“Timing is everything, in education as in many other fields. It’s not enough to teach well. You have to teach well to kids who are ready to learn, kids who are developmentally ‘ripe’ for learning.”
- Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax

Thursday, February 19, 2009

BTT: Bookshelves

“How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

We have several bookcases, because we have lots of books! The bookcases are pretty much divided by genre or category. I try to organize them by the type of book they are, or the size, so that the shelves look "pretty". We have a bookcase with all of our church related books on it; a bookcase with our journals, yearbooks, and school scrapbooks; a bookcase with our theatre and music books; a bookcase with self-help and informational sort of books; and our last bookcase is the big one my husband built and it has all of our classics, children's, and homeschooling related books on it.

Our big bookcase is out in the living room, so that it can be in the center of our home. For this bookcase we followed an organization system recommended in one of the TJEd books called Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. Basically, you organize the book shelves in order of the different phases. The core phase (age 0-8) books are on the bottom two shelves, the love of learning phase (ages 8-12) books are above the core phase books, and the scholar phase (ages 12-16) books are on the top shelf. The bookcase is supposed to be at least 5 feet tall, which ours us not. We don't feel comfortable with that tall of a bookcase, unless it can be secured to the wall. And since we are renting, that isn't an option right now. Anyway, the idea is supposed to be that the scholar phase books are organized neatly at the top where the kids can't reach them. It's important for them to look up at those books and wish they could reach them. It gives them something to work towards in their education. The core books are a little more haphazard on the bottom shelves, because you should let the kids do whatever they want with their books. If the bottom shelves are organized really neatly the kids will feel like they aren't allowed to touch the books. Sure you can straighten out the books every now and then but you shouldn't have a very specific order to things, or the kids might catch on that there is a system and feel like they are being forced to learn. ;) Our shelf is a variation that fits for our family right now. We mostly have core phase books because that is the phase our kids are in. I am slowly building up my love of learning book collection, and reading those books that I missed out on in my own youth. When we move into a house we plan to have several wall mounted book shelves that are organized in this manner. Here's to hoping - that we can ever afford a house! :)


Smilingsal said...

Your husband built you a bookcase? Keep him! Happy BTT. Here's my answer:

claire said...

The phases are a great way of organizing books! I'll try to remember that. I do have my kids' books in their own shelves that they can reach. Thanks for the great suggestion! :D

Shimmy Mom said...

My book cases are organized very similarly. Especially the 0-8 on the bottom. We also have all the curriculum related books together. I keep the classics and church related (Pretty books) at the top.
Our scrapbooks and yearbooks are on a bottom shelf too.