Wednesday, September 1, 2010
We have always had an abundant amount of books in our house for our boys. Since I am taking a break from teaching I have actually made my classroom library available to them. We have multiple bookshelves and many baskets in our house and in our car. Typically I keep a bucket of books by our fireplace that pertain to the season at hand...holidays, weather, what have you.
Recently, I went to a book party...selling wonderful books for children. Like Ed said, "We don't need more books!" But reading is so much more fun as a parent when the books aren't always the same ones (even though repetition is so important at the younger ages). At the book party, (which I will be co-hosting one on September 28th with a friend and if you live in the area and are interested let me know so I make sure to get the invite to you) the gal went over some great reminders on helping to instill a love of reading with your child.
One of the ideas she gave was instead of having bookshelves, store your books in buckets/baskets/bins throughout your house. Make them available in spots that invite a child to pause and grab a book (near the kitchen table, by the potty, in the car, by couches and chairs, in corners of the house they retreat to since all kids love nooks and crannies). Buckets are less intimidating, they can easily browse through and find books because we all know that we tend to judge a book by the cover. And it is pretty hard to see the cover when they are jammed on a bookshelf.
This all made sense to me. I used this strategy in my classroom. I had buckets separated out so children could grab buckets on different themes and topics. They were in different places in the room and they were easy for the children to browse and see the covers.
The next day I went to pick up Charley from a play date and noticed a basket of books by her kitchen table...one of the places the book lady said is a must for a book basket. I asked the mom and she said that her kids start the morning eating breakfast and devouring books. She said the rule is only during breakfast - not during lunch or dinner. She said her kids love it and it is such a nice start to the day.
So I have expanded our book baskets throughout the house. We have one in our kitchen, one or two in our main living area, one by the potty chair, Charley's books in his room are now in baskets so at night before bed he can grab a bucket instead of a pile accumulating on the floor. The baskets can be swapped around.
And it is working...when all is quiet and still in our house I find that my boys are NOT getting into trouble...but rather are sitting side by side on a couch or chair looking at books.
I am going to try hard to commit to posting more on my love of reading and my passion for raising readers (in my house and in the classroom) to celebrate the kick off of the school year. Stay tuned!
This is linked to We Are That Family's Works for Me Wednesday post.