Saturday, May 25, 2013

Our Home School Library

You may (or may not) have noticed that I don't mention books in my posts. I hope you don't think we don't read or refer to books! :) We certainly do and not just a little. The thing is that when you live abroad, access to books in your own language (or even languages as is the case here) can be a bit inhibited. Now don't feel sorry for us; we do have an English library about half an hour drive from here but the choice is limited. More often than not, when I look at titles I'd like to borrow, they're either out or most usually, not part of the collection at all. Thankfully, I built a pretty big book collection for the kids over the years. I started before Adrian was even born knowing we had only a tiny English library within our range (Adrian was born in Denmark) and well, reading to my child was important to me so I had to be proactive and buy titles if I wanted to have some variety. 

Kids' Home Library
The Kids' Home Library

Over the years, our library has grown quite a bit and books are always on the kids' wish lists for birthdays and Christmases. We currently house a lot of English books and quite a few French books as well. Most of them are fiction but we are now starting to invest into non-fiction volumes as well following the interests of the children. 

The main library is located on our top floor, in the playroom, and the door is never closed. The children are always welcomed to go pick up a book (and they do) but to encourage reading even further, I also "scattered" book baskets around the house. You'll thus find one in each of the kid's bedroom (each contains seven books and these are rotated every Tuesday) as well as a much bigger book basket in the living room. That one contains about 20 books that I rotate about every 3 weeks but as it contains borrowed books from the library (I try to stop there weekly), there is always some novelty in the basket. That is also where our newest "arrivals" (and thematic books) are located.

Book Basket
Zahavah's Current Book Basket

How do we choose our books? Well, classics are always nice to have. There is a reason why such books are classics, right? The themes are timeless, the illustrations beautiful and the children, whether they are about to be born or were 20 years ago, will or enjoyed the reading. I also go with my children's interests of course (lots of "Space" books have "invaded" us since January). Finally, books that are recipients of medals such as Caldecott and Newbery are always winners in this home; after all, living far from English bookstores sometimes mean we have to rely on critics to pick the best books...We wouldn't want to miss out on great books now, would we? ;)

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  1. We read all the time,we loved reading before we had the children and now we have a good excuse to re-visit our child hood favourites as well as discoviering new stuff with them. Books live on shelves in our house. In theory. They are more likely to be found on the floor (grrr) or piled on beds at bedtime. My kids are at a very unusual stage. They are delayed emotionally, so still love picture books but quite academically bright, so love having chapter books read to them as well. Recently we have been reading 'The Hobbit' and 'Timmy likes to Toot' (way to much in my opinion but hey...)
    We use books as resources for our lapbook topics as well. Can't have too much reading.

    1. Books on the floors and beds? Yes...I am familiar with that! :) My children are pretty good at returning their books back to their baskets and bookshelves but every so often, a gentle reminder is needed. :) We are still very much enjoying board books here but hardcovers and soft covers have made their appearance and are usually well treated so we'll be able to invest in more of those. Books are truly wonderful and never left behind when we leave for vacations! Glad to hear they are important in your family as well!