Learning With Picture Books

As a homeschooler, I'm always looking for fun ways to teach various concepts to my kids. Here are a few great books we are using.

Geography and Cultures

Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey around the World by Maya Ajmera and Anna Rhesa Versola

This beautiful book is a good way to introduce kids to various cultures around the world. It has a two-page spread for each country from A-Z, including a flag, map, and a few photos of the people in their country. It also tells a little about life in the country and has a list of facts. We'll be making our way through this book one country at a time.

Art and the Classics

Come Look With Me: Enjoying Art with Children by Gladys S. Blizzard

This book is a good introduction to learning to appreciate art classics. Classic paintings of children by famous artists grace the pages. Opposite each one, there is a brief biography of the artist and description of the painting. There are also a few questions to help you analyze the artwork with your children.

For example, across from the oil painting Two Young girls at the Piano by Renoir, the author asks, "Would you like to join these girls? Why?" and tells us to "Find something you could smell."


Galileo's Leaning Tower Experiment by Wendy Macdonald

The story of Galileo's discovery that Aristotle was wrong. Objects will fall at the same speed, regardless of their size and weight.

This version of the story is told in an interesting, child-friendly way, with bright attractive illustrations. It is a fun way to teach young children about the great Galileo and how he changed the way the world saw things.

A Second is a Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins

A fun, well-written story that teaches about time. "A second is a hiccup--the time it takes to kiss you mom...Or jump a rope...Or turn around. How long is a minute? Sixty seconds to a minute, Sixty hiccups, sixty hops. Or if you sing just one small song Chorus, verses, not too long That's just enough to fill A minute."

I highly recommend this one. It's vibrant and exciting. Perfect along with learning to tell time.

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander

I'd recommend this book (and the other Sir Cumference books) for older children, probably second grade and up. In this book, the people are preparing a great banquet for the king's birthday, but they don't know how many people are there, needing to be fed. They try different ways of counting, but finally realize it is easiest by arranging everyone in groups of ten and then groups of hundreds.

It's definitely well-done and teaches the concept if your kids are ready for it. I think this book goes right over my 5 year-old's head.

Anyway, that's good for now. I'm wilting. Time for bed.

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