If someone was to ask which toy was a favorite in our home, I would be at a loss for words. Besides the basic basket of blocks, Lego's, plastic dishes and baby dolls, we had never purchased any "toys", nor do we own any forms of electronic entertainment (besides a DVD player for a weekend family movie). The most interesting and best part is that boredom was and never is an issue.
The truth is, our "toys" were our books! Books were the cause and beginning of everything! They sent our child in search of hidden treasures in the back yard, foraging for medicinal herbs in the garden or engaged them in raising children of their own on the child sized rocker. Books fed the imagination and birthed all the playtime scenarios in our home.
"A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself."
~ Jane Austen, Excerpt from Mansfield Park
This love of books starts in the lap of the reading parent. Besides the special time cuddling on the couch together, books are the tool for presenting the world to your little ones within the safe confines of your cozy home. Here is where they will learn that plants and animals were created by God (science), that certain parts of the world are covered with ice while other areas are full of sand (geography), that children of yesteryear spent most of their time in helping the family survive (history) and most importantly (if carefully chosen), books are also character building.
"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."
~ Henry David Thoreau
A home library can be created for pennies. Used books are often for sale at your local library, Goodwill, Salvation Army Stores and yard sales (starting as low as a quarter!). Our family would spend an hour every available Saturday loading up on these gems. Five dollars later we had a box of education and entertainment packed inside hardcover and paperback volumes. How quickly and inexpensively our home library grew!
If there are specific titles that you want to purchase, Ebay.com is a wonderful place to find discounted books. Amazon is also wonderful for instant gratification and the free shipping incentive is worthy of attention (here are some of our favorite picture books). The best part about the home library is that you have hand selected (and read) each title and know that everything it contains is safe for those little souls!
"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."
~ Henry David Thoreau
You will begin to notice a pattern when you see your child perusing the bookshelves. It all begins with the turning of the pages, a study of the illustrations and attention is paid to every detail they could muster up. Within the next few minutes, you will see they are dressed peculiarly, they are on a mission and about to forge their own trails. Today, they are Sacajawea, Daniel Boone or Paul Revere...
What will they be tomorrow?
What will they be in the future?
That all depends on what your home library encourages...
"I am a part of everything that I have read."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
~ Philipians 4:8
"If we encounter a man of rare intellect,
we should ask him what books he reads."
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making Mondays, Modest Mom Monday's, Homestead Barn Hop, Monday's Musings, Marriage Monday, Titus 2sdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesdays with a Twist, Raising Homemakers, Make Bake Create, Wise Woman Link Up, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, The Scoop, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home, Homemaking Thursdays, Home Sweet Home, Hearts for Home Thursdays, Home Acre Hop, From the Farm Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday, Front Porch Friday Blog Hop, Simple Meals Friday, Foodie Fridays, Simply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. The illustrations are all by the talented Ms. Jessie Wilcox Smith.