Starting a Book Club for Children
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a love of reading…
Yet, as many of us know, it doesn’t necessarily come easy. Even with our best efforts and intentions, it can be hard to figure out how to spark and maintain an interest in reading with our children.
When our daughters where in approximately 2nd and 3rd grade a small group of us moms decided start a book club. This endeavor turned out to be a wonderful experience, with memories that will last a lifetime! Adding the social element to reading, was just the inspiration the girls needed to stay actively engaged in reading outside of school. They couldn’t wait for the next book club meeting and loved discussing the nuances of each book together with their friends.
I also loved the fact that the other parents in the group became such wonderful role models for all of the children who participated . Our book discussions evolved into important life discussions…
While instilling a lifelong love of reading within your child can feel daunting at times, forming a book club for them is an achievable and rewarding thing you can do right away. And, your child will appreciate your effort for years to come.
Here are some tips on forming a book club to help you along the way:
- Encourage all of the children to make book recommendations and spend quality time flipping through and reading the descriptions of the suggested readings together as a group. The process of selecting good books is a valuable lesson in and of itself. It’s also great to set-up a time to meet with your local children’s librarian. Call her ahead of time and ask her what she recommends for the age, level, and interest of your group.
- Start out by talking about things you can share as a group during book talks (see printable below). The elements mentioned in the printable are great comprehension strategies that good readers use. They help young readers to know what to look for when reading and make for great discussions.
- Have each child create their own reading journal. Explain that their journals are a place they an draw illustrations of scenes from the book, write down questions they have as they are reading, keep track of new vocabulary, record their favorite quotes and passages from the book, and more! It’s helpful to paste the book discussion printable below on the front page and the vocabulary printable on the back pages. You can find our favorite notebook supplies, here.
- Provide sticky notes! Ask the children to mark their questions, comments, favorite words, etc. as they read, to share with the group each week.
- Rotate the meetings at each other’s houses. For each meeting ask the child who is hosting the event to be in charge of coming up with a fun activity that the group can do that relates to the theme of the book. Learning how to host friends in your home is another valuable life lesson…
- Enjoy the process! Let go of preconceived expectations and know that more than anything, quality time with your child is the best gift you can give.