From the time my oldest was about six months old, we’ve been participating in the programs our local library offers. In those early years with a little one, we would venture out together to the weekly story times, and I am convinced that those early experiences played a powerful role in encouraging him to love books.
As our family has grown, it is become a little more difficult to make it to weekly programs for each child, so a monthly Family Story Time offered by one of the branches in our area has been a good option for us!
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Does your library offer story times for kids of different ages?
Our library publishes a monthly list of activities, and I like to keep tabs on what they’re doing to see what might be a good fit for our family. One of the things I love most is that they offer a fun summer reading program that engages kids (toddlers and up!) with all kinds of fun incentives, etc. My kids have really enjoyed this, and I’ve been grateful for the Fine Waiver cards they earn. Those cards help us deal with some of the issues we have with books throughout the year. Ha!
This summer, we’re casually doing some of the what the library is offering as part of their Summer Reading Program (Hello, Fine Waiver Cards!), but my oldest is also taking advantage of Focus on the Family’s Summer Reading Program. He saw it featured in his Clubhouse magazine, and he dove right in! He’s on his own with this whole thing, and I’m excited to watch him go, go, go!
This summer, he’s been reading all kinds of books about Colonial America. This topic is a part of the reading in his second-grade Social Studies textbook. So this summer, we kicked things off with a trip to Colonial Williamsburg and all kinds of books, videos, and experiences about that time in American History. Did someone mention a textbook? What textbook? #lifestylehomeschooling
We’ve ordered some of the books from Amazon (as we plan to continue to use them in various ways in our homeschooling), but we’ve grabbed some others from the library.
Another thing we love to grab from the library are these Playaways:
Have you ever seen these? They’re pre-loaded audiobooks, and my kids really enjoy following along with them.
They even work well for pre-readers who are just beginning to pick up on words that they know!
Do you like to keep your kids reading year-round? In our house, we are all about reading together as a family! Our two favorite opportunities come:
- at mealtimes AND
- during Family Bible Time at night
Throughout different seasons of our homeschooling, breakfast [or lunch] time has been a great time to do a Morning Basket – Check out these from my friends at Bitty Beginnings and Let’s Play School: I’m highlighting these two morning baskets, because tucked down in both of them is a Summer Reading Printable from Bitty Beginnings that I think you’re going to love. There’s nothing to keep up with at your local library…nothing to track with any other kind of program…Just a simple way for your kids to keep a record of the books they’ve read over the summer! I love that!
My Favorite Place to Find Books
Yard Sales: This is hands-down my favorite spot for scoring great deals on just about anything and everything for our family, and it is not unusual for me to find exceptional books for as little as $.25 each.
Thrift Stores: You never know what you’re going to find at these incredible little places. Find out when your local thrift store(s) restocks its shelves, and then, if possible, plan your next visit accordingly.
Consignment Shops/Sales: Some of my favorite books and resources have been found while shopping consignment. I will often bypass the second-hand clothes and make my way directly to the books.
Amazon: Amazon Prime can be a great place to find books you’re interested in owning. Oftentimes, we will go this direction if there’s a book from the library we’ve especially liked. If the cost of a coveted book doesn’t look great to me, I toss it in my shopping cart and watch the price. Check those messages about updates to your shopping cart – That’s how you know when a price has been reduced. If and when it hits an all-time low, I snag the deal and then share it with you guys!
Usborne: Their interactive books simply can’t be beat! Our Usborne collection is growing, and if you’ve never shopped their resources, you are going to want to head over and check them out. I know of homeschooling families who use Usborne books as their curriculum, and it works!
Library: I finally had to come to the realization that I did not have the space (or the budget) to accommodate my wish list of books, which has resulted in our using our local library more and more.
TWO THINGS TO KNOW:
First Up: Did you know that Pizza Hut offers a Book It® program for homeschoolers? Yes! When the enroll period is open, you can sign up here.
Second: For our favorite picks from Usborne, be sure to request to join Your Reading Family – a private Instagram feed where I share UBAM specials you don’t want to miss!