Monday, April 22, 2013

looking like a library around here...

I was a reader as a kid.  I loved to read.  Still am-- when I have time to sit down for an extended period of time.  As you can imagine, that almost never happens.  Over the past year I've tried to make a conscious effort to show my kids how awesome reading can be.  It all started when I saw our property tax statement from the previous year-- I noticed that we pay over $50 a year for library services.  $50!!  My menno instinct kicked in.  I pulled out my library card and started dragging my kids to the library weekly.

Over the past few months my kids have learned to love the library too.  Sure, a huge part of the library's appeal is the wheelchair button you can push to automatically open the doors, dropping the books in the slots at the front entrance, and the water fountain... but they are learning to love checking out books too.

Caleb has been signing out books with his own card now for the past few months.  We've been borrowing the "learning to read" books-- in September we started with the pre-level one books and he's now graduated to the level one and two books.  Initially the books were pretty challenging for him... you don't learn to read overnight... something I had to keep reminding him.  But once they started focusing on learning the sounds of letters in kindergarten everything started to click.  Suddenly Caleb was reading signs, and menus, and newspapers, and magazines-- sitting down and reading one of his books from start to finish was a breeze.

 A few days ago I took the kids to the library to sign out a stack of books.  Emerson picked her own book-- a book about trucks.  Not sure what she found so appealing about it, but she was pretty pumped about it.  This time around I decided to try something different for Caleb-- reading chapter books.  I figured it's about time he graduated from "picture" books.  We've started reading "The Jesus Storybook Bible" to him (fantastic kid's bible-- I'd highly recommend it) and was noticing that he was fully focused on what we were reading, not the pictures.

 So I picked up two of my favourites from my childhood... "Charlotte's Web" and "The Boxcar Children"-- the first book of the series.  He is LOVING it.  We started with the Boxcar Children and ended up reading almost 2/3 of the book on the first day.  Caleb snuggles up with me on the couch and listens to me read the story.   I try to get him to read a sentence or short paragraph here and there to give him confidence in the fact that he'll be able to read chapter books one day too.

Since we've been focusing on reading more around here, I've started picking up secondhand books at thrift stores for the kids.  I'd like to have more books accessible to them around the house.  Growing up, my Dad was an elementary school teacher (and still is) and had a huge collection of books that I could read.  I would like that for my kids.  There is something about having shelves full of books and stacks of them around the house that I find so appealing.

So... that got me thinking... maybe I could find a way to store some books in the older kids room.  Space is very limited, but this inspired me...


And this...

designed by Amber Lewis via House & Home

So I picked up a few shelves from Ikea and had Doug put them up in the kids room.  Initially I thought we could make them ourselves-- and we could.  But sometimes the money saved is not as important as the time saved... right?


The kids have obviously loved arranging and rearranging the shelves in their room.


We put up four of the shorter ones... they can actually store a whole lot of books.  And I've been putting some of the kids artwork up so that they have another spot to display their artistic endeavours.


Doug made sure they are fastened very very securely to the wall.  Like any mom, I have visions of the kids climbing up the shelves like a ladder.  Pretty sure it's going to happen one of these days.  But at least the shelves won't be going anywhere...


So... if you are in need of some book storage in a small space, pick up some of the Ribba picture ledges from Ikea-- we're loving them.

8 comments:

Erica said...

Ah yes, good to start them off right! I personally love the fact that libraries exist and have never understood why people buy books before seeing if the library has what they are looking for. It's free! (I guess technically not, but it feels like it!)
We loved Beverly Cleary books when we were kids. The Mouse & the Motorcycle and the Ramona series were some favorites. Happy reading!

Carol said...

My boys and I used the library a lot when they were young and we liked to have our own copies of our very favourite books. Even when they were old enough to read themselves, they still enjoyed having a book read to them. Now that my children are older, I have time to read again and am loving it!

Jeff and Jocelyn said...

I have been wondering how to organize our many many books- I will "borrow" that idea, it will work great in the boys room, also wanted to do a Ikea spice rack shelf on top of Aiden's bunk bed, since we have been encouraging looking at books for a while before lights out.
Our library also has story and craft time once a week which is really fun most of the time :)

Trev and Rebekah said...

We've really enjoyed our homeschooling stuff this year and watching our son's reading take off as well. i love being able to give him a book when he needs to hang out in the bathroom for awhile and hear him read the book to himself. We also love chapter books around here and have read some GREAT ones including charlotte's web.

Have you ever thought of Henry Huggins? or is it Higgins by Beverly C. Great book, I am sure Caleb would like it as my son ate it up!

Some times my kiddo has come home from SS and told me he asked to read the B. story that day. It amazed me. I love hearing that he likes to and wants to read when that is something I never really enjoyed doing.

Limefreckle said...

love the shelves! I saw similar ones on pinterest, have thought about doing it for my son, but no wall space (plus he's 12 now....his books aren't so colourful! LOL) When you described the lure of the library I had to laugh...I can remember the water fountain being a big hit when I was a kid at the libary (no big button to open the door back then) if I close my eyes I can still smell the books!

Bonnie said...

We're also very limited on space in our little house here, so I've been debating doing the same thing. Its a great use of space, as well as "aesthetically pleasing." :) Callie is an avid reader (has ALWAYS loved books) so when we did the big move overseas, her books were about the only thing she brought... and now we have a HUGE collection. Thanks for reminding me of how I can store them all! :)

Melissa said...

Such great ideas! Both the shelves and the reading of books together! Your shelves look fabulous!

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