Start Your Own Family Book Club

You know it amazes me where I receive inspiration.  Recently while showering I came up with a super great idea.

Here’s the deal.  I’m always looking for good wholesome recreational activities for our family.  I’ve also been wracking my brain over ways to engage my kids in other activities on their own which don’t consist of TV and computer games.  Hopefully this idea will help.

Family Book Club

I introduced Family Book Club on Monday during family night.

This is what we did:

1. We talked about books which are for ages 9 and up. {since our youngest is 9}  I looked up some books I thought would be appropriate for all of us to read. {resources further in post}  We read the reviews for each book.  The 2 older kids chose suitable books they came up with on their own.

2. Each family member wrote their book choice on a piece of paper.  The papers went into a bowl.

3. We all rolled a die to see who could draw/choose a paper out of the bowl.  The highest number won and drew a paper out of the bowl.

4. My youngest won this time and she ended up drawing her book.  It was completely random.  Next month she will not write a book choice on a piece of paper nor will she be able to draw a paper.  This way everyone will have the opportunity to choose a book and draw a name.  It makes it completely random and in my ‘book’ (no pun intended) FAIR.  When everyone has a chance to have their book read we will start over again.

5. We set a date for our family book club: February 25th.  I plan to have a treat that some how goes with the book.

I found some really good resources online for finding books by ages:

  • Author James Patterson has a wonderful site called Read Kiddo Read.  The site is incredibly easy to navigate through with the following categories:

readkiddoread categories

I also found an article from USA Today where they interview James Patterson.  I was surprised to find out he hated to read when he was young.  We have that in common.  I also hated to read when I was young.  He explains what he did for his kids to encourage a love of reading.  It is an excellent article worth your time to read.  It’s called Inspire Your Kids To Read.

“It’s the parents’ job to find books for kids that they’re gonna love.  A lot of parents don’t get that.” James Patterson

****Don’t forget you can always find an audio version of books for you and your kids.  This is how I read most of the time.  You can read more about how I do that by clicking here and here.

Now, let me tell you that my 14 year old Son was not happy about this idea.  He says he’s not reading the book. “It’s too girly.”  Honestly, this is no surprise to me.  He likes to give us grief so we’ll see what happens.  However, I’m looking forward to being able to talk about the characters in the books and have teaching opportunities.

Here’s the book we are reading this month:

Want to join us and start your own Family Book Club?


Who would be interested in maybe a link up party where you share your family’s book of the month?

Read On,

Do you hear what I hear?

Now that school is in full swing for most of us, I wanted to remind everyone of the usefulness of listening to audiobooks.  Just within the past week and a half I have already read/listened to two excellent books:


Teacher Appreciation & Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

1. Pencil Holder {or anything else holder} – easy peasy project for a little one to make!  My 7 year old made this one.

  • We used an old Slim Jim beef jerky container
  • Mod Podge & sponge brush
  • Scraps of paper. This one has wrapping paper, scrapbook paper and construction paper

2. Small Trinket Box – Another easy project for kiddos.

  • Wooden box from a $1 store
  • Mod Podge & sponge brush
  • I used book paper as the background and old vellum scrapbook stickers layered on top.

3. Gold Fish Crackers or Cookies and Tag –  Found this adorable idea and printable goldfish tags thanks to Nothing But Country.  This couple had no idea how addicted I am to Xtra Cheddar Flavor Blasted Gold Fish.  So this is a huge deal for me to give these bags of crackers to my kid’s teachers! 😉

4. Personalized Mug – Another $1 store find!  I made these last year.  I had one left over {although I just saw them at the Dollar Tree yesterday} & decided to share this idea as well. Just print out what you want it to say on your favorite software or have your children draw/color something, trace the paper that comes with the mug around your design, cut and slide in!

5. Framed Crayon Monogram – I LOVE this idea but can’t seem to bring myself to cutting perfectly brand new crayons.  If you have extra & you don’t have a problem with cutting the crayons…this is super cute!  Another cute gift that can be done by a child with a little adult supervision.  Thank you Dawn from Testosterone Times Three.

6. Clipboard & Pen – Made these last year with the kids for their teachers.  Fun & easy to make. See more about them here.

  • Mod Podge & sponge brush
  • Small Clip Board
  • Small Sharpie pen
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Optional – embellishments, like flowers, buttons, sayings & glue to attach them

7. Hallmark Grandma & Me Conversations Book – We celebrated Mother’s Day with my Mom on Sunday.  The kids gave her this book.  She took each grandchild aside and they had fun recording the answers.  This book is worth every penny!

8. Audible Subscription – This is a near-perfect gift for any Teacher or Mom!  You can read all the MANY reasons I think this & get her first audio book free by clicking here.

9. Sterling Silver Necklace – The one I have wanted for a long time now is the “Through My Lens” necklace designed by the very talented Lisa Leonard.  I promise that ANY purchase made from Lisa Leonard Designs will be a huge HIT!

10. Apples for Teachers – Last year I used this idea from the awesome Skip To My Lou.  Very simple with print out to use, all you need is apples.
Top Ten {Tuesday}Celebrate Teachers & Moms,

Way to LOVE doing Chores

Pssssst…come here I want to tell you a secret.

Well, it’s not really a secret.

I want to share with you a great way

to LOVE doing chores.

Do I have your attention now?

Here it is: Listen to an audio book while doing chores.  I know, it doesn’t sound like any huge revelation or idea, but it works!

Don’t get a self help or non fiction book. {even though you think it would be good for you}  Get a fiction book you know you will like.  Choose from the genre you love.  If you have read my blog long enough you will know mine is fantasy. {prefer with romance, but not harlequin kind, mostly teen & young adult}

I began doing this because I just didn’t feel right about sitting down and reading a book all day.  I have way too many things to do.  But I didn’t want to give up reading all together.  Listening to audio books makes me WANT to do chores.  Seriously!  Plus, I don’t feel guilty because I’m still being productive.  I have heard people say, “I can’t listen to a book while doing chores.”  To them I say, “why not?”  It doesn’t take too many brain cells to fold clothes while listening.  If you can watch a movie or TV and fold clothes then you most certainly can listen to a book.  As a matter of fact, you are doing one LESS thing when you are listening versus watching and listening.  Most of the time doing chores is something we can do without thinking.  I hear people tell me how they listen to audio books while driving.  Honestly, if you can do this, then doing chores is a piece of cake.  Now, it might not work if you are trying to organize something {at least for me, I need to concentrate then}, but if you are washing the dishes, cleaning your home, sweeping etc.

So today I finished up listening to an audio book while working in the home.  The book was really good.  Next thing I knew it was over.  I was so bummed!  I hate when you are reading a good book…when it’s over…there’s this feeling of sadness, of let down.  This book was the second in a series.  Therefore, I feel like I know the characters really well.  Next thing you know, it’s the end, for now.  Until the author releases the next in the series.  Whaaa!

Okay, here’s the next tip.  Audio books are not cheap.  However, there is a more inexpensive and greener way than buying them in the store.  {Believe me, the CD’s begin to stack up over time}  I love I have been a member for over a year now.

Benefits of

  • Less expensive!
  • Use on ipod or other mp3 players.
  • Green – no CD’s, {you can make CD’s if you want to} listen in the car or somewhere your ipod won’t connect to
  • Listen at home.
  • Listen in the car. {I have a cord I hook up to my ipod & iphone to listen in the car} Great for commuting long distances!
  • Listen on an airplane.
  • Narrators {well, the good ones} help distinguish characters.
  • Listen to a book together as a family in the car on a long trip. Makes the trip go by much faster.  This also gives you an opportunity to create conversation with your children.  You can talk about the book together and provide a teaching opportunity as well.  Usually there is a moral to the story.  This gives you a chance to reinforce your own family values.  It’s amazing what you will learn about your children when you listen to them tell you why they think the character should do this or that.
  • New! Listen on your Kindle! {Carrie, this is awesome for you!}
  • Members receive FREE Interviews, Chapters, Short Stories and subscription to New York Times and Wall Street Journal
  • They have a HUGE selection of Kids Audio Books. Sometimes my 7 year old likes to listen to a book in bed before she falls asleep.
  • Will give you recommendations based on previous books listened to.
  • Offer Spanish versions of books.

There are many literary benefits of listening to books, especially if a child is learning to read.  Good article about this by Scholastic here.

Ready to do some laundry, load the dishwasher, sweep & mop the floor now?

Just try it and see for yourself if it helps motivate you.  I have teamed up with through their affiliate program.  They are offering Family Brings Joy readers a 14 day trial membership with your first book being free! No time like the present!  Click on box below to take advantage of this offer.

1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from

After you sign up:

  1. Please come back and tell me what book you are listening to.

  2. Tell me how your experience went with working and listening

  3. If you are a current audio book listener or member, please share your experiences and current books with us as well.  I am currently listening to One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.

So excited to hear your feedback!


Since posting this Amber from My Totally Simple Life has written about her experience with listening to audio books while doing chores.  Go check it out here.

My Totally Simple Life


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Disclosure: Affiliate program offers compensation when reader clicks on above link & becomes an member.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this post.  These are my own words and opinions.  Again, I will not market a company I don’t have a strong passion for already.  I feel this information is valuable for Family Brings Joy’s readers.

Listen on,