Review: the Parent child Book ClubFellow Georgetown Law Alum, Melissa Stoller has written a book with research librarian Marcy Winkler on connecting with your children though reading called “The Parent-Child Book”.
With the onset of summer and end of the school year, many parents like me are challenged to keep the kids busy and mentally stimulated.
My boy Cboy is great at math and other subjects, but is more challenged at Reading Comprehension and Reading. Really, he’d rather watch TV or play video games. He is only just now getting into liking books for fun thanks to a great first grade teacher who cherishes reading and did a phenomenal job at stressing the fund aspects to reading. It’s so important to me and Trinidaddy that the kids get into reading because we both enjoyed reading books for fun growing up. I was a spelling bee champ and lived in the library.
From cover to cover “The Parent-Child Book Club” is a refreshing take on the challenge on getting kids into books and reading. It is unique in that it introduces the concept of a book club for kids run by their parents. How novel. I found the model, if effectively executed, could have a positive impact on getting a reluctant reader to embrace books.
The author’s share that the concept behind a book club is to encourage communication with children. The model presented in the book is for children ages four to nine. By the end, through several rounds of book club sessions, children should learn to predict outcomes, contemplate character traits and motivations, think about plot and dialogue and focus on writing. Very impressive. I earnestly believe reading for fun and love like this is the building block and basis for all types of learning and for being a good student overall.
The book offers ground rules on the technicalities of the group: how many kids to include, where to meet, whether it should be coed or single sex. It follows with helpful suggestions on how to create questions and dialogue about each book. There is a very generous resource section with suggested titles and a little info about each title. Each chapter thereafter, essentially, shares various models using specific age-appropriate books as examples. I especially liked the ancillary projects:the trips, foods to make, places to go that expands the experience of reading the book to real life.
Overall, its a great concept and great that the authors have put together a system that can be copied in various contexts for the early and middle years of a child’s education. Wonderful for supplementing their learning in school and it will be a great addition to our summer home school curriculum!
ORDER THE BOOK HERE
Enjoy this Fox News article that highlights our ideas about connecting with your kids through reading, movies, and travel bingo. The sections that discuss our ideas are highlighted.
Listen to friends, and a few strangers
While your friends are probably eager to tell you what they enjoyed doing in your intended vacation spot, see if they’ll also hand over any maps and books they used. One of the most useful books my wife and I ever had on a trip was a guidebook used by another couple filled with their scribbled margin notes and post-its, indicating what they liked and disliked as well as info on places not covered in the book. And assuming you’re prepared to trust a few like-minded strangers, consider immersing yourself in an online travel forum, brimming with travelers eager to share details and recommendations about where you may be going. Fodors.com has vibrant user forums and WeJustGotBack.com and familytravelforum.com are good sources of comments from family travelers.
Make the journey as important as the destination
If you’re driving to your destination, build some fun into the act of getting there. For her family trips, Blair says, she and her husband “love to pull out the map to let the kids see how far we’re traveling. Last summer we took a road trip from Tucson all the way up the California coast to the Mendocino Coast. The kids were enthralled by how far we were going to travel, plus it was a great geography lesson.”
You might also find that leaving some extra time for spontaneous stops like family-run restaurants, quirky-looking shops, and offbeat roadside attractions can yield the fondest moments of your trip.
“You only get out of a trip what you put into it,” notes Kerper. “Completely immersing yourself in your destination will not only pay you back in spades, but is really fun. Don’t just show up!”