I feel like I've been learning a ton about homeschooling lately. It's exciting and scary all at the same time. Maybe it's because we're settling into life in the desert (I wonder how many times I've accidentally said dessert) or maybe it's because I now have a 1st and 4th grader and things are getting real. I don't know. One of the things that I've found myself praying for is people to come beside us; people wiser and who have gone on this path before and can direct us the right way. My knowledge is limited and I humbly accept that my children also need other people in their life to help them grow in ways that I can't.
All that to say, a friend shared with me this blog by Sarah Mackenzie. It has been encouraging and informative and inspiring to me and was definitely an answer to prayer. One of her posts was on giving kids a book allowance. We don't give our kids any allowance, for a list of reasons that is another post, but I loved this idea. I would LOVE to work on building our home library with good literature, but also know that the kids will be more excited to read if it's something they've chosen themselves. Another plus is, Alison frequently chooses easy readers at the library because she doesn't want to risk not finishing the book before it's due. This takes care of that and now she can stress-free enjoy a longer book.
So a few weeks ago, we pulled into the Thrift Store parking lot (we have a really big, fairly nice thrift store down the street) and I handed each kid $1.00. Next time I'll plan more in advance, but that's all the cash I had and I assumed that we could get get several books for a dollar. The books weren't as cheap as I thought they would be, but they were each able to pick out a book and were excited to add it to our library.
I bought a couple of classics that were in really good shape for only a few dollars and I got hooked on keeping this book allowance up! As an added bonus, it was also a good lesson in money management and social skills as they had to interact with the cashier.