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Saddle House Books seeks to make learning an adventure

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Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press 

Recently, Saddle House Books on American Fork Main celebrated its opening. Created and owned by husband and wife Caitlan and Aaron Gray, Saddle House is the culmination of years of teaching and family experiences. 

Saddle House Books’ foundation began in 2018 with the Grays’ son. Growing up, their son was always an avid learner. He adored preschool, learning and books. However, his parents noticed a polarizing shift in his love of learning once he entered kindergarten. As Caitlan and Aaron discussed the change, they realized that they needed to make a change in their son’s education. 

“We had never even considered homeschooling. We were both publicly educated, so it was never even on my radar,” Caitlan said. After switching to homeschooling, the Grays witnessed his interests return to knowledge. “His love of learning came right back. We said, ‘Let’s see where this takes us.’”

After watching their son’s journey through education, the Grays became more aware of the community of current and prospective homeschooling families. Many families weren’t quite sure where to start. A few months later, Caitlan discussed the topic with a family member who had been an educator for years. 

“She told me, ‘It doesn’t matter if you homeschool your kid or if you have them in public education. As the parent, you are the ultimate teacher no matter what,” Caitlan said. That comment acted as the catalyst for the Grays’ decision to open Saddle House Books. 

Saddle House’s goal is to provide resources and a space where parents can help their children connect with reading and books and to develop a strong love of learning, all while forming bonds between parents and children. The name Saddle House has multiple meanings, all linked to the ultimate goal. Saddle stitching is a popular way to bind a book; saddles are important to the Grays’ three sons—who love all things cowboy and adventure—and the name also encourages parents to be in the saddle and take charge of their children’s learning. 

Parents and kids can find books, homeschool resources, and educational workshops at Saddle House. On the main floor, families can find beautifully printed classics, favorite stories and adorable nooks, all set to charming instrumental music. The family holds educational workshops in the basement. Currently, the workshops are geared towards elementary and middle school children and pre-teens. However, they may also be open to high school students in the future. 

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Workshops will begin in April and range from creative writing, storybook art, color theory, art, science and everything in between. Saddle House is an excellent community for little thinkers and their ideas. 

Saddle House also hosts free daily story time at 11:15 a.m. and monthly book clubs, and they will soon be releasing storybook kids to connect young readers and their families to the books they are reading. Ultimately, Saddle House hopes to “create a space where families can come together through learning and education,” Caitlan explained. 

On March 30, Saddle House will host a grand opening. Parents and kids can stop by to win prizes, enter free workshops and browse books. 

Saddle House Books is located at 154 W. Main St. in American Fork. Store hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to hear about Saddle House Book’s upcoming events, follow @saddlehousebooks on Instagram or visit www.saddlehousebooks.com.

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