Have you ever wondered what your older children are reading in their free time? Maybe you want to be able to talk about the books they are reading, but don’t know what to ask them? Have you ever considered starting a Family Book Club?
We often think of book clubs as an excuse for adults to get together for adult conversation, but a family book club is a good way for you as a parent to stay current with at least some of what your child is reading. And if your child doesn’t enjoy reading, he may be encouraged knowing that you are reading the same things he is.
So How Do You Start a Family Book Club?
Pick a Book
Of course, the first thing you need for a book club is the book you will be reading. I would start the first month with a book you think your child will enjoy. Pick something at or right below his reading level. (If you have multiple children, you may want to pick a novel that is between their reading levels.) Goodreads.com has reader compiled lists of favorite children’s books. Many of the lists are sorted by topic which makes them easier to choose from. If you are not sure of a book’s reading level, Scholastic’s book wizard allows you to enter the book title and find out!
Buy the Book
If you choose a book that you do not already own, you of course need to find copies of the book to read. Most book clubs require every member to have a copy of the book, but because this is a family book club, you could share one or two copies. It may not be that difficult to get several copies of the chosen book however. Your local library may have more than one copy available, or you could buy a digital book and download it to multiple electronic devices. Whatever you do, just make sure everyone has plenty of opportunities and time to read the novel.
Read and Discuss the Book
Mark a date to meet on a calender just like any other book club would do. If you don’t write down a specific date to discuss the book, you may find that the discussion gets put off and eventually forgotten. (Life is busy, after all!) As the parent, you should also print out or write down some questions to talk about as you are reading the book yourself. Your child probably will not have topic ideas to discuss on their own. Especially not the first month. LitLovers.com has generic book club questions for both fiction and nonfiction books that could be adapted for any book.
A family book club is a great way to engage your child in reading and discussing various books. What book will you choose for your first family book club discussion?