Organizing Your Kid's Books
Before I had children, I was an elementary school teacher. I had hundreds, probably thousands, of books in my classroom. I tried many different ways to organize my books. Someone recommended that I get free paint stirrers from a paint store, and they worked wonders. When I taught, I painted the sticks and used printed labels to make the text nice and neat.
My book dividers today aren't as neat as they were in the classroom, but they work just as well. In my son's bedroom, we have a tall bookshelf full of books. I have the top two shelves organized by topics. He has several books that are organized by author. He also has a few shelves that are randomly placed on the bookshelf.
The system started when we had difficulty locating a specific book. We spread his books all over his room and came up with the categories together. He helped me group the books in a way that worked for him. What I love most about this system aside from the fact that our books are organized, we read them a lot.
I have taught him to pull the stick out about half way when he removes a book from a section. He is able to easily find the spot where he took the book by finding the stick that is pulled out. If he cannot figure out where to put the book, we have a special spot for them. He will place them in our special spot, and I will put the books back in their place.
I have found that an organized system is only as good as the systems that you use to maintain it. I want my child to pull books off of his bookshelf. I want him to be excited about reading books. I want him to learn how to browse books to chose one to read. If he is able to get a book back into the right place, we celebrate his accomplishment. If he cannot figure it out, we have a back up plan that works.
When he was much younger, he went through a phase where he would pull every book off of a shelf. If your child is still going through that phase, you may want to wait to implement a system like this one. If your child is ready, it's a great system that really works in our household.
There are many ways to organize books. You can sort them into baskets and place pictures on the front of each basket. For example, you could have dinosaur basket with a picture of a dinosaur. You could use magazine holders to sort them and display them nicely. You could put color coded dots and group them by color. You could put shelves all over the room so that the books are easy to see and find.