What We Read: December 2016

December 2016 was, despite the busyness of the holidays and the arrival of a new baby, a month of rest and lots of good books! I am honestly amazed at how much we read in December, but that’s largely due to how I revised our homeschool for the holiday season so that we only did the 3 R’s plus our Advent Bible readings, composer study, and afternoon reading time.

In 2016, my goal was to read 25 books but, according to my Goodreads board, I actually read 41 books. This year my goal is to read 30 books, and I want to read more literary classics. Do you have any reading goals for this year?

I’m also revising our homeschool plans for the Winter term to encourage more reading and provide more activity in the afternoons. Kate and Cora will have 3-4 assigned books to read from and narrate to me each day. These books supplement their history, science, and literature. Plus, Kate has a health-related (body hygiene) book to read.

Here’s what we read in December:


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

We didn’t finish this book and don’t plan to.  I think it’s the crassness of the Herdman children and the overall disrespect and scorn for authority as I read this book that made me cringe every time I opened it. I believe the story has a redeeming conclusion but we aren’t going to this year.


I like a good variety of books on my shelf to work through. This month I thoroughly enjoyed Niequist’s book on slowing down and living the life God wants you to live. In the moment. Cindy Rollins’ book inspired me to reinstate Morning Time for Term 2. I highly recommend both books. The fiction books I read are Free Reads on the Ambleside Online Year 4 list: I’m reading my way through all the books in Year 4 as part of my self-education. If you aren’t familiar with The Peterkin Papers, it’s set in the 1800s and chronicles the silly stories of the Peterkins, a family with next to zero common sense. You will laugh out loud!

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

A Handbook to Morning Time by Cindy Rollins

Kate (Age 8)

Mom-Assigned Reads

This month I assigned Christmas themed literature to tie in with the holiday season.

I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge

A moving, lyrical, and endearing chapter book, celebrating the magic as well as the mystery of Christmas, this is our first title by Elizabeth Goudge, mistress of the art of storytelling. Charmingly illustrated with ink drawings by Margot Tomes, it is a perfect Christmas read-aloud for young children and parents looking for something slightly sentimental and bracingly wholesome.

For Fun Reading

My big girls are really into Nancy Drew mysteries. I love how there are a variety of series available for different reading levels:

  • Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew is for ages 6-9
  • Nancy Drew Notebooks for ages 7-9
  • Nancy Drew Diaries for ages 8-12
  • The original Nancy Drew mysteries for ages 8-12

Nancy Drew Diaries: Bad Day for Ballet by Carolyn Keene

Cora (Age 6)

Mom-Assigned Reads

The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden

Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she’s sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly complemented by beloved Barbara Cooney’s luminous illustrations, filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit.

For-Fun Reads

Nancy Drew & the Clue Crew: The Case of the Sneaky Snowman by Carolyn Keene

Annabeth (Age 4) & Abigail (Age 2)

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Do you have plans to read more in 2017? Are you doing a reading challenge? Do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to a fellow bookworm?


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