Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Do You... Expose Your Kids to Great Ideas?

alternately titled: Teaching Your Kids Without Telling Them It's School

So how do I expose my kids to a variety of topics that I don't plan to formally teach during our school day? I'm a sucker for books.  I am constantly picking up books at the library that pique my interest and bringing them home to peruse...and hope my children will want to peruse them, too.  Rather than assign them as required reading, I've started leaving a variety of books in a stack on the coffee table.  We spend a lot of time in our living room so the books are sure to be seen.

Sometimes I'll read part or all of a book to my kids in the evening as they're settling down for bed and  sometimes I simply leave the books there for my kids to discover on their own.

Here's a small sampling of the books that have rotated on and off of our coffee table this year:

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A Beatrix Potter Treasury
and Beatrix Potter(biography) by John Malam
100 Great Poems for Girlsedited by Celia Johnson
100 Great Poems for Boysedited by Leslie Pockell
Toilet: How It Worksby David Macaulay
The American Story: 100 True Tales from American Historyby Jennifer Armstrong
My Mommy And Me Story Bibleby Tracy Harrast
Top 10 Dogs for Kidsby Ann Graham Gaines
Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everythingby Maira Kalman
Illustration School: Let's Draw Happy Peopleby Sachiko Umoto   
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verseby Marilyn Singer
13 Buildings Children Should Know
by Annette Roeder

The variety of subjects, reading levels, and styles introduces variety that might not be found in our school curriculum, plus providing snippets of various history, science, literature, or art topics may just spur a desire in one of my kids for additional independent learning.

During certain seasons of the year, I'll also place a stack of themed books out to help us celebrate.


My How Do You...? series is back for a limited time.  If you have an idea for a topic, leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.  In the meantime, you can browse the archived index of past topics.


  1. I am a big fan of stealthy homeschooling!! :D

  2. I love this idea. We already do a stack of seasonal books, but it'll be fun when the kids can read well enough for me to pick up "random" books at the library.

  3. We started a "book basket" this year with books on school related subjects. They are not required reading, but I found that my independent reader read almost all of the books on any given week. My non-readers also enjoyed looking at them and hearing some of them read aloud. I love the idea for fostering a love for reading, exposure to many topics and genres, and independent learning.

    1. Sometimes my independent readers will read to my non-readers. It's a win-win. :-)


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