Establishing a Home Library

bookcase-1845888_1920Your middle schooler is finishing an important report due tomorrow. It’s already past nine in the evening, and she realizes she needs three book references. Thankfully, you have established a small reference library with classic books, a dictionary, and English usage guides. The report is finished on time, and your daughter’s grade is an A because you took the time to stock a shelf with books. This is only one example of the benefits of a home library, which no home should be without. The Seminole County private schools in the Diocese of Orlando have the following information on reasons for establishing a home library along with a list of great books.

Reading Allows You to Bond

Your baby is born to nap, but often struggles at naptime because the transition from playtime to naptime is abrupt. Reading a book to babies is a calming activity that carries over to toddlerhood. Before naps and bedtime, pick up a book, snuggle with your child in your lap or on his bed, and quietly read. This creates a loving bond between books and snuggling. Once your child begins reading independently, the idea has positive undertones.

Reading is Strongly Tied to Academics

Children who read are practicing their understanding, no matter what the subject. A math test with instructions printed at the top of the page will receive a better grade because your child can readily understand what is needed. An assignment in a textbook is simpler because reading the chapter is not a struggle.

Reading Helps Children Develop Their Speech Habits

The repetition and onomatopoeia in children’s books are more than entertaining; it teaches speech patterns and sounds. Prompting your child as he reads a book for the first time will help match spoken words to written words. Reading also teaches learning words in context; if your child stumbles across an unknown word and can figure it out by reading the sentence, vocabulary is built. Communication skills improve when your child reads, and the difference is remarkable. Listening to a six-year-old’s use of adjectives is far different when that child reads frequently.

Reading Can Be Magical

Books have the ability to take children to far away and magical places they could never visit in person. The ability to lose oneself in a book is an experience every child deserves.

Now that you have the reasons for a library, it is time to build one. Books are sometimes expensive, but you have options. Yard sales sell children’s books at rock-bottom prices, friends donate books their children have outgrown, public libraries and schools have book sales of new and used books, and online websites offer boxes of books by developmental stage. Given a choice, intermingle classics and new works to create a library everyone can enjoy. Here are some suggestions.

  • Learning to read: Dr. Seuss and Hooked On Phonics are exemplary for learning to read.
  • Elementary students: Learn science through the Magic School Bus series and history via Magic Tree House and American Girl. Winnie the Pooh is always a winner, and the sweet works of Eleanor Estes are sure to please.
  • Graphic novel options: The Tom Angleberger series of Origami Yoda books teaches this ancient art of paper folding as the hilarious story unfolds…literally!
  • Older children: This age group will definitely benefit from keeping the classics on the shelf since school reports often focus on Shakespeare, Keats, and Salinger. A reference shelf with a good dictionary, desk reference, and English grammar book such as Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style will help sort out our language’s sticking points.

The Diocese of Orlando’s Seminole County private schools can offer pointers on age-appropriate books your child will enjoy, and many participate in book sales throughout the year. Read through our blog page for more ideas on how to turn your child into an avid reader, and call the Diocese at 407-246-4903 to learn which books are required reading for your child this school year.