June is that time of the year when many of us look eagerly forward to sweet and unstructured summer days, look back with delight on the progress our children made, and take a deep breath to evaluate whether or not we have accomplished all that we had hoped and planned as educators.
This particular June is a profound one for us personally as we have two graduates in the family. Hannah, our eldest, has gracefully crossed the finish line of high school and Cloe has completed 8th grade. Amidst the yearly doubts and trials, the flux and flexes of trying to utilize the best curriculum and materials in our schooling, one standard has remained constant... that of providing great books for our girls. Both are not only avid readers, both are intelligent readers. They not only have learned the mechanics of decoding words, sentences, and parts of speech but they know how to really read a story for all it's worth. They quickly recognize literary excellence and more importantly are able to discern moral messages, universal themes, and deep truths. They have become enthralled with stories and will continue to mine for diamonds in every book they pick up. To us, this feels like a mission accomplished.
Reflecting on this journey, we realize that education is longitudinal in nature, the fruit is evident. We believe that, as the old fable goes, in life, it is the slow and steady tortoise who wins the race. In a world that is simply spinning faster and faster, providing calm and consistent opportunities for disscovery has instilled a true joy for learning in our girls. Cloe, this year, was awarded a national Scholastic award for her poetry, while Hannah was invited to apply for a Socratic honors program at a local university. Cloe dreams of writing stories and playing Shakespeare at the Globe while Hannah’s dreams are split between playing piano at Carnegie Hall and working at the Library of Congress! We believe these dreams were cultivated because we created a language arts tradition for our girls. Characters like Wolf, Rose, Widge, Hogart, Turtle, Allegra, Homer, and Meg definitely deserve some credit for spurring them forward! Reading really does make all the difference in the world! We're proud to be watching our girls move in the direction of their dreams.
Our children were the initial spark of inspiration and motivation for developing Blackbird & Company literature guides more than seven years ago and they have played a significant role in our real life testing grounds too. This coming year, why not make a decision to transcend schedule and create a language arts tradition? We believe strongly in the power of story and are available to help as you begin to take flight.
Congratulations to the graduates in your lives. They have accomplished so much and hopefully, the learning has only just begun!
Join Our Flickr Group!
We’ve created a place where you can share all the wonderful things your students are creating as they explore and are inspired by great stories! It’s a great place to catch some inspiration and it’s easy to join. Check us out and upload your photos to the group pool at www.flickr.com/groups/blackbirdandco/
For Your Youngest Ones...
The best place to start is always at the beginning! Introduce your youngest students to the wonders of great literature with our Earlybird guides. Explore classic authors such as Robert McCloskey, Virginia Lee Burton and Lio Lionni as well as thematic units for the fall and winter seasons. See our full collection here!
Get Ready for Fall...
Browse our selection of great titles. Place your order before August 31 and receive a 25% discount, just enter the code STOCKUP in the coupon box when you checkout. This is in addition to the 10% discount already applied to our bundle pricing!
We’ve read many books this year looking for quality selections to offer you. These made the cut and are sure to engage and inspire your readers.
LEVEL 1 (Grades 1-3)
- The Year of Miss Agnes
LEVEL 2 (Grades 3-5)
- Farmer Boy
- Homer Price
- The Wonderful Flight to Mushroom Planet
- The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs
LEVEL 3 (Grades 5-7)
- The White Mountains
- The Thief Lord
- The Mozart Season
join the conversation
Share your ideas and questions with us. How are you using your literature guides? Do you have a book suggestion? We'd love to hear from you, email us!
We love books!; Reading is a passion in our families and classrooms and we believe that great stories have the power to instruct, inspire and enlighten. With beauty and clarity, we desire to provide tools that will foster your student's delight in learning and encourage them to become lifelong readers!
receive our e-news
If you are not already subscribed to our e-news and would like to stay informed about new products and specials, just click here to subscribe.