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Assignment #2: Go to the Library

Stash an empty apple box or wagon in the back of your van and go to the library. Take the kids with you. When you get there, if you don't have one, get a library card. Set up the kids at a little table with a stack of books to keep them happy. Treat yourself to some time to pick out one of two magazines or books that interest you. (Your children need to see you being a good example of reading, you know, plus you need something to enjoy in your "self-renewal time".)

Fill your box or wagon with a big load of picture books to read aloud. Then help each child find a few non-fiction books on a subject he is interested in (plus some books about the subject you are studying in science and history, if you can manage it.) Kids need both fiction and non-fiction for a nice balance in their education. If you discover some educational videos, especially if they pertain to your coming month's homeschool studies, grab those too. I usually decide on a time before we go in (or even set a timer) and allow an hour in the library. Keep an eye on your watch as it can be like Walmart--you go in and somehow stumble out zombie-like several hours later wondering why it's dark outside.

When you get home, unload all your stash in one place in the family room or school room. I line my books up so I can see their spines. An empty shelf is ideal, or try using a few apple boxes turned on their sides, so they form a makeshift shelf. I strongly encourage my children to help the picture books to stay in this location, as they are easier to round up when the due date arrives.

Every day I have my young ones choose one picture book to read aloud to me or someone else during their school time. My older children read their non-fiction books that follow their interests without any prodding, plus I catch them reading all the younger picture books too! We watch the videos either during school time, or in the evenings, where Dad enjoys learning all about "Lewis and Clark" or "The Solar System" and can join in our educational discussions too!

Mark the day before the due date on your calendar, so you will be prompted to call and renew your books (or even easier, renew them online). If your library renews books, and you got a big enough bunch of books, you won't need to repeat this trip for another 3-6 weeks. But I know you'll catch your children reading much, much more than before. This self-teaching makes children better educated and happier. And it is a lot of fun!

When you're ready for it:

Assignment #3