Family Book Club Week 5: The Secret Garden

This week’s reading goal doesn’t lead to many discussions or activities, so I thought I’d take this weeks post as an opportunity to share what reading time looks like at our house. I know some of you imagine us snuggled up on the couch. I assure you that is almost never what reading time looks like for us.

Reading Goal

This week read chapters 17-20. The chapters are pretty short and if you really want to stop at chapter 20, do NOT read the title of chapter 21. 🙂

Family Book Club week 5 + tips for reading to busy kids

Reading to Busy Kids

Reading to the kids has always been a priority for me. I found out very early on that I do not have snuggle up and read kind of kids. I wrote about reading to active kids and shared some ideas for how I made it reading when they were little. Everything I wrote then is still true today, I’d like to add to the list a bit today. Hopefully this will help your Family Book Club experience be even better.

  • Read where there is space to play. For kids who need movement, sitting in a cramped space for long periods of time is miserable. That isn’t the way you want reading time to feel. Sometimes I’ll join them when they are already busy playing and ask if they would like me to read while they play.
  • Figure out what bugs you and ban that during reading time. You are an important piece of the reading puzzle. If reading time annoys you and leaves you feeling frustrated, you are far less likely to look forward to it. If you dread it… it probably won’t happen. If talking bugs you, then ask that they play quietly instead of chatting. I find bouncing right next to me really annoying when I read. So I ask that they move to another part of the room if they are feeling bouncy.
  • Check in every once in a while. I actually don’t mind when they talk while I read. I think Big M actually absorbs things quicker when he’s multitasking. BUT once in a while I can feel like they aren’t even listening. This is one reason the discussion questions are so wonderful. If we stop reading regularly and chat about what is happening in the story, I can tell they know exactly what I’ve read. Once in a while they will seem to be missing things. No problem. I just bookmark the page and come back to reading later.

Next week we’ll finish up the book with discussion questions and activities for the last chapters and for the book as a whole.

I need some help finding the next book for our Family Book Club. A Christmas Carol is the story I would love to read, unfortunately Classic Starts doesn’t make a version of this classic. So I’m putting the call out for versions of A Christmas Carol that you love. Something chapter book length and easy to read aloud. You can put the title and author or a link in the comments. Or you can email me at


  1. We have caught up(yeah!) and wanted to share our reading experience…because we have been playing catch up, we have been reading 4 chapters a day. My daughter (8) wiggles around on the sofa..often hanging upside down and fiddling with some object or munching a morning snack while I sit at the computer and read to her. We are reading from the website . She has said that she can not think of a single person that would not like this story and even after 4 chapters begs me to read on. We have painted pictures of Daffydowndillies and talked about the importance of compassion and communication. Thank you!


    1. Oh Kerry, That is just lovely! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. The wrap up post will be up on Saturday along with an announcement of the next book.

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