…and I know I should pay it. I just keep forgetting!
A way that I keep things fun for myself is I utilize the library. This might seem like a subject that doesn’t need a whole day’s post devoted to it…but it does. Reading is a huge part of our homeschool day. Honestly, if we can get reading done in a day…I consider it a successful homeschool day. The key to keeping my children’s nose in books is to have books that are interesting and ever changing, that means we hit the library once a week. I require them to read during the day and I allow them to read. The older kids (8 and 10) have flashlights and booklights that they use while they read late into the night (my 8 year old mostly looks at the pictures and reads whatever words he can.) Our routine is that we tuck them in bed, pray over them, and then tell them how late they can stay up reading.
When my oldest was just a baby, we would put picture books in her crib (after she had fallen asleep) so that she had something to play with when she woke up during those few moments I needed to gain my bearings and down my coffee. Just the act of mulling a book over her tiny fingers was just so encouraging to me. I prayed one day she would be a reader, and 10 years later she certainly is.
If the library is overwhelming… take some moments to familiarize yourself with your library. Where do they keep the books on anatomy? Where do they keep the books on the planets? Where are all the Boxcar Children books? Where are all the Magic Treehouse Books? Where are the Hardy Boys? The Nancy Drews? If your children know where their favorite subjects are in the library, then they can go straight to them and won’t feel confused with where to look first. As a child I remember I knew exactly where my favorite books in the library were. I must have checked out “The Ordinary Princess” by MM Kaye at least a dozen times or more.
If there’s a kid space…then most likely your library doesn’t assume that part of the space will be quiet. So relax, let your children talk and play around the books. One of the libraries we have close by has an enclosed children’s space, you walk in…crazytown, walk out…hush hush.
If Mama is bored… bring something to do while your kids look at the books. I don’t actually enjoy just staring at my kids while they choose books to check out. Sometimes they ask me to read them aloud and I do, but most of the time I bring my own book to read.
If your kids aren’t old enough to enjoy a library yet… then you could very easily find the books your need online at your library’s website, reserve them and go get them when they are ready for you. Even if they are already on the shelf at your library, request it anyway and it will be moved from the overwhelming rows of books to a nice little stack with your name on it.
If you just simply don’t know what to check out… then you MUST buy (yes I recommend buying, not just check it out!) Gladys Hunt’s Honey For A Child’s Heart. It has everything you need for wading through the massive waters that are books!!
Now I am writing this assuming you live within a 10 mile radius of a library, if you don’t, then thrift! I’ve seen the classics and amazing picture books for anywhere from .30 cents to a couple dollars (I’m currently on the hunt for a collectors edition of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre! ) You could also trade books between families, or get a Kindle or Nook and check out books from the library electronically. The point is…surround your homeschooling family with books, even if you don’t enjoy reading. Yes I know I told you a couple days ago to do what MOM likes to do…but we all have to compromise sometimes and I encourage you, packing your home full of opporunities to read will allow your child with the richest homeschool experience he or she could ever have.