I read Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark to the kiddo today, all the way through this time. We have started it before, but she wasn’t old enough to listen to it all and grasp the concept yet. We’ve been practicing our alphabet and started a notebook together, though, and now at age two and three months she knows that ‘D’ is for ‘dogs and dinosaurs’ and can identify their images in illustrations. So reading Mary Pope Osborn’s first adventure was a little more exciting this time.
We had to stop a few times to draw a rhinoceros onto our ‘R’ page, check out whales and their sizes in relation to dinosaurs in our encyclopedia, and to correct behavior as she climbed in my living room window sill that is about three and half feet off the ground. We even had a brief whistling lesson after reading how the wind was whistling around the tree house. Overall, she enjoyed it, so we moved onto the Research Guide.
Mary Pope Osborne and her husband Will Osborne joined forces and started writing nonfiction companion books to the fictional Magic Tree House adventures. When I first discovered this, I started purchasing them in pairs, vowing to use them as fun assignments while home schooling. I’d like for kiddo to grow up in the habit of reading a nonfiction title that somehow relates to every fiction title that she devours, expanding both her facts and her imagination. What better way than to start with research guides to her first chapter books?
Why am I reading these to her so early? Frankly, it’s quite hilarious to watch a two year old run circles in your living room chanting, “Fossils! Minerals! Dinosaurs!” at the top of her lungs, while her dog (who happens to be the biggest one we own) lays in the center rolling his eyes.
Chapter three of the research guide Dinosaurs talks about iguanas and how Gideon Mantell though the dinosaur teeth he and his wife found were giant iguana teeth. Of course, we had to stop to re-read I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow. It has quickly become a favorite since we came across it at Half Price Books a few weeks ago, and the tie-in to our dinosaur lesson was flawless. The banter between mother and son is downright fun and the illustrations are extra spunky. It gave us a chance to talk about different iguana sizes and different ancient dinosaur sizes again, bigger and smaller is something I think the kiddo is really getting the hang of after our discussions today.
All in all, we had a good ‘school day’ this morning, something we have been working on being more diligent about now that kiddo is two and it has actually managed to get too cold to venture out as much.