Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Book Buggy is Here!

Every year, for as many years as my family has homeschooled, September ushered in The Great Bookcase Shift, that time of year when the “old” homeschool resources were removed from the shelves and put in a box (or, more often than not, stacked on the floor) and the “new” homeschool books were put in their place. Over the years, the stack(s) on the floor got larger, while the bookcases seemed to get smaller, and an ever-growing pile of boxes began lining our home. I now have what amounts to a living room full of boxes and no additional bookcases. With a daughter in high school, the books are getting heftier (in both size and weight), the resources are becoming more numerous as we incorporate science labs and Teaching Company courses, and I am (for the first time) facing a mid-year Bookcase Shift. What is a homeschool mom to do?!

Well, a few weeks ago, this homeschool mom found what may be the answer to The Great Bookcase Shift; something that could put an end to all the resource displacement while still providing a home for the current homeschool books and resources. And what is this miraculous solution, you ask? Allow me to introduce you to the Book Buggy! A new find from one of my favorite online retailers, it is (essentially) a library book cart for the home, complete with an angled shelf on top. At 25W” x 13D” x 31H”, it fits snugly behind the chair in our family room (where most of the student reading occurs); it can be transported to another work location if need be without clogging up the walkways in our tiny house; and, best of all, it defines the location of our homeschool supplies so that my student can finally implement “a place for everything and everything in its place.” OK, I could be a bit too optimistic on this last point but, hey, a mom can always hope, right?

In addition to fitting the physical space in our home and addressing our study and storage needs, the Book Buggy is beautifully constructed as well. The clear-varnish-over-natural-cherry finish matches both the dining and coffee tables in our kitchen/family room. Every screw that I used to assemble the unit is hidden on the inside of the bookcase so the exterior shows nothing but beautiful wood grain. Plus (and this is a biggie with me), the casters glide effortlessly across our wooden floor! I was concerned about this because I didn’t want to struggle to move the Book Buggy once the weight of all those books was onboard, nor did I want the wheels to mark up our floors. No worries on either count, this piece of fine furniture seems about as close to perfect as a material object can get. Gee, can you tell I am pleased with this thing?

If The Great Bookcase Shift is an annual occurrence in your home, may I recommend the Book Buggy. It won’t solve all your problems, but it may solve one...the question of where to put your currently-used homeschool supplies. Check it out at

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