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There’s never a wrong time to Give the Gift of Story.
It’s the gift which will give all year long in every circumstance.
It doesn’t cost a lot, but it will cost you some time.
It might cost you space. Because a home library is the best. Trust me though, the investment is worth it.
Parents are the storytellers who narrate the opening of their children’s lives, choosing the books, images, and ideas that will outfit their minds. – Caught up in a Story
What are the elements of the Gift of Story?
Classic Gifts of Story
Add to Your Family Library– Filling your shelves with books of all kinds will give your kids print materials in house to browse and enjoy. Never underestimate the power of a well stocked home library. It’s one of the best tools in your parenting arsenal. Especially as a homeschooling parent.
Personal Copies of Favorite Books– There is nothing quite like having your very own copy of your most favorite books. As C.S. Lewis said,
It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
Having their own books gives your kids friends to hang out with whenever it’s important to them. Lots of print in the environment and plenty to call their very own!
Regular Read Aloud Time– Nothing speaks louder than actions and making time to connect with your kids while listening and reading stories is some of the best time spent in the world.
Books about their Favorite Books– atlases, cookbooks, craft books, language books. Any add on book that speaks about that story world has the potential to grab your kids’ attention!
Library Card & Trips to the Library– Many libraries encourage families to get cards for their kids. There’s something special about being responsible for your own books from the library.
Techy Gifts of Story
It’s true. Technology pairs well with stories. In fact, contrary to popular opinion, I have enjoyed more stories with my technology than without.
One of the best things about the Kindle is how easy it is to get content in place. If there is a short story assignment for a kid, thirty seconds later he can be reading the story compared to the effort it takes to get to the library. The cost of most eBooks is far less than the fines we can incur on our library card!
Kindle eReader– The Paperwhite is light weight and crystal clear reading without a back light on the screen. But, bonus! The screen is lit by LEDs that shine on top of the screen. Perfect reading late into the night. Yes, we’ll consider this a positive thing!
Kindle Fire– An affordable step into the world of tablets. The link above names all the ways we use our Kindles in our homeschool. From audio books to video tutorials, to textbooks, and beyond, our Kindles get used every day. The cost makes this a low risk investment and the tool lasts for many years.
Kindle Unlimited– Is a membership which allows you to read thousands of Kindle books for free for as long as you have the membership. It’s like a rental library. They are adding titles all the time and you can use the membership on any device that has a Kindle app.
Audible Books– Did you know you don’t need an Audible membership to listen to Audible books? Although the non-membership price for audio books is more expensive, you can listen for a low price if you already own the Kindle book. All you need is the free Audible app on your device. Many books have whisper sync and allow you to keep your place in both versions while you read and listen. You can even do one or the other and when you go to do the other platform, it will know your place.
Audible Membership– We have a few kids who love audio books. Audio books are a great friend to kids who need to wind down before sleeping. Membership has so many advantages for families. I’ve named them in the post below. If you have ever considered a membership, check this out.
The best part is that any book you order (with or without credits), is yours forever whether or not you keep a membership. That means you can give it a try and keep the two free audio books forever without staying on in membership.
Head Lamp– Everyone loves a book light, but the most robust one we know of is a good head lamp. All of our kids have had a head lamp for reading since they were very young and they last! Pro Tip- Splurge on the model that turns off on its own after a while. You’ll be glad you did.
Resources for the Gift of Story
Confession. I love books about books. It’s how I find out about great books I haven’t read yet and it keeps me inspired to continue reading with our kids.
Read for the Heart– This book is both encouraging and practical. If you want reasons to make books a part of your family culture, this is it. There’s also an annotated bibliography in the back.
Read Aloud Handbook– If you need a compelling reason to read aloud to your students of any age, this is it. This is a quick read and chock full of information to solidify your resolve to read.
Some of my Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers– This book is a gem. If you have accelerated readers or gifted kids of any kind, get your hands on this book! You will not only learn about the characteristics of gifted learners, but you will learn how gifted kids interact with books and how to best use books with gifted kids.
That might not seem like a big deal unless you have a gifted child. The intellectual overexcitabilities and intense behavior is often satiated with a good book. Being able to guide a gifted reader can have amazing results. For us, it’s one of the things that will bring back peace and as a reading guide, you can develop a lovely rapport with a reader. This book has been one of the best tools in my teaching tool box.
Honey for a Child’s Heart– Around for a long time, this book is the original. The one that told our parents what books they ought to read with us.
Honey for a Teen’s Heart– The teen years are prime for connecting over books. Books give everyone a common ground for discussion. Don’t miss the chance to make this work for you!
Caught up in a Story– Fostering a storyformed and imaginative life with your children. The subtitle says it all.
Read Aloud Revival Podcast– Always free, these podcasts share insights from veteran homeschoolers. They are always a joy to listen to and leave you inspired.
Read Aloud Revival Membership– Hands down one of my favorite places on the internet. Membership is not always open, so keep your eyes open for opportunities to join. On the membership side of the site are master classes (I got to teach one!), author events which our kids LOVE, and other resources for the free podcasts.
More Story Posts at Blog, She Wrote
100 Books You Should Read by the Time You Turn 20– A list for teens by teens. What’s on your list?
The Ultimate Guide to Building a Reading Culture in Your Home– How to incorporate story into your family life at any age.
How to Keep up with Your Accelerated Reader– What about those kids who read a lot and well past their emotional age. How do you keep up?
How to Engage Your Teens with Books– It might sound like a difficult task, but use these strategies and you’ll be talking books in no time!
How to Make the Most of Your Read Aloud Time– Most homeschooling families have read aloud, but how do you do it well within your circumstances?
How will you Give the Gift of Story?
We were made for this.