Both V and I, love books. Period. And my dream home involves a huge bookshelf lining a wall of the living room. Because, why would one want to do anything other than flaunt their books, right? Wrong! We have been doing book rotation with V’s collection and it has made a world of difference to us. Rotating books is basically keeping only a part of the books on display or for use, and changing them every so often. Let me take you through it.
Why Book Rotation?
Does not overwhelm the child
I hate going to the supermarket simply because my list would say oil- but the oil aisle would have twenty different brands with different quantities. It irritates me to check all the ingredients and prices, make calculations in my head, and finally make a choice. Think about how much it would be for a child to choose one book out of a hundred. Hence, book rotation it helps the child build focus, and independence.
It is a proven fact that when children read (or are read to) the same story or book over and over again, they learn better – new vocabulary, patterns, predicting ends and literacy. Having fewer books out at a time, helps a child to do just that. Read the same book as many times as she wants to.
Reach out to the unfamiliar
Many parents often complain how their children are just not interested to read a new book. When a book display has a good mix of familiar and new books, the child reaches out to new ones at her own pace, out of her own will, and explores.
Less is more
One major advantage is that even a small stash of 20 books can be easily rotated over a span of few months, in different permutations and combinations. The novelty factor for the books, is still preserved.
What’s in it for you?
When all we had was a cupboard whose shelves overflowed with books, V would plop herself in front of it everyday, and pull them all out. And at the end of the day, although she would help put the books back, it was too much for me. Now, organizing our bookshelf is such a breeze!
Once you have an established routine in place, it becomes easier for the child to adapt to it. She knows that there would be new books every Sunday/ every 1st of the month and looks forward to it, at the same time, making the most of the books. Since, pulling the books out and replacing them is easy and her job now, it leads to a lot of discipline as well.
HOW WE DO BOOK ROTATION
First things first, choose a shelf which would double up as the child’s book display. If you don’t have one, an open crate or basket or box would do to. Try to place them in a forward facing setting, so that the covers are visible. Basically, it is a designated space for the child’s books. I would also suggest that you keep one or two bedtime books separately near the bed. If you have more than one child, designate a shelf or basket for each of them.
Decide how many books you can have out at one time. This depends on the size of the shelf, how much reading time the child gets, how many books she needs in a day, etc. We have about 7-10 books on her shelf at a time.
Figure out how often you need to change. This again depends on how much time you have, how long it takes for your child to get bored of a set. This could be variable. We wing it most days now and change every alternate day on average. But in the beginning, it is better to have a designated day to change books.
Decide what ratio of books you would like to display. I usually keep one all time favourite, a few familiar ones, one or two based on the theme we are studying or talking about that particular week, one totally her choice, and one non-fiction.
That is all. A simple but sure- shot way to make life easier for you, as well as your little readers.