Skip to main content

First Book Club Meeting

Our first book club meeting took place this week.  It far exceeded my expectations.  A group of six 13 year olds and one 11 year old can get a bit silly if left to their own devices. However, these kids came ready to talk.  Armed with a Starbucks drink and settled into a great space (a university bookstore where other groups of students were meeting) they held their first book talk.

Each child came to the meeting with something to discuss, in the style of literature circles.  There was a discussion director, a connector (brings connections to his or her life), question askers, book reviewers, word smiths (bring a passage of language that touched you), etc.  This helped direct a dialogue, rather than have a free-for-all discussion.  The book also facilitated great conversation.  

Topics we discussed:
  • Was Uri good or bad?
  • Metaphorical references for the necklace, the horse, the pied piper, the milkweed seed.  
  • Why did Micha’s story finally matter when two women stopped to listen to him?
  • We had a friend share poetry he brought back from a recent visit to Washington D.C’s Holocaust Museum.
  • We discussed historically accurate parts of the novel like Dr. Korzac and the Jewish resistance which were covered in the documentary about Irena Sendler.
  • We talked about whether we would recommend this book and to what age group.  

It really was fascinating to see these kids, who I have known for several years, tackle this with maturity.   At the end of our meeting, we narrowed down our next book choice from the 4 books I selected to one; Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.  While not everyone is 100% thrilled with this choice, it was not listed as #4 on anyone’s ranking.  We agreed that many of us would not picked up Milkweed as a "fun reading adventure" and book clubs are meant to help the reader step outside of their comfort zone and read something they may not choose on their own.  


Popular posts from this blog

Defending Homeschooling

Yesterday I was called to defend my homeschooling to someone who did not know me well and does not understand the concept of homeschooling well.  Some of the questions that were asked included:

How do I grade?How do I know they are on track?How do I teach what I do not know?How do I have patience?How will they go to college?
These are fairly typical questions and I should have been able to answer them with ease and confidence but I sensed judgment and it shook me a bit.  After all these years, I thought I was beyond being shaken up by questions, especially when asked respectfully.  To be fair, the questioner has a very traditional outlook on education and has two children younger than mine, who already know which Ivy League schools they wish to attend.

So how did I respond?

Grades - we don't grade.  I have gone back and forth over 
the years about grading but I wrote a post a few days ago that sums up my thinking on grades.  It took Grace a year and a half to make it thought algebra an…

Art Journaling: Quotes

If you saw our group’s art journal pages on display, I wonder if you would be able to guess how old the artists are.

Their work is mature beyond their years.  

I wonder why this is...Is it talent?  It is interest?  Is it passion?  
I don’t know.  What I do know is that magic happens when they are together...  

...and that I love every single minute of it.  

Shelling in Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island

It is a wise father that knows his own child. - William Shakespeare

Our family has always embraced each other’s interests.  We almost take them on as our own.  I have attended two weather conferences with Grace.  I have run a baking camp for Lilah.  It is truly wonderful when we discover an interest that we all share. For us, this interest is shelling.  
You can’t shell as home.  After a long and at times difficult week, Greg and I decided to skip our normal Saturday routine of food shopping, running errands and having a nice family dinner at home, in favor of exploring beaches in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We threw food into a cooler, grabbed water bottles, our microscope, shelling bags (mesh laundry bags), and headed north.
Our first stop was Rocky Neck State Park.  We have mixed feelings about this beach.  We love the soft white sand and the glacier formations to climb on and the contrast of colors created by the water, the sand and the rock, but we disliked the Amtrack trains that…