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Challenge: Reading Together

Book club for kids!

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I love to read however when my kids were little I have to admit I did not do a fantastic job of reading to them every night. Here's an early picture of encouraging reading to my little one many years ago. Frankly as time went on I found myself often too exhausted to be as consistent as I would have liked to have been. Here is an excerpt from "Lose that Mommy Guilt":

Reading books at bedtime can also be an important part of the bedtime ritual. I will be honest, I am not as good at that as I should be. When they were little, I was better. Now, not so much. When they started reading, they would read to me, but that did not last too long. Now I encourage reading each night for twenty minutes. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not. I keep trying.

Forcing them to read doesn’t work in my house, but having plenty of books available and encouraging them to read leads to better habits. Seeing me reading also helps them to want to do the same. Don’t stress if your child is not interested in books at some point or another, just keep many available and make it a part of the routine.

Since that time I found that starting a kids book club can be a great way to get even non-readers into books. When my daughter was in grade school a bunch of moms started a book club for kids. We would meet once a month on a Sunday afternoon. Each girl would take turns picking out the book they wanted to read and then that family hosted. What I loved about the book club is that the girls, even at a young age, drove the discussion. Whoever chose the book would host. Moms would provide some snacks and then give the girls the space to discuss. By going to the website for the specific books we would print "teachers questions" that many books had online and then the host girl would read the questions and facilitate the discussion. The moms stayed just enough to help guide but the girls took charge of leading the discussion. After about an hour of book discussion we let them go play for about an hour after. They loved spending time leading a group and then getting to run around with their friends after. It was a great way to encourage reading in order to be a part of the discussion each month as well as build leadership and communication skills.

Some favorite book club books included: The Lemonade War, Frindle, Whatever After, & The Hundred Dresses.

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