Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Winter Reading Challenge

My reading list for this challenge will be short and sweet! With all things school going on this year, the extra time I can carve out in the evening for reading will be for pleasure only. I still get up really early, but lately I've squandered my morning reading time. So, with the start of a new year, I hope to retrieve my practice.

I want to read through the Bible again this year using Max McLean's audio as I did in 2006. And I have a few shorter devotional books from which to choose: J. C. Ryle, John Calvin on the Psalms, Sire's book on praying through the Psalms. Since I have about one hour in the mornings after arising to read before I have to shower, I have time to add some reading from another selection. That's if I don't squander this time with my first cup of coffee reading my e-mail.

I have joined a group that will read
The Great Tradition (Gamble) which might be the only good stuff I read after the morning selections. The reading is to just require about 15 pages a week. That's not a lot of reading, but when tacked on to busy days, it's amazing how little gets done sometimes. Ooooh, I have an idea! Maybe I can do some of this reading during lunch. We have a 48 minute lunch (can you believe that? I personally think it is way too long.) I don't usually get to lunch for about 10-15 minutes because I'm putting up everything from the first three periods I've had straight and without a break. I never go to lunch without something to do. Usually I take papers to grade (spelling, grammar, history) from the morning. Instead, I could read from The Great Tradition. I try not to engage in much conversation during lunch. You've heard those stories about the bad things in teacher lounges? Well, lunch time is the same. I would love to only have lunch duty a time or two during the week, but at this school everyone has duty every day. Usually there are four to five teachers for each of the three lunches. Plenty, in my opinion. If I don't read during lunch, I will have to plan to read this several times a week after supper.

For my pleasure reading, I've already finished
Home to Holly Springs (Karon) and Miss Read's short-story-length Village Christmas. Currently, I'm reading the next political thriller by Vince Flynn, Act of Treason, which I hope to finish during Christmas break. If any of you pick up his books to read because you've seen them here, beware---there's plenty of foul language. These Flynn books are like reading the television series 24. They are page turners and make you wonder how much really goes on in our government. [I don't know why these three titles refuse to highlight red!]

Also on my to-be-read shelf is LouAnn Johnson's
Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains. I've browsed through this delicately; if I look too long I get absorbed and neglect the present task. Johnson was the author of My Posse Don't Do Homework which was made into the film Dangerous Minds. I have a couple of juvenile fiction books on my list, too. The short The Year of Miss Agnes (Hill) and Across Five Aprils (Hunt). We will be reading Across Five Aprils in class in a month or so and I've never read it. The last fiction on my list is the first book in The Oxford Chronicles series by Melanie Jeschke, Inklings .

A couple of have-to's for school (to receive ACSI certification) will be Reclaiming the Future of Christian Education (Greene) and the video series The Philosophy of Christian School Education.

I'm sure I won't finish the list (I never do) but I need to organize my reading again. The first half of this school year has been somewhat overwhelming time-wise, and I need to do something about that. I could easily, very easily, be a workaholic. I am never. ever. finished. But I cannot continue like that. I'll save the rest of these thoughts for another post.


Kathleen Hamilton said...

Great list, Janie! I read Across Five Aprils years ago with my boys when they were heavily into a Civil War craze. It's a good book.

ukrainiac said...

Hmmm, I hadn't given much thought to a winter reading challenge...but maybe I should try to get MYSELF into a plan again... I suppose this is December (missed most of that!), January and February?

It looks like you've pulled together a great list.