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TypeAMom 12-27-2012 04:18 AM

Kids Books
 
So I've been reading stuff online (haven't gotten the book from library yet) about Payne's Simplicity Parenting and saw that he recommends limiting kids books. We have over 200 books but about 100 are unseen in the back of a tall shelf until she's old enough for them. About 75 are on a tall shelf and we access some every few days to read and about 20 are in her bedroom at one time for bed time stories and for her to look at. And about 10 are in a low bin in the playroom for her to access whenever. Do you think Payne would suggest cutting back further? We really could use some of the older age books now, but I haven't gone there yet as it seems like too many books to deal w/ at one time. Ideas?

harmoni247 12-27-2012 09:08 AM

Re: Kids Books
 
We did. We only had about seventy-five total, and I didn't really think we needed to, but I tried it out anyway. We cut back to about twenty-five out at a time, plus about twenty in storage. Out of the twenty-five in use, they only keep two books each in their bedroom for bedtime. I also separated the seasonal books out and rotate them on their nature table...they have about 3 per season, the out of season is part of our books in storage. I've noticed that even the stack of twenty-five doesn't get touched anymore apart from using it to pick out two new bedroom books everyday. They read the seasonal books and the bedtime books in a very focused way, whereas before there were times when books would be thrown around and they read a couple of pages from a bunch of books. From my experience, I don't think it's necessary to purge too many, but it is necessary to limit their access severely and even then, let them pick out a book or two every day to focus their attention. Although, purging more would probably help YOU focus and decide which books to keep accessible.

ETA: I wanted to add that purging the total amount did feel right to me once I started, because I read through every book and decided whether the language, characters and overall theme that they would learn from each book was something I wanted my children absorbing. It turns out that a lot of the books we had didn't fit this bill.

tallanvor 12-27-2012 09:10 AM

Re: Kids Books
 
I dont think we have 200 books total for our 3 kids who read all the time. We take advantage of the library a lot, so we dont feel the need to have so many books at home. We try to keep the home books to favorites. I was just thinking this week that it is time to go through YDDs books. -- she has about 30, I think, but she isnt reading as many picture books these days, as we have been doing chapter books together.

AfWife8405 12-27-2012 09:34 AM

Re: Kids Books
 
I struggle with how to tackle books because my boys have to do reading logs for school. My 1st grader has a 2nd grade reading level and my 5 year old is in Jr. Kindergarten, so they have very different needs as well as interests. The boys' share a room and each have about 10 books in there room. We also have about 20 hardcover books on a shelf in the living room and then a box of about 20 paperback books on another shelf in the living room. My 3 yr old daughter has about 10 books in her room, too.

We also rotate in seasonal books. Today is last call for reading the Christmas books before I put them back into storage. I think we have about 8 of those. Then a few Easter and Halloween.

I have to figure something out because the living room shelf is looking crowded.

elizabeth.scalf 12-27-2012 09:36 AM

Yes. for a 2yo and 4yo I have mine down to about 30. I do continually go through it. If we haven't read it in a month it goes in adifferent box to either purge or to evaluate. The 30 w have are all fairly well-read and loved. I've gotten strict with criteria for books. It has to be something I enjoy reading to them, a good lesson, something that Sparks imagination or conversation, or something beautifully written (classical poetry). Id say you could definitely pick 5 to put side and see if the rest satisfy you're need. Continue doing that every few weeks. Like PP said, the fewer I hanger out, the more interested my kids are and the more respected the books are.

Eta:in a later post you can see I have 80something. The 30 referred to the story and reader books that we read for story time or bedtime. I don't generally read board books or fact books to them

pgkcb13 12-27-2012 10:32 AM

Re: Kids Books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harmoni247 (Post 16082519)
We did. We only had about seventy-five total, and I didn't really think we needed to, but I tried it out anyway. We cut back to about twenty-five out at a time, plus about twenty in storage. Out of the twenty-five in use, they only keep two books each in their bedroom for bedtime. I also separated the seasonal books out and rotate them on their nature table...they have about 3 per season, the out of season is part of our books in storage. I've noticed that even the stack of twenty-five doesn't get touched anymore apart from using it to pick out two new bedroom books everyday. They read the seasonal books and the bedtime books in a very focused way, whereas before there were times when books would be thrown around and they read a couple of pages from a bunch of books. From my experience, I don't think it's necessary to purge too many, but it is necessary to limit their access severely and even then, let them pick out a book or two every day to focus their attention. Although, purging more would probably help YOU focus and decide which books to keep accessible.

ETA: I wanted to add that purging the total amount did feel right to me once I started, because I read through every book and decided whether the language, characters and overall theme that they would learn from each book was something I wanted my children absorbing. It turns out that a lot of the books we had didn't fit this bill.

We did too. We still have a ton of books, and they have access to a LOT more than the 2 or 3 at a time he recommends, but it has helped. Of course after Christmas I have to go through books again, lol.

TypeAMom 12-27-2012 12:16 PM

Re: Kids Books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harmoni247 (Post 16082519)
They read the seasonal books and the bedtime books in a very focused way, whereas before there were times when books would be thrown around and they read a couple of pages from a bunch of books.

I wanted to add that purging the total amount did feel right to me once I started, because I read through every book and decided whether the language, characters and overall theme that they would learn from each book was something I wanted my children absorbing. It turns out that a lot of the books we had didn't fit this bill.

I guess my daughter does only look at a few pages from each book sometimes. I honestly didn't even think about that before.

Quote:

Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf (Post 16082626)
I've gotten strict with criteria for books. It has to be something I enjoy reading to them, a good lesson, something that Sparks imagination or conversation, or something beautifully written (classical poetry).

I'm going to try this. Being kids books, I've only come across maybe 4 ever that I thought didn't teach a good lesson or were to violent or whatever.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tallanvor (Post 16082532)
I dont think we have 200 books total for our 3 kids who read all the time. We take advantage of the library a lot, so we dont feel the need to have so many books at home.

I always thought I'd rely on the library more, but starting at 2, my daughter became a terror at the library. We read to her multiple times daily and she loves books, but she gets to the library and is loud, takes out all of the stuffed animals, etc. We don't even try to go when she's tired or hungry or stay for a long time. Do your kids do this, too or do you have any magic tricks to get them to behave? Also, I go to a thrift store that lets you fill a grocery bag of kids books for $1, so I think that's why I haven't felt the need to rely on the library as much. I love going to the library and wish my daughter did, too.

Thank you all so much! This forum is so helpful. I've tried purging books before, but my daughter seems to love them all. We read 3 stories before bed each night but she likes picking out which 3. Maybe I'll try to put the non-rotated keeper ones on a low play room shelf and let her pick them out that way before we go up to bed. 25-30 at a time seems like a common number, so maybe I'll aim for 25 out at a time and 25 in storage. I might end up with another 25 in storage, but baby steps, right?! BTW, does anyone else homeschool? I'm going to homeschool preschool and that makes me rationalize keeping more factual kids books. We mostly have fictional stories, but the others add to our numbers, too.

ETA: I'm starting something new for us as naps not in the car are pretty much gone. I'm trying to get my tired daughter to rest/ play quietly in her room for an hour once a day and I've been relying on books as they're quiet and can be enjoyed while laying in bed. So would keeping the 25 non-rotated books in her room be a good idea or should I just bring more quiet toys from the play room into her room?

harmoni247 12-27-2012 01:29 PM

Re: Kids Books
 
We homeschool, and we do keep factual books in that count [though we also use the library for these], as well as reader books...I guess I count one BOB book box set as one book though, it's probably more like ten or fifteen mini books in a set. We also have a quiet time in their bedroom and my oldest stays awake while the younger ones sleep...it ends up being more like two hours, and his two books keep him satisfied. Some of our books are compilation books: we have Shel Silverstein, Grimms fairy tales, and Dr. Suess. So if he's feeling like he wants more reading material that day, he takes one of those in with him, but the majority of the time he just reads regular single books. He's learned to sit and think and daydream really well, so I love that. He can sit on a train in the quiet car for an hour and just look out the window, no distractions needed. I think his quiet times have helped him get to that point.

I don't think our books were violent or inappropriate, just not how we wanted our kids to act, kwim? Like the Curious George books: George never listens to the man in the yellow hat, he makes all sorts of trouble and is usually rewarded in some way by the end of the book. Those didn't make the cut. Any book that has nine pages of bad behavior and one last page of reconciliation didn't make the cut either. I read a study about the types of stories children are exposed to relating to the child's aggressiveness rated by their mothers. The books where a character learns a lesson don't really sink in for the age group the books are targeted at; instead, the children end up mimicking the bad behavior in the stories. I found the same to be true of my kids, so we purged those book too. The best examples of this for us were the Berenstein Bears, and the Duckling gets a Cookie type books, but there are tons out there like this. we only kept books whose plots didn't contain tons of bad behavior; whether or not it was a lesson was irrelevant. The books still have conflicts, they just don't involve disrespect.

TypeAMom 12-27-2012 04:57 PM

Re: Kids Books
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harmoni247 (Post 16083435)
We homeschool, and we do keep factual books in that count [though we also use the library for these], as well as reader books.

Very helpful. As I went through them, there were some that were so specific, that I think I can get similar titles from the library when the time comes, rather than keeping something that will rarely be read.

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmoni247 (Post 16083435)
We also have a quiet time in their bedroom and my oldest stays awake while the younger ones sleep...it ends up being more like two hours, and his two books keep him satisfied. Some of our books are compilation books: we have Shel Silverstein, Grimms fairy tales, and Dr. Suess. So if he's feeling like he wants more reading material that day, he takes one of those in with him, but the majority of the time he just reads regular single books. He's learned to sit and think and daydream really well, so I love that. He can sit on a train in the quiet car for an hour and just look out the window, no distractions needed. I think his quiet times have helped him get to that point.

That's amazing. How long did it take him to get to that point?

So part of the reason my count was so high was that I had a few of my books in there, photo albums, coloring books and workbooks. After taking out these and books to donate, I ended up with 50 books that she's not old enough for yet. They seem like quality books (I reviewed the ones I haven't read yet) so I can't justify parting with them at this point. Additionally, I have 25 books for current use and 25 rotated out. I still have to go through the ones in her room, but my goal is to keep with the above numbers so I'll try to get rid of some more of the current ones. Wish me luck! 100 total is better than 200, right? Rationalize, rationalize, rationalize.

~Laura~ 12-27-2012 09:28 PM

Re: Kids Books
 
My boys have quiet time in their rooms in the afternoon and are allowed to look at books at bed time. So, they have a book shelf in their bedroom. On the shelf is about 15 books. I also keep a seasonal book bin in the living room with 10 or so books. I homeschool a Kindergartener and my 3yo likes to follow along with lessons so we do have several reference/non-fiction books, those are included in the 15. My 5yo especially prefers non-fiction and both boys love Find It/I-Spy books.
The 15 books do get rotated with 3 or 4 favorites that always stay.


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