Vocabulary Matters

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On the birthday of Noah Webster, a quick post about how much vocabulary matters, how reading to your child today is just as important as giving him three healthy meals before the night falls, and how to download a free book by New York Times best-selling author and marketing guru Seth Godin.

The single most important indicator of future success is a student’s vocabulary. How to develop it? Read a ton of books on a variety of subjects. It’s that simple. Your library card just became your most valuable possession… Homeschooling does not have to be expensive or stressful. Take a trip to your local library, pick up a handful of books your child likes and another handful of what you think he should read. Sometimes the two lists are not the same.  Continue reading »

Don’t compromise on principles, of course. Don’t allow your child to read books you would not want him to read because of your family’s philosophy or religion. But there is also a gray area of “twaddle” – a Charlotte Mason word describing books that will not do much for your child, silly books, that will never become classics. When it comes to twaddle, my approach is relaxed. At least, they are reading. They hold a book in their hands. They are not getting into trouble and they are not watching a screen or playing a video game. Reduce the twaddle, minimize it. Over time, your child’s taste will improve if you keep providing him with solid reading matter.

Socioeconomic status also influences how much vocabulary a child hears on any given day. If you can expose children to more vocabulary, you help them get out of poverty. Reading is our only hope, to quote a poster I saw yesterday at the Pigeon Forge Library during a presentation by Mr. Lincoln.

 


5 Days of Homeschool Essentials, Day 2 – A Library Card

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When I decided I was going to homeschool, I started doing more serious research. Until then, I had read some about what homeschooling is and how it can be done. But now that it was official and we were going to homeschool for sure, it was time to make a list of lists and get to reading all those books I had heard about.

Children's librarian plays dominoes with boy and girl

Ms. Ethel playing dominoes with my kids after Story Time

I decided to look into my local library‘s resources, although I did not think I would find anything there. After all, we live in an exemplary school system and a small town. Homeschoolers are scant to non-existent. Why would the library provide homeschooling books?

I sheepishly asked the librarian if they had a homeschooling section. She said, “Sure. Let me show you where it is.” She took me there and motioned to half a shelf of books, many of which were on my list.

My list, by the way, originated from a website run by the local homeschool support organization. Their motto was, “We have combed the shelves so you don’t have to.” Their list of seven homeschooling books represented the cream of the crop. Wonder of wonders, my library had most of them.

I was so excited, I was in tears. Tears of joy. My local library had most of the books to get me started on this journey. When I walked back to my seat at Story Time, another mom saw my armful of books and their titles. She leaned over and asked, “Are you going to homeschool?” I said, “Probably,” and waited for a gasp of horror.

She beamed and said, “We will, too.” I could not believe it. Now it was really hard to blink back the tears.

Coming to the library that morning, I thought I would not find much support. Not only did I find the homeschooling books I needed, I also found a kindred spirit in this other homeschooling mom.

I got books from the library for “Before Five in A Row” or for my reading list from “Books Children Love.” We get books the kids pick out every time we go there for Story Time. Last year, we saved $1,700 by using our local library instead of purchasing the books we read.

We attend Story Time regularly. Ms. Ethel, the children’s librarian, faithfully puts programs together which include reading, then a craft or a game. Summer Reading Programs provide great opportunities for learning, as well.

Need I say more? If the library cannot help you homeschool for free, it can definitely help you homeschool for less.

Check out more homeschooling essentials from some of my crew members:

Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Julie @ Nurturing Learning

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures

DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool

Meg @ Adventures with Jude

Sarah @ Delivering Grace

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials