Home-schooled students share learning experiences

Brayden Caraynoff-Huber donned a Jewish badge upon his shirt pocket as he told stories of what he learned about the Frank family of Amsterdam, both in text and in person.

In early fall of 2016, the 12-year-old Minooka resident studied the book, “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” as part as his homeschool curriculum and, as promised, when he finished his studies, his mother took him to Amsterdam to live out what he learned in books.

“I learned they were cramped and had to be very quiet. I felt guilty. Those people had a great life and the Nazis had to take it away because they were Jewish,” Caraynoff-Huber said.

Caraynoff-Huber, among other local home-schooled students, showcased his favorite fiction or nonfiction book in the second annual Homeschool Fair at the Shorewood-Troy Public Library on Thursday. Participants filled out a book information sheet provided by the library in order to guide the students, and then they made a tri-fold poster board, some with three-dimensional props as well.

“It’s a good way for the kids to look at a book, take it apart and then build a presentation on what they have learned,” children’s library assistant Mara Barbel said.

After a successful first event last year, Barbel said the department wanted to offer it again for the homeschooled students. Eleven children registered from Morris, Channahon, Minooka and Shorewood.

“It’s good for the home-schoolers to get out and meet new people than their used to being around, Barbel said.

After each child placed his or her display upon the book shelves, parents, children and patrons of the library were allowed to walk around, read the boards and ask questions of the child.

Nine-year-old Eloise Malley of Shorewood chose to present the book “Little Women” because it was one of her favorite books. Along with her poster, she made a 12-inch-tall chair, and a fireplace with twigs.

Eloise’s mother, Reyna Malley, said she has one rule when it comes to these events – the kids have to use their own thoughts.

“One of the things we work on in language arts is how to summarize a story, pick the theme, ideas and character, so this fits perfectly with the skills we are working on.  My kids also like crafty things,” Reyna said.

Barbel said the goals of this fair were to get the kids to think about the books they read, allow the kids to interact and use public speaking skills when they present and to open doors to different books available in the library.

“It’s really fun reading other people’s boards and see which book they read. This gives me ideas on books I might want to also read,” Eloise said.

Reyna chatted with Kaelan Minett about his book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and told him, “my son checked out this book because of your display.”

Minett, with his shirt with the book title, gave her a comprehensive overview of the events, but warned her of a couple of parts of the book that could be scary for her younger son.

Barbel said as she talked to, and watched the kids tell their stories, she was impressed with their enthusiasm.

“It’s nice to talk to kids about books they are excited about. I’m excited about books, and it’s good to see the kids excited about books. You could see the enthusiasm for their books on their faces,” Barbel said. “One child said his book made him want to write his own book.”

Book fair displays will be available to view until March.

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