high-tide time of year at our house. After a busy summer with lots of travel and little structure, N. craves a return to routine. He celebrated his seventh birthday recently, his friends returned to school, and I began my fall semester; all this signals the start of the school year to him. He was eager to dive back into more formal studies, and I'll write here soon about what he and Tim are working on.
Meanwhile, to get ready for the school year, we recently undertook a major reorganization of our home library. Now that N. is reading, and given his particular approach to reading right now, I wanted our books to be very accessible to him, easy to browse. The precarious piles on the floor of my study were neither. So we got a bunch more IVAR shelves from Ikea and dug in. The adult books are now in groupings by nation or discipline (British, American, History, Religion) and all the literature groups are in chronological order (Chaucer to Ian McEwen, for example). I rearranged books in double rows on some shelves, with the books likely to be more interesting to a child reader in the front and the more scholarly books (such as The Anti-Theatrical Prejudice) behind. Obviously my fantasy career is librarian! Look, I even have a library-style Kik-Step stool, acquired from a local thrift store -- I've always wanted one!
Most importantly, I set up a group of shelves (pictured) for all the books I've been accumulating for N. at the awesome used book store in town. One shelf has a double row of books that he can read when he is older, and the lower shelves are full of books to read now, arranged alphabetically by author for easy access. He also keeps a bunch of favorites in a bookcase in his room.
Though this project was disruptive and chaotic, now our shelves look so orderly and browsable! I feel that we've accomplished a crucial "preparation of the environment" (to use Montessori terms) for the next stage of N.'s learning. I look forward to seeing what he discovers on the shelves.