Happy Kiddos: Reading time

It's Wednesday, friends. And that means it's time for a little conversation about children. Did you know that I plan it this way? Here's a glimpse into the editorial calendar: Monday, we create. Tuesday, we simplify. Wednesday, we talk about kids. Thursday, we talk happiness. Friday, we try new things. And that is about as much as I can take on in any given week!! :)

I'm all about this here blog helping my real life and yours be a little bit or maybe even a whole lot better. However, this new once-a-month series is really all about me.

Well, sort of. And by this I mean, it's all about my relationship with my eldest, M age 7, and her sense of learning and literature. And it's about having healthy, life-giving parent-child relationships and finding meaningful ways to connect with the most important people in our lives.

And so maybe it's about you, too.

Remember how I started up a bookclub for M over the summer? Check out this post to find out how you can create a bookclub for your child, too (it's really not so tough to do). We had a ton of fun with her friends: reading, crafting, and eating together.

Now we're in the thick of the school schedule that for us means lots of academics, choir, ballet, Brownies, and a whole bunch of other busy.

But she's still my little girl, and I want to have special time with her (and her siblings, too). I'm also a teacher by training, and I know how critical it is to read at home. If you're looking for some great tips to encourage a passion for reading in your kids, head over to Sandra's blog...it's a great resource.

M and I were looking through summer photos and rehashing the fun we had together, and we decided we should do more bookclubs. But fully knowledgeable of our already-rainbow colored Google calendar, I suggested that we make it a bookclub just for the two of us.

Here are our basic guidelines:

1. We read one book a month.

We get two copies of the same book when we go to the library together, and we have to both be excited to read the book (AKA Mommy cannot force me to read a boring chapter book with a bad cover). We go to the library most Fridays (to get movies) and Saturdays (for special Daddy time) so we have easy access to the best choices.

This means that I get to dive back into some children's literature that captivated me.

AND that I need to be equally enthusiastic about reads that M loves... like our first choice, Meet Kit, an American Girl historical fiction. It's set in the 30s and 40s which opens up all sorts of great conversations about the world as it was! M spent her 5th birthday at the American Girl megastore in Chicago having a festive afternoon tea (see above), and she's been interested in the historical books for a while.

2. We wait to talk about the book until our "meeting".

M is very much excited about a special designated time where we can sit together somewhere other than our house and talk. I am super aware that this desire is likely a fleeting one so I'm soaking it up while I can. I imagine most of our gatherings will be at a local bookstore or coffee shop so that we have some girl time away, too!

3. We watch or craft together based on our stories.

Most of the books we've chosen have been turned into movies. I always love to dish about who would play which characters in the movie versions of our books for my grown-up bookclub, and I know that M will have great ideas on how the books do or do not mesh with the films.

If time so allows, we'll skip the movie idea and instead create something together based on our reading. M already has some ideas brewing for Meet Kit and its historical context, but I also want to be realistic about how much time we'll have to delve into a project.

That's it.

I anticipate my biggest challenge to be her brother and sister who at 2 and 5 will also want a bookclub just for them...so I'll just have to turn that challenge into something else good!

Have you ever read alongside your children? Any helpful ideas to share?

Happy reading! XO, MJ