Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stocking your library without breaking the bank

If you've made German a priority for your family, you'll want to offer your children books and other media (CDs, DVDs) to support their learning. But German books can be expensive and it can be a bit intimidating to select something on a budget. Here are a few ways to get the most bang for your buck (or Euro).

Consider your home library an investment
First and foremost, understand that a commitment to a foreign language is going to require an investment in books. Most libraries don't have a selection of German books for children and so you'll probably have to build a home library yourself. Make sure that the quality of your library matches the priority you've set on bilingualism.

Plan for re-use.
If your preschooler demands to hear Der Buchstabenbaum 10 times, you've cut the cost / read to $1.34. If you play a Conni CD in the car twice a week for a month, the cost is negligible. If you have more than one child, you can pass on the books from one to the next.

Select quality over quantity
A few excellent stories published well-made books will provide you more value than a pile of cheap books that no one wants to read again.

Not all German books are expensive.
You can always find books and smaller titles that are under $30. This is comparable to most English books. This is comparable to most English books.

Consider compilations and collections.
While these books are more expensive than smaller volumes, you get many times the reading material. For instance, Das Grosse Buch zum Lesenlernen contains 4 stories and 110 pages compared with the individual Lesemaus zum Lesenlernen series which is half the price but contains 1/4 of the stories. Plus, compilations are usually hardcover which increases their durability.

Make sure the books you buy are ones that will interest your child
A favorite book will be read over and over and treasured by a child. Buying books in your child's favorite topics will help make it more likely that you'll pick a winner.

Request gift certificates
If you tell friends and family that you're building a German library, they may be glad to help you out with gift certificates for your children's birthdays.

Yes, furnishing your German library does take careful consideration and an investment of money.
But if bilingualism is your goal, than you're sure to find it an excellent use of your money.

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