I do a lot of reading aloud to the kids, and I've enjoyed having someone else do some of the reading. Most of the 43 chapters are brief, and the kids always begged for another one, and another one after that!
When I asked Jack, age 9, to tell me which chapter he liked best, his eyes lit up. "Probably the first chapter of part two. Where the boys escape from the Indians. And the part where the girls use the pumpkins to scare the Indians away!" --I knew someone would mention that part! It was one of my favorites, too. (Although the mother in me wonders how they managed to not set the straw on fire...!)
Eli, age 12, says, "It's a great thing to sit and listen to!" He liked to curl up in his beanbag chair and make paracord bracelets while listening.
"I like to listen to them in morning, when we're not quite ready to homeschool and I can sit and work on a knitting project," says Brianna, age 13. "It even mentions knitting in the story, when they were in Holland. All the Holland chapters are happy ones."
Josiah's favorite chapter was the story where a little boy almost blew up the pilgrims' ship!
Our home has an open floorplan, and the stories played in the upstairs school room carry quite well to my husband's downstairs office, a fact I was unaware of until he mentioned wanting to hear the next installment! Once I realized he was listening, too, we only played them on days when he was home so he could enjoy them with us.
I liked this audio book as much as the kids did, although I did feel the need to pause it at one point and discuss the way the Indians were portrayed. I was uncomfortable with the impression of ignorance that was conveyed. We discussed how Native Americans lived off the land and had their own culture that the pilgrims did not understand or appreciate. --We also had to stop and watch the Savages song from Pocahontas, because when we heard the Indians referred to in the audio book as savages, we ended up with it stuck in our heads. (Although, seeing the lyrics printed out? Yikes!)
Eli colors the Mayflower (link in Study Guide) while listening
There is a Study Guide, which I asked the children some questions from, but we did not print and use the worksheets as assignments. The study guide also contains links to craft projects and more information we could pursue online, including video clips. It would make a great springboard to an entire unit study, or you could pick and choose a few enrichments from it like we did.
Brianna coloring a stork page (link in Study Guide). Who knew Hollanders revered storks??
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