Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homeschool Hint - Reference Books

One of my favorite homeschooling tools is the Internet. Seriously. I can find out the what, where, when, how and why of just about anything (sometimes far more than I would want to know). I can download worksheets. I can be encouraged by other homeschoolers (since my homeschool group is not very active, I especially appreciate this benefit!). My girls can play some educational games. (Starfall, anyone?)

However, I do not allow my school-age daughters to use the Internet as reference. This means no "googling."

I'm serious. For schoolwork, no computers shall be consulted.

What do we use instead? (Note: these are in addition to all of the non-fiction books for children we own)

1. A dictionary. We have a much loved copy of the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary. We use it every week, if not every day.

2. A Thesaurus. We use a pocket Roget's.

3. An atlas. We have several of these, including a couple kid editions. (This might be a nice one. Or this.) We also consult a globe regularly.

4. An encyclopedia. I bought a World Book set once Polly got old enough to read. At her age, the likelihood of it being out-of-date is less important than learning to look up information.

5. A book of flags. My girls enjoy flipping through this one - so colorful!

Call me old-fashioned (Go ahead. I don't mind!) but I want my children to appreciate the knowledge stored in books. I want them to learn how to access that knowledge. There will be plenty of time to surf the web later. Or access it with their handheld devices or whatever all the cool kids are doing once my children grow out from under my old-fashioned thumb.

Until then, I wish I could teach them how to use a good old card catalog. I have fond memories of finally conquering that step. Alas, our library is almost completely card catalog free.

Oh, well. I suppose that would have been one old-time step too far. What about you? Does your school have a "Google policy?"

This post is linked to Helpful Homeschool Hints at Many Little Blessings.
This post contains Amazon Associate links. Any action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own and I encourage you to check your library or Paperback Swap first - these books are worth it!


Julie said...

I'll call you very smart. I love that you are having your girls use reference books instead of the internet. Literally any information, right or wrong, true or false can find it's way on the internet. How can a child tell the difference? Sometimes even adults can't. Excellent hint, thanks for sharing.

Pastor David Pitman said...

Good books are among my best friends. ;)

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

The thesaurus is one of my favorite books. That sounds like such a nerdy thing to say, but it's true.

I have long wanted a set of encyclopedias for my kids. I used to love encyclopedias!

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