Homeschooling Ideas That Work :: What We Listened to in the Car and at Home

Learning while you drive around

Whether you homeschool or not, I think you will be encouraged by this post.  I am going to share some of the stories/series/ tapes/CDs etc that we listened to over the years.  Whether or not you homeschool, I know you spend a bunch of time driving and sometimes it is nice to have stuff to listen to in the car.  It is a great time for learning.  I also used these during the day when the boys needed a break or I needed a break.

It is also been shown in research that reading comprehension goes up when a child learns to listen to a story and hears the structure of a story as they are told or read aloud.

Even when it is just Craig and I, we will listen to books on tape or podcasts.  So, read on for some Sursees and don’t forget, if you know a mom with children who might be encouraged by this information, would you please pass it on to them?  They will appreciate the Sursee.

 Jim Weiss is a wonderful storyteller.

What we listened to in the car with our kids

These audio cds are wonderful.  Weiss is a story teller and listening to him will transport you to another time and place.   We listened to these a bunch and the kids really enjoyed his style.  Using just his voice to tell the story, the adventure sprang to life.  He tells all kinds of historical stories, stories from the classics and mythology, and biblical stories believing,

“a story well told would ignite a love of learning in a listener.”

Love that!  I also loved his goal:

“Our goal then, as now, was to instill in children the lifelong love of great literature by telling the stories on a child’s level without altering the authors’ intent.”

Listening together as a family also gives your family a common vocabulary and fun shared experience, as well as, a literacy in the great books and classics.  You will also give your kids a desire and curiosity to read the whole book someday.

I used these as Sursees in the kids’ Easter baskets or in their stockings or for a birthday gift.  I would also  wrap one up before we went on a long car trip.  Here is the link to Greathall Productions.

Use the Library as a resource.

Before we went on a long car trip, I would make  a trip to the public library and check out some books on tape or CDs.  When the boys were little, the book came along with the cassette tape,  so they could read along and turn the page when the reader did.  I also made a few of these for the boys that they could listen to during their rest time.  These recordings would be a neat thing to ask grandparents or older siblings to do for younger children.

The library would also have unabridged versions of the classics  to listen to on a looong road trip for when the kids got older. We have fond memories of listening to The Lord Of the Rings or a Lemony Snicket book on our trips.  Now there is Audible where you can download a book through the service and listen.  Awesome!

The church library is also a valuable resource.  Ours was always well-stocked with tapes and later CDs.  Make friends with the librarian and ask them to order things that you have found online.  They like to hear about new ideas for the library.

We also found the Focus on the Family radio dramas were very well done.

One of osur favorite was The Chronicles of Narnia series.   Craig and I also liked the Father Gilbert series and the CS Lewis at War series found at the same place.

Sing and Learn is a great resource for all kinds of fun.

I love this website- Sing and Learn.  They were a resource that I found when I was homeschooling, but all of you are going to want to go over and peruse this site.  I especially love this series about the life of great composers .

.What I listened to in the car with the kids

They come as CDs to listen to and also DVDs to watch.  Great stuff.
One of our favorite sections of the website was the science section;  we would listen to these from Lyrical Life and Earth Science for fun, but learning was happening.  They also come with a coloring book.  We played these when the boys were a little older elementary age.What I listened to in the car

Diana Waring sang historical songs and had a series that let you listen to history.

What I listened to in the car

I had one or two of these with historical songs when we were studying different time periods.

These would be nice if you were studying this time period in history or your child was interested in this time period.  I am all for letting kids explore something they think is cool or interesting.

We also listened to GT and the Halo Express for scripture memory.

what we listened to in the car with the kids 2
I am so happy to say these cds  are still out there.  When the boys were little they were just in cassette tape form.  They are delightful stories with scripture tied to catchy tunes; these songs  are still floating around in my head.  So happy that they are still available for my someday grandkids.  I still have scripture memorized from these.

Just William is another hands down favorite of ours.

1 What I listened to in the car with the kids
These CDS are maybe for a little older…2nd grade and up.   You will so love these and their British humor.  William will become a favorite of your family.
Ok, that was long. I hope this encourages you to use that driving around time or that long vacation by car time to learn and listen.  Remember you can share your resources with other families which is what I did.  You can buy one and have a friend buy another and then trade
 Why don’t you share in the comments a book or series or audio that you love listening to with your family.  You will give everyone a little Sursee when you share.

Books That I Am Reading :: A Fall Reading List

I love reading, and I usually have about twenty-thousand books that I am reading.  At the same time. You, too?  I have a huge stack on my night stand, by the phone, on my Kindle, and in my Creative Room.  I guess I feel like buying and stacking books equals- Reading.  I think this is why I never have anything in the menu drop-down about what I am reading- because I never finish any one book!   I just keep starting a new one.

I think that is why I love the idea of a Kindle.  You can have all different kinds of books on the Kindle and be ready for what ever you are into at the time when you have a minute to read.  Kid literature? Check.

Mystery.  There.

How-to or Christian living?  On the Kindle.

With my Kindle it is easy to flit back and forth between genres and not be worried.  Especially when I travel.  No more wagging a thousand books in my carry-on for all the whims of my reading.  Now it is all on the Kindle.

But, now back to  what am I reading right now.   I am reading this book by Linda Dillow with my Mom Hearts.

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul is great book on getting to know God and worshipping Him.  One of her thoughts is this:

A good definition of worship is: an active response to God that declares His worth.  Linda Dillow.

Excited about what we are going to learn about worship together.  Will share along the way.

I am reading this next book because I love kid literature, want to review it here on Sursee Gal, and felt like I needed to refresh myself on the story; it is so magical and good.  More on Gone Away Lake later.

Gone Away Lake

(Finished it, by the way, so I get a gold star!)

Speaking of enjoying kid lit made me think of this author and book which I am also savoring.

Happier at Home

She is the first person who admitted to loving kid lit as an adult.  I am so there, but was embarrassed about that.  Wanted to like the big grown up stuff, which I do, but I also enjoy a good children’s book.  CS Lewis says it well when he writes:

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

Gretchen Rubin started a book club for Children’s Literature.  What a wonderful idea.  There are so many great children’s books that I would love to read again as an adult.

Oops, I got off subject which happens when I start talking about reading.

This book, Happier at Home,  is all about her journey of dedicating a year to make her home an energizing and calming place.  I like reading through her ideas of how to do that and am inspired with the little Sursees she shares.  Go check it out and start your own Happiness Project.

So this What Books I am Reading  post is all about variety and the spice of life.  It is all about starting one book and picking up another.  It is all about finishing what you start.  Haivng a goal.  Enjoying the ride.  It is the this and that approach to reading that I love and why it is so hard sometimes to tell you what I am reading.  Stay tuned for more Books I am Reading posts where I smush them all together for an awesome Sursee.

What are you reading right now?  Do tell.



Sursee Saturday :: New Covers on Old Favorites

I love the artist Anne Bond.  I think I first read about her in Southern Living and I follow her on Instagram;  it is fun to see what she posts and to see her artwork as it is coming out fresh.  She is the founder of Rifle Paper Co.  I am pretty sure you have seen her work on notecards and journal covers.

But look at what she is doing now… book covers for the classics.

My new love. a little princess

Are these not gorgeous, beautiful and inspiring?

anne of green gables

Makes me want to read these books all over again.

Little women

I am thinking these would be an awesome baby gift for a new mom.  Or a precious gift for a gal turning 13 or 16 or 18- all special birthdays in our house.  They are very affordable, around $13.00 for a hard bound book.  Amazing.

Or, maybe a Sursee for a gal pal?


Or how about a Sursee for You!

A Stocking stuffer, perhaps?… it is not too early you know.

Have a Sursee Saturday!




Sursee Gal on the Phone

SurseeGal Podcast


Hey y’all.  I recently did another podcast with Heather at God Centered Mom.  We talked about all sorts of fun stuff…

  • Reading to your kids  and ideas for books and what your kids can do while you are reading. Love talking about this.
  • How to work with the feeling that everyone needs me all the time.  At the same time.
  • What to do when those feelings of anger pop up and sometimes come crashing out.

Go over and listen to us at  Or you can go to Podcasts on your phone and listen.

I hope that listening to us encourages you that you really  are the best mom for your kids and that God picked you and no one else.