When my family downsized to prepare for our move into an RV this year, we eliminated many “things” that we owned. We got rid of the idea of having 5 frying pans and 20 dinner plates and chose only the things that we knew we would need. One of the hardest things for me to downsize was my book collection. When we moved to Morocco, 3 years before I had gotten rid of all of my books, except my cookbooks, as I replaced my book collection with a handy little Kindle. However, we brought books for the kids, and we added to it over the three years we were in Morocco. The boys had amassed a large collection of books – plus all of the books I kept in my classroom. Needless to say it was a big task to decide what stayed and what went, especially knowing we were going to be homeschooling. I had certain fiction books I knew must stay and I tried to keep all of our anthologies – in order to get more bang for our buck. But what to do with our reference books, like dictionaries? After some hmmming and hawing, we decided that the virtual dictionaries available to the boys on their Kindles were just as good, and got rid of the dictionaries.
My fifth grader uses the dictionary on his Kindle regularly, especially because he can simply click on a word in a book that he doesn’t know and have the definition pop up on the screen. But then, my first grader hit the section of his language arts curriculum that deals with dictionary skills, and I held my breath briefly, hoping that we had made the right decision. Luckily, the dictionary on his Kindle was perfect for working on guide words and alphabetical order, which are the most important skills of dictionary use anyways. During a recent trip to the library, we did look at a hard cover dictionary – which my son observed was “really heavy”. I’m so glad we don’t have to find room for that thing in our RV!
What reference books do you now use virtually?
For more information on our life in the RV, don’t forget to stop by our sister site – RVing with the Rakis.