You have your book club and you love it. It has gone so well, in fact, that you have joined a mother-daughter book club with your daughter. You wish your husband would do the same with your son, but it’s hard to get them motivated so far. Is there a way you can extend the magic of book clubs to the family? A family book club, perhaps? Definitely.
When it comes to promoting reading as fun, book clubs are a great choice. Extending the idea of book clubs to include the whole family is a great way to engage in family bonding while promoting literacy. And not everyone needs to be a fluent reader to participate. Just like a regular book club, you choose a book, set a time for reading to be complete and hold a discussion. And to top it off, you’ll create some great family memories in the process.
Look to the classics
How do you choose a book the whole family can read? Yes, it can be a bit of a challenge, but it is not impossible! Take a family outing to the local library and talk to the children’s librarian about your plan. Tell the librarian that you are looking for a book that will interest multiple generations. Its themes should be accessible for everyone, even the not quite fluent readers among you. Don’t be surprised if you are pointed directly to the classics of children’s literature. Don’t be afraid of long books, either!
Some read to themselves, some are read to
So how does a whole family participate in a book club if not everyone reads at the same level? Those that can read to themselves do, and those that can’t are read to. Your husband and oldest child, perhaps, read to themselves, and you read the book to your younger child daily. If you have a child that’s a little in between, it’s a great opportunity to boost reading skills. You can read one page and your child the next, or just go paragraph by paragraph. Don’t worry about progress being slow, either. The bigger point is that you are sharing reading.
Set a schedule
While it doesn’t really matter how fast or slow the reading is going (verify, however, that you can renew your books repeatedly), setting a general schedule can help keep the whole family on track. Whether it’s a chapter a day or a certain number of pages, keeping everyone at about the same pace makes ongoing discussion not only possible, but more relevant.
Whole family discussions
Take time, both while reading the book and when the book is complete, to have whole family discussions about the book. Perhaps, when the book is complete, you can have your discussion over ice cream sundaes at the local ice cream parlor, or some other special place. What a terrific reward!
Talk about what you like, don’t like, the things the book makes you think about and messages the book may be trying to send. You’re not just reading — you’re teaching about interpreting language, understanding metaphors and meaning, plot development and so on. All within the context of a family bonding experience.
Book clubs are a great way to encourage reading for both adults and kids. Extend that idea to the family for an even richer reading experience.
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