5 Things Your Kids Learn Using Book Basket

bookbasketfbjblogpostAs homeschoolers we have used a curriculum called My Fathers World for the most part for our history, science and bible.  The author of that curriculum suggested a thing called book basket and it has served us well for many years!

I wanted to share with you the benefits of this educational tool and also let you know that you don’t have to be a homeschooler to use this.  For a matter of fact this would be a perfect supplemental summer learning tool to use with your traditional school students.

How you use it:

You pick a subject that you are learning about and load your basket up with books from the library or ones that you own on that subject in the basket.  If you have children with way different ages you may have sections or separate baskets for each but if they are just a few years apart, one basket will work just fine.  So lets say your kids are learning about ancient Egypt.  You get different books (maybe even a good mixture, such as picture books, readers, etc) and put them in your basket.

You can also use this for a basket of books of subjects you have been wanting your kids to read more about such as current events.  Say you want your highSschooler to stay updated on current events you can add books, magazines, newspapers, online articles-even a sheet of websites you want him/her to look up inside the basket!

book-436507_640You then decide on a time of the day you want them to do book basket.  Once it is time to begin, you set a timer for 15 minutes for them to read.  They have no rules except having to look through books.  They may just look at the pictures, they could read a story, anything at all goes as long as they are going through the books.

I know what you are thinking, how can that benefit them?  I’m telling you , it DOES!  I can not believe how much my kids have learned using book basket, even before they could read well.  It is amazing what 15 minutes a day does but you will have to see it for yourself to believe.  If you have a child that gets so into a book he/she wants to take it with them for more reading, encourage it of course.  What parent wouldn’t want that?

5 Things Your Kids Learn Using Book Basket!

1. They learn so much about a particular subject – It is amazing when you have several different books on a subject, for example-snakes, how much they learn about snakes!  They can’t help learning by just looking through the books and pictures.  You can do a subject you are studying about or just one you want them to learn more about.  Maybe you don’t feel like your getting too much political science in, you could fill your basket with books about the goverment and how it works.  Or you could decide you want your children to learn about the state you live in and fill the basket with books about your state!  The are no limits!

2. Your Children learn how to sit – This is great practice for your younger children, even your preschoolers.  You talk about how they need to sit and look at books until the timer goes off!  They may not make it the first few times but they will soon enough and if they have older siblings doing it, they will want to do what they do!  Great practice for them!

3. Gives them a love for reading and books – I love anything that gives my kids a love for reading and/or books!  This is just another thing that encourages them in that area!

4.Helps Give them a Well-Rounded Education – You are offering books on different subjects and this helps your children have great variety in their learning experience.

5. Strengthens their Grammar and Spelling – anytime your children are reading they are improving in many other subjects.  Their grammar, spelling, read comprehension, and more just keep getting better and that is a win!

Hope that gives you ideas and reasons to try the book basket!  We have loved it!

*Classroom Teachers – I know I have several classroom teachers who read my blog!  I think this would be a wonderful thing to add to the classroom!  Pick a subject you are learning about and fill a basket in the room full of books on that subject!  It would enhance their learning experience!


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    • Krystin Morris says

      We do My Father’s World too. Typically it is one subject per week. Sometimes the subjects are connected to the last one, but there is a new topic each week. I hope that helps. 🙂

  1. says

    I love this idea of the book basket! I am going to start it in my classroom. I have two questions:
    1. Are all the books you choose non-fiction, or do you mix in fiction as well? For instance, would you put a historical fiction book into the basket if all the other books were about that time period?
    2. Do you recommend just sticking to 15 minutes a day, or would you ever up the time (i.e. a high schooler)?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Angela says

      Hi Becca,

      Thanks so much for the visit and the questions! I do add some fiction, I would say most of the time it is more non-fiction but there are some wonderful fiction books that go great with our topics and can be educational and give my kids extra incentive to read and you can’t lose with that. I wouldn’t hesitate to add additional time for older children. I have 1 high schooler and he loves to read and has been pretty independent with his reading so he doesn’t do book basket at this point. He also has a full load so I feel he has plenty. I do think you could easily do 30 minutes or even an hour. Just a word of caution: If your student doesn’t like to read, go less, this is to help them learn to enjoy it and get the most out of it. If they hate reading, it could discourage them and they will tune out what they are reading! Have fun!

  2. Sara says

    In our school we do this. That 15 minutes is called our D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything And Read). My non-readers reluctantly started reading this year. Now they are upset if they miss it. Great teaching tool with only a little bit of work.

  3. Vanessa says

    I’d like to try this but wondering how to combine it with the read aloud we already do, and bedtime reading my boys do each night. I’m worried it might be overkill to ask them to do more reading….do you do the book basket in addition to your read alouds and quiet reading time?

    • Angela says

      We do, we just schedule 15 minutes a day during school for book basket. The thing that makes this feel different to them is they can just look at pictures, they can skim, or they can dive into a book. It is totally up to them and when the timer is up their time is up. You would be surprised how many times they wish they had longer and how much they learn by doing this. An extra thing about bedtime reading I find is, I would say bedtime is at 9 (just an example) Your time is probably different. I would say to them, if you want till 915 you can read. Kids will do anything to put off bedtime.

      Another great post to read is this one: http://togetherwithfamily.com/10-ways-to-get-your-kids-to-fall-in-love-with-books/

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