EXPLORING BOOKS


Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot, author

EXPLORING BOOKS IS FUN! Teaching our children this is probably one of the best things we can do for them. On this page I list the genre of books available (kinds of books). I also list a couple of websites where you can access stories on-line.



FICTION
NON-FICTION
POETRY
DIGITAL BOOKS
PICK WINNERS
A NOTE TO HOMESCHOOL PARENTS





Ask yourself this question, "How did I learn all of the information I know?" Most of you will probably answer this question "with school books". Sure we all learned a lot through history and science books. But were school books the only medium where you learned information?




What about the books you read for research? OR the ones you read for FUN! Let's look at the different genres and explore how they can teach our children and do it with more pizazz than the basic basals ,or literature sets, that are used in school.

Read accounts of children who became addicted to reading after finding the right genre. Once they started exploring books, they couldn't stop!



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Zoobooks Magazine


FICTION

DEFINITION OF FICTION: 


Literature that embraces fictitious narrative where the characters are partially or wholly imaginary.

There are several categories of fiction:

  • Fable: a fictitious narrative to instruct or amuse, usually with animals as the main character.


  • Fairy Tales: uses enchanted beings such as elves, fairies or gnomes.

  • Fantasy: usually includes beings, human or non-human, with magical powers.

  • Folk Tales: usually a story with some historical significance that was passed from one generation to the next by word of mouth.

  • Historical Fiction: Fiction but with factual accounts.

  • Mystery: usually contains some suspense with a character solving a problem


  • Realistic Fiction: usually based on a true story that takes place in real time.

  • Romance: about love and relationships.

  • Science Fiction: story may have characters that aren't human, futuristic technology, space travel and/or a futuristic world.


Fiction helps develop one's imagination. Here are some questions that you can ask your child as you read a fiction book together.

  • What would you do in this situation?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • Why do you think s/he did that?



NON-FICTION

Other genres are important also. Non-fiction books like biographies, and autobiographies can help us gain insight into human behavior. Often times these non-fiction books are encouraging to the reader.



It is important for us to help our child or student see that if the author could overcome an obstacle, they can too. In fact, when your child is facing a difficult moment, reading a biography about someone in a similar situation can be life changing for the reader.


Here are the categories of non-fiction:


  • American History: facts about America from the landing of the Puritans to what is happening in America today.

  • Autobiography: memoirs of a person written by himself.


  • Biography: a true account of someone's life, written by someone else

  • Science: includes all areas of science like astronomy, biology, geology, etc.


  • World History: this includes history from the beginning of civilization until today in the world outside of America.


Other books in this non-fiction genre would be self-help books, how-to books, books on gardening and cooking. Any book that is non-fiction can be listed here.



POETRY


For a child with a sensitive spirit, exploring books of poetry may be what inspires him to get into reading. Not everyone has a taste for poetry, but poetry can soothe the soul.


One of my favorite children's poetry books is by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Watch some of these poems in animation and performed by the author himself at Shel Silverstein.




DIGITAL BOOKS and e-BOOKS


Perhaps you have a child who doesn't like to read yet. BUT you want them to know the stories you heard as a child. Reading to your child is one of the BEST things you can do with your child.




Maybe you don't have as much time to read to your child as you would like. OR let's be honest, you may be one who didn't like to read as a child, and you still don't like to read. So trying to read to your child is torture for you. Here are a couple of sites that I recommend. You don't have to do the reading. Your child can listen to someone else!




Short Story Time


Here they will be able to listen to adults as well as other children read books online to them while they follow along, which helps improve reading skills!


While your children are lost in these classic stories - they won't even realize it, but they will be learning life building character traits as well as a love of reading.



All of the stories on this website are free to listen to and safe for the whole family. You can pick just the right stories by age or by topic. Discover a world that loves to read.




E-BOOKS


E-Books are books that are downloaded electronically from sites such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  Libraries now offer e-book loans where you can download a children's book onto a tablet, laptop or e-reader.


Download an eBook today


E-books are great for the times you are in the car traveling. You can't read to your child but they could read to you using an e-reader such as a Kindle or a Nook.  E-books are also very convenient to carry as they are very light weight and some are small enough to put into a purse.




PICK WINNERS


When in doubt what to have your children read, pick winners! By winners. I mean books that have won some type of an award. Some of these awards are Caldecott, Newberry, and the Alan White Award.


You can find reviews of award winning books at Best Children's Books. This site is aimed at parents (and teachers) and devoted to the proposition that reading is important, and the best way to encourage it is with great books. With hundreds of book reviews, they see their job as directing you to the good stuff so exploring books is FUN!


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Classical Childrens Books
Classical books are listed by these categories: history, grade level, theme, unit studies, African American Literature and Native American Literature. Give this site a view if you're looking for some great books.


Click here for suggestions of where to find books and start exploring books today!



A NOTE TO HOMESCHOOL PARENTS


Getting a struggling reader to read can be frustrating to her and to you as a parent. HOW THEN are you to teach her? The easiest way to get a child to WANT to read is to read to her. Read her books that peak her interest.



Getting books in your child's interests area AT his reading level is also key to get him reading. Help him read the book through once. Then go back through the book having him read it to you.


If your son or daughter gets so frustrated they give up and don't even want to try to read, please get them some reading help. In the meantime, click here to see some alternative activities to reading books.





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