A few weeks ago, my oldest is suddenly home from school and my family and I decided to supplement what she’s learned from school by having a simple homeschool routine for her. As of this week (the week this post is going up) our school system is busy preparing for online learning. We’ll be haring from their teacher on Thursday to see how this new set-up will work for everyone.
Here are a list of resources I’ve gathered to help us through this transition. Keep in mind that links preceding a ($) were either purchased, or are subscription based.
Epic! ($) – Check with your kids’ teacher of they use Epic in their classrooms and if they’re willing to provide you with their classroom code so the kids can still access the books within the app during school hours. My family have a subscription to Epic! but I was incredibly glad when T’s kindergarten teacher provided us with her code.
Saskatoon Public Library Facebook Page – For Saskatoon residents, our public library is currently offering online programs such as Storytime Online, Boredom Busters and my kids’ personal favourite House Party.
These are the ones we use often. Please feel free to leave links to other resources in the comments section 🙂
The capacity to suffer. Elwood — and all the Nickel boys — existed in the capacity. Breathed in it, ate in it, dreamed in it. That was their lives now. Otherwise they would have perished. The beatings, the rapes, the unrelenting winnowing of themselves. They endured. But to love those who would have destroyed them? To make that leap? . . . Elwood shook his head. What a thing to ask. What an impossible thing.
Whitehead, Colson. The Nickel Boys. p 172
When I found out our book club’s March pick was The Nickel Boys, I got excited. After all, I have heard great things about The Underground Railroad. The Nickel Boys follows Elwood and the other kids admitted to Nickel, a school based on the reform school which operated for 111 years. It also paints a picture of what the school is for and how it operates.
So a few things I enjoyed / liked about this book:
I love how the story opens up with a group of students finding out about a graveyard and an unmarked grave site, both by the school, and what it meant in relation to the students who attended Nickel. It upset me in a way because for some reason, I knew that those bodies belonged to the students. It made me wonder just what kind of school Nickel was, and what the students endured during their time there. Yes it was a bit grim, but that was a great opening for this book.
I liked that it was divided into 3 different parts: pre-Nickel Elwood (although how he got admitted was just wrong); Nickel Elwood; and post-Nickel Elwood.
And that TWIST closer to the end!
If there was anything I wished there was more of, I would’ve loved to see more brutality. It would’ve made me incredibly uncomfortable, but I felt like it was lacking a bit in that department. We hear stories, and in some cases we’re put in the environment of the punishment but we’re not supposed to talk about it. There are times when reading this book, I tell myself, “What happened??? I want to know!”
It was also would’ve been great if we were able to follow other kids as faithfully as we did Elwood. With him, we were able to experience his beating and how that affected his attitude towards Spencer, Nickel, and the other boys. With the others, we deal with the aftermath without fully knowing how we got there in the first place.
Have you read The Nickel Boys? What are your thoughts about it?
Ep. 5 – July Wrap-Up, Currently Reading, and August Reading Plans
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In today’s episode, I share with you the books I’ve read in July, what I’m currently reading, and my reading plans for the month of August.
Click here for a list of books mentioned in this episode, along with other important links.
If you enjoyed listening to this episode, feel free to subscribe, rate and review on a podcast platform of your choice. You can also follow and message me through Instagram, or through the comments sections in my blog.
Walrus In The Baththub (Deborah Underwood) – This is this month’s favourite. For the three weeks we have this, we probably read it 95% of the time. Walrus In The Bathtub is about a family who moves in to their new house and finds out there is a walrus in their bathtub. He sings walrus songs, orders clams, and pretty much floods the bathroom. There is happy ending to this, I promise. 😀