Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Books at Home Can Determine a Child's Ultimate Education Level

Photo by BdwayDiva1

Last May, Science Daily ran an article describing the research of Mariah Evans, which stated that "parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain." Evans, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, led a 20 year study, together with her colleagues at Nevada, UCLA, and Australian National University. Amazingly, having books in the home has a greater influence than other factors, like the level of education that the child's parents.

Evans states, "The results of this study indicate that getting some books into their homes is an inexpensive way that we can help these children succeed." Homes with a 500-book library has the greatest effect, but even having 20 books still has a significant impact.

Wow.

Since both my children were infants, I have been collecting and reading stories. But books can be expensive! So that is why I began by becoming a regular at my local Half Price Books (which now sells books online, in case you didn't know!) and it was one of my greatest sorrows of moving away from Texas. Last year, however, I found a new fantastic resource for purchasing books: Ollie's. This store goes around buying closeouts (I think) and then offers the products at incredible prices. I do not think I have paid over $4 for a brand new children's book. Most paperbacks are only $.99, but they do have really nice hardbacks for a few dollars more. They also have multimedia kits (I bought this one on birds, and this one on dinosaurs) for about $8 (it retails for $32) as well as many other awesome educational materials at unbelieveable prices. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a small section of books in Spanish. Anyway, these are just a few of the fabulous finds with which I have walked away.

We also regularly rotate books out of our collection. I try to go through all the bookshelves in our house (there's a lot!) at least twice a year, and I pull out any books that perhaps my children have outgrown, or never really cared for. If they are in okay condition, off they go into our donation box. If they are in great condition, they get placed in a special box until I can list them on Amazon.com or PaperbackSwap.com

If you don't know about PaperbackSwap.com, you should!! I absolutely love, love, LOVE this site! It basically works like this:

• You begin by posting 10 books you want to trade. PBS gives you 2 free credits.
• You can then explore the site and "order" a book from someone. They ship it to you for free. Books cost 1 credit and audiobooks cost 2 credits.
• When someone orders a book from you, you ship it and pay the shipping (about $2 if you ship media mail).
• When they receive it, they mark it on the site and you get 1 free credit.

It's that simple!! It's like free books! The system only works if everyone works together and takes the time to follow up their end of the bargain. I've never had a problem, and have sold and received dozens of books.

So take a look around your house. Does your family need some books?

Con mucho cariño...

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