On Monday we tried a new group, I was a little nervous about it but everything seems to have worked well :)
The group is a Home Ed Book Club, being organised by a very lovely and enthusiastic local home edder.
I was nervous for so many reasons :
whilst my younger three (M J and A) all enjoy stories, they are not the most active readers, I
was hoping that the enthusiasm of other children, and the set up of the group would inspire
them a bit more.
in the past we have had a few sticky moments with some of the people who were interested
L was coming with us, but had no interest in the book club, I was worried the younger ones
would wander off with him, and not properly join in.
With anything new it's hard to know how M and J will react, this was a new group so they had
no idea what was expected of them, and what the ground rules were.
In the event, it all worked well, the format of the group is not a typical book club. Each child bought a book with them, with a slip of paper inside. On the paper they had written or drawn something they enjoyed about the book, then the book was wrapped up. We put all the wrapped books in a pile and talked about how you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. there was also a "spares" bag. Towards the end of the session the kids all chose a wrapped book to take home and read - we'll get together in a month and do it all again :)
We also chose a "random" to look for in the book - this time it is "strange quote", so the kids will have to keep an eye out for that as they read. We played a snowball quiz game - the children wrote questions on a piece of paper, scrunched them up and threw them at each other. That was the only sticky point of the afternoon for us. The team had 15 children, and needed to come up with 5 questions. J and M both had very strong opinions of what their questions should be and negotiating that was a bit tricky. We got there in the end though. Then came the quiz, and J had no idea of any answers, which left him rather upset and led us down a familiar path of calling himself stupid and worthless. The questions were all really obscure, and I had no clue either, but he feels so angry with himself for not knowing, and we had some tears. As ever though the storm passed quickly, and he was happily exploring the grounds of the old Abbey we were meeting in. The one hour book club was always intended to end with some free time, but we ended up staying for several hours as the kids explored, climbed trees, and had fun with both old and new friends.
L spent the afternoon with another home educated lad of more-or-less his age, who also wasn't really interested in the book club but was there with his younger sisters.
All in all, a successful day which left them inspired to read their borrowed books. Long may that continue :)