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You may have noticed a bit of radio silence here on our blog over the last few months. While I’ve been feeling a bit guilty that I haven’t shared any nuggets of wisdom or provided any tips or reading inspiration recently via this blog (I’ve been much better about keeping up with our Facebook page…are you following that??), I do not regret for a single moment the experiences my daughter and I have shared nor the memories we have made. Who ever said that the learning stops the minute the school year ends? In my opinion, summertime offers more opportunities for expanding a child’s background knowledge as the weather (generally speaking) affords a plethora of chances to connect with nature and a multitudinous variety of activities to partake in.
The weather warmed up relatively early here in Michigan this year, allowing us even more time than usual to enjoy the great outdoors and oh, what an incredible time it has been! The hiking, the swimming, the berry picking, the outdoor storytimes… For us, spending quality time together, being completely present in the moment rather than worrying about capturing photos to share later, has been so incredibly rewarding and opened our eyes to the wonders and beauty surrounding us.
The additional quality time spent with my daughter has also allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of her interests, what topics ignite her curiosity and put that sparkle of amazement in her eyes. Her excitement and wonder is contagious and has inspired me over these last few months to seek out books that compliment what we have been doing, seeing and experiencing. How have I been getting stacks and stacks of new books into our home? Believe it or not, I have not spent a single dime on books. No, seriously, not even a penny! Rather than make frequent trips to the bookstore or place a bunch of Amazon orders, I’ve been taking full advantage of our interlibrary loan system, the Michigan eLibrary Catalog (MeLCat).
I have been requesting titles through the MeLCat system that pertain to the activities we’ve been engaging in, the things we have been watching and talking about and the places we have visited:
So, I encourage you to take full advantage of the interlibrary loan system in your area to help your child make connections and build their background knowledge. And not just during the summer months! There are books out there to compliment almost every activity, event, happening, holiday…and your interlibrary loan system is there to help you get those books all year long!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 5) for Kate, and two sons (now 3 and 1) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.