Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Reading Curriculum from Kids Off The Couch

What is better than discussing books you love with your loved ones?

We love this time of year -- engrossed in English classes, the kids are reading classics like Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and that means lots of rich dinner table chatter about some of our favorite literature. It's a great parenting perk to revisit these titles by keeping up with the syllabus (we are getting to read The Scarlet Letter again). Here are a few more ways to keep you and your readers on the same page -- literally!

Something you might not know but should: The vast majority of books that your kids are reading in school have been, or could be, at risk for extinction! Imagine if your youngsters were denied access to classics like J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye and Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Do your kids know that their beloved Harry Potter came under attack in the late 90's, and J.K. Rowling's series is considered to be one of the most strongly challenged books of the 21st century? Some other shocking titles that almost didn't make it to your shelves: The Great Gatsby, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Lord of The Rings. See the ALA site for a complete list of books banned after 1990. Support FREADOM of expression and your child's access to important literature by celebrating Banned Book Week at your local library or bookstore. Click here to learn more about the week-long celebration (Sept. 26-Oct. 3) and to keep up with the fight for educational freedom on Twitter.

Beginning in the fourth grade, we organized Parent-Child Book Clubs by choosing four or five friends and meeting four times over the course of the school year. It almost didn't matter which books we chose (although we had fun with everything from Avi to Jane Austen); it was the conversation that came up in the group that we remember. Now that our kids are older, they read a lot of the same types of books we do - our teens loved The Da Vinci Code, so we're all racing each other through Dan Brown's latest thriller The Lost Symbol, which was a blockbuster even before it hit the shelves, yesterday!

Here are a few websites to help you organize your own book clubs - click here for great book choices from Planet Esme, and click here for advice about running the group. We love Mother Daughter Book for it's excellent suggestion list.

Happy Reading --
Kids Off the Couch

Kids Off The Couch
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