The idea of a book club for children is not my own. It came to me, as many good ideas do, via Instagram. I saw a post from another home educator about her book club and I thought what a great idea, and how easy to implement. Get a book, read it (together for little ones, before the club meeting for older ones), talk about it (depending on the ages of the children), do some activities related to the book.
So this week, we held our inaugural Book Club with another family whose children are the same ages as mine.
I wanted a book that was Christmassy and as I love Beatrix Potter (and so do my children), I chose The Tailor of Gloucester. Whilst we were reading it all together, cosy on my friend’s sofa, I was struck by how timeless BP’s stories are, with their funny jokes, and yet how they open up a world of language that is missing from modern writing. They are brilliant.
Our Book Club meeting was very simple. We read the story. The older children made origami mice (with assistance) and sewed buttons onto pieces of cross-stitch fabric (the latter was a real hit — Sophie has been begging to do more sewing every day since). The younger children threaded some beads onto pipe cleaners. Then we all watched the BBC’s animated adaptation of The Tailor of Gloucester, which I remembered from my own childhood (I sourced the DVD on eBay).
Now, let’s be real and honest: there were frustrating moments. One three-year-old didn’t want to read the story but was insistent on making lots of noise with a glockenspiel. One five-year-old kept talking while the book was being read. The other five-year-old loudly complained about wanting to do the activity the three-year-olds were doing (we let her). The beads got spilled all over the carpet.
But overall, it was a great afternoon. How wonderful to open up excellent literature to our children, and spend time working together on simple activities.
We hope to make Book Club a regular feature in our homeschool life.