Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009



  • Kids Bowl Free – a summer of bowling at least once a week
  • Summer Camp – through the city rec department and College for Kids
  • Summer Reading Program – two different programs both completed and new books and passes in pocket
  • Camping – we only went once, but it was a blast
  • Summer Trimester – not technically finished until tomorrow, but we started homeschooling again July 1st and will finish up our Summer Trimester tomorrow.
  • Read Aloud – “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan

Begun and In Progress

  • History – the Middle Ages through History Odyssey
  • Math Catch-up – multiplication, division, shoring up fractions, and geometry (all of the things they didn’t cover in school last year)
  • Read Aloud – “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo to go along with The Arrow by Brave Writer
  • Soccer
  • Fall Trimester (on the 7th)

Waiting (Soon)

  • Guitar Lessons
  • Homeschool Gym & Swim
  • 4-H
  • Tea & Art Tuesdays
  • Reading to Maggie May
  • Wisconsin Science Festival


Finished Since Last Time…

We’ve finished three books in the last two weeks and are very close to finishing a fourth. Books #8, 9, and 10 were “Stuart Little” by EB White, “Bartleby of the Mighty Mississippi” by Phyllis Shalan,t and “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket. Book #10 is E.L. Konigsburg’s “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” which has been equally as delicious to read as #s 9 and 10.

From there, we’ll be on to #12, “The Son of Neptune” by Rick Riordan.

Another thing that I have settled on declaring finished lately is this here blog. I’m not done writing (seeing as writing is a lifelong process), but my writing ambitions are definitely finished. My apologies to those who have commented within the last month or so. I really did mean to get back to you, but the reality is that I won’t. I do feel the tiniest bit sorry about that. Only the tiniest bit, though. Much as I meant to get back to writing here, as time went on I found that what seemed so urgent or necessary before didn’t any longer.

The short version? I still have plenty to say, but I have no desire to say it here.

So, dear reader, my deepest appreciation to all of you for reading along with me. You are certainly welcome to continue, but know that I’m going to be shifting focus and what will follow in this space will primarily be a personal record of next year’s homeschooling. In other words, less blog, more record keeping. Read alouds, units I have created myself, resource lists, etc.

I won’t begrudge you if a litany of lists and records does not thrill you. :0) You have my permission to go therefore and read someone else.

Book #6 is Finished!

trumpetoftheswanA couple of days ago we finished book number six, “The Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White.  Groceries has already added this to his “books I’m going to read after I finish the Harry Potter series” list – a sure sign of a winner around here.  We found it a fairly easy read with wonderful illustrations and an entertaining story.

I rearranged the list a bit again after enduring constant reminders from the husband and the children about the Rick Riordan books they don’t think we have and by the way, when are we going to start the new series?

So much for my short book hiatus.

You have to give the people what they want even if it’s over 500 pages.  Book #7 for the year is Rick Riordan’s “The Lost Hero.”  We started it on the same day we finished “The Trumpet of the Swan” and if the “please read another chapter” pleas win out, we’re in for some long reading sessions!

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Book #4 is Finished!

WITWThis past weekend we finished book #4 for 2013, “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame.  I had my doubts about the book considering that the language is a bit more difficult than perhaps the kids are used to.  I am pleasantly surprised to say that I was wrong.  The kids absolutely adored this book, tough-ish language and all.

Loved it.

We’ve already begun book #5, “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White while I try to ignore that Groceries has been watching the movie at school….and they didn’t READ the book!  Who does this?  Mama’s cardinal rule for books and movies?  You can’t watch the movie until you read the book!


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Book #3 is Finished!

512WT5icxEL._SL160_ “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm” by Betty MacDonald was a quick, but enjoyable read. The kids adore Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle so there are usually many choruses of “Read another chapter!’ to be had.

We started book #4 of The Read Aloud Project, “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, immediately after finishing Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  The first chapter was a challenging read, but I suspect that once we really get into the story (or meet Toad) the kids will be eager to hear more.


The Read Aloud Project – By the Numbers

readaloudprojectWhile rearranging book lists and other bits of housekeeping related issues last night, I decided to do a little number crunching for the last two years of read aloud goodness.  Well, really only a year and half because the first year we started in June, but you get the picture.

By way of explanation, the numbers below only include the chapter books we read as part of The Read Aloud Project and excludes the veritable cornucopia of picture books, non-fiction books, and other homeschool related books we have read in the past.  As anyone who has visited my house can attest, the page counts would be much higher if I were to include even a small fraction of the picture books.  Fair warning, dear reader, if you come to visit my children, be prepared to sit and read to them for the duration of your visit.

I’m just saying.

2011 (June – December)

Total number of books read:  10

Total number of pages read:  2,373*

Longest book:  “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by JK Rowling (448 pages)

Shortest book:  “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl (160 pages)

Average number of books finished each month:  1.43

Month with the most number of books finished:    September, November, and December (2 each)

2012 (January – December)

Total number of books read:  24

Total number of pages read:  8,161*

Longest book:  “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by JK Rowling (870 pages)

Shortest book:  “The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me” by Roald Dahl (80 pages)

Average number of books finished each month:  2

Month with the most number of books finished:  April and May (5 each)

Number of books finished the same day they were started:  2

*Note:  If we start a book in December, but don’t finish it until January, then the book counts in the year it was finished, not the year it was started.