Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Playtime without Toys and Electronics/Creating a Home Library

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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
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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 MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysHome Acre HopGrowing in Grace ThursdaysFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply 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.

31 comments:

  1. Books! We love them, and yes, what an influence they are. They are our ongoing source of learning and entertainment, too. I've often thought about the fact that so many children and adults these day have turned into media zombies, and I think it has everything to do with what they do when they are not working or studying. Television, video games and peer pressure together have produced several generations of people who have no self confidence or sense of accomplishment on their own. We don't own a television, haven't for years and don't miss it a bit. Give me a stack of good books any day. Actually, I was looking at our new Lamplighter catalog last night and wondered if you had read and could recommend The White Gypsy and A Lost Pearle? I think I might need those, lol.
    Have a great day!

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    1. I agree completely! As far as the Lamplighter catalog, you have come to the right person :) Actually we own both books but haven't read the White Gypsy yet. I did read A Lost Pearle last summer and found it to be quite more "dramatic" than I expected. It is more of the Victorian Era gothic type {I don't want to give away the plot} of a woman on the run. It isn't as nurturing as a Stepping Heavenward book but more of a suspense like Hidden Hand (though not as crafted). Basically, a good pleasure read but not too deep... Am I making sense here?

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  2. Oh, this makes me want to go to the bookstore and browse! I also have a few to order that I most likely won't find anywhere else! How I miss the wonderful, rich times when we built up our library. Thank you for reviving a desire in my heart to continue the quest for our one-day grandchildren! I love you, JES...we are indeed kindred spirits :)
    God bless you, dearie :)

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    1. And I share the same sentiments toward you, dearie!!! :)

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  3. The Philippians verse you include is my favorite Scripture, and I love this post since I care a lot about books. Guess what career my mom, and then I, chose? Librarian of course.
    I even went on to co-author two books for a Christian publisher. Children who read have a rich and wide world available to them and I think their inner lives are very creative.

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    1. Ah, it is a favorite verse of mine too Terra... Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and how neat to have co-authored a book!!! I also agree with your thoughts on children with books :) Have a lovely week!

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  4. I'm a big fan of books and got my sons hooked on books from an early age. Life wouldn't be the same without books!! I buy most of mine online but twice a year I go to a mega second hair book fair and buy up big!!

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    1. Ooh, that mega second hand book fair sounds right up our alley! There is always room for one more book {even when there is no room!!}. Thanks for taking the time to share Jo :)

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  5. Thank you for this beautiful post. Our children are older teenagers now (youngest 15 and oldest 20). We still read aloud together, and I believe they will bring up their children with the same values.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! I also still read together with my teenager! It is one of our favorite hobbies ;)

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  6. This is beautiful. And such an important reminder for our fast-paced electronically-driven world today. We just need to slow down, get back to basics, pull out a good old book and spend some quality time with our kids. :) Thank-you for sharing this reminder.

    Erin
    www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

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    1. You have summed it up perfectly Erin :) Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Books are so special... some of the most precious times my kids and I have had has been when I have read a book out loud to them.... not just "little kid" books, but older books... books that we can all enjoy. Memories are created and we still refer to books we read a few years ago... and the dialogue has become part of the family. :) Right now, when I read, I am reading into a mic and recording to computer so that we can try to load my husband's mp3 player and then he will be able to "join" us for the readings as he listens later. :)

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    1. How neat, then your husband can join in the fun conversations! And perhaps add a bit of helpful words too! :)

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  8. We've always been readers in our home. Not too many toys, more tools for learning.

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    1. Yes, books are learning tools; food for the brain! :)

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  9. Love GOOD books. All those Jessie Wilcox Smith illustrations are amazing - I like her work and you've combined them with some neat quotes about reading.

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    1. Thank Abi! There is nothing like a good book! :And I am a bit fan of Jessie Wilcox Smith too :) Thanks for taking the time to share here today. Have a lovely week!

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  10. Our son is 35 years old and we talk books all the time. He had a huge collection when he was home. I was never a "tv'' mom. We would pull out a book and read and learn something new.

    When he entered kindergarten they were amazed what a vocabulary he had. I didn't think he was special, he just liked to read!

    Hugs,
    Linda

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    1. I couldn't have said it better Linda. The vocabulary of readers is always stunning at a young age! Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

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  11. Hi, I have always been a reader and have enjoyed many a book, our children have carried this tradition on and it is a pleasure to see them reading books and enjoying them. Thank you for a lovely post. Blessings

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  12. I love to read & I notice that my kids have somewhat picked up on the habit :) We're still encouraging a few, but my eldest is totally like me & can devour a book (large novel) in a few days! Or less...I think that reading is a great investment of out time, especially the classics and the word as well.

    I found you on the Modest Mom link up. I also hold an inspirational weekly link up (it's newer!) and would love to have you share this post (or others) on it, if you like of course! www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com "Inspired By Me" open all week

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank your for sharing and the invitation. I will try and stop by :)

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  13. Well said! Reading has been a lifelong passion for me! As an elementary teacher I always had a poster somewhere in my room that said 'Reading Is Succeeding1'. Hopping here from Back To Basics. Yours is a site I'm definitely following!

    Marie @ http://asatisfiedspirit.com and http://healthyhappyholyhome.com

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    1. Thanks Marie, I couldn't agree more! We are book-aholics in our home too :)

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  14. We love books too. We are blessed that all of our kids love to read (they just tell us that they need more all of the time) too. We also do a lot of reading aloud together - it is fun to be able to share books that way. We do have some toys but mostly just like what you mentioned - some legos, a few dolls - generally old fashioned type toys that don't require batteries. We also try to avoid electronics and TV which helps to promote reading.

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    1. Exactly, the less batteries in a toy, the more brainwork for the child to create :) Especially so with electronics...

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  15. We also love the book sales at our local library. We have purchased some of our favorites for a quarter!

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  16. Some of my best friends growing up were books. I still love to go back and read some of them. I've wondered sometimes why my mom didn't make me help her out as teen even more than I did with household chores, but I think now that it was because she knew I was somewhere in a far corner of the house absorbing a book, and not only was it time consuming to find me, but she was at peace knowing where I was and what I was doing. :-)

    Another great place to find used books, and sometimes at better prices on some titles, is at http://www.abebooks.com/ My dad and I have both bought through them with good results.

    Lastly, I'm going to make a "plug" for the Kindle. :-) We spent the extra money to get the ones without ads so that we wouldn't be bothered with those. We also do not have a wi-fi connection in our house unless we choose to turn it on (which isn't often). So, it is a safe form of reading, and the really great thing about it for me is that there is a great wealth of free vintage books online through places like Project Gutenburg. I have a nice collection of vintage books for young ladies (and more I could get) that would be expensive for me to buy - even online. And, although it does require battery power, I can take this large collection (and the Bible) with me anywhere (including to Australia in 2013). :-) (By the way, this is a wonderful resource for missionaries, as my in-laws found. They can literally take a large library overseas with them in one small device.) I still prefer real paper books. They are just better. But this is a very useful resource, if used appropriately.

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  17. This is my favorite post ever! I've went back to it at least 5 times already and forwarded it to my friend and Mom as well. It's beautiful and inspiring. Great work and lovely pictures.

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