I have managed to (mostly) complete my January hustle – to organize and label our kids’ books all together in a more prominent place — the living room.
Until recently I had hoped that having books placed in different rooms in the house would encourage our children to read in those various locations. But we have been disappointed that our kids still don’t all really enjoy reading, and due to their main education being in Japanese they are behind in their English reading levels.
So we pulled out a deep Ikea bookshelf perpendicular to the wall, and used both sides to create a simple library that now serves as a separator between our open living and dining rooms. I’ve pulled all of our kids books to one prominent location, and bought a cushy beanbag chair and lamp to go there. I made very simple color-coded categories that I used to label and tag them: early readers, story books, history, science, animals, Japanese, bible stories, chapter books. I have a basket in front of the bookshelf in which I’m placing weekly favorites, as a way of pulling out books to catch their attention.
It’s been great to see the kids at various times of each day just “hanging out” with the books. Even our oldest has had fun revisiting some of the books that had been read to him when he was younger. Books are just so awesome!
Over the weekend our friend Jordan was telling us about an NPR show he had listened to that talked about the importance of available books in a home determining the academic success of children. We’ve always loved books, and so I hope that this first-month-of-the-year hustle will help kick our kids up to new levels of discovery.