Sunday, September 20, 2009

It happened again.

We love books.

We have gazillions of them. I just believe that if we need to learn about Thomas Edison, we can do that so much better with a biography of his life than anything else. I want my kids surrounded by great literature. But last week something happened that just about put me over the edge. It has happened before, and it happened again.

I once again bought a book I already owned.

This experience sent me on a crazed organizational venture.

Yesterday Riley and I pulled hundreds of books off of their shelves. We separated them into piles according to subject. We had piles for Historical events and people, Artists, Animals, Science, Five in a Row, and Geography.

Some time ago, some brilliant homeschool mom gave me the idea of color-coding books. And that's what we did. On all of the books about geography- countries, states, etc. we stuck a yellow label at the bottom of the spine. We did a different color for each subject.

As we put the labels on, I quickly typed the title onto a list.

Now I have a list of every reference type book that we own. Every biography, every space book, every whale book, all of it.

I put each subject list in a page protector and I hung them all next to the shelf. At a glance I can see what we have! And I put extra labels in the page protector so I can easily stick them on new books.

Now whenever we finish a book, it gets stuck back on the shelf with it's coordinating color. You can easily glance at the books and notice if a book is in the wrong place because the color will not match the rest. Even if they happen to get mixed up, it will be a breeze to put them back where they belong.

So no more trying to search through a sea of book spines to see if we have any books on Helen Keller. Or weather.
No more reserving Five in a Row books at the library because I forgot I had it on my shelf.

Isn't it pretty?

And it's easy enough that even a preschooler could get the books back where they belong.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Riley and Cole did Lentil by Robert McCloskey for Five In A Row this week. We had fun with this book!
We learned how to whittle, like Old Sneep in the book. Garrett and Tyler joined us for that.

I surprised Riley and Cole with toy harmonicas. They had fun playing with them and we used them to learn about acoustics by comparing the sound in the room, then in the shower.

All of the illustrations in the book were done with charcoal, so we did some experimenting with charcoal and smearing.

Of course we had to have some fun with lemons, since they are a big part of the book! We had a lemon tasting. Only rule? You have to take a big bite and slurp. No wussin' out. Here's how that played out...

Again, what's with the aversion to shirts? We have them. Lots of them.

Then we made lemon slushes with our lemon juice and a LOT of sugar...
Much betta...

Man! Sideways picture. And I'm not changing it now. I'm just not.

One of the themes of this book is practicing and becoming an expert at something. Riley and Cole have wanted a recorder since last year when my niece learned to play one in school. I bought these at Walmart for $10 each. They came with a step-by-step book on how to play. They are so excited! It's going to be fun to learn.

It was a fun week of learning about geography, social studies, human relationships, elements of a story, art, music, taste buds, patriotism and sound waves and falling in love with a new book.