Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Treasures on the Bookshelves

Over the years I have accumulated a fairly good stash of books in the homeschooling category, among others. Before having kids I taught other kids, so I have always had an eye out for books with great teaching tips and creative ideas. I do clear out my shelves at least once a year but still have so many books that I cannot let go of because they have such great content and years of usefulness within their pages.

Recently I decided I needed to make better use of the great treasures that languish on my shelves year after year. So, this past week I pulled out a few books and we have thoroughly enjoyed the results. Much of our school day is already full, but I am always looking for fresh ideas for preschool time, science, and art projects.

Here is the book we had a great time with today. Something I bought about 8 years ago at one of those book 'parties' (like a Tupperware party, but for DK books). I have already enjoyed almost every page of the book with my older children and now we are enjoying it again with my younger ones (my older ones linger nearby, too, and like getting their hands dirty right along with us).

This book covers topics such as water, light, air, magnets, seasons, colors, and living things. For each topic it offers multiples pages of ideas and activities using mostly readily available materials. Of course, I love the real life pictures that DK books use as well. I also enjoy incorporating some of the more challenging vocabulary so I can stretch my older kids with the activities.

We all had a great time with the water activities. We talked about surface tension, upthrust, sinks vs. floats, cohesion, dissolving, and the three states of water. All the kids got into the activities with their own observations and adaptations. I am always impressed at what even young children can figure out on their own when given the right materials.

The bad news, I couldn't find this book for sale very easily to recommend to you, other than on Amazon (used). You may be able to find it at your library, I know ours keeps quite a few DK books on their shelves.

This did further encouraged me, and hopefully you as well, to take a second look at those great books that have gone too long forgotten. They often hold a treasure of stories and experiences to share with the kids, for free!

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