We entered in silence. A bit of reverie.... or perhaps absolute reverie! The walls towered over our heads... warm, dark, smooth and rich. The staircase beckoned to layers and layers of volumes untouched in silence. Sumptuous chairs sat empty. I drew in the fragrance of old books, like the scent of a cherished friend. In complete stillness, I stood in awe as if in the quiet I would hear these treasures speak themselves. Such history. A room of riches among riches. The Biltmore library. I am quite certain I could live contentedly among these four walls.
Our family values books as voices, experiences, places, events, culture, history, perspective, discovery, adventure and dreams offered by another as a gift placed in our hands. Our favorite gifts become supple, as worn and tattered the covers convey the accumulation of shared moments.
My little men have some decidedly favored authors. In the last couple of years, my eleven-year-old, who has a penchant for geography and history, has discovered the gems of Elizabeth George Speare. He first read The Sign of the Beaver and then The Bronze Bow... both pieces rich in historical fiction and character development which draw the reader to the heart of Speare's protagonists. We especially appreciated the opportunity to explore the Biblical setting of The Bronze Bow in Palestine at the time of Christ. Oh, to have merely walked in His shadow!
Along with throngs of other preschoolers, my four-year-old has been drawn to the works of Eric Carle since his baby hands first learned the power of turning pages. His favorite story, by judge of the cover's condition, is The Grouchy Lady Bug. Over and over again we have turned that whale's tail with a ceremonious, "Slap!" through the giggles of anticipation. If you have little Eric Carle fans you may enjoy a visit to his site for enrichment activities. We simply enjoy painting pieces of paper and cutting shapes to create illustrations using his technique.
Perhaps the reading lesson most important in our home is remembering to set a good example for these young eyes. What they see valued, they are likely to value themselves. And these quiet moments with a little fellow (and sometimes a big fellow) upon my lap drinking in a story, allowing our minds to travel to another time... another place, are irreplaceable.
Wishing you some snuggled moments turning pages today.
From our heart to your home,
Won't you stop by The Homeschool Village today to share a few of your family's favorite paper treasures?