Parent + Child + Reading = Our Club
The more you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you ™ll go.
I always wanted a family full of readers. So I read to my babies in utero. I read to them as infants. I read to them as they were chewing the board books out of my hands. And on that fateful day when they crawled up into my lap bringing me a book to read to them, I think I shed a little tear.
As they grew, we ™d get lost in magical stories about dancing letters that crawled up trees, choo-choos that didn't think they had what it took to make it up a mountain, and yummy pancakes and syrup that ™d fall from the sky. And as they got older, we attacked chapter books with a vengeance, starting with sweet stories of giant peaches and unbelievable candy factories. We read all the classics, even making our way through the delightful series about adolescent wizards and witches. Sometimes we even cuddled up in reading nooks.
As my kids got older, the more they began reading on their own, many times to fulfill a reading requirement for school. With the exception of summer, our family reading time slipped to the wayside.
As the parent, I wanted to change that.
This year my daughter and I stated our own book club. Best part? It was HER idea.
She had been reading some incredible books suggested to her form our school librarian that she had been telling me about for months. One Saturday she finally suggested, You know mom, why don't you read these books too so we can talk about them? You didn't have to ask me twice.
Off to the community library we went, where we enjoyed a fun hunt to find all of the 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award books. It was a wonderful list of books to start with, as many of them received great accolades.
That Saturday afternoon, with a box of peanut butter cookies sitting between we devoured books. And we talked about them in depth. It was so much more than, did you like the book? We discussed social outcasts, poverty, different cultures and religions, and overcoming disabilities. All from an amazing list of books and a few isolated hours.
We are going to continue reading together and discussing books. I can't wait to introduce her to some of my childhood favorites, Where the Red Fern Grows, Bridge to Terebitha, and The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe. Eventually she is going to want to read the heavy books, like The Hunger Games, and I will be with her every step of the way.
She is growing up so fast. I love that I have found a way to connect with her again and have some difficult but necessary conversations about life through a outlet that we both love “ Reading.
Ideas to Start a Book Club with your Children:
- Brainstorm and come up with a list of books you ™d like to read together. Think of books you enjoyed reading as a child. Tackle a suggested reading list (libraries are great resources for this). Don't dismiss any books your children suggest. You may be pleasantly surprised at how excellent some new children's books are. Plus it will give you terrific insight as to what your child likes to read.
- Set aside time to read “ Make a plan to read together or finish a book by a certain date.
- Create one-on-one time to have your discussion. Make it just about you and your child and take away any distractions. Take them to the park on a sunny day, out for an ice cream sundae “ make it a special time.
- Ask leading questions to facilitate discussion: Who was your favorite character? Why? What did you like most? How did it make you feel when she said XYZ? Think of specific themes that occurred in the book and discuss them. Also, there are many websites that have questions for many popular children's books.
- Have an incentive or challenge for you both to meet. Once my daughter & I have read 5 books together, we are going to dinner and movie “ her choice. Come up with a goal and a prize together and stick with it.
- Enjoy the quality discussion with your child. Learn from them.
We did a book club one summer with a dog theme- got ideas from Martha Speaks series on PBS. So much fun. My daugher is on book 5 of Harry Potter (my almost 10 year old) & she wants to discuss the books with me. I need to get on the ball so we can have a mother/daughter Harry Potter book club. Especially now that the books are getting a little darker- I want to know “what” she is reading to discuss etc.
Enjoy your book club!
Absolutely – I enjoyed reading the HP series and reread them all again when my kids were old enough to read them – it allowed for some great discussions!
We have a reading night on Wednesday nights. My older boy loves to read. We then write a review. Sometimes Noah only does the review. I love your suggestions. I am off to blog about it! Then, I will share with Noah at our next Reading Night.
Melissa – that’s awesome! Keep it up!!
Love this idea!
So fun! I will need to follow your format when my kids get older. Right now we do a monthly Mommy and Me Book Club with a few friends. We pick one book that we read together and then we do book related activities, crafts, cooking projects, and sing songs. The kids love it!
Kristina – I LOVE this idea for my 2 year old – we are going to start following along on your blog and maybe even join up with the virtual version!
I am so happy and proud that my 3 year old loves being read to! We have read to her since she was born. If she gets one thing from me, I would not complain if it was my appreciation for books. 🙂 I can’t wait until she gets older so I can do more of the things in this blog post!
We are a family of readers too! My kids are little and I will have to remember this idea as they grow older. Thanks! I also just saw a book at my kids’ school book fair called The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma; it’s a memoir about a girl whose father read to her aloud every night from when she was 4 until 18 years old. I haven’t read it (yet!) but it looks really interesting. Thought you and your family might be interested. 🙂