You need a book stand for your home education. It will probably be the best low cost addition to your home education you could add this year.
A £10 book stand I bought on ebay has already breathed new life into our home education.
I bring a LOT of books into our house, both fiction and non-fiction. I love books anyway, but home educating gives me the excuse to always be on the lookout for the next great book.
We use our local library a lot, and have a number of charity shops in our local area that are always worth checking out for interesting kids books. I follow other amazing home educators (#homeEducationUK) and homeschoolers (#homeschool) who post about the books they are reading, and I follow blogs, (like for example A Mighty Girl, and What We do All Day) that create book lists for every topic imaginable. I ask my guests to recommend books in every Home Ed Voices Podcast episode. Basically I am surrounded by books and the potential of new books.
It’s dangerous but in a really good way.
Except that a load of those books don’t get read. Most of the fiction does ok – graphic novels get gobbled up by everybody at one point or another. Novels are either readalouds or one of the older two read it to themselves. But I find that the non-fiction is trickier (even though it’s what I mostly read myself.)
I have consciously added non-fiction to our morning time. Our shelves on non-fiction are accessible and prominent, but there are still loads of books that I really want to use in our home education… but don’t.
It was doing my head in.
Then someone mentioned using a book stand and this. changed. everything.
How to use a book stand for your Home Education:
- Find an interesting book on your shelves or in your library bag
- put it on the book stand
- change the focus page as often as you want
Where to put a book stand?
I have ours set up on a bit of kitchen counter, but where you set it up is up to you. However I think it needs to be:
- somewhere that your children will pass a number of times a day
- a place where the book will look attractive and inviting
- somewhere where you will see it often and where it is easy to change up on a daily basis
I personally don’t use the book stand for books we are actively using in our home education – books we are reading as a family or using alongside a project, although you could.
I use it for interesting books I have picked up at the library, or books that otherwise would sit on the shelf, unnoticed.
But a book stand for your home education has to work for you – experiment with the location and see what works best for your family.
For ease of use I have set up a few rules (because who doesn’t love a good rule?!) for the book stand which make my life easier.
My Rules for Our Book Stand (your mileage my differ):
- A book lives on the book stand for a week
- Every morning while I’m making breakfast I change the page to a new page (if I am using a picture book and we are at home all day, I might change it at lunchtime too)
- I alternate weeks with my husband because he has books he wants to share too
- (My eldest has got in on the game too, and he had a turn this week to show off pages of one of his favourite lego books. I think this is fine and should be encouraged even though I have a pile of books to go on the stand. I will get through them over time. It will be fine.)
It didn’t take me long to realise that my eldest was definitely reading what was on today’s page. (It’s harder to tell with the younger two, but I think they are getting something from it.) My husband’s first choice was a book from an gallery exhibition we went to years ago. Having two painting to look at every day was lovely, and it reminded me how much good stuff there is in that book, since I don’t normally pull it down from the shelve and page through it.
Sometimes having a book on show for a week lets me get to know it too. I hate to say it but there are some books that I buy and then put it one side, waiting for that mythical moment when I will ‘have enough time’ to read it and work out how I am going to use it will the kids*. The book stand encourages me to start right now in a small way, with just a few pages, and see what happens.
Basically a book stand for your home education gives you another way to strew, by allowing you to strew particular pages of a book, rather than the whole book. It gives you another option – a low effort/high impact way to share interesting things with your family. And for them to share interesting things with you.
*The Japanese have a word for this – Tsundoku.