ABC’s of Homeschooling – B is for…

ABCs of HomeschoolingB is for Boxes, baskets, backpacks we’ve bought
The basics, the bible, and a boy underfoot
Balance! Building blocks. Big Daddy helping.
But mostly, lately, B is for books!

There were so many things I could have written about for the letter B! And many of you actually requested that I pick “balance.” I’m sorry to disappoint, but I promise that I’m GOING to write about that in about six more letters. (You’ll just have to see!)

This school year (I think I’ve mentioned) we’ve made a bit of a shift in our method and approach around here. Now that I’ve found a really great fit for most of our curriculum needs and I feel like I can stick with these for a long while without feeling the need to switch, I’m starting to pay more attention to the literature that we’re reading. I’ve been impressed with a greater importance for the role of literature in our learning.

Oh, I’ve always loved reading. My children have always loved reading and being read to. And they read quite a bit. I tend to not buy junky, useless books already. What else was left?

Living books.

I have an urge to read more, read more to them, have them read more to me and each other, to seek out great books on areas we’re learning in school and other areas that interest my children as well. Maybe I would have ended up here anyway, but I’m sure that watching my 5yo learn and grow has helped me on that journey.

BOYS. There’s another B for ya. ; )

My boy is different. The girls have always loved reading, really enjoyed it. The boy.. the BOY.. he ABSORBS it. Granted, at this age it’s picture books or educational books CHOCK full of pictures. I can’t tell you how many times he has flipped through our Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia, asking questions and memorizing the names. Or the same thing with one of our animal encyclopedias. I saw very early on that if he could hold a book, flip through it, see the pictures, he could retain the information learned VERY easily. And of course I want to encourage that!

And then I realized that in addition to encouraging the girls to read a variety of literature styles and subjects for their interest, I can use the literature that they read to further support things we’re learning in science and history. And even geography, music, math and pretty much anything else you can think of!

I’m embarrassed to admit that we hadn’t been to the library in over a year… and I love our library! But to be honest, we weren’t being responsible with returning our books on time. At all. And I felt like I was (among other things) setting a very bad example so we took a library hiatus. About a month ago we broke our library fast and returned to our beloved local library. No, really, I really do love our library. They know us–even after all this time–they know we homeschool and they never even raise an eyebrow at all the books we borrow!  They’re awesome. =)

So a month ago we picked up our library habit and this time around we’re going in with more purpose and we’re coming home with some really great books. For example, Princess discovered the American Girl “History Mysteries” series (okay, actually, I made her check one out and then she loved them)– a really nice little series of historical fiction novels, with an element of mystery/detective thrown in; convenient because that’s something Princess is really into. Each novel has a little section at the back with a short history of the time period and background of the story — the real information the historical fiction novel is based on. What a great way to incorporate history, reading, learning and fun!

There have been so many books we’ve enjoyed, it would be overwhelming to list them all. You can see the stack of books we have right now, minus a few that were being read at the time. ; )

Those weather books on the bottom? Let me show you those, because they’re pretty cool and they are RIGHT up Little Prince’s alley!! One of them as you can see is a great hands on book combining Weather & Art — we haven’t done any crafts yet but I think it’ll be good for my visual/hands on little boy, don’t you think?

The other one is more scientific and has all the explanations to all his scientific minded questions. And great pictures! Love that!

So as you can tell, we’ve really had a lot of books on the brain lately. It was one of our goals for Spring Break, to get in a lot of reading and library time, among other things. You’ll also be happy to know that we’ve been staying on top of returning our books. Or at the very least, having the decency to recheck them for a little longer so we’re not just simply absconding with them!

Books, books, books!! When we start back to school next week we’ll probably have to make more of a point to fit enough reading time in.. or maybe we’ll have to work to fit all the curriculum books in between the library books. Oh, I kid. Mostly. ; )

What about you? Have you read any good books lately? Do your kids love them as much as we do around here?

Don’t forget to check out the ABC’s of Homeschooling over at 5 Kids and a Dog!

And by the way!! Have you heard about the BIG Homeschool Bloggers Field Trip yet?? ONLY ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL WE MEET!

Previous ABC posts:
All Year

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April 21, 2011 1:10 am

Nice! I can totally relate. I honestly don’t know when we went to the library last. Last summer, I think. I’m a bad, bad homeschool Momma I know. And your poem? LOVE. IT. Makes the rest of us look bad, I tell ya. 😉

April 21, 2011 8:12 am

LOL. Well.. the whole “b is for..” thing made me think of all the alphabet preschool books we had. =p
You should go back to your library…. you can try again to get your books back on time. ; )

Stef - Layton Family Joy
Stef - Layton Family Joy
April 22, 2011 12:43 am

I love how one B thing you notice all the others! (how could I forget books?)

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