Does anyone else have the problem of how to shelve children's pictures books? They are so awkward to shelve, what with the different sizes they all come in. And because they tend to be skinny books, they don't stand up on the shelf very well. Since reshelving books is something smaller children have trouble with in general, this all equals messy shelves and books all over the floor. Also with so many books available, I was finding that the same 10% of books were being looked at and the rest were ignored. It called for drastic action.
One day, the children and I went through all of our picture books (those that were not non-fiction which already had a home on the schoolroom shelves) and sorted them into four piles: one for each season. We began with the easy ones. If a book was about a certain season, it went into the appropriate pile. The rest, which were seasonless, were then divided among the piles to make them even. The result is that we only have one quarter of our picture books out at any given time. Having fewer books available means that more of them get looked at, plus there are far fewer to put away. There are a couple of exceptions to the rule. Board books stay out all year long because they live in a basket and are easy to put away. Also, K. being the littlest, has a couple of books which he loves and we keep those out year round. Having no sense of time, he wouldn't understand why his beloved Jack Tractor book was disappearing for what would seem like forever.
Right now the children are upstairs changing the summer books to the autumn books. There have been many exclamations of, "Oh, this book! I love this book!" and " I remember this book!" It's like meeting an old friend whom you haven't seen in a while.
I've been told by a couple of people that I need to share this website with you. I hadn't ever mentioned it because I thought everyone knew about it, but apparently not. B. decided he wanted to study 20th century history this year to go along with the 20th century literature class he is taking. Not being "up" on 20th century resources, I turned to Ambleside Online, and let them do the work of planning his curriculum for me. It is a website based on Charlotte Mason's ideas on education and they have everything planned out week by week. I love it when I don't have to think!
And while I'm sharing links, I just read a great post on Building the Blocks. Read it.