Monday, 26 September 2011

Motherfunker's Guide to... Home Ed must-haves for under £10 - Part 2


I have had so many blog posts in my head for the last week and hardly the time or energy to do it. Been planting our garden, and since our tumble dryer broke down we are hanging everything on the line and come evening time my back has been more achey than usual. So instead of blogging I've been happily flaked out, watching the Great British Bake Off, episodes of Ideal, and eating chocolate instead.

Did ya miss me?

Well since we talked about the home ed must-haves last time, I've been thinking about the other resources in our house, that are less than £10, and are really brilliant.

First I want to talk about Dr. Seuss. I missed out on his stories in my own childhood and have only discovered him as an adult. I love the inventiveness of his language, the silliness, the absurdity. What could be more delightful to read than Fox in Socks? This tongue-twister of a book deserves a place on every child's bookshelf - if it was the only Seuss book you ever bought, this should be it! Who needs speech therapy or elocution lessons when you could have this book for under £10! My copy was £4.99.

"When beetles battle beetles
in a puddle paddle battle
and the beetle battle puddle
is a puddle in a bottle......
....... they call this
a tweetle beetle
bottle puddle
paddle battle muddle.
AND... "

Many Seuss stories are non-sensical and seem to have a particularly strong moral or educational purpose, but others cross into the realm of teaching something a little more profound or useful so beautifully, and I would like to talk about these a little.

'Oh the places you'll go'
 is a wonderful exploration into the adult world and the landscape of emotions and experiences that happen there -  the highs and lows - this book captures it so beautifully.

" OH! The places you'll go!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
Who soar to high heights....

.... Except when you don't
Because sometimes you won't.
I'm sorry to say
But, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a lurch.

You'll come down from the lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a slump.

And when you're in a slump, you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done...."

There are just too many good quotes and passages in this book, I want to copy the whole thing out for you. Just buy it instead. It's good, trust me. It even has a happy ending, because the tone of the book is that good stuff, amazing stuff will happen in your life and sometimes there'll also be times when there's bad stuff, scary stuff, weird stuff that may happen to you at different times on your life journey but you'll overcome it because you're strong - right? The tone is really positive and realistic. I'm grateful to Dr Suess for acknowledging feelings that are uncomfortable but SO part of real life, and demystifying them a little, bringing them out in the open.

Now Dr Seuss may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on with a new series written by Tish Rabe and others, under the title

'The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That!'

 We own




(Get the above revised edition 
or else, like us, you'll have to draw on the book to de-classify Pluto
as a planet, since it's not officially a planet any more)

 and on my wish list are......


amongst others....

And you know what? I think they are actually fantastic. With loads of information in each book, this is non-fiction made readable, memorable and lots of fun. And they're only £3.99. They are crammed full of facts delivered in the usual rhyming style you expect from Dr. Seuss.  Apparently there's an accompanying TV series but we will avoid that and stick with the books - I prefer to imagine the voice of the Cat and read it ourselves rather than have some cheesy cartoon voice spoil it for us....

If you want a really fab Dr Seuss listening experience, go for the audiobooks read by Adrian Edmonson (If you don't know this name 'cos you're from overseas, he's the bald one from cult TV series The Young One's / Bottom ) .... we got ours for 10p from a charity shop- had come free with The Daily Telegraph or something like that....

or if you prefer Rik Mayall (the other one from the Young ones/Bottom )


 and if you like the wonderfully mischievous voice of Miranda Richardson (Queenie from Blackadder) but aren't a fan of Horrid Henry ( she reads these) then there's

 which we borrowed from the library once, and really enjoyed.

All of these are £10 or under!

 I hope you liked them. I really recommend the educational series to all home educators - perhaps Santa could bring them this Christmas...

Which are your favourites?


  1. Big cheer for Dr Seuss. Totally love reading these out loud to anyone who will listen....We have found our own bargains at the bootsale for 50p - £1. Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Hooper Humperdink....?

    Have borrowed many more from the library though x

  2. Aaaaaah, you left out "The Lorax"!!! You have to read it RIGHT NOW :-)