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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Parent Book Clubs?

I do a lot of thinking when I'm driving to and from school. I had an idea and I wanted to get your input on it. I have written several times here about how I recently rediscovered reading for fun. I read 3 books over Spring Break-that's huge for me!:) I find it not only entertaining to spend time with the characters but there's something very rewarding about finishing a book-especially if it takes you a while like it usually does with me.

After reading the Book Whisperer a few years ago, I decided to take up reading again. I get Entertainment Weekly magazine and instead of skipping the "Book" section like I used to, now it's a part I look forward to reading. I make notes for myself of books others recommend and it feels good to be able to contribute to those conversations. Best of all when someone talks about a movie coming out I can say "I read that book!".

My idea was to try and pass this feeling along to my students' parents. I also think one of the best ways for a parent to help raise readers is to model that passion for them in their own reading habits. We used to do a book club on our campus for other teachers-but I have unsuccessfully been able to revive that tradition with the staff we have now. I was thinking next year of starting one with the parents. Is that just an incredibly crazy idea?!? Has anyone done anything like this? Maybe start with the parents of the kids in my class and open it up to others if there's a good response?

My other question is what kind of books would you use? My 2 thoughts were to either use a book about maybe helping kids learn-I know Mem Fox has written some about how to do read-alouds with your kids. I read one a few years ago about helping kids get more exposure to nature. The other way to go would be to read a book that maybe they could share with their kids-maybe something like Wonder or the One and Only Ivan that have deeper themes I think an adult still would enjoy.

I feel like I can bounce ideas off you guys and get an honest response, so any input that you have would be greatly appreciated.


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8 comments :

  1. I love this idea! I think reading books that they would enjoy would be better, at least to start. I might even choose chapter books that the students may read later. This could be beneficial in a couple of ways, one the parents could enjoy the book so much that they encourage their kids to read it when it's appropriate and two the kids may see their parents reading a book that they know someday they will want to read. This will also give them something to talk about. Some books I am thinking about are The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the Giver, Freak the Mighty, Where the Red Fern Grows, Walk Two Moons, you get the idea. Theses books are great stories that the parents may not have read in school and are easy enough for those that may not be great readers themselves. With these you can share the love of reading and hopefully that will translate to the parents sharing their love with their kids. Please keep us posted!
    Shawna
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

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    1. Thank you so much Shawna! I love those book suggestions as well! Freak the Mighty was always one of my favorites. I very much appreciate the advice!

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  2. The most successful parent reading activity I've tried is a Baggy Book- a book and composition notebook journal. A family member is expected to read with the child and respond in the notebook. The children are very proud to share the next morning. It takes about a month to make the rounds to each home.

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  3. So, this actually dovetails with an idea I had today! I was talking to a parent who really wants to learn Twitter, and I said I would be happy to teach some parents. What if I did a parent book club with a weekly Twitter chat? Hmm... This is giving me some cool ideas!

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    1. We are always on a similar wavelength! :) I like that idea as well of having a place where they can respond online. :) You're giving me ideas too!

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  4. I like this idea but feel like it has to be thought through more clearly. I would love it if parents would just want to join a book club, but I think realistically very few people take book clubs seriously. I was lucky enough to be a part of a great book club in my old town. Now I can't find one to save my life. Send me an email and let's 'talk' this through. What is most important a) gathering parents together and getting them to read books, b) teaching parents new information c) getting parents to share their love of books with their children?

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    1. Oh I totally agree-definitely not well-thought out yet. I think my biggest goal would be to have the parents reading too as a role model for their kids. Thank you Kimberley for your suggestions! :)

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