Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How We Do Our Family Summer Book Club

Summer is here! Isn't it crazy! Lazy days at the pool, roasted marshmallows, summer evenings swinging in the porch swing with my husband and a tall glass of lemonade.  Ahhhh. I love summer.

One thing our family does in the summertime is to have a Family Book Club.  When I first started this, we all read the same book and it took forever and some of my kids didn't like it because they didn't like the book and (gasp!) I had a child who didn't like reading.  So I thought and I thought and I thought. (Too much Winnie the Pooh? Haha)  How could I make this fun?

So, this is what I came up with and what has worked for our family for the last few years.  Everyone gets to choose a book---whatever book they want.  From my oldest child still at home to the youngest.  And as you can imagine we have a wide range of choices from Captain Underpants to Star Wars to short autobiographies about basketball stars.  But that's okay, everyone is reading a book! Hooray!

We each have a week to read our book. (And yes, I read a book, too.)  Then, on Saturday afternoon we gather for ice cream and go around the table and discuss the books we read.  Each person tells the title, what the book was about, and their favorite parts (and not so favorite parts.)

I've learned a lot about a wide range of books by doing this. I had one of my kids read the How To Train Your Dragon series. So awesome and even better than the movie! I've learned a lot about Michael Jordan and John Stockton and even memorized the little book about this kid who goes to the zoo because that was a particular favorite of a child learning to read. (And they read it every week for a few weeks. Usually we have a no repeat rule, but we made an exception here.)  I've also learned a lot about my kids and what they like in a book.  It's a really fun way to encourage summer reading and have a lot of laughs in the process.

Do you do summer reading? How do you do it?  What's on your to-read list?


Jon Spell said...

Do you read a book each week?

How do you avoid having it feel like a book report assignment? No grades? ;)

You don't have to answer if this is too personal, but what genre does your husband like to read? My wife will read just about anything, as long as it's well-written. (Except Horror.)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, some books take longer than a week to read, so we just give an update on our progress and what's happening in the book so far if that's the case.

As for the book report feel, it's all about the presentation. We have a lot of discussion while we eat the ice cream like is Luke really the chosen one? If you had a dragon that flew where would you take it? How do you think Michael Jordan's high school coach that cut him from the team feels? Stuff like that. And we laugh a lot. I don't remember laughing at any book reports I ever gave in school. Or eating yummy ice cream while we ate it. :)

My husband is pretty well read, but he is reading a lot of non-fiction lately. And I thought most non-fiction was boring! Live and learn. :)

Debra Erfert said...

That sounds like such fun! You're a great mother for teaching your kids to love reading. You have your own book group! They will remember this fondly when they think back on their childhood.

Taunya Butler said...

You are such a great mom!! I love the things that you blog and facebook about with them!! Thank you for this idea - we will be using it for our summer!! Let's get together soon - pm me!!