I have lots to catch up on here, but this is just a brief post to say: I am reading Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook after seeing it mentioned on several homeschool blogs and I can't recommend it highly enough. If you are already doing lots of reading aloud to your child, it makes you feel like a parenting rock star. If not, it will inspire you to do more, and it gives you oodles of suggested titles. He makes a compelling case for reading aloud as one of the most crucial elements of a child's learning process.
[This was the first book N. noticeably paid attention to when it was read to him: Iona Opie's Mother Goose collection, illustrated by Rosemary Wells. He's about 4 months old in this picture -- oh, my baby!]
Trelease's book inspired me to keep track of what we read aloud to N., so I've added a LibraryThing widget to my sidebar for this purpose. North Carolina homeschool laws require very little record-keeping, but I want to get in the habit of keeping track of what we're doing, though in an unschooly way, and this seems like a good place to start. I've begun my list with recently read chapter books, but I will go back and add as many picture books that we've read as I can recall, since these are a crucial part of reading aloud as well, and Trelease points out that reading chapter books should not replace reading picture books.
[Grandma reading Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance, another early favorite of N.'s. I will probably be reciting this book when I am senile and in a nursing home some day. "Stomp your feet, clap your hands, everybody ready for a barnyard dance! Bow to the horse, bow to the cow, twirl with the pigs if you know how..." N. is about 6 months old here.]
[Daddy reading a grown-up illustrated book about birds to N. while N. holds some of the birds in the collection of his adult half-sister Anne and her husband Kyle. N. is 20 months old here.]