Once again, luck has saved the day here at the Book Bench. I was at the public library with all three of my kids yesterday. They were laughing with friends, pulling favorites (books and DVDs) from the shelves, and begging for time on the computer. We were in a bit of a hurry, and I had to keep telling them to "wrap it up." Each kid checked out a few books to bring on our upcoming vacation, then we ran out of there to quickly eat a hastily thrown together dinner before racing off to a swim meet. Once we arrived at the meet, it soon became apparent that goggles and a swim cap had been left on our kitchen table. I left the kids with another mom to warm up with their team and drove like the devil to retrieve the cap and goggles. On my drive home, I couldn't help but think of something I'd read at the library earlier. While the books were being checked out, I managed to flip through the August issue of Parents magazine and read that "Kids who grow up in an organized and calm home are more likely to have good early reading skills at ages five and six" according to a study done by Ohio State University and Teachers College of Columbia University. Having set mealtimes and bedtimes, using a family calendar and turning off the TV during dinner are all key to developing these early reading skills. We don't have a television anywhere near our kitchen or dining room, but those other three challenge me. In light of this study, it is surprising that my youngest son can read at all, given that he has spent the first six years of his life in a state of unrelenting disorganization and hurry. His kindergarten teacher obviously deserves a big thank you, but I also think somebody needs to study the effects of eating a salami and cheese sandwich and banana for dinner in a moving minivan while your older sister reads to you and your mom drives everyone to a soccer game on reading skills. Luckily, that method seems to have worked for us because I know the calm organized home won't appear anytime soon.