I DO mean simple.
If your library is remotely decent, chances are good that they have a non-fiction section just for kids. If you’ve never perused those shelves in your library, then goodness, you need to!
(well, assuming you have children in your life.)
Our library isn’t huge, but we do have a fairly decent children’s non-fiction section, and as a homeschooling mom, I consider it to be quite the gold mine.
I browse through it when I’m looking for something in particular (I’ve been keeping an eye out for whatever president we’re studying), but I also love to poke around just looking for interesting books.
I think sometimes we get the idea that the only way to properly learn about history is to do it in a neat, orderly, chronological way.
And while I do see the value in that (we’re studying the presidents from George Washington forward, of course.), I also think that there’s value in picking up bits of historical knowledge here and there in a rather helter-skelter, enjoyable fashion.
So, I look for biographies, but not just any biographies. I’m looking for ones with fun artwork and a colorful story…not the sort of book you’d dutifully check out while writing a paper on George Washington, but the kind you’d pick up and read just because you want to.
Less textbook, more fabulous, I say.
When I bring these home, my children are delighted. They read them just for fun, as though I’d carted in a Pippi Longstocking or Amelia Bedelia book.
But as they read these books, they’re learning about Rosa Parks, Henry Ford, Audrey Hepburn, John Audubon, Eleanor Roosevelt, and countless other famous people.
Since the books are engaging, my kids read them without me telling them to.
And since the books are engaging, my kids actually remember what they read, even without a workbook or test. It’s effortless, enjoyable learning.
As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the non-fiction books Mike Venezia writes for children, but there are other great authors out there too.
Really, just trust your sense as you flip through the books…if it seems appealing and interesting to you, it’ll probably seem appealing and interesting to your kids.
And if your kids aren’t old enough to read through these types of books by themselves, then read aloud to them. I’ve always done lots of that during my children’s preschool and kindergarten years, because even if they could just barely read their Bob Books, they could certainly understand books on a much higher level.
Do you have any favorite non-fiction picture books to recommend?
Today’s 365 post: It’s just a little thing right now.