Establish a House of Learning:
Building Your Family Library
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” -- Proverbs 24:3-4 - -
In his talk entitled Hallmarks of a Happy Home, President Thomas S. Monson said, "…a happy home is discovered when home is a library of learning. Whether we are preparing to establish our own family or simply considering how to bring heaven closer to our present home, we can learn from the Lord. He is the master architect. He has taught us how we must build." So, how do we build our family libraries, how do we know what to place in our homes of learning, and where do we find these “precious and pleasant riches?”
What Do You Put on Your Shelves?
Books, Music & Movies are the obvious three. When trying to decide on the best of these materials ask yourself three questions:
1. Does it uplift and inspire - “All good things come from God.”
2. Will I read, watch or listen to this again?
3. Is this going to teach my children the lessons I want them to learn, build their character, or give them the ideas I want them to think when idle?
** Don’t be afraid of the word “classics.” Oftentimes, when we hear “classics” we think of old books with difficult language. Those books do have their place & value, but if a book, a movie or music meets the criteria above for your family, that item becomes a classic in your home. Needless to say, the scriptures should become the number one classic of the family.
"…if you think the ideas that were lived by the apostle Paul or Emerson or Shakespeare or Jesus of Nazareth, your mind will start responding as their minds did." - - Sterling W. Sill
Cultural Events: This is the intangible part of your home library. Exposing your family this way enhances their desire to seek refined and “wholesome recreational activities.”
"Your mind is a cupboard and you stock the shelves." -Thomas S. Monson
Family History: President Monson reminds us, "As parents, we should remember that our lives may be the book from the famiy library which the children most treasure." Place family journals, scrapbooks, and records within reach of your children.
You may also want to include games, magazines, books on CD, and other such items in building a house of learning.
Where Do You Start? Where Do You Look? Where Do You Put it all?
Start with what you love! As you become more well-read, your tastes will change & grow.
Start with what you have. Go through your shelves at home and see if you have only the best surrounding your family.
Start at the library. “To be well-read...it is not necessary to possess expensive collections of literature, for they are available to rich and poor alike in the libraries of the world.” - Douglas Callister
Our family mantra: Rarely pay full price for anything! I started my own collection on www.paperbackswap.com. I went through my shelves, got rid of the things I didn’t want to keep & only ordered hardbound classics I wanted.
“Most modern homes are not built with large libraries in mind. But all you really need to start a home library collection is a simple bookshelf, table, or cabinet in a frequently used area of the home where your books can be kept in order (Ensign, Apr. 1982).”
“Seek Ye Out of the Best Books”
Best Books Resources
Books that Build Character by William Kilpatrick
What Your Child Needs to Know series by E.D. Hirsch
Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
http://www.books4yourkids.com/ (search by author, genre or level)
http://www.goodreads.com/ (share reviews with friends)
Best Places to Look
The Book Worm
Local yard sales & thrift stores
Best Articles to Inspire You
Hallmarks of a Happy Home - President Thomas S. Monson
Your Refined Heavenly Home - Douglas L. Callister (BYU Speeches)
Bottles and Books - Sterling W. Sill (BYU Speeches)
Mothers Teaching Children in the Home - Elder L Tom Perry
The Educated Woman within us - Elaine S. Sorensen, Mar. 1983