The Real Story of Our Chapter a Day.





Yesterday was like everyday. By mid-afternoon we had eaten lunch and each of us had washed our own dishes and set them to dry. The tea was steeping. And then, like everyday, we headed to the family room for our chapter. Each day that we are at home we follow the same rhythm. Not a schedule mind you, but a tempo for our day. And after lunch and before we head outside we end up here. On the couch.

Sage, Lupine and I snuggle in under the afghan (recently discovered in my hope chest), three mugs of steaming tea on the coffee table. We pick up our chapter book and cozy in.

Yesterday Sage snuggled in extra close with a dreamy look in his eyes and said, "Mama, this is my favorite part of the day." He hugged me. I hugged him back.

It is a simple formula, really. A magical book. A chapter a day in the quiet of the afternoon. The family room couch. A warm blanket. Some tea. Lupine on the right, Sage on the left. Predictable, comfortable, safe. The same rhythm, day after day.

We all thrive on this tempo, knowing exactly what to expect and when. I love how it centers and connects the three of us. We join in the story as it unfolds, spun in the mystery and magic of the tale. We don't watch television or movies, so I suppose this is our answer to that story-spinning and relaxation that many find before the screen. The difference, though, is that our minds create the magic – the pictures, the tone of each voice, the scene – and we connect so deeply with each other during the telling. We live in the story day after wonderful day.

Yes, Sage. It is my favorite part of the day, too.

P.S. Our current book is the Wind Boy by Ethel Cook Eliot. I can not recommend it highly enough. Sweet, convincing magic with just enough plot for a four-year-old, an eight-year-old, and a thirty-seven-year-old.

19 thoughts on “The Real Story of Our Chapter a Day.

  1. Radha Crawley says:

    We love, adore, and have read the Wind Boy many, many times in our house. Another Ethel Cook Eliot gem is The House Above the Trees, which I dare say, may be even more of a favorite in our house.

  2. Laura Baker says:

    You will never have to worry about whether you are creating life long readers. You have them now. When our kids were little we also did the chapter a day, we did ours in the evening because they were in traditional school but the result was the same. We have life long readers now and a couple that are writers as well because they have developed great, creative imaginations. Kudos to you!

  3. Radha Crawley says:

    I would love to here the other titles you have found. I love her writing and insight. She was a healer and mystic way before her time. We have The House in the Fairy Wood and the Wind Boy and the one I mentioned above. What others are there?

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    We also LOVE the House in the Fairy Wood (Sage and I anyway, it is a bit old for Lu right now). In my mind I combine her with Isabel Wyatt (Seven Year Old Wonder Book, etc.). But you are right – there are just the three as far as I know.

     ~ Rachel

  5. Meg Newlin says:

    We LOVE House Above the Trees. A big favorite over here. Hepatica! We have been working our way through the little house books for the last year and a half and are right now toward the end of The Long Winter. Holy Cow! What an epic tale. And we read the Secret Garden this summer and while Maple is a bit young for it, she followed along pretty well and it was a pleasure to read. We too function much more smoothly and sweetly with this part of our day in tact. Letting the story unfold in our minds eyes is such a gift. In fact, it is time to pull myself away from this and get to it! xo

  6. Radha Crawley says:

    cool…. thought one of my favorite authors had books I didn’t know about… 🙂
    Love the Seven Year Wonder Book too… forgot I had that and was reminded about it by Mira’s kindergarten teacher since Mira is now Seven! She said she had an “exercise” that goes along with the book and she would tell me about it… I will let you know… she is amazing and I am sure it will be worth sharing.

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hello lovely Meg,
    I pulled the plug on the Little House series when Sage was small and Ive been meaning to get back to it. The anti-coyote and the Indian fear got under my skin. I think I can deal now. Hope you had a calm, sweet snuggle with your wee ones.


  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    Yes. Do share the activity when you have it. At seven Sage called the Rhyme Elves himself everynight and would find a sweet little cursive poem on his bedstand in the morning. He still does it occasionally and has a package with dozens of them in his treasure box.

    ~ Rachel

  9. Erin says:

    We are TV/gaming free here too. We LOVE story-time. I loved how you described your time together. Our little clan derives so much pleasure from this as well..grounding and calming and connecting time so valued and needed. I think I shall look for this book…just perfect for the 5 year old, the 9 year old and the 45 year old.

    Be well!!


  10. Rachel Wolf says:

    I plan to post a book list soon. This was definitely one of our favorites. So gentle and warm. Looks like you have almost the same child spacing as we do and this book certainly captivated both kids.
    Peace, Rachel

  11. Nahuatlv says:

    We are reading the DOS+UNA= series by Mercé Company, which I think were originally written in Catalan, and there are not available, but maybe people of my age (30) remember them. I have to stop every two or tree pages to ask my son (4) what’s ins happening in the story and sometimes explain, but he love them because is mystery kind, but very well written for kids.

  12. Spalva says:

    How lovely those photos are! There is nothing more magical than read-alouds. I have been quite fascinated to see that my five year-old (six today) has been able to follow along books that I have read aloud to my 11 year-old. We spent the whole summer reading Anne of Green Gables. My eldest is completely smitten with Matthew and my six year-old loves Anne wholeheartedly (Halloween costume!). Both make regular references to Anne — my six year-old about the way Anne makes so many mistakes but never makes the same one twice; my 11 year-old spoke yesterday about a boy who is helping her in robotics, calling him a kindred spirit. So, so awesome and exciting when they bring these books into real life!

  13. Rachel Wolf says:

    How lovely for your kids! My little one (4) has been introduced to stories long before her brother (9) was. I edit a bit as needed but she really loves to participate. They play Little House often.


  14. Cassie says:

    Did you ever happen to post the chapter book suggestions? I searched, but couldn’t seem to find it. We are almost finished with The Wind Boy, and we all absolutely love it, but I’m searching for our next book. Thank you! 🙂

  15. Rachel Wolf says:

    I didnt. I will give it some thought. Chapter books are tricky for us, to be honest. But Ill keep it on my mind. Off the top of my head The Seven Year Old Wonder Book would be a good next read.


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