I have two creative loving boys that have a love and hate relationship with books. They love books when I am reading them but when asked to read themselves, it was like pulling teeth at times. To make reading fun for them creating a Kids Book Club was a way to make reading fun and also helped us keep the conversation flowing between parents and kids.
My inspiration to create a book club was from seeing the reading process at different area schools. Some schools in the Philadelphia area have developed the Reading Workshop program which started at Columbia University in New York City. One of the main reasons why I love this method of teaching is because the children own their choices; the teachers are not choosing the books the kids are. With the Five Finger Rule Test the children can make educated decisions for themselves to see if it’s a book they are ready to read.
Summer Reading Clubs for Kids
- Gets you closer to your child
- Expand your conversations beyond “How was school?”
- Provides insight into your child and how they think
- Start the group: With your child pick the children that would be interested in the club. Discuss how the club will work and allow the children to have input of how the club will work.
- Set an organizer: to keep the schedule, send out reminders and be available to answer questions. You can even make a private Facebook Group to share ideas, pictures of the children reading and doing book club activities etc..
- Set a schedule: Meet monthly or bimonthly this gives everyone time to read the book without too much pressure.
- Find a location: You can meet at someone’s house, library or community space. We meet bimonthly and one meeting is at the library so the children can choose their books and the next meeting is at a parent’s house.
- Select the books or themes: Since our book club has a wide age range we had the children choose theme at the first meeting. When going to the library the children pick out books that are within the theme but at their “JUST RIGHT” reading level.
- Prompt discussion: Give each parent tools that they can use to help their children become more open to discussion. When we meet for the second time throughout the month to discuss the books the children come with a brown bag with a set of guiding questions that the children fill out before hand. This idea was taken from the BROWN BAG BOOK CLUB.
- Plan an activity: After having a book discussion and partner reading groups finish the meeting with a craft, science project or food project that the children can do on their own that fits with the book theme.
- Stay flexible: When having kids and planning activates around kids we all know you need to be flexible. What matters most is to get those kids reading and keep the conversations flowing.
So this summer, get a group of friends together with your kids and get a summer book club started. It’s fun for everyone, parents and kids! What are some of your favorite ways to get your children excited about reading?