Monday 29 February 2016

Making a home of Book lovers

This is the first post in a series of four as part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2016.

 This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World, Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses and Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset.

The theme of this first week is around language arts. This covers literacy, English language, English literature and also other languages.
My post is not about a specific curriculum but instead  around ideas and resources that we use to help develop an interest in books.

I love books and would like to share this with my children. One of the main aims of our home education is for the children to read well and enjoy books.

This post is just about  loving books rather than learning to read. These are ideas that we use but there are plenty more around. My Pinterest book board Books has some inspiration.

Reading Aloud
Loving books starts early, with reading to babies and toddlers. We used to read many books each day. In particular, we used the idea of Five a day where the same five books are read each day. Five a day was just the tip of the iceberg and we read many, many more each day. This is a list of some favourite picture books. Searching Five a Day and picture books on Delivering Grace will bring up many more lists! Some of my ratings are on my page at Goodreads.

For some time we used the Five in a Row curriculum for activities connected with some particularly high quality picture books. We loved this curriculum and I would warmly recommend using it with children from about three to six. We still have the picture books that we used and these often come out when the children are tired.

The Five in a Row website can be found here.
My page with Five in a Row activities is here and I have a Pinterest board for Five in a Row.
A UK home educator produces similar unit studies on books as Branch Out World available from CurrClick. We have used the unit studies for Katie Morag and the New Pier and Stone Girl, Bone Girl.

As the children grow older, we have continued reading to them. I have lists of our favourite chapter books: early chapter booksolder children's chapter books and books set in the UK for children. In addition, we use CDs in the car and one of the children enjoys books on Kindle Fire.

Read aloud revival has podcasts which encourage reading aloud.

Book Time
Now, I don't have toddlers or preschoolers so we have a book time after lunch when the children and I sit down with books. The books can be picture books, sticker books or chapter books. Immersion reading with Kindle is also an option. I love the chance to have an extra half an hour reading!

Poetry Tea
Brave Writer is a helpful source of ideas for encouraging a love of books. One of the ideas that we have used is a weekly Poetry Tea.
On Tuesday afternoons, we lay the table and enjoy poetry over a cup of tea or hot chocolate and something to eat. This has proved to be a tremendously popular part of the week. The children tend to go for favourite poems so I feel that my job is to find something different each week. This is a selection of some of the poetry resources that we use.

Shakespeare Week
Last year, for the first time, we took part in Shakespeare Week. Here is a list of Shakespeare Resources to go along with this. Since then, I have also discovered Ken Ludwig's How to Teach your Children Shakespeare which is filled with ideas and has long resource lists.

World Book Day
Usually leads to a frenzy of dressing up and an obligatory trip to the bookshop! The official site is here.

Book Club
This year, we have had a book club at the local home education group. More information about this is found here.

The Library
Our local library is large. We have standard rather than home educator tickets but if we take out a maximum of fifteen books each, that is a fair amount to carry. We found that the picture book selection was particularly useful whereas the chapter books are more mixed. More recently, we have started to use the on-line catalogue and reserve books. Children can reserve items with no charge.

Book Shops
Book shops are wonderful places. I usually intend to avoid them so try to make sure that we don't acquire yet more books but they are rather addictive and great for encouraging children to like books. Special events help too: meeting Judith Kerr, the author of Mog  and talking to her about her cat was a memorable.

Other events
Living in London, we are privileged. There are always different events going on and in many ways, we probably don't take advantage of enough of them.

We loved finding book benches and model Paddington Bears  as well as a performance of The Snail and the Whale as well as sleuthing the sites of The Treasure Seekers  and The Railway Children. I have plans for a particularly special Poetry Tea, hopefully, in the Spring or early Summer.

I am always looking for more ideas to encouraging children in a love of books and reading. Please add your ideas in the comments.

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  1. to encourage children to like books? read a lot and read varied literature. see what peaks their interest. Visiting through VCF.

    1. Thank you, Annette. I like the point about varied literature. Some series have resonated with one or other of the children. I guess it is a matter of finding something that they enjoy.

  2. This is a really good list, Sarah. I especially agree with continuing to read aloud to children as they grow older, and I think the children seeing that we as parents are reading and enjoying books is also a good example.

    1. Gwen, I agree and modelling reading is such an enjoyable thing to do!

  3. Enjoyed reading as always, lots of great ideas. We love books in our house and enjoy a lot of reading. I also think experiencing lots of different types of books/literature/writing/picture form is great and it's lovely to see what really interests one child and not another. We've also found there are some lovely reference books that add a great dimension to the enjoyment of books such as Maps by Mizielinska and Mizielinki, Creaturepedia by Barman and Julia Rotham's farm anatomy and nature anatomy. The kids also really enjoy making their own books - we've lots of started ones anyway! Ellie

    1. Thank you for the recommendations. The Maps book is very popular here but we don't know the others so will look out for them.
      It is odd, how one book can be a real success with one child but another may
      not be at all keen.