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We haven’t been to the library now in 4 weeks! But that hasn’t let us stop reading time. There are some creative alternatives out there that might work for you, too…
The first two posts in this series were on “putting your oxygen mask,” and sticking to routines and schedules. Today’s post is about one of my favorite things to do. You may be stuck at home, but like Dr. Suess said, “Reading can take you places you have never been before.”
I take my kids to the library a lot. This is now going to be the fourth week in a row that we haven’t been and there’s no end in sight! We still have the library books we checked out on our last visit. We don’t have to return them yet because fines have been suspended while the library, like just about everything else, is closed.
What to do when the library is closed
One thing I try to do is read to my kids every evening as part of their winding-down for bed routine. It doesn’t happen every night and I really ought to be more faithful about it. I also wish I could say that I’ve found the time to read a book for myself since this “quarantine” started, but I haven’t.
Reading 1 of the Ron Paul Curriculum involves reading, obviously. Now that we don’t have anywhere to be, we are taking more time on the texts than usual. My 6-year-old is becoming such a good reader! I’m so proud of her. This could be a good time to read some of the texts that your kid was supposed to read for their curriculum that they haven’t gotten around to. That’s not just us, right?
The largest home library in history!
One major tendency that I inherited from my parents is that my house is filled with books. A major goal of my family is to simplify our lives by paring down our belongings and getting rid of anything that we don’t need or use regularly. The one item that I am not currently mature enough to even attempt to get rid of is books. Sorry, Marie Kondo.
Maybe you don’t struggle in this area as much as I do, and you’re looking for something new to read. If you have the internet you have the largest library in the history of the world at your fingertips! Eat your heart out, Library of Alexandria! I’d better not get started on that. I’ll get upset.
Audible and Kindle
I use Audible to listen to audio-books while I do housework. Audio-books are also great for when you’re in the car. Kids also get a lot out of audio-books, even if they can read proficiently. You can get a free 30-day membership to see if you like it.
To use Kindle, you don’t have to own a Kindle. There is a free app you can download on your phone or tablet!
You can buy or download free books for both Audible and Kindle straight from your Amazon account, if you have one. If you have Amazon Prime (which is really nice during our days of social distancing!), there are over 1,000 free ebooks available for you to download.
If you are really looking to go down the rabbit-hole, there is Project Gutenberg. Gutenberg is not only free, but it has some fascinating stuff. Everything on there is public domain, which means that the books are not subject to copyright, which means that there is a lot of old and unique stuff on there. Did you know Leo Tolstoy’s wife wrote an autobiography? It is not a great read for little kids, but it was very eye opening for me.
Reading to children
I love to read. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mother reading to me. She has a rare talent for doing different voices, sound effects and reading with emotion. I just assumed that when I had kids I was going to enjoy reading to them too.
The major reason that I fail at reading to my kids every day is because oftentimes to me it feels like a chore. Why do you think I take my children to story-time at the library every week? When I read to them it is a labor of love. I will say, I am pretty awesome with the voices and sound effects though, so at least I inherited that part.
There’s no story-time at the library for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there are tons of online story-time options. Even celebrities are getting in on the action! Here’s an entire YouTube channel dedicated to celebrities reading children’s books. Look for your favorite celebrity! Even our local library has gotten in on the Facebook live action and my kids’ favorite story-time host is still doing her thing!
There are lots of ways to incorporate more reading into your daily schedule. Now that we’re all stuck at home for a while, some of our favorite excuses for not doing it have gone by the wayside. Is that just me? Maybe that’s just me. No matter what you and your kids are interested in, there is something out there for everyone!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Dolly Parton is about to read me a bedtime story.