: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=15
3. In the back of all MFW manuals, there is a list for "General Reading." Many classics are there.
4. For general geography, I love the two books I have called Families of the World
. They are a step up from books like Children Just Like Me
. They have many photos but also describe details of families around the world, down to what time they wake up in the morning.
5. Don't underestimate the reading level of "fairy tales." I know these are popular with the preschool set, but original fairy tales were often written for a bit older children, and have mature topics related to the dangers of the world. By 4th grade, your son (like mine) will probably see the moral within them and may enjoy comparing different versions of the same story, or different stories across continents.
6. I love your suggestion of checking out the 7th-8th grade supplement, especially since your 4th grader probably won't cycle back to ECC later. One problem may be that his maturity level may not be at the same place as his reading level, so you might need to read along with him at first to confirm that these are okay with him. Or at least read through the first two YWAM biographies to get him used to the variety of mission experiences (Cameron had a long life and Nate had a very short one), with the ECC helps in understanding how God can use tragedies.
7. YWAM has many, many biographies beyond the 6 used in ECC (and the 4 used in years 4 & 5). The extras we read were very different stories from those we'd already read, and we enjoyed them immensely.
8. YWAM and other Christian book stores may have additional books. I recently was looking at a book called A Boy of Two Worlds
by Lorna Eglin for my son. It was about a Masai boy. ECC will give you an outline of topics to study, and then you can take it from there!
9. Of course, there are many more biographies in your library about interesting folks from each continent, if your son enjoys biographies. I personally tried to steer away from "history" during ECC, and just enjoy the cultures of the world without tragedy, but even so there might be scientists or other interesting people that would fit into the ECC cultural theme.
10. Really what you describe is a "reading time" issue rather than a "book basket" issue. Book basket is not designed for reading novels. It's a time to explore the topics you've been learning about, from geography to culture to science
biomes. Sometimes you may explore a familiar book in a new way (we had never noticed Madeline had actual French landmarks in the illustrations). Books don't need to be read from start to finish and multiple books can be enjoyed during the same day, or repeated from day to day. You describe your son as finding book basket "a chore," possibly because he prefers to just delve into a novel. Other kids may love book basket & find reading time "a chore." I think it's good to expand both their horizons
11. I would not be afraid to have a boy read books about girls, or vice versa. Children are children, and very often the main characters of good books have wide appeal. Also, the fathers and other little boys are often role models. I'm sure a boy wouldn't want to read 100% about girls, but a few here & there will probably go better than you are expecting -- I'm thinking about Heidi or Sadako or Rainbow Garden.
Well, there are some more ideas. I feel confident that if Crystal's oldest (another voracious reader) had plenty to read during ECC, your son will, too!