Here is another organizing post as promised! Yaay!
Have you ever heard that everyone has different learning styles? Some of us are more visual, while others learn best simply though auditory or kinesthetic input. This applies to organizing as well. We all don’t fit one organizing style. Different people organize differently. Now the concept that we learn and therefore organize our thoughts and items a certain way definitely applies to children as well.
As time has passed and through trial and error, I have learned that my son is a visual learner. This visual concept definitely translates over to his organizing style. He is definitely an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ kind of person, which was a real problem when it came to his books and reading.
Before, we had this really cute book rack that my mom gave my son when he started preschool. And when he was younger, I was obviously in charge of managing what books we had already read and rotating them out. When he was in second grade last year, (it took me a while to notice) I noticed that he kept on choosing the same books over and over to read. At first, I thought ‘He must really like those couple of books’. Over the summer, I asked him to go pick a book to read and he picked the first one that he saw (I was sure he had read that one a good decent amount of times). So I asked him, “Why do you always pick the same books?” and he told me because “I don’t know what else I have, I can’t see them”. It clicked for me at that moment, he was right, HE COULDN’T SEE THEM. The way I had his books organized, some were stacked in back of other books and some were smaller books that were hidden in the pockets of the book rack and truth be told, he really couldn’t see them and it wasn’t functional for him! Now part of that was me not teaching him or not having a system for rotating out the books in order for him to get new reading material. We are working on that, for sure.
As cute as that book rack is, I had to part ways with it. Why? Because it was not functional to my son’s needs. This is a perfect example that just because storage and/or organizing units are cute, it doesn’t mean that they are always functional. Always choose functional over cuteness. Now if it is functional and it’s also cute, then yaay, GO FOR IT!
Back to the books. So I took out all his books, decided that I would take the book rack to work and use it for my personal kids books (I’m a pediatric SLPA among many things).
I cleared out the top of his dresser that is right next to his bed. The surface of his dresser had slowly turned into a catch-all for anything and everything so it looked extremely chaotic. Take a look for yourself!
Right next to his bed is the perfect location for his books because he can easily grab a book, hop into bed and read a bed time story. Not only is the location ideal, but it is also functional now. He is able to see all the books that he has because all the book binders with the titles are facing towards him. Our system for rotating them out is that he starts from the front side, gets a book, once he is done with it, he moves it to the back.
He was at his grandma’s house when I organized his books this way and when he walked into the room and saw it, he was so thrilled. I couldn’t believe how happy he was. I mentioned it to another blogger and she said ‘Kids love organized spaces too!’ and that I can completely agree with. Now those matching boxes that I used as book ends, I got at Michael’s. I had gotten them a while ago and hadn’t really found anything useful for them. Now, I keep his math flash cards in there from last year, in case he needs to review them for this year. I really like the symmetry look with the boxes, one on each side and then those bulky books on top of each box to center around the actual library.
Jayden, my son, then added his night light that looks like a police light and it’s off to the side so it doesn’t cover the books. This is the only thing I let him put on there or else it starts looking crazy again!
I just love that something as simple as this made a world of difference for my son. Hope you enjoyed our little book/library transformation.