Category Archives: kids’ books

Back-to-Homeschool: 100 Books in August – A Read Aloud Challenge

I’m bringing it back!

Several years ago I started a reading program for myself and my kids to ease back into our homeschool routine with a fun incentive. I created 100 Books in August as a way to get our family back in the habit of enjoying read alouds as a family. We often get out of the routine with longer summer days full of playing outside and being on-the-go. However, as my bigger kids got older and started reading independently a LOT, I took a break from doing this challenge. Last week though, my big kids got to talking about it, and telling the littles how much fun this challenge was. They listed off all the fun family outings and memories that resulted from it, as their “prize.” (Putt-putt golf was the crowd favorite.)

100 Books in August

Y’all, I was blown away that they actually remembered that much of it, and how much it meant to them! Needless to say, I immediately knew I had to revive it for my littles! With babies, moves, home renovations, and all the other craziness of the last couple of years, I’m ashamed to say, our family culture of reading together has suffered. I’m REALLY looking forward to bringing it back.

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably remember how this works. It’s pretty simple.

The goal of this challenge is for us to read 100 books in the month of August. This will help us get back in the swing of reading together, and if we reach our goal (we always do), we earn a family fun day! This is a great way to get us excited about getting back into our school lessons, and it gives the kids motivation to spend those super hot afternoons reading together instead of begging for screentime or whining about being bored. (If your kids do not do this, please don’t tell me.)

My older kids love to read, but they don’t always want to read aloud, so this challenge is also good motivation for them to practice those reading skills too. This year we will follow the same rules as previous years for my older kids’ reading to count toward our goal.

Here are a few of our guidelines:

  • If he/she reads a book, it has to read aloud to the younger siblings (because this is 100 books for everyone!), bring it to us, answer a few questions, and then read a bit of it aloud to us, for it to count.
  • Our read aloud chapter books will count as 1 book per chapter.
  • Books such as our history textbook for school do not count.
  • While I want to include as many different books as possible, my kids will be choosing the books most of the time, so I know I’ll be reading some books multiple times. That’s okay!

We would LOVE for you to join us in this! I updated our sticker chart design this year. All you have to do is enter your email below, and I’ll send it straight to your inbox. So join in!

I’ll be sharing some of our favorites along the way. You can also share your progress and favorite reads with us over on Instagram using the hashtag #100booksinaugust

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Tuesday 10: Carschooling!

How about something new and fun for Tuesday? Tuesday kind of gets lost in the shuffle of the week, but it deserves its own spotlight every once in a while. To give it that bit of attention, how about a random list of 10 things this week?

Today I’m sharing 10 of our favorites for carschooling – learning on the go!


This Fall will be a bit busier than last year with the addition of homeschool co-op to our schedule. This summer we enrolled in a (somewhat) local homeschool group. Each Fall and Spring semester our homeschool group has a cooperative learning day on Mondays where parents teach different classes, and the kids get to join their friends to learn new things. This will be our first time being involved in a co-op, so I’ve been a little stressed about how to make sure it is good and fun and not a huge headache for our family. The first hurdle was just how to fit it into our schedule. We live 45 minutes away from where it is held (with no closer options!), so that means we won’t have much time for structured lessons on Monday mornings.

It also means we will be spending lots of time in the car. To ward off some of the whining and “Are we there yet?”, and to save my own sanity from 300,000 games of I Spy With my Little Eye and 4700 “I gotta potty!!” stops for the toddler who is really just bored (and thinks I can be talked into buying snacks like Daddy 😉 ), I started looking for ways to make that car time more fun and useful and less annoying. That has lead to our collection of fun CDs!

(This article contains affiliate links. They won’t change your pricing, but purchasing through them will benefit my little (big) family and this blog. 🙂 )

1. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (audio book)
This classic by Bill Martin Jr. is a favorite in our home and our van. My kids love listening to the story over and over and making all the sounds themselves.

2. Signing Time CDs
Signing Time has been a favorite at our house for years, but just recently did I purchase some of the CDs of songs that go along with the DVD episodes. I absolutely love this program – it’s a fun and exciting way for my kids to be introduced to a second language. And the songs don’t drive me crazy either. 🙂

3. Skippyjon Jones (audio books)
When Skippyjon Jones (by Judy Schachner) entered our world 4 or 5 years ago, I knew immediately he would be around for a very long time. A few years and kids later, everyone still loves this mischievous Siamese kitten who wants to be a chihuahua and all his crazy antics. We all crowd around at bedtime when these stories are read, and in the car we all chime in with “Salchichas! Salchichas! Sausages and peaches!” when we listen to Skippyjon Jones Snow What.

4. Song School Latin – This CD of songs is actually part of our Latin curriculum. Since my boys are only 5 & 4, I’ve stashed away the workbooks for later down the road. For now, they pull out the DVDs at home just for fun, and we sing along to the CD in the car. I’ve been so impressed with not only how much they enjoy it, but also how much and how quickly they are learning. It cracks me up to hear them greet people in Latin!

5. Sounds Like Learning (Discovery Toys) – This fun CD has everything from familiar nursery rhyme songs to songs teaching counting by tens and the months of the year. I can’t honestly say I love every song, the ones we do love, we listen to a LOT. It was very helpful when my oldest son learned to count by tens!

6. Giraffes Can’t Dance (audio book) – This book and accompanying CD by Giles Andreae was a gift to my kiddos from my mother-in-law. (Having a former preschool teacher as a mother-in-law definitely has perks – like her entire classroom collection of books!) It’s a cute story about Gerald the giraffe who believes he is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he realizes that he just dances to a different tune.

7. Songs Kids Really Love to Sing: Bible Songs – This collection of fun bible songs brings back so many memories from my childhood! I love teaching them to my kids! And it’s currently only $1.99 on Amazon with free shipping for Prime members! (Pretty sure I paid more than that for my copy when I bought it!)

8. Rachel & the Treeschoolers – As you may have figured out by now, our family loves everything about Little Hands Productions, and the Treeschoolers series is no different. Each DVD is accompanied by a CD of the songs from that episode, and these have proven to be a big hit with my crew of littles. Fun music, sign language, and science all rolled into one! This nerdy mom definitely approves!

9. Hide ’em in Your Heart – This collection of songs by Steve Green are some of my favorites. The songs are a great way to help my kids (and myself!) learn scripture!

10. The Hollow Trees – FUN music for kids of all ages inspired by traditional bluegrass, country, and folk music. The whole family loves this one, really. How often can you say that you actually love a CD of music made for kids?

So there you have it. The first Tuesday 10 – our family favorites for making car time into learning time without losing my mind.

What about you? Do you have some favorites for learning on the go? Or another list of 10 you’d like to share? If so, be sure to leave a comment or a link and link up on IG with #Tuesday10

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Filed under audio books for kids, kids' books, kids' music, music cds for kids, Tuesday 10