Serious Fun: Homeschooling with Real Books New CoverIt’s never too early to start educating your children. Whether we intend it or not our children are being educated as soon as they enter this world. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and things to touch are all around them and their magnificent brains are processing it all.

Reading to your very young children is an essential way to start their education. There are hundreds and thousands of books to choose from. Where to begin? It may seem a little daunting, but you are not alone in your quest for great educational children’s books.

Here are few guidelines for choosing your books:

  • Find Visual Books
    Children love photos and cartoons. They may not initially understand the words you’re reading to them, but their brains will begin connecting things sooner than you may think.
  • Find Books with Rhymes
    Children love rhymes. They love anticipating the rhyming word. Nursery rhymes have been around for centuries and will be for centuries to come and there’s a reason for that.
  • Find Books without Rhymes
    No time for a rhyme? No problem. The book doesn’t have to rhyme. Remember, rules can be broken!
  • Find Books you Like
    Hey, why not? You’ll like reading books from your childhood and creating new memories for you and your children.
  • Find Books Covering a Wide Range of Subjects
    It may be Mother Goose. That’s great. But it can also be a book about the solar system, or the trees of North America, or simple math concepts or…choose your topic. The point is, your children will listen and watch and learn. They’ll have fun and so will you.

Mother reading to a toddlerWhat Are Those?

We used to live in the San Diego area and my wife and I shared the duty of watching our son since we both worked. I would often take him to the San Diego Zoo or, on rarer occasions, the Wild Animal Park. When he was stroller age I would just push him around the zoo letting him take it all in. When he got a little older we’d walk together or I’d carry him when he got tired.

I remember being at the Wild Animal Park when he was 3 or 4. We came to this exhibit with these cute little animals and I said: “Hmmm, I wonder what those are?” Without hesitating my son said, “Those are meerkats.” Sure enough, I found the exhibit sign and they were meerkats. My wife had read a book about meerkats to my son. Now he was educating me!

ARTK12 Books & Resources

ARTK12’s Serious Fun: Homeschooling with Real Books, has hundreds of titles that will work for your youngest children. The sections are divided up into K – 3 and 4 – 8. Many K – 3 books will work for very young children. This is a great resource. Kristin did an enormous amount of research to find these books and then tested them both in her classes and with our son. For example check out these math books listed in Serious Fun and available at

Many more books like these are listed in Serious Fun, covering not only math, but also science, history, geography, literature, grammar and art.

Kristin has also written a couple of ARTK12 children’s books: Mission Architecture Disguised as Fun and Mona Lisa Smiles

Mission Architecture Disguised as Fun   Mona Lisa Smiles by Kristin Draeger

More children’s books will be coming in the future from Kristin. The next one out will be Ancient Greek Pottery Disguised as Fun.

Hope this helps you in your quest to find great books for your children. Enjoy.

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