What Works

Back to School Countdown, Homeschool Edition – Day 4

Day 4 – Raid the Library & Make Book Baskets

Last year “my friend” had a list of library books all planned out to use to kick off the school year, but then “my friend” lost track of time and realized on the first day of school that the critical library books had never been retrieved from the library. Oops.

This is your friendly reminder, and my reminder to myself – I mean, my friend – to actually go get the books from the library that you need for the first week of school. Once we get rolling with our school year routine, I’ll (mostly) remember this task, but for this first week of school, it requires more forethought than I’ve used in a few weeks.

Am I the only person who forgets crucial stuff like this? Please tell me you do this stuff, too.

Now, on to book baskets



There’s no education lingo going on here that needs a special definition. Book baskets are exactly what they sound like – baskets that you fill with books. If you’ve been a library user for any amount of time, particularly with children in tow, you know that it’s smart to keep library books separated from your family’s book collection so that when it’s time to return books, you can easily spot them without having to search through entire bookcases. So definitely have a basket for your library books.

You might think about creating some other book baskets, though, in preparation for the first week of school. (Throw library books in these baskets, too, since they’ll still be easy to fish out when it’s time for returns.) Book baskets are to books what strewing is to art and tinkering. They’re great for enticing kids to make their own discoveries on their own time.

Two book baskets I’ll be putting together for our first week of 2nd grade:

  • Prehistory books – I’m experimenting with using A History of Us as a spine for history study, so we’ll start our first week with the first chapters from the first book in the series, The First Americans: Prehistory – 1600. For this basket, I’ll gather library books found through search terms like wooly mammoths, ice age, Kennewick Man, and glaciers.
  • Moths – We’ll be starting school during Exploring Nature with Children’s Moths week, so for this basket I’ll curate both picture books and non-fiction books that feature moths.

We also have a book basket of readers specific to my children’s reading level so that they can easily make their own selections for independent reading time.

If you’re making any cool book baskets this week, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


Want to see the rest of this series? Find it here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 5

3 thoughts on “Back to School Countdown, Homeschool Edition – Day 4

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