Family Book Club - The Hobbit

I haven't posted about family book club in a really looong time. I skipped posting about the last club we had at our house for the exciting Nick of Time (Nick McIver Time Adventures)
 book.  That was a good book.  We still want to read The Time Pirate: A Nick McIver Time Adventure (Nick McIver Time Adventures)
 as a family.
(Warning: If you decide to read those books, I think it's best done as a read aloud simply because there are a few harsh words in the text.  As the parent is reading along you can easily edit them out or swap them for a softer version, but I'm not sure I'd put that book in my kids' hands.)

But moving on to tonight's club for The Hobbit.  Our friends,  the M. family hosted and they did a fantastic job (as usual) coming up with fun activities to go along with the book.

First we talked about how greed can really have some terrible consequences, as Thorin taught us.  It can even bring about war and death.  We discussed the ten commandments and the importance of not coveting.

We also had some fun riddles to solve, just the way Bilbo and Gollum did. Some of those riddles were super hard!  I was impressed with the kids.  They were able to get so many of them right.  One that I remember was "what goes up and down hills but always stands still?"  Answer: a road.

Next, we had a fun map making activity.  When the dwarves and Bilbo were staying with Elron they looked at a map with a secret message that could only be seen when held up to the moon. The kids drewmaps on grocery bags and then used q-tips dipped in vaseline to write a secret message.  We turned off the light and used a black light to read the secret message.  Very cool.  We learned that you have to use a fair amount of Vaseline for it to look good under the black light.

This is actually my 2yos shirt which reads I Heart Cats.  But it looked cool under the black light

Next we used modeling clay to make our own versions of Smaug.  The kids even got to encrust the dragon with jewels (glitter, and sequins).
This one was more like a caterpillar.  To each her own.


So many cool versions of Smaug

Smooth Smaugh (sans jewels)

We ended with some homemade bread and jam. The kids lined up for seconds and thirds!   I'm sure Bilbo would have appreciated such delicious snacks too. A HUGE thank you to the M. family for such a fun night together.  Their creativity and generosity is inspiring.

I noticed my little Kinderboy struggled just a bit tonight.  First, his strong point is not art.  Even at home it can be tough to engage him in an art project.  (Although, THIS PROJECT was a real hit with him.)
And second, he's a bit of a perfectionist.  He needs plenty of time to get his juices flowing and create his product, regardless of what it is.  That's one reason why I'm so glad I homeschool him. He doesn't have to hurry and finish before the bell rings, or stop working on something because the teacher is moving to a new subject.  At home he always has the freedom to work on something as long as he needs to.  Granted, sometimes those projects are interrupted with trips to the store, or lunch, or some other necessary activity.  But the project is always there.  There are no bells, no "hurry-up-and-finish-you-slow-poke".  Feeling rushed  or pressured to perform like the rest of the group seems to paralyze him and be the source of a lot of self doubt for him. But isn't it great that I know this small part of his personality and can tailor to his needs?  Thank goodness for the freedom to homeschool!


  1. I love that idea on your Mini Michelangelos post! I think I'll have my daughter do that. I know she'll get a kick out of doing this. Of course, we'll do a little reading about Michelangelo first and look at some of his work. But I love this idea! She's just started drawing with Draw Write Now, and she's really enjoying learning how to draw with their easy steps.
    As I was reading this post, though, I thought of Our kids enjoy the stories because they have characters in them that are homeschooled. I thought your kids might enjoy some of those books.
    Thanks again for sharing your Michelangelo idea.

  2. thanks for the suggestion Janet. I'll be sure to check it out.


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