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View Full Version : Quick, take a picture! He's reading an encyclopedia!



Snoopy
04-17-2010, 04:38 PM
It's the weekend and Noah is bored... his older brothers are out and he usually plays videogames and rough houses with them so he's kind of lost right now.

I suggested he watched the movie "Secrets of the Mountain" that I taped on NBC last night, but he's not interested. His dad suggested they go play racquetball but he's not interested.

He asked me for a book "that shows things that [I] can make" so I got the "Knights and Castles: 50 hands-on activities to experience the Middle Ages" from a shelf for him. But that didn't inspire him either. Finally, he came to me and asked for the book about the Aztecs that we had borrowed from the library but I had already returned it. He then asked me for any book about "any tribe". We get the bulk of our books from the library so I didn't have much on hand... and I suddenly remembered the "Usborne Internet-Link Encyclopedia of History" volume that we occasionally use.

I handed it to him and showed him several pages that he might find interesting. He was amazed and took it to the couch and started reading the encyclopedia! On his own! Oh joyful day! I used to read the encyclopedia when I was little and I was bored so this makes me very happy indeed.

Of course, in the time that it took me to type of all this, he put the encyclopedia away (after commenting that it was an AMAZING book like it was the first time ever that he saw it!) and found a piece of cardboard that I had saved for a potential craft and decided to make himself a Roman shield.

But... he didn't ask to play a videogame or ask to turn on cartoons so I'm counting this as an educational victory!

On a different note, did anyone watch the "Secrets of the Mountain" last night with your families? Was it good? I think it was the first movie in a new "Family Movie Night" series on Friday night.

Jessica
04-17-2010, 06:20 PM
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History is Nik's favorite book! He spends a minimum of an hour every day reading it. I read the encyclopedia for fun as a child, so I totally get your excitement over it!

We limit screen time or I'm sure he would be asking for video games. And after he's done with the encyclopedia he whips out the Calvin and Hobbes comic collection and spends an hour reading it. Just to let you know that he's not one of those homeschooled kids! LOL

Snoopy
04-17-2010, 08:07 PM
Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of Calvin & Hobbes. I have all the albums and have been meaning to show them to Noah and always end up forgetting. Next time he's bored, I'll point him in that direction too!

I'm glad to hear Nik loves reading the encyclopedia too. Aren't they fascinating? I spent so many afternoons in my room, engrossed in the 20-volume encyclopedia that my mom had bought for us, and wondering when she'd let me read the "white" volumes (human development and physiology), lol.

Topsy
04-17-2010, 09:58 PM
It has been a long time since I saw an honest-to-goodness hardback encyclopedia. I can't even imagine what my boys would think of them. That would be a hoot! My eldest has spent hours, though, flitting from entry to entry on Wikipedia, though...

does that count???!!!;)

Snoopy
04-17-2010, 10:07 PM
Why not? I think it counts! I know a lot of people love to hate on Wikipedia, but I think it's really useful, as long as you don't use it as your sole source of reference. Some entries are incredibly detailed.

We had an old set of World Books that my MIL brought to us when she was cleaning her house, but our kids never really used them (and they were about 20 years old) because their school had already taught them to look for information online. I was quite large and we don't have that much room so I got rid of it. Now I kind of regret it, if only for the fact that *I* could have been reading it!

Riceball_Mommy
04-17-2010, 11:06 PM
I have a big set of encyclopedias in a box, sitting in the other room. I don't have them out because we don't have the room for them. I do have some great memories of reading my grandmother's encyclopedias and even doing some drawings from photos in them.
Also I keep seeing a lot about Usborne books. They sound really interesting, I should probably look into them, maybe I could find something at the library.

Snoopy
04-18-2010, 12:35 AM
Usborne books are soooooo cool, I love them. Even if you don't own one, you can go on this site (http://www.usborne-quicklinks.com/usa/usa_homepage.asp)and take advantage of the links to various websites and resources on a wide variety of topics. Just pick a subject on the left. For example, select History, then Encyclopedias, and then scroll down to Encyclopedia of World History (this is the one recommended by Story of the World author Susan Wise-Bauer). Then say that you enter page number 320. This will take you to the section on Early Settlers in the Americas and you will be able to see what additional resources they have for that: internet links to other sites about that subject, downloadable illustrations from the book, sometimes there is more and sometimes there is less. On that particular page, there are a couple of links to the exploration of Canada (I'm saying this since we have a few Canadians here) for example. If you use Story of the World, the activity guide shows what pages to use for each of the SOTW lessons.

Of course, there are other Usborne books than that specific encyclopedia and it's fun to explore the resources for all of them!

Jessica
04-18-2010, 08:51 AM
Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of Calvin & Hobbes. I have all the albums and have been meaning to show them to Noah and always end up forgetting. Next time he's bored, I'll point him in that direction too!

I'm glad to hear Nik loves reading the encyclopedia too. Aren't they fascinating? I spent so many afternoons in my room, engrossed in the 20-volume encyclopedia that my mom had bought for us, and wondering when she'd let me read the "white" volumes (human development and physiology), lol.

LOL on the "white" volumes! My parents never payed attention to what I was reading (they were too busy with their noses stuck in a book) so I ended up reading things before I probably should have. Think Clan of the Cave Bear as a 13 year old. Ah, it's no wonder I'm so messed up. :p

I'm not sure I would introduce Calvin and Hobbes knowingly if we could go back in time. Nik found them on his own and that was the end of it. He's learned some, shall we say, interesting phrases! LOL Actually, he enjoys them so much and they got him reallllllly reading when nothing else seemed to spark his interest, so I can't say we wouldn't introduce them to him. Anyway, I hope Noah likes them! They are highly entertaining.

The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History isn't like the old huge sets of encyclopedias. It's just one book packed full of the major highlights of history and I highly recommend it! But wikipedia counts, too! There's just something about being able to curl up with an encyclopedia and learn all about a topic you would never have thought to look up on your own.

Snoopy
04-18-2010, 09:23 AM
There's just something about being able to curl up with an encyclopedia and learn all about a topic you would never have thought to look up on your own.

OMZ, YES! On another note, I looooove my laptop (and my desktop... and my iPod Touch, lol) but give me a real book any day. My husband loves his Kindle and I envy him that it's light compared to some of the very heavy books I tend to read, but I'd rather have a real book then to have to click to get to the next page. There's just something about the feel of the pages, I guess.

OK, I'm dying to know what pearls came out of Nik's mouth after reading C&H, lol. I don't think I'd worry about the words Noah would use, maybe just the general mayhem attitude if he started idolizing Calvin. He already created his "No Girls Allowed" sign for his bedroom door so I he's probably going to love all of Calvin's antics. OK, now you've gotten ME in the mood to read C&H. That might be what I'll do today since our trip to the zoo is cancelled due to the rain in the forecast... my favorite C&H strips was always the one where the dad explains that colors didn't exist when he was little and everything was black & white. lol. That's the type of stuff I do to my kids! Now, after years of being gullible, they've really learned to question what people tell them instead of accepting everything at face value :) The flipside is now they rarely believe me when I tell them something that's actually true. But it also spurs them to research the answer to prove me wrong, so it has its advantages too.

hjdong
04-18-2010, 09:24 AM
James loves Don't Open This (it's a DK book). I don't know that it's technically an encyclopedia, more of an urban myth reference book. I highly recommend it. Why would people not like wikipedia? It's one of my great loves.

Snoopy
04-18-2010, 10:57 AM
A lot of people claim that Wikipedia is riddled with errors and wong information put there on purpose. This may be, but it's a great starting point when doing research, I think.

Thanks for letting us know about "Do Not Open (http://www.amazon.com/Do-Not-Open-John-Farndon/dp/0756632056)", our library doesn't have it so I'll put it on Noah's Xmas wish list!

camaro
04-18-2010, 10:59 AM
Usborne and Wikipedia are awesome. We're fortunate that one of the few other homeschooling moms we know is an Usborne dealer, but we also can pick up the books online. We found a prehistoric history book at the convention used book sale, too. We have both the science and history internet-linked books and when Mitchell gets bored with what we're doing he likes to sit and look at them. And when he asks about a certain subject, we write down a search term and he looks it up on Wikipedia. I love sitting at my computers and browsing it, too. I read a Slashdot comment once that said that if an article on Wikipedia didn't lead to reading five more articles/pages as you follow the links, something's wrong!

reversemigration
04-19-2010, 09:29 AM
James loves Don't Open This (it's a DK book). I don't know that it's technically an encyclopedia, more of an urban myth reference book. I highly recommend it. Why would people not like wikipedia? It's one of my great loves.

I picked this one up for Max from the library last year, and he got a kick out of it. Pick Me Up is another fun, relatively short, encyclopedia-ish book.

And yeah, I think I also learned half of what I know from reading the World Books from cover to cover when I was a kid...or the old Childcraft series. One day I am going to make the big cardboard submarine with functional periscope! Hopefully the kids will want to do it too, so I can use them as my excuse for playing in it in the back yard.

And finally, I know when Max is reading C&H because he can't stop laughing long enough to tell me the details.

Snoopy
05-18-2010, 10:26 PM
Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of Calvin & Hobbes. I have all the albums and have been meaning to show them to Noah and always end up forgetting. Next time he's bored, I'll point him in that direction too!

I just wanted to update this thread to let you all know that I introduced Noah to Calvin & Hobbes yesterday because he was sighing a lot about not knowing what to do... I pulled the Scientific Progress Goes 'Boink!' book and instructed him to come sit next to me on the couch. I explained about Calvin being a little boy and a terror, about his tiger Hobbes and what it means when it's drawn this way or that way. Noah looked positively bored with my explanations. I explained that Calvin doesn't like girls (he sat up a little straighter) and in fact, he has a treehouse with a "No girls allowed" sign on it (he got a twinkle in his eye). As I talked about Spaceman Spiff and Stupendous Man, I could tell he was getting more and more interested. But what really won him over, was that, as I was thumbing through the book, he spotted a strip about Calvin making a call to the library about books on certain homemade explosive materials that we cannot talk about nowadays lest we want to be arrested. He took the book from me and started reading it and finished it today and asked for the next one. So at this point I'm not sure if I have a Calvin & Hobbes fan or a Calvin wannabe. I'd better go hide the "Dangerous Book for Boys" and the "Backyard Ballistics" :) We went to the library today and he was looking for books on making medieval weapons out of cardboard. Ah, my sweet little boy!