What do you associate with picture books? I don’t remember much about being read to by anyone but teachers. I sure do remember sitting criss-cross-applesauce looking at the pictures while our teacher sat on a chair reading to the class. That remains a good memory of my childhood to this day. As a homeschool mother now, I have learned that picture books don’t have to be just for read-alouds. Besides developing literary skills for our young learners, there are many other ways to use picture books in your homeschool.
I am guessing that the interest I had with pictures books is shared with children all over the world. I was once an early learning teacher, where I read a lot to my students. We had a schedule for reading time, and they also had a reading center.
I remember how excited the kids were for me to read the picture books to them. Maybe it was because I was so animated, but my students were all ears. They even picked out books for me to read to them during their free time.
My favorite part about picture books was the amount of learning that took place with a simple read-a-loud. With pictures, children were able to make connections, make educated guesses, and predict conclusions just from context. Yes, these were early learners displaying literacy skills in the most simple way, but still making connections and learning.
Picture books are fantastic for boosting beginner-level vocabulary skills, introducing sentence structure, and evaluating the ins and outs of a story. If you can believe it, so much more can be learned with picture books in our homeschool.
Our children can benefit in various ways from using picture books in homeschool. Here are just a few ways:
Mathematics with picture books
Picture books allow children to visualize math concepts. Learning math with pictures can introduce children to ideas and terminology to assist lessons and make the connections needed for understanding. If your children are not math fans, picture books may very well help them stay engaged and keep their interest despite not liking the subject.
Here are a few resources to help your child learn math with various picture books.
The Best Books to Teach Place Value and Large Numbers | Math Geek Mama
Books about multiplication | The Measured Mom
Children’s Books about Geometry | Stories By Storie
25 Marvelous Math Picture Books for Kids | KC Edventures
10 Books About Division | Teach Beside Me
The Best Books to Teach Addition and Subtraction | Math Geek Mama
Picture Books to Teach Number Sense and Counting | Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris
Math Books for Kids: The Best Method for Using Them | Proud to be Primary
Unit Studies with picture books
I happen to be a fan of unit studies. If you would like to learn more about unit studies, then you may want to read about How Unit Studies Can Break Up the Monotony in Your Homeschool. A benefit of using unit studies with picture books is that so much can be done by way of teaching multiple-ages. Unit studies also allow you to grab any possible subject you can teach from a book, expound on it, and make mini-lessons.
You won’t want to miss out on these 25+ free unit studies based on classic picture books:
FREE Unit Studies Based on Classic Picture Books | Homeschool Share
Grace for President Picture Book Unit Editable | Beth Sedor
Just Ask! The Bundle: Interactive Read-Aloud and Picture Book Unit | LisaTeachR’s Classroom
Science with picture books
In my home, science isn’t the favorite subject for the kids. I am pretty sure it’s because science isn’t my favorite subject either. My kids love experiments of course, and that’s my least favorite part. Messy is not my thing, but I do experiments with them because I love them.
In looking for ways to make it more science more exciting for your own kids, maybe try using picture books.
Grab these 30 Picture Books That Teach Science + Nature Biographies For Kids About Scientists + Mathematicians from Learning Well Community.
Picture-Perfect Science Lessons FREE PDF | Reading Rockets
Geography with picture books
What better way to show our children about location and culture than for them to see the pictures of such things themselves? Don’t just allow your kids to read about geography but let them put a visual to what they are learning about.
The Best Geography Picture Books for You Homeschool and FREE Resources | My Little Poppies
Geography Through Literature: Around the World with Picture Books | Nourishing my Scholar
Teach literary techniques with picture books
Literary techniques are how we can use words artistically in a text. Some examples of literary techniques are alliteration, metaphors, onomatopoeia, personification, and others.
Picture books are excellent for explaining these techniques as they show visually how we can develop interest and variety. Check out these books to help you teach literary techniques in your homeschool.
Picture Books to Teach Literary Techniques | Our Journey Westward
Teach complex matters with picture books
Some things are very hard for us to explain, especially when the kids are at an early age. I want my kids to learn complex concepts, even at an early age. Civil rights, emotions, and death are all topics challenging to discuss. Picture books are great ways for us to open conversations about difficult subjects. Below you will find resources to help you with varying tough issues.
Don’t miss out on using picture books in your homeschool. They do a world of good and can help you with various subjects just from one seemingly simple children’s book.
Living geography books can teach children about different places and cultures. Take your kids around the world with picture books.
Check out these picture book lists by category from All About Learning Press.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!