Teaching My Baby To Read

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Jessie Wise’s Library List

Taking your child to the library is something that good parents do anyway, so simply checking out books from the library does not qualify as Afterschooling.  But what would turn that simple act of parenting that you probably do already, into something strategic, thought out, and high-octane?  Slip Jessie Wise’s library list into your book bag, and use her guidelines to help your child diversify his or her reading.  For those of you familiar with The Well Trained Mind, this will be old hat to you.  But for those of you unfamiliar with the WTM, here is the list:

Jessie Wise’s Library Selection List, from pp 6-7 of The Well Trained Mind

  • One science book
  • One history book
  • One art or music appreciation book
  • One practical book (a craft, hobby or “how-to”)
  • One biography or autobiography
  • One classic novel
  • One imaginative storybook
  • One poetry book
  • Anything else they please!

The idea is to take your children to the library every week and use the list to make sure you are selecting a wide range of topics. Our family goes to the library frequently enough that we are on a first name basis with several of our librarians, but this list has still proved useful for helping all of us make better selections.


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