Are you familiar with Scotia Bank’s slogan?
You know, the whole, ‘You’re Richer Than You Think’ thing?
They say it is one of the most successful branding strategies any bank has ever launched. Maybe its because we all want to be richer than we think. I never understood it personally, because I’m almost always poorer than I thought. *chuckle*
Anyways, I digress. The point I’m getting at is this – think of your personal bookshelves with this slogan in mind.
You may not think you have what you need for next year – or that you have to research and order a whole pile of new curriculum, books, etc… but do you? Really?
If you’re anything like me you might already have most of the books and ‘curriculum’ you need for next year right on your own bookshelves.
When it comes to books – you just might be ‘richer than you think’.
Let’s be honest, us homeschoolers LOVE to buy books. (If you’ve hung around here for any amount of time, you know I’m as guilty as any!) I love to add great books to our growing bookshelves and I do this periodically throughout the year and usually in the Spring at Used Book Fairs.
Here’s the challenging thing though – I need to make sure we actually READ the books (or USE the resources) that I buy. One great way to be sure you use the stuff you’ve already got is to start with your own bookshelves every year. That’s right – when you are planning your ‘curriculum’, look to see what you’ve already got.
It sounds so simple, but for a long time I didn’t do this. I would buy stuff, use some and abandon most, pile it up and buy more stuff. When I started really looking at my own shelves, it made a HUGE difference in our homeschool (and in my bank account). We actually use the cool stuff I’ve already purchased and we save on buying things we don’t really need.
Since Charlotte Mason was ALL about books – I thought I’d share these tid-bits for Charlotte Mason Monday…
Some Thoughts for Starting with your own Bookshelves:
Start with prayer.
I just think, when you are choosing books and resources that will be read and used in the home – asking the One who knows our family best is a powerful starting point.
Start where you left off.
Start by searching for books that fit the time periods you’ll be covering.
. We especially enjoy following their guides for family study through history, bible, and read-alounds. Last year we used
, and this year we are using
. What I do to make these really work for us is that I approach them in a relaxed manor. We leave room for flexibility and we add a lot of our own read-alouds. We love the Simply Charlotte Mason yearly programs because they are so gentle and focus on family learning.
Start by looking for books you may want to revisit.
Start with books you purchased a while ago for ‘when the kids were older’.
Start with the curriculum resources you already have.
on our Language Arts shelf for over a year before we ever used it. I just kind of forgot it was there and we also started using a different program. In the past few months I was reminded of it and pulled it out for my daughter and she actually LOVES it. The funny thing is, we are not using it for copywork but for dictation. So, that’s another thing – sometimes resources can be used in a another way as well.
. When our kiddos were young (I think my eldest was 5, second was 3 and littlest was 1), I purchased
. It was WAY too much for them at that time. I got frustrated because it wasn’t ‘working’ and had spent so much on it. I almost sold the whole thing but felt led to just hang on to the books and teacher’s guide. It wasn’t until nearly 2 years later that we returned to Core A and used it as a family and absolutely LOVED IT. I realize now that the program was not the problem – the kids just weren’t ready for that level at that time. (IF you wanted to use Sonlight with kids that age, I would start them in
.) We even went on to complete the next level of Sonlight all together and both years were very rich!
Also – don’t forget about non-fiction!
Here are just a few of the titles I pulled off our shelf this week to use this coming year –
|These are mostly books that were on our reading list this year but we didn’t get to – so, they will be put at the start of this year’s list.|
|Examples of awesome resources I didn’t use this year but was easily able to pull off the shelf for use in the coming year. (I think I’ll have my eldest read from and narrate The Message…).|
|A mish-mash of books we didn’t get to this year and books that fit in the coming year’s time period.|
|More books that fit into the Early Modern to Modern History time period.|
I hope this post inspires you to check out your own shelves and I also hope you find out you’re, ‘richer than you think’!