Monday, September 2, 2013

Organizing MFW K – Collecting Books (Part 2)



One of our favorites parts of MFW K is all the wonderful children’s literature recommended in the appendix.  Their suggestions for both fiction and non-fiction are TERRIFIC, and we enjoyed a lot of quality time snuggling together on the couch while reading great books.

My Father’s World offers a literature pack with one book per unit, which is nice to have if you have the money, but it’s not a necessity.  It’s convenient if you’re not able to get out for some reason, but you’ll likely want to read at least 3 – 4 fiction and 1 – 2 non-fiction books per unit.  It really adds to the joy of MFW K!


Perhaps you’re an amazing garage sale shopper or thrift store shopper, and you’ll happen upon some great deals.  I find that too challenging with a house full of little ones, though, and bought some used books online for around $3 each.  I think we ended up with approximately 1 book per unit by purchasing 3 – 4 books/month for the upcoming units.

Even buying used books at sites like,, or, it still gets expensive to buy a lot of literature!  Sometimes you can find coupon codes for these sites.  My favorite is to use $1 off ANY ORDER coupon codes on  (Search for coupon codes.)  Order one book at a time, and you’ll get $1 off of each book!  Coupon code HOLLY worked for me over and over again! 

Our kiddos were almost 5, just turned 3, and 1.5 when we started MFW K.  It wasn’t always easy getting to the library and searching the shelves for the books we needed.  We had some crazy trips to the library, and I was ready to scream by the end of a few of those trips!  (I have one doozy of a story that I never shared on the blog…it is a library trip I will NEVER forget involving a child who wet his pants and a baby with a dirty diaper…and NO spare diapers!)

It didn’t take long to realize that we needed a better solution.  You may be aware of this, but many libraries now offer an online card catalog/book reservation system.

I found that it was SUPER SIMPLE - using the appendix in the MFW K manual to search for the books for each unit within our local library system, and then request that the books be held at closest library branch.  Then, I could pop in the next day, stop at the desk, and our books were ready & waiting to be checked out.  No shelf-searching, no crying children, no trouble.

We’d often stay and just enjoy the library, but knowing that our books were already checked out & ready to go meant that my kids had my full attention and we could leave at a moment’s notice if someone was naughty or cranky.

Though we started with a different plan when we did school upstairs, we ended our year by keeping our weekly library books in a basket in the living room.  (It’s pictured at the top of this post.)  It’s a nice place to snuggle and read books together!  Then, when we went to the library, I’d just pick up the whole tote and bring it along with us.  The books went in the book drop, we picked up our new library books, and the tote carried our new books home for us.

I’d love to hear any ideas you may have on collecting children’s books inexpensively.  If you’ve completed MFW K, how many books did you use per unit?  How did you get your books?  Feel free to comment or share your thoughts to benefit any new MFW K moms who come across this post! Smile

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