I am on a business trip this week, and so I decided to write instead about how we choose books to read. While selection of books changed over years, the methods didn’t change much. Here they are:
- 1. Take your children to the local library and give them freedom to look around and choose some books on their own. We did this since Smarty was about one year old.
- 2. Follow your children’ interests while selecting books. We went through several phases already – photo books when she was very young, books with nothing scary in them, non-fiction only and now mostly fantasy books.
- 3. Add some variety. I always try to add some of my own choices to Smarty's selections – for example, books that expand her horizons in history, geography or science. I also bring poetry books on a regular basis.
- 4. Keep adding to your own home library if at all possible. I remember reading in Freakonomics that having books at home is a better predictor of children’ academic success than reading to them or taking them to the library. We add to our home library through library book sales, garage sales and occasional bookstore/Amazon splurge.
- 5. Consider free books. We own 2 Kindles (soon to be three as Smarty keeps asking for her own Kindle for her birthday). There are many free books from Project Guthenberg available for Kindle. They can also be read online, but this is something that we actually avoid doing.
- 5. Read books about books (or book blogs). I found some good recommendations in Story Stretchers series by Shirley Raines, What to Read When by Pam Allyn and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.
- 6. Ask your fellow blog friends. Over years we read a lot of books by visiting participants in WMCIR. For example, right now I have a few books waiting for pickup in the library – recommended by Mama Smiles, What Do We Do All Day and Joyful Learner.