I started family book club just a couple of months ago and it turned out to be a huge success! My kiddos loved it! I wanted to document it here; how it works, what I do, and any goals or variations I plan to do in the future.
This is by no means a scientific article or even research based that I know of. I have no sources, just personal experience and thoughts I have had lately. Take everything as such.
I think that reading is so important for kids. Pretty much a no brainer, but really! I loved to read as a child and teenager however, more and more I am seeing children that do not choose reading as their go to activity. There are probably many reasons for this, but currently I blame technology. Technology does the work for you. Most anybody will pick a movie over a book. When I limit technology in my home for both me and my children, desire to read goes up!
While reading in and of itself can be very enjoyable, reading with a ‘purpose’ can be even more rewarding. One of the the purposes of family book club is to develop a purpose in reading. My purpose will always be to help my children be mindful and critical readers. I want them to ask questions, develop conclusions, discuss concepts, and questions validity. Reading simulates real life experiences that may or may not happen. This helps my children develop empathy and be prepared for new situations.
This may seem a lot for a little toddler and preschooler. It is. This purposeful reading is learned over time and experience. It starts small. I hope to start this in Family Book Club.
Family Book Club
Pick a book! At the moment my children are at a similar developmental age and one book will suffice. In the future we may need a couple different books for different age groups. (sounds overwhelming, ha! We will see) I try to be mindful about the book I choose and think of the conversations it might bring up in my home. I try to pick a relevant book to my family’s goal and situation.
Introduce the book and make predictions! I love to get the book and wait a couple of days to actually read it. It build anticipation and excitement, but also allows my children to look at pictures and make predictions!
Put the book somewhere visible and read it multiple times! I introduce the book and set it on my piano. I read it multiple times a week and my children read it to themselves as well. We look at the pictures and refer to the book often.
Prepare Questions! Mindful reading begins with comprehension checks. Being able to talk about what you are reading is such an important yet somewhat complex skill to have. Questions that seem so simple to adults are challenging for young children and help develop good habits of purposeful reading for the future. I have split my typical questions into two different categories, comprehension and application.
Who are the characters? Where does the story take place? (setting) What happens in the story?(retell the story) What was the problem in the story? How was it solved?
These are harder for me to make general ones. But you can draw similarities between the problem in the book and problems and conflicts in your family’s lives. Ask hypothetical questions like ‘what if?’ ‘what would you do?‘
There is our simple family book club! This can be taken up to so many levels with art projects, games, activities, field trips, etc. However, here are the bare skeletons of the idea!