parent-child book club

in january i received an email from kJ’s teacher announcing a parent-child book club. kj is 8 years old and in the third grade. we were instantly interested. until this point of parenting, i had never heard of such an idea. as a parent, i read to my kids when they were babies & toddlers. i love surrounding them with good books filled with beautiful artwork. as they get older, my husband and i put in hours of effort to teach them to read. plus, they receive instruction at school to learn to read. and i’m realizing that somewhere around the time my kids become good readers, i stop reading with them.

typically, because i have four kids, it’s because i have another child on the ladder to assist. i have one child that really struggled with learning to read, and two that just seemed to pick it up naturally. each child is so different. this also caused me to focus more time with our child that struggled, while being content to let my other two read on their own. we are still working on learning-to-read-skill with our youngest. we’re not done yet!

so, when this email arrived – i loved that it motivated me to spend one-on-one time again with my buddy, who is a great reader, but reading is not his favorite activity. this book club encouraged me to schedule time with him at bedtime, and made him really excited about reading.

we each have our own copy of the book we are reading and we take turns reading every other page out loud.

the first book for the club was love that dog.

Love That Dog is the story of Jack, his dog, his teacher, and words. The story develops through Jack’s responses to his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, over the course of a school year. At first, his responses are short and cranky: “I don’t want to” and “I tried. Can’t do it. Brain’s empty.” But as his teacher feeds him inspiration, Jack finds that he has a lot to say and he finds ways to say it.

Jack is both stubborn and warm-hearted, and he can be both serious and funny. Although he hates poetry at first, he begins to find poems that inspire him. All year long, he is trying to find a way to talk about his beloved dog, Sky, and the poems his teacher offers him eventually give him a way to do that.

Jack becomes especially fond of a poem by Walter Dean Myers titled “Love That Boy,” and it is this poem that finally gives Jack a way to tell the whole story of his dog, Sky. In gratitude, Jack invites Walter Dean Myers to visit his class.

we read our first book so fast {we finished weeks before the book club met for the first time} that we decided to keep reading other books together plus the book club books! kj also enjoys doing his homework at the library now, he gets a studious-buzz from the experience.

we are already fans of our local library, but now we are going all the time. i let kj pick out what books he wants us to read. he is a fan of shel silverstein… so our second book was Runny Babbit – hilarious and difficult to read out loud! lots of belly laughs at our mistakes.

we are currently reading, Everything on it.   it’s always good to slow down for moments like this –

have you ever participated in a parent-child book club?  if yes, are there books you would recommend for this age that interest the parent & child?  any advice?

{all photos by me.}

11 responses to “parent-child book club

  1. I am thrilled that teachers are still doing this- and although my kids aren’t old enough to have formal parent-child book clubs yet we *do* make our own. My daughter’s favorite (she’s 3 yo) to read along with us is “Good Night Moon” (and she actually does “read” along with us using her own copy of the book). I try to write regularly about books that are currently entertaining our household, but the recs will be a little young for your kiddos.

    Thanks for sharing these!

  2. I love reading The Series of Unfortunate Events books with my kids. I also have a 3rd grader and he loves the Percy Jackson series and the The 39 Clues series (both by Rick Riordan). One of our libraries does a kids book club (they read off the Young Reader’s Choice Awards list). Our other library does a family book club and reads things like “Island of the Blue Dolphins” and “Charlotte’s Web”.

  3. We read to our children every night, 10 yo, 7 yo and 5yo. The 10 and 7 yo have been read everything from Treasure Island, Hatchett, My Father’s Dragon, and just now we started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer last night. Reading aloud is such a wonderful thing and a great habit to get into. We just started reading chapter books aloud to my 5 year old daughter, Ramona the Pest. It’s special and I’m so glad you and your son are enjoying this time.

  4. What a great idea!! I was SO good when they were younger to read with them every day. I love the bonding time it will create! I may have to adopt this on just a family scale. 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Now your speaking my language! I bet your sports enthusiast would love anything by Dan Gutman (I’m trying to remember, but I think it was called Center Field that was a big favorite), Summer of the Monkeys is one from when I was a kid that I have on the list for this summer, The Fablehaven series is awesome if you think he would like fantasy/adventure, 16 clues, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter really is an amazing read…Keep your lists coming, I love hearing what other parents share with their kiddos. Isn’t having a 3rd grader awesome!?

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