The Reading Hour

By: Debbie Taborn


How to Start a Kid's Book Club

Of course we know our children are into technology. Those wonderful, colorful action games are all our children seem to be interested in. But here’s a thought, if our children continue to embed themselves in electronic devices we will soon see a diminished ability to verbally communicate with peers, explain ideas to others, or convince others to accept new ideas? It’s pretty hard to interview for college, or a job with minimal verbal skills.

That brings us to KID’S BOOK CLUBS! Book Clubs present an opportunity for children to speak in a comfortable and engaging forum, express ideas, and yes, improve their reading skills at the same time.

Here are 10 really simple steps to get started

1. Think of children you know within the same age group, friends, siblings, family members, playmates, etc. (no more than 6 members to start, this will allow for partners and absences)

2. Talk to the parents about your idea of a book club.

3. Invite them.

4. Schedule a time of no more than 1 hour (3-7 year olds) 1 ½ hours for older readers

5. YOU MUST HAVE SNACKS! All children are interested in snacks. Serve after the reading session of course.

6. Choose a cool place for reading, a comfy room with a couch, or blankets on the floor, in the backyard under a tree, in the attic (mysterious) or even poolside.

7. Have all types of non-violent books available, Humorous, Adventure, Nature, even Comic Books or Magazines and of course books by author, Debbie Taborn! Ask readers to bring books or you can borrow from your local library. (It’s ok if readers change a book within the reading time. Some readers may choose 2 books, it’s OK.)

8. Explain the rules of “reading time”, reading aloud, partner reading or being read to, BEFORE getting started. Explain the time for reading (no more than 20 minutes.) Establish yourself as the group leader. Let them know that any questions should be directed to you.

(Optional; very quiet music can signal the beginning and ending of the reading time.) Announce that the prominently displayed snacks/lunch will be served after the reading session.

9. At the end of the designated time (shorten if you need to or feel a loss of interest/control). Gather all readers in a circle and ask each reader what they read about and what they liked about the book.

10. Return books to their rightful places. Announce the next meeting and adjourn TO THE SNACKS!

Sometimes inexpensive books from the $1 store are good Good-bye mementos. ENJOY!

After a few sessions you can add illustration time for self-expression or book interpretation.