Guest Post by VOCST homeschool mom and blogger, Bekki Sayler

One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that we do not have to reproduce a classroom environment around our kitchen table. Aren’t you glad?

While I was quick to throw out many “classroom-y” ideas and practices 

in my first few years of homeschooling, 

I rediscovered a classroom secret that works like magic at home…

Books and Picture Books
Books and Picture Books

Many homeschoolers take advantage of their local libraries and Amazon, but how do we present those books to our children?

The Seed Was Planted

During Kick-Off Kamp retired teacher Linda Smith shared how important it was to surround our children with picture books. Forget the thought that picture books are only for preschoolers. Simply select books that are beautifully written and illustrated and cover topics that your children are learning about in history or science and place them around their learning area.

I took my 15 library books from their stack and placed them on the window sills in my dining room (where we “do school”).

Result:

  • All of the boys were drawn to the books. (All. Even the high schooler!)
  • During breakfast, during snack, during break/free time they would wander over and grab a book to browse. There was no agenda; just enjoy the books.
  • We explored the books, talked about the pictures, and of course read the stories!

Lesson learned.

As a classroom teacher, I guess I would have collected a book-set themed for what we are studying  in history or science. I would have the books conveniently displayed all over the room and in the reading center.

I suggest to you, that as homeschoolers we need to find ways to display these books to our children as well.

  • On the kitchen table
  • On the coffee table
  • On the window sills
  • Along our white boards
  • On shelves. Displayed like they would be at a book store. If you have matching toys, stuffed animals or knick-knacks then display them with the books!

We need to simply put together a history or science themed collections and then place them before our kids. I personally use Amazon to find the books I want to put in front of our boys, then order them from our library. I always have 10-30 books checked out during the school year!

Challenge:

  • Pull 3-10 books from your shelves or the library.
  • Place them in a display-like fashion.
  • Set no agenda. In fact, you ignore them.
  • Observe your kids.

I bet you will be as amazed as I was to see the difference it makes!

Be sure to comment below and share what works for you!

If you need some book suggestions, just ask. The resource teachers are filled with topic/subject related picture book ideas to share.