For many families in the homeschool community, home decorating involves finding a spot for yet another bookshelf! Homeschoolers are notorious for filling shelf after shelf after shelf with good books, whether they make up the contents of a school year or two (or twenty!) or are simply personal favorites accumulated over the years.
Yes, books take up valuable space in a home, and the build up over years of homeschooling can be a bit overwhelming at times. So, how do you build a library while still making the most of your space?
Building your own family library is a great way to ensure that you and your children build a love for learning, reading, and growing together!
Curriculum & Your Family Library
There are so many curriculum options out there. By choosing a curriculum full of living books that will expand your family’s library, you are able to narrow down the curriculum choices, build a solid library, and give your children a vibrant and memorable education.
So, consider these thoughts when planning each new school year:
- Look for a combination of consumables and living books, keeping the textbooks to a minimum.
- Shop your shelves first! Create an inventory of the books you already have and update it each year. Then, when it comes time to plan a new school year, you will automatically know whether or not you have the books needed for your new history cycle.
- Supplement from your shelves. Remember that favorite read-aloud from third grade American history? So what if your oldest is now working on high school level American history. Pull that read-aloud back out and relax the high school schedule a little bit by rereading your old favorites.
A living book curriculum will often pull one or two titles from a series. So, you can grow your family library by using each year’s curriculum as a launching point for pursuing the rest of a series, exploring more titles by a familiar author, or finding books and authors similar in nature to what you already own.
Not every book or series by a particular author will be suitable for young readers or even a good fit for your family. In order to preserve space in your home and ensure that your personal library is made up of the best of the best, use the local public library to preview books. Make a list of favorites to add to your purchase list. This can make a great Christmas or birthday wish list to hand out to friends and family!
As much as we love our books, knowing when to let go is just as important as knowing how to build your own library. There are some books you will rightfully keep long after your children “outgrow” them. Setting out a seasonal basket of picture books is a beautiful way to add a homey touch to your living room, and you will find children and adults of all ages pulling out some of your old favorites and flipping through them.
But, there are other books that outlive their usefulness. Paying attention to those titles and purging on occasion opens space on your shelves and in your family’s reading time for newer gems and delights. Work through your shelves once every year or two to make sure that you are maximizing your space in every way.