This past summer- I took advantage of "more free time" by browsing the blog-sphere. I found Mia over at www.pragmaticmom.com.
She has lots of ideas about teaching and learning. One post I LOVED was 7 ideas that are fun, easy and free to getting kids to read. (Click HERE to see her full post!)
She mentioned setting up a book club (we do that)
Watching book trailers (they are like movie trailers but made especially for books.) - You know I like that idea!
My favorite- NEW idea- was having/ hosting a BOOK TASTING event. Sounds interesting right? She found the idea on pinterest from Barrow Media Center. They suggest holding it in a library- I think that would be fun and might keep the teens more "on track" as far as the goal of the social...(The Goal: is to get them to try new genre's or authors) Mia explains- " Select books to be sampled and provide a menu sheet and pens or pencils. Each kid reads each book for 2-3 minutes and marks the menu sheet of each book with happy face, prozac face, or frowny face." Kids then spend 3-5 minutes "sampling" each book and marking their "menu".
I have one very social 13 year old- who can't wait until he is 14 so he can attend more girl/boy get-together... (Am I ready for this? NO! My 16 year old is more interested in sports that girls right now... so I was warming up to the idea of him starting to dating.... this new development with my 13 year old has taken me a bit by surprise... lol.)
I think this might be a great "event" to host at my house! I mean, these teens NEED wholesome, fun, supervised, structured events to go to. Not just "hang-out" at the local play-ground and scare the 3 year olds off the tire swing. (Does this only happen where we live? Homecoming dates & Prom dates going to the park before the dance? Random MOB group dates- storm the play ground?)
Or worse-- hanging out and watching TV in dark media rooms that are always in basements and tucked out of the way. (Can you tell- I am really not ready for this stage? lol. Rest assured- by husband is great at navigating teenagers. I am more of a toddler/grade school type person.)
Anyway- I sorta, got off topic.
Go check out Mia at Pragmatic mom. She's got lots of great ideas!