Our Day 7 book was another Jonathan Bean creation: “This Is My Home, This Is My School” about growing up as a homeschooler. He takes us around his home and shows how every room in the house (and the fields outside his house) are part of his school. His mother and his sisters are also his teacher and his classmates, the dining room is also the cafeteria (complete with his mom in an amusing turn as the “crabby cafeteria lady”), their van is also a school bus, and the world is their art room. Each page is full of bustling, colorful illustrations of life as a homeschooler, and a lot of it rang true for us: the challenge and the fun of having all your school materials crammed into the same space where you sleep, eat, play and live, the 24/7 commitment of being mother and teacher and crabby lunchlady and how it can sometimes be overwhelming, and the endless possibility when the world is your classroom. It also made us long for for a place with more space to run and play…a house in the country like the one Jonathan Bean’s parents built in “Building Our House“.
In extended read-aloud time, Tom Sawyer continued his noble streak by testifying in court to help free a man wrongly accused of murder. He and Huck now live in fear of the real murderer…but there is intrigue and adventure adding excitement to that fear: the chance that they may lay their hands on a vast treasure! Our oldest was, at times, literally on the edge of her seat! One particularly funny moment came while the two conspirators are discussing what they shall do with their treasure – should they find any. Huck is convinced he must spend it all before his dad comes back and takes it, while Tom has plans to…get married! Huck is mortified: “Married!…Tom, you–why, you ain’t in your right mind…If you ever get married I’ll be more lonesomer than ever.” But Tom has the perfect solution: “No you won’t (be lonely). You’ll come and live with me.” The conversations between these two boys (and the way Twain has captured their ways of seeing and thinking about the world) are consistently the most entertaining parts of the book – at least, the most entertaining to read aloud.
We are about 80% of the way through Tom Sawyer at this point; we are excited to see how it ends – and to launch our next adventure with “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Stay tuned!