Friday, December 6, 2013

As Promised!

I am scouring the Internet to find gifts outside the box!
(X-box, Play Station, Wii).
HERE is a link that will take you to my posts
about Inspiring Gift Ideas.

I have a philosophy about too much "gaming time". And let me disclose for the record- I am not ANTI Video Games. I just think MODERATION is important. I believe learning how to MANAGE YOUR TIME is needed.

So we have an Xbox. There are some benefits to video games. My brother, who is a doctor, says in medical school it was obvious the people who had games and who did not growing up. The medical students who DID - were able to maneuver the tools for surgeries involving - going into someones body with a probe. All those fine motor muscles in their hands, fine tuned already by using game controllers. There is a dexterity you develop- that is hard to develop any other way. That is just ONE benefit.

We have the Kinect- added to our Xbox. Now that we live in a snowy state- I love that my boys can still get moving- jumping, running in place, swinging, etc... by playing these games. There is a cute game I bought a few years ago for my preschool son who loved to dance. The songs are popular kids songs: Our version has Insy Winsy Spider, Jingle Bells, London Bridge, etc... and then many other popular songs. What I love is you can set a time limit (I usually do 20-30 min, make sure they get a work out.) AND you can set skill level! (So all the songs selected have dance moves he can do- and not get frustrated and quit.) Select START- and off he goes! There are kids dancing-- doing appropriate moves. They have boys and girls dancing.

SO- I want to make it clear. I am NOT anti Xbox.
Having said that- my philosophy about too much gaming is:
Kids today lack confidence. So many are stressed out and depressed. WHY?
There are probably a lot of factors.
But life isn't harder.
I think growing up in the Depression would be hard.
I think growing up during WW1 or WW2 would be hard.
I think growing up where you had to cut wood for your fire and grow your own food- would be hard.
Life has always been "hard".

But I do think life is different. Our children spend so much time in a virtual world- they don't gain real life experience that helps them build confidence in themselves to solve problems, do hard things, and gain confidence in their abilities.

For example: A child who builds his own dog house.... ( or any real/tangible/hands on experience)


and SATISFACTION, etc.. etc.. than the child who takes care of a virtual "pet" or reaches level 120 in some game.
Here my son was about 10 years old. We didn't even have a dog at the time- but boy did he want one! (read here) He was bored with nothing to do and I suggested he build something. He was working with just scrap wood we had. A neighbor saw his project and donated some additional ply wood for the tops and sides. We ended up getting a dog- about a year later.

So THAT is my goal this year- is to buy gifts that will inspire them. Help them DO. Gain some confidence, learn something NEW about themselves. Interact with people! (Face to face) 

It's a long shot.. (lol) but a worthy goal to strive for!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great Gifts to give- that use more than just your thumbs!

Birthday and Christmas presents use to be so fun!
One year great-grandma sent my boys this gift.

I was touched by how thoughtful this gift was. (Grandma's are wonderful, GREAT-grandma's are inspired!) This was before I ever thought about book clubs for my boys. This probably was the first seed planted in my mind-- the importance of helping children connect to books and stories by adding a "hands on" element.

When my boys were little- they wanted toys! Things to extend their imagination. Now they want "toys"- that require no imagination, thought or effort. (Smart phones and Play Station games etc..)

When I heard my sons talk about their Christmas wish lists, I was getting depressed a little. But I am always up for a challenge. So I challenged myself to "think outside the (x)box" this year for Christmas.

I want to inspire my boys again- to use their brains and their imagination! lol

So I set the hook and bait......
Yesterday I brought home a simple electricity kit. ($20) (I thought it would be great for our family and also to use in my Kindergarten Prep.)

 This is a great kit- worth every penny. It comes with a story book that teaches simple principles and ideas about electricity. The kit is geared for 5-10 year olds. It has experiments they can do! Real circuits they can create to generate a pinwheel, a light, a buzzer and more.

After spending the day with this kit, my 14 year old and 16 year old said, "Okay- where's next step up kit? The ones for teenagers??"

I found this book and a kit at MAKER that has all the wires and electronics you need to do half of the activities in the book. (They sell a kit with the electronics for the other half of the activities.) I said, "Gee I don't know, (wink/wink) the kit for your age is a little over a $100." Both my teenagers said, "We need it!" (I was thinking: Is this officially on your wish list??)

They took the bait!
I know my kids, YOUR kids are interested in so much MORE than video games, cell phones, social media.
They want and crave REAL experiences. Hands on learning- things that will build their confidence and inspire their minds.

So take the challenge this season. I am sure your kids already have plenty of access to computer games and media. Think outside the (x)box.

Come back and visit often, I will be posting great toys, games, and activities that will inspire.

Feel free to click on images in my posts of books and toys- they will link you to the actual sites where you can purchase them. I am an affiliate with, I get a small "tip" for referring people to buy from their site. But other sites, like I have no affiliation with.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preschool ideas

As promised our Preschool Story Time category is up with a handful of ideas for your preschool story time.
If you click on our sidebar Preschool button- you will see
what I do with my Kindergarten Prep class.
This year I am using Funshine Express monthly preschool curriculum kits.
It's like having the best teacher's aid- for the home base preschool teacher.

Every month comes with a curriculum guide with detailed lesson plans.
A dozen crafts with all the supplies packaged nicely in kits.
As always- you can find ideas and activities to help children of
all ages connect to books. Because you know what they say...
“The more you read,
the more you know.
The more you know,
the smarter you grow.
The smarter you grow,
the stronger your voice,
when speaking your mind
or making your choice.”
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to "like" us!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Coming this FALL!

A new category to Bookclub4boys
 Story Time ideas for Preschoolers!

 Book suggestions for Babies

Story Time ideas for Preschoolers! Click HERE

Book Club ideas for beginning readers. (K-1) click HERE

Book club ideas for independent readers (2-3rd grades) click HERE

Book club ideas for Confident readers (4th grade and up) click HERE

Starting this fall I will be teaching preschool and
 I will be sharing Preschool Story Time ideas on Bookclub4boys!

I've taught preschool for many years and have a degree from BYU in Early Childhood Education. If you teach preschool kids be sure to check back often! I will be posting our Story Times and activities- weekly!

If you want to see other preschool ideas, activities etc... click HERE or visit my Preschool Page side bar button.

Thanks for stopping by-- and if you like what you see- don't forget to LIKE us on our side bar! THANKS!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Well- we had our last book club meeting for the summer. You can read all about that HERE
We read a fun series: Weird school by Dan Gutman.

The boys want to continue with book club in the Fall! I couldn't help but smile. Another son, hooked on book clubs. (One point for MOM.)

One tip I've learned- to simplify- is letting the boys read different books in the same series. If I can't get multiple copies of the same book.

 I collect series of books when I shop at thrift stores. So for this summer book club- we just used my stash of books. (That cut out a lot of stress- for me, for other parents, and for the kids.)

You might ask, why does this stress the kids out?
If you rely on parents to find the book club book at the library or wait for it to come from Amazon... the kids feel like they are starting from behind. (Not good for reluctant readers - who will use any excuse NOT TO Read.)

So I always give the book to the boys at book club. They feel great- knowing they are starting at the same time as everyone else.

This summer I kept book club pretty simple.
 (He is my fourth son- so I've learned a lot over these 9 years of hosting book clubs for my boys.)

I encourage you to look around the site- there are lots of ways to make hosting a book club for your child- easy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Movies that will inspire summer reading!

If you have a reluctant reader, like I do, try using movies to encourage summer reading!
Especially if your child enjoyed Percy Jackson: Lightening Thief!

Aug. 7th the second Percy Jackson book hits the silver screen: Sea of Monsters.
My 10 year old is asking about when does the movie come out and more importantly-
 when can HE see it.

Deep inside, my heart jumped. I thought, "Finally! A story he is interested in!" I suggested he read the book first. (He wasn't too excited about that.) We normally wait to see movies at the dollar theater- so I bribed him... he could see it as soon as he finished the book! Opening night- if he wants!

Follow this link to the movie trailer.

If you have reluctant readers- movies really help them connect to the characters, setting and plot. I have found that watching a trailer or even 10 minutes of the actual movie (on video) helps them set important information in their minds- so as they struggle to read- they still are able to follow the story line. They don't struggle over details in setting, or character descriptions- those things are already firmly implanted, they can just follow the adventure.

 My 10 year old tried to read book 2 after he watched and read book 1- but he got lost a bit. (Too many monsters if you ask me.... ) But after watching the trailer- he is ready to try and tackle the book again.

Another great book for OLDER boys- that is being made into a movie this fall is Ender's Game.
(If you let your child watch Hunger Games- this is similar in intensity.) This movie comes out in November, you can follow this link to see that trailer.

Two great movies coming out- means two great opportunities to get your kids reading!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Book Club

I am plugging along with our Summer book club- be sure to check out my FREE OUTLINES page- where I post all my book club outlines, activities and ideas... for free!

If you are wanting to see a list of books we have done for book club- you can click HERE. There are dozens of books in different reading levels- but I recommend you just browse around and glean some ideas, many of these ideas could be modified to fit books your kids like to read.

(I try to use books and find books that appeal specifically to reluctant readers.)

Don't forget to check out our GIVE AWAY!

I would love for you to "follow" the site on this page- (click HERE) It would be great to know- who comes to visit my blog. (Especially those of you who use and like my blog.)

I hope everyone is having a fun- safe summer!
It's not too late to start a book club- if you are still thinking about it. (lol)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Fun and a GIVE AWAY!


My kids are staying busy this summer. Our house has looked like a Lego war zone for weeks! It is hours of fun. While I love the creativity, I have to turn a blind eye to the mess. Why aren't Lego's in your bedroom just isn't as fun as Lego's in our living/great room?
So anyone who stops by- gets to see and walk into our creativity- explosion! (If they are neighborhood kids they say, "WOW!" and jump in. If they are neighborhood parents they say, "Whoa!" and back out the door. lol)
Watching my kids (and the neighborhood kids) creating with legos reminded me of a book.
One family used their sons passion for legos to help them connect to stories.

You know how I am always trying to help my sons connect to books.
You know how I always want to spotlight people who have great ideas
 on how to help kids connect to books...
Follow this link  to learn more about this creative idea and how you
can win a free book!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Any Method to my Maddness?

So we're thinking about starting a book club this summer for our kids. You are on board with me- right?. Then why can sense your moaning and hesitation right now?
yes... it takes a bit of planning
yes... it means coordinating with friends and neighbors
yes.. it's summer and you would rather spend all day at the pool, or beach (boo hoo) let's not bring up sensitive topics.) Or camping, family fun trips, or reunions.. a million other things than having a group of kids at your house, that you have to "entertain".

I get it. 

Really! I am feeling very lazy about this whole project myself. I mean- I've been hosting book clubs for years now... for three boys... I look at these old posts and pictures and think... "Been there done that!" Isn't it time to give myself a big pat on the back?
Isn't it? No
I have four sons. And my youngest who is finishing up first grade, struggles to read. He really wants a book club this summer. (He actually asked me about it!)

And honestly- book clubs work. Each of my sons, having their own book club, really motivated them to read.

So- Your With Me- Right? We can do this!
If you click HERE- I break it down on how to start a book club for your son or daughter.


If you really are feeling lazy- I have simple book club ideas that require NO major prep. If your book club is for younger kids- try Field Trip type book clubs. (I've done a few- click HERE)

If your book club is for teenagers- try a Movie book club. (Those are fun and simple- click HERE)
If your the type of mom who likes throwing 'theme parties' I've got book clubs ideas for you too.

Really book club meetings can be as simple or complex as you want.
WE really can do this.             (Here my youngest is pictured with his old Hawaii book club gang.)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Don't I know you?

Book Club Round Up    & Book Club Outlines

If you have visited Bookclub4boys before- you might be surprised to see the new look. Don't panic! You are at the right place! If you are looking for ideas on how to start a book club for your reluctant reader- click on the two links above.

I must apologize for the last year, that I fell off the grid.
We moved.
And not just a move- around the corner or over to the next town- I know those are a pain and cause headaches and heartaches...

But our move was from a small island in the middle of the pacific--( Oahu, maybe you have heard of it? Perhaps you have visited?) to UTAH!

It has been a year of major transition.
For the whole family- and some things had to give... and some things had to go.... for me to keep my sanity....this website was abandoned.

I hope you will understand and forgive me.

But I am back!

The dust has settled.
Summer is quickly approaching and my youngest son (who is now 7 years old) asked me the other day- "So when is my book club?"

I guess he has grown up- watching his older brothers have book clubs and has been patiently waiting for his turn.

I thought- Your right buddy! It's time to start a book club! (Even though, inside- I was feeling a bit rusty. I mean, it is starting over- again! I don't know many people. It is going outside my comfort zone- to ask near strangers, would you be interested in your child participating in a summer book club?)

And I also should disclose: He doesn't look forward to the reading- as much as the book club activities.

I asked, "So what books do you want to read?"

He said, "Do you remember how to make those flying dragons?"


"That one!"


"Do you remember those science experiments?"


"I want that one too."

See - he doesn't know the books his brothers read, but he remembers the fun activities we did.
So if you have a reluctant reader... boy or girl... browse around. You'll find some good ideas.

And let's plan a book club for this summer- together!

Please be patient with the blogsite- when you are redirected to the other pages, not all the links are working yet. (After being dormant for a year- some things got goofed up.) The new template- with working links should be up and running by the end of the month!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reluctant Readers

There is much more to read in the world than just books! In fact, your son might be reading more than you realize. Just because he doesn't dedicate himself to reading a lengthy novel doesn't mean he hates reading. Some other ideas to "spice things up":

Kid-friendly magazines. Magazines are less intimidating for reluctant readers because they have lots of pictures and shorter articles. If your son loves animals, he's sure to love Ranger Rick. Sports fans will enjoy Sports Illustrated for kids.

Recipes. Get him helping in the kitchen; he'll find it hard to refuse the invitation when he knows he'll be rewarded with a warm, gooey cookie afterwards!Computer games with written dialogue. Look for games that require reading to play.

Directions. Print out road directions and let your son navigate!

Computer game/ cheat guides. If your son has a favorite game see if there is a guide that reveals hidden secrets and "cheats". What better way to practice comprehension? Your son will apply what he has read to get the reward while playing his game. (Remember: it doesn't matter what they read. The trick is to get them to read.)

Joke books provide hours of entertainment for boys, who often end up laughing so hard they don't even realize they're reading!

Magic trick books

Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts...when you start getting creative, you'll find that everyday reading opportunities are endless!

What to do for older boys with lower reading levels?

This is a common challenge. Older boys don't want to read "baby books" that are closer to their reading level, but often the books that interest them are just too hard to read. One of my sons had this problem until a family member gave us a subscription to Ranger Rick. He loved the articles, which were short enough that he could read them without getting frustrated, and all the great pictures kept his attention. Check out our side bar for a link to some great kid friendly magazines!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How are Bookclub4boys Outlines Different?

Learn More about Bookclub4boys Outlines:
In a national survey conducted by the Young Adult Library Services Association in 2001, boys reported their top obstacles to reading.

39% said it was boring/no fun
29% said they had no time/were too busy
11% said they would rather do something else
8% said they couldn’t get into the stories
4% admitted they weren’t good at it

Book Club For Boys will address each of these obstacles and help channel your boy's creative energy in a fun, productive, educational way!

"Boring/No fun"? Our outlines are packed with activities, so fun is the focus!

"No time" or "would rather be doing something else?" Our outlines provide great incentive games to reward boys who put the time into reading the book. (For example, begin by asking the boys questions about the book. For each question answered correctly, the boys earn a water balloon for the upcoming water balloon fight!)

"Can't get into the stories"? Try our special Movie Book Clubs. Sometimes boys with shorter attention spans or slower reading skills struggle to get into the story, but if they watch even the first 20 minutes of the movie first, they connect with the characters. Then, they can relate to the setting and feel motivated to read the book.

"Not good at it"? The more he reads, the better he will get at reading! We offer a number of helpful ideas and tips of how parents can help their sons read. To learn more about me , my family and maybe some additional tips on motivating boys click HERE.

IF you would like to check out other book club groups and see their ideas, head over to our Book Club Round UP page.
If you host a book club, reading group, or story time and would like to be spotlighted- click HERE for more information.