Last weekend was quite memorable, it snowed for the first this winter in most parts of England! My little man was giddy with excitement as his cousins were around briefly, so he had someone to frolic in the snow with. Me? All I wanted was to curl up in bed with a warm drink and engulf myself in the sweet and wise words of my new home-school mama friends. (Books)

I’ve always been a book lover. I love to see them, smell them and I live to find like-minded friends who like to discuss them. Courtesy of our slow lockdown days; I was able to increase my reading habit to complete over 36 books last year! In addition to reading for my work, my son’s education, and to cultivate my own soul, I also read books for my weekly women’s bible study group and my new women’s book club, which I started last year. I was feeling pretty chuffed with reading accomplishment until Instagram showed me several posts of home-school mamas who had read over 50+ books last year! No pressure there, then! 

Content with my reading feat from last year, I plan to stick with the same reading target only this time, with more intentionality. I have carved a list of topics and categories of books I’d like to read whilst leaving room for books to find me as they always do.

 

  1. For my Homegrown Sonshine clients, I’m keen to learn more about different education philosophies starting with reading at least 3 of Charlotte Mason’s 6 volumes. This in addition to reading other books on her approach. Last week I finished ‘In Vital Harmony’ by Karen Glass and hope to move to Consider This I also plan on educating myself on Maria Montessori’s principles and methods; Ken Robinson and theories on creative learning as well as looking into project-based learning. Inspired by my amazing insta friend @seedlingsandsaplings, whose children’s work I greatly admire, I aim to dip into Warldorf’s approach to art.

 

  1. For our home school, I’m eager to soak in books on ushering in transcendence, wonder, beauty and imagination into our learning atmosphere. Hopefully, I will finally finish reading books Karen’s Glass’s book on the Art of narration, Ken Ludwig’s How to teach Shakespeare. I hope to find books on how to teach Plutarch and critical thinking. Recommendations welcome.
  2. For my spiritual growth, in addition to soldiering on with my daily devotionals, I’ll continue my learning journey into spiritual formation and inner healing. I am also curious to read a few books that explore the intersection between theology, modern art and culture. 
  3. For my feminine soul, I will draw from my favourite fictional genre, black female literature. Maybe I might just finish Zara Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes were watching God this year. Having got into the practice last year, I will allow myself to indulge in a couple of Austen’s and the Brontes’ classics.
  4. As for books on identity, personal and professional growth, I know I can rely on my Witty Bosses bookclub to keep me on track. So far, we’ve got up close and personal with Brene Brown, Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama and Uche Lotanna-Anajemba. This week, we’ll start the ball rolling with a discussion on female political leadership, focusing on Kamala Harris, Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
  5. Like me, Sonshine also created a list of books he’d like to get through this year. Each month, he’s expected to read/listen to books from 4/5 genres; a bible study, a classic, historical living book, a popular book of choice and a guided reading book from school (as he flexi-schools). We will continue to read aloud all the classics, history and poetry books together. This term we are reading aloud; Plutarch Lives, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Lamb’s, Tales from Shakespeare and Our Island People.

So, friends, this is our reading plan for the year. Being this intentional about my reading is a first for me. I am doing a similar list for other areas of my life.

Do you plan your annual reading list in advance? If so, what are your plans or topics?

If you are not already doing so, do take time to sow into your inner life especially if you are constantly pouring into your children’s hearts and minds. In these barren, wintery lockdown days, it is imperative that we make time to do more of what inspires, uplifts and brings joy to our souls.

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