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Old 01-07-2013, 05:38 PM   #21
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This inspired me and I got rid of 100 books!

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #22
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Re: Kids Books

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This inspired me and I got rid of 100 books!
That's so awesome!
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #23
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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?
Kids books are my weakness. We have lots and I'm okay with it. I do go through them every once in awhile and weed some out but books are probably the hardest thing for me to part with.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:06 PM   #24
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This thread helped me purge some more books. I've gotten rid of probably 50 books in the past week.

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Old 01-07-2013, 08:26 PM   #25
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Re: Kids Books

I haven't read Simplicity Parenting yet. What is the rationale behind limiting the books, other than less stuff to manage? I was just wondering if there was an academic point to it or just because it makes life easier?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #26
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Its been a while since I've read it but I believe the reasoning behind it was that the child gets to intimately learn the story and the characters by reading the book over and over. allows the child to fall in love with a book. Doesn't distract them by having so many that they jump from book to book and lose focus. My guess is that this helps them when they get to solo reading and already know the story because they've read it so many times, they have confidence. Its makes sense in my mind but its hard to articulate
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #27
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Re: Kids Books

You know, I had started to read this thread the other day but didn't think much of it.

Books are hard for me. I've cut down on my own numbers (I have hardly been reading my new books, let alone REREAD an old one) but kid's books are something I love. And I was such a reader as a child that I want our children to have constant access to them.

I recently took my son's books out of the basket they were in (in our living room) and put them on the shelf so they were more accessible. He seemed to "read" a bit more when I did that.

But then this morning he saw something that reminded him of coconuts, so he wanted to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. And it took him quite awhile to locate it, even though the books were more organized and easier to see. Which made me think about this thread again. He was a bit frustrated, and asked me where it was, so there were too many books there for him to easily find one in particular.

I think I'm going to sort through them again, and just leave a few out at a time (some downstairs and some in his room). I probably won't get rid of a ton, but rather put them in the chest in my daughter's room and rotate them out. I already keep some books in there, because my son is still very destructive and rips pages of non-board books (not to be "bad," that's just how he is) so we can't really leave them all out. I will try to utilize our library more once he's out of that phase.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #28
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Re: Kids Books

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Its been a while since I've read it but I believe the reasoning behind it was that the child gets to intimately learn the story and the characters by reading the book over and over. allows the child to fall in love with a book. Doesn't distract them by having so many that they jump from book to book and lose focus. My guess is that this helps them when they get to solo reading and already know the story because they've read it so many times, they have confidence. Its makes sense in my mind but its hard to articulate
Thanks! Okay, so the theory is being more familiar with fewer books makes reading comprehension skills better later on, I guess. Hmmm. I'm not sure I agree with that, at least for all kids. I know there have been studies on the correlation of number of books at home and the reading level of children. But like anything, if you have so many they can't find what they want or are overwhelmed with the choices, then they are aren't reading anyway.

I have TONS of books. It is one area I have minimized some, but not a lot. We used to live in a town where the library fines were a dollar a day per book, so it was cheaper to build our own library of used books from Hal Price Books or the $5/bag charity local book sales. All my kids were reading phonetically, without any guidance or instruction, by themselves by age 3 and they are all two years apart so there is a wide range of ability and genres to cover between them (and then there are the grownup books). What we have done is organize it in a way that makes it easier to find what they need.

We have one of those Ikea Expedite bookcases, the big one that is five cubes by five cubes. Bottom row is reference books, encyclopedias/etc, because I don't think kids under ten should be googling things. So if they ask me if walruses have eyelashes or what language is spoken in Tibet, I send them to the bottom row. Next row up is all the little kid books. There is a bin of Sandra Boynton, because that was always their favorites. A bin of the classic board books, Eric Carle, Dr. Suess, Curious George ( yeah, I see now he's probably a bad influence). A bin of the larger first readers, like the full version of Go Dogs Go, etc. A bin of Little Golden Books. And then a bin of baby/little kid reference board books, like the DK ones about different subjects. Middle row is all picture books and large illustrated youth fiction. Fourth row is all youth paperbacks/series, think Magic Treehouse, Harry Potter, and the classics (Through the Looking Glass, Charlotte's Web, etc). Top row is grownup books. And then there is another bookshelf for library books, and the kids check out between 30-100 of them at a time between the three of them, and most of the time most if not all of them are read, if not multiple times before they are due back at the library three weeks later.

So the reality is they do read the same books over and over, but go through different phases at different times. My oldest is reading the Harry Potter series for the third time. My middle child alternates between Behind the Looking Glass and various nonfiction illustrated reference books at the moment. My youngest will pick about five little kid books that he reads every day for about a week, which I put in the front of whatever bin they belong in, then after a week I put it in the back so he has to choose to look for them or find another book to read every day for a week.

That's not to say I am not purging at all. I recently got rid of all the truly baby books, the bathtub books, the books with one word and a picture on them, the books that are about the alphabet or shapes, etc. because my youngest is 4 and we aren't going to have any more kids. I do toss the ones that fall apart or get too badly damaged, even though it pains me. The bookcase is full, so when they are gifted new books, something has to go. And it took a while to get to this point, when my youngest was a baby we had one shoebox full of board books.

But I'm not convinced purging our books right now, by say, half, is going to have any positive effects here. Even if all three get out 20 books in a day, it is less than fifteen minutes to put them all away where they go. They read more than they play with toys, so it makes sense they have more books than they do toys. I can see, when they get older and especially if they embrace the e-readers (which so far they have not), our book inventory diminishing rapidly. But right now I think we are better served purging in other areas. YMMV, LOL.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #29
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Re: Kids Books

^ I think it's something to adapt to your family, though. It depends on your children, their ages, how much they read, etc.

So, if you had 20 books that they didn't care for that didn't get read, so they ended up just tossing them around or tearing pages or something, then those would be the ones you'd purge. I wouldn't get rid of books just to get rid of them, but I'd consider going through the books to see if there were any that were no longer getting used often enough to be worth keeping them on the shelves. Your kids are a lot older than mine, so what works for mine wouldn't work for yours. You could even ask your kids to help go through them to see if they have some they'd like to get rid of... they could even get rid of outgrown ones to make room for some new ones.

I think this simplicity thing would work better for younger children who are in the pre-reading phases, too (or for kids who aren't big on reading or who have troubles with reading, who might feel overwhelmed by having too many books that they don't or can't read well). When I was an older elementary kid and in junior high, I read like crazy so I would have hated to be limited. I devoured books and went to the library every week to get more. But it wouldn't have made sense for my cousin, who was the same age but struggled to read, to have the same number of books at the same level.

My 2.5 year old gets overwhelmed easily, tears book pages or throws them around when he's bored, and is still not actually reading the books himself. He's naturally destructive, he doesn't rip the books angrily or anything, it's just how he explores. He loves books and loves reading, but he goes to the same handful most of the time... so it only makes sense to make sure those books are easily accessible, you know?

The point of all this rambling, haha, is that it's something to adapt to fit your family. I've noticed that my son plays better with fewer options and less clutter, so I do think it would transfer to reading as well. Other kids (especially older, independent readers) might need lots of options to keep them reading, so minimizing their books wouldn't be about getting down to a certain number, but rather about making sure the books that they DO have are quality books that they want to read, and getting rid of the ones taking up space on a bookshelf for no reason.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #30
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Re: Kids Books

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I haven't read Simplicity Parenting yet. What is the rationale behind limiting the books, other than less stuff to manage? I was just wondering if there was an academic point to it or just because it makes life easier?
Like wordbox said, it's for pre-readers. Think of it as pictures on the wall. If an entire wall is covered, it's unlikely you'd notice the little details of each one. If there are only a few quality pictures, you'll learn each one and appreciate them. Make sense?
My boys have several quality books that they love, others that they like that get rotated and a small bin of seasonal books in the homeschool area. If I filled their shelf, all the books would get taken out and thrown on the floor. My boys are pretty careful with their toys, but it's overwhelming sometimes especially for my 3yo.
My DD is 8.5yo and a slightly advanced reader. She has many books that she reads over and over. But, she's not going to dump them out. KWIM?
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