Monday, February 15, 2010

The Vibrating Hum of Joyful Chaos

We started a book club, inviting friends from different local HS groups to participate and selecting six months worth of books in advance. So far, we've had 10-14 kids each time and have "discussed" (played) E. D. Baker's The Frog Princess (not the Disney version with a similar name) and Arthur Godine's "Swallows and Amazons," both of which are favorites. Families came from as far as Vallejo in the north and Mountain View in the south and we had a blast, with a vibrating hum of joyful chaos from the kids testifying as to their feelings about these experiences.

Art projects (painting castles, landscapes, creating dimensional ponds with tissue, building sail boats), science projects (making a compass), themed-snack construction (eating "insects"), a treasure hunt, and lots of creative free play were all activities designed to enhance the already joyful reading experience with friendships and play. The moms knew it was working when we overheard them say, "let's play the book!" and then they did, acting out characters and creating their own adventures.

K and G love it; their only complaint is that we don't do it more than once a month. Next month: Frances Hogdston Burnett's "The Secret Garden." Katherine especially is FULL of ideas for projects related to that one.


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