Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
GOAL: Create a space in your home where you can read, study and learn effectively
The ADVENTURE: Build a Home Library and a learning space in your home
Let the kids help choose and design the space
Let the kids make a 'wish list' of books for the library and then start giving books for birthdays and Christmas
Ask your kids about the books they read and take time to really listen to them. Acknowledge their experience and validate the validity of their insights and perspective, even if you don't share the same perspective.
Share with your family insights you gain from the books you read and ask for their thoughts and opinions.
From time to time you may want to leave a special treat in the library/study space to be enjoyed by those reading or studying.
A growing body of evidence supports the contention of scholarly culture theory that immersing children in book-oriented environments benefits their later educational achievement, attainment and occupational standing. A 2018 study of over 160,000 adults in 31 countries found that the more books that were present in participants' childhood homes, the more proficient they now were as adults in three important areas: literacy, math, and using technology to both communicate and gather and analyze information. (If you're wondering, 80 books resulted in "average" levels, with proficiency increasingly improving up to around 350 books, after which performance leveled off.)
Book-oriented socialization, indicated by home library size, equips youth with lifelong tastes, skills and knowledge. Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in [adult literacy, adult numeracy, and adult technological problem solving] beyond the benefits accrued from parental education or own educational or occupational attainment.
Kids who grow up in a home where reading is implicitly valued -- and surely, at least in some cases, explicitly modeled -- are more likely to be avid readers. In fact, advanced education doesn't seem to offset the "lots of books in the home" advantage. Adults who grew up with relatively few -- if any -- books in their homes and later earned a college degree had literacy levels approximately equal to adults who grew up in homes with large libraries but only attended school for nine years. As the researchers write, a "bookish adolescence makes up for a good deal of educational advantage" in terms of literacy.
So- one easy way to give kids an advantage later in life is to create a home where books and education are clearly valued. You don't have to have a lot of money to do this, either. There are plenty of options for creating a 'bookish adolescence' for your kids with little to no cost.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Creating a place for your library:
❏ You may choose to have a family library with all of the books together, or let each family member create their own smaller library in their individual space.
❏ Set aside a shelf or two already in your room for some special books.
❏ A cardboard box or small wooden packing crate that each child can decorate makes the perfect bookcase for them to store their very own library.
❏ Store your books by category or topic so that you know where to look for them. For example, I have different shelves for different 'phases' of my reading- children's books, personal development, leadership and business, religious, biographies, historical fiction, etc.
❏ Whether you choose to set-up your library in a cozy corner of your bedroom or somewhere close to where the rest of the family gathers, having a special spot designated will make reading a treasure you look forward to. Your reading spot may be as simple as a bean bag chair in a corner or sitting in front of the book shelf.
❏ Make some bookplates for your books. Something as simple as “This book belongs to…” works great at giving each child a sense of ownership. It can even make a used book feel new. My grandkids love that some of the books they read at Grandma's house have their parents' names in them.
❏ Remember that your personal library can hold more than books. Audio books are great for when you are working or running. Magazines are good to have for quick reads, and catalogs can be an inspiration for you to create your own stories.
Ways to add to your home library
❏ Use your library card and the public library while you are building your own personal library, and even after you have a good library at home. Surrounding your kids with books does not have to cost a lot!
❏ Set an intention to have a personal library and an expectation that you will receive many books at no or low cost. You will be amazed at how much this simple expectation will do to help you build your library. You will be more aware of books, and you will find many opportunities.
❏ Browse bookstore sales, garage sales, flea markets, used book stores and sales at your local library.
❏ Organize a children’s book swap with friends, community groups or your school.
❏ Encourage family and friends to give books as gifts for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations.
❏ Remember to include some children’s magazines in your library.
❏ You may want to consider an online library like Readeo.com. For the cost of purchasing a handful of books you can have 1,000+ books available with new ones being added on a regular basis. My favorite part is that you can involve grandparents and family members that live far away in your child's reading as well, and you can share your library with up to 4 other families. I personally wouldn't let an online library replace my tangible library, but it certainly has an important place in my literary life!
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when it comes to instilling a love of reading:
❏ Make it a weekly family activity to visit the public library. Be open minded about what your kids choose. It is okay if they want to check out all of Captain Underpants books, nothing but the Magic Tree House series or only sports stories.
❏ Let your kids follow their passions and select book formats that are the most engaging for them. Most kids (boys and girls) are drawn to the dynamic images and page-turning excitement of graphic novels. Kids can now explore classic literature, history, biography and science through this format.
❏ If you are trying to encourage exploration of a new genre or subject, try bringing home selected books and placing them in unexpected places, just waiting to be discovered by a curious kid.
The research is clear that just having books in your home has a substantial benefit for kids~
After examining statistics from 27 countries, researchers found the presence of book-lined shelves in the home — and the intellectual environment those volumes reflect — gives children an enormous advantage in school.
“Home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status and other family background characteristics,” reports the study. “Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in a similar home with few or no books. This is a large effect, both absolutely and in comparison with other influences on education . . . A child from a family rich in books is 19 percentage points more likely to complete university than a comparable child growing up without a home library.”
So~ mom and dad don’t have to be scholars themselves; they just have to read and respect books, and pass that love of reading down to their children.
The very best time to start passing on a love of reading is the minute you bring your new baby home. Begin to model from the very beginning: read to them and let them see you reading on your own. Provide them with board books as some of their very first toys, and at an appropriate time help your child to create his/her own personal library for their special books.
Community Engagement Adventure
There are many ways to take the love of reading to the community engagement level. Here are a few ideas:
❏ Older kids can read with younger kids
❏ Read to an elderly person who may be losing their sight
❏ Organize a neighborhood book club, or a neighborhood read-a-thon
❏ Challenge a group of friends to a reading contest and see who can read the most pages during a specified period of time.
Whatever you choose to do, Have Fun with it . . . and share the FUN!
Teens can use their creativity to make their personal home library something unique and special to your family. Whether they choose to build the shelves, draw a special piece of art for the space, or stock it with yummy treats to enjoy while reading, that special touch will enhance the reading/learning experience for everyone!
by Building a Home Library