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This past weekend launched us into August which means the school year will be starting up in just a few short weeks. I am not sure whether to breathe a sigh of relief or book a vacation for myself as I AM the teacher for most of my boys. Regardless of how I might be feeling about a full on school routine, I can say that this family of voracious readers will be diving into a lot of books in the coming months. Cultivating the desire to read is easier to do with a great supply of books at home.
Why Cultivate Life-long Readers by Growing a Home Library
They say knowledge is power. And, a primary way to get that knowledge is through books. Whether it is acquiring specific facts on a topic you are learning or picking up skills to be a better writer, reading from a variety of books helps to educate individuals. Entertaining at the same time is icing on the cake.
We incorporate a lot of books in our homeschool. Some are part of a curriculum and others are just for fun reading to hone those skills. I have boys in elementary, middle school, high school and college this year. This spread of ages and stages of reading equates to a LOT of books in the house.It is time for me to dig out all the leveled readers from boxes in the closet so he had plenty to read either out loud or to himself. He still has a few weeks until he is ready for them. But, I suspect once we truly settle into our routine, including daily phonics, he will be reading in no time.
I also need to get the bookshelves in order so any new selections for history and literature have a home. If you are an avid reader or homeschooler, you can probably relate to the never ending struggle of not enough bookshelves for all the books. Having reference books that a child can use to see why something is the way it is or how to solve a challenging math problem brings joy to my heart.
Cultivate Life-long Readers by Growing a Home Library: Arrange Your Books & Cull Titles
I will admit that the idea of culling titles in your home library can bring a shiver to book lovers, especially homeschool moms. We hang onto titles either because we might need them some day or for nostalgia when considering great stories read with a child. Books become like friends and it is hard to let go. If you don’t let go, then overflowing shelves might be a permanent condition in the house.
If you talk to a librarian, you’ll no doubt discover that they, too, adore books. What might surprise you is that they can be quite ruthless when it comes to culling the stacks, regardless of how they personally feel about a book. My mom entered the world of school librarian when I graduated from college and it is a skill that she learned to do.
Here are some basic tips to get you started on managing your home library:
Evaluate the book’s condition. If it it extremely worn and can not be repaired, it may be time to part with it.
Track which books are being used or will be used soon. Like so much of life, you can expect to see the 80/20 rule in play. If your family has outgrown a book, pass it along to someone who will enjoy it rather than give up valuable real estate space. Books that you want to save for a younger child (or maybe your future grandkids) can be boxed up for storage rather than given shelf space.
For nonfiction books, determine if the material is current. Many subjects like math, science and social studies can become outdated. Atlases for the modern world constantly change as new boundaries are drawn and new countries are born while others go away. Some books, like an almanac, are printed annually. However, you can stretch the life by editing using a pencil current information like who is the President of the United States.
Cultivate Life-long Readers by Growing a Home Library: Add to Your Collection
Even though we have a fair number of books in the house, my eager readers are constantly saying there is nothing left to read as they’ve read them all. I am not sure that is 100% accurate. Yet, I can relate to their desire to bring new books into the house. We find our books through a lot of different venues. Some are gifts from friends or family. Some are purchased by us for homeschooling. Some come from resale shops or yard sales. And, we typically end up with a few free books from summer reading programs.
Can you imagine my excitement when I learned that you can earn FREE Scholastic books (up to 30, both print and ebook options available) just from purchasing select Kellogg’s products? And, I can do this just by buying items our family enjoys to feed the boys who seem to always be hungry.
Be still this homeschool mother’s heart!
Curious how you can do this, too?
It really is quite simple….and you can do it online if you’d like.
I went to Walmart.com and added products listed on the Kellogg’s Family Rewards free Scholastic book page. Unlike in store purchases, the product packaging does not need to mention the free book offer. I just made sure I picked the same sizes of products as listed on that page. With cereals and snack foods, there is quite a variety for making your selection.
I took time that same day to register with Kellogg’s Family Rewards so I would be read to upload my proof of purchase when the shipment arrived. After registering, you’ll be logged into the system for entering product codes from the specially marked packages.
Once the box arrived, the boys were eager to dig into the bounty.
So we can earn our free books, I took the printed receipt out and snapped a picture with my phone. This image was then texted per the instructions on the Kellogg’s Family Rewards page. Uploading the receipt on the website or using a smartphone app are the other methods to use. This is only available for Walmart.com order between 7/21/15 and 9/11/15. (If you do an in store purchase of specially marked packages, you would enter in the 16 digit code found inside.)
Once the purchases are added to your rewards account, you can begin the process of selecting books to be sent to you with a 6 to 8 week fulfillment time frame. You have to make the selection within 14 days of entering your code. In the meantime, we have some yummy breakfast and snack options to eat while reading a favorite title.
Be sure to check out more books available via this Kellogg’s offer at http://cbi.as/gfgc. I’d love to hear your favorite book offered! #Back2SchoolReady
Do you seek to cultivate life-long readers by growing a home library?
How often do you cull and restock those shelves or does the mere thought of getting rid of a book send shivers up your spine?