I started a book club a few months back for M-girl and a few of her closest friends. Once a month, we host nine giggly, tween girls, their mothers, and a few assorted siblings. I lead the girls in a discussion about the book and then they usually do a book related craft. The girls get to chat, the moms get to catch up...we all have a great time!
My goal with picking the books each month is to expose the girls to really good literature, both classic and books that are sure to be considered classic someday. In order to set the tone for our meetings, I sent each family a list of rules before we even started. We use a talking stick, which makes it easier for me to ensure that all of the girls have a chance to speak and be heard. I'm thrilled with the way that the girls have responded! Even those who seemed quiet at the beginning now arrive eager to discuss the books.
We just had our February meeting the other day. The book this month was, The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams. It was shorter than our usual picks (which have included works such as: The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Indian in the Cupboard, Ella Enchanted, and Betsy, Tacy and Tib). The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a toy bunny that is made real by the love of a child. Of course loving someone comes with the risk of eventual heartache for toys, just as it does for people.
The story is short, sweet, and beautiful, and is also the perfect opportunity to introduce children to the elements of a story.
The girls each brought a 'real' toy of their own, and shared the stories of how they became real over a snack of bunny crackers and banana bread. It was cute to hear them talk about their toys. M-girl had the oldest 'real' toy, as she inherited my favorite doll from my childhood, Julia. She is "very shabby" but she is not ugly to us, because we love her.
Finally it was time to make No Sew Sock Bunnies. These were a big hit with the girls. After I gave them the basic instructions, I left them to create and took my chance to chat with my mom friends. As you can tell from the picture, our book club is one crafty bunch!
linking to: Hip Homeschool Hop