A Little Literacy, Please: A Place to Read


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My almost 6-year has been wanting a bookcase in her room for…oh…awhile now.  I have been putting it off for several reasons.  But the major reason: she is just too junky to handle it (or, so I thought). 

Kate is the kind of girl with a ton of energy, a ton of creativity, and too many ideas for her own good.  I had visions of her scaling the bookcase to get to the top shelf of her closet, to create a hide-out or something.  I feared she would dump all of the contents of to the floor and refuse to pick them up.  There I would be, unable to find my child in the sea of books that flooded her bedroom floor. 

I would ask her, “Kate, can you please pick up these books?” and I would hear a very muffled, “No.  I can’t even find my bookcase…”

Then I would ask again, “Kate, can you please pick up these books?”  This time, she would respond with something like, “Not now, I’m building the Eifel Tower with the books/creating a slide/a dollhouse.”  Because she is just that kind of kid. 

But that’s not how it happened.  She had all of these ideas about how to decorate the shelves…placing a framed photo of she, her sister and dad in the dug-out of the St. Louis Cardinals (where we’re originally from) plain and center.  She started plopping other honored treasures–the 100th day of school bookmark and hand-made craft–in the new digs. 

“No, no…we’re putting books in there!”  I had to remind her.  She hopped up and into our guest room where I keep all of the kid books (that’s me being  overly tidy and organized–which is getting to be a tad too-much–I forget what I have).  Together, we filled the new bookcase, categorizing books by theme, shape, author, etc.  I felt good about the process and the mother-daughter bonding, plus the end result: a tidy bookcase which will hopefully encourage her to do more than just memorize those pages!

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