UNscheduled (and optional Family Book Club) – this Thursday

Above: This year, Southborough UNscheduled organizers are encouraging families to unplug and pick up a book (image right posted to flickr by Carissa Rogers)

This Thursday, March 16 is “Southborough UNscheduled”.

The annual NON-event clears evening schedules of homework, practices and town meetings. Adults are encouraged to leave work in time for a family dinner, cancel or reschedule evening meetings that take place outside of Southborough and make this a special night for the entire family.

Southborough Youth and Family Services asks families to take time to unplug from individual screens, unwind, and catch up.

[Editor’s Note: It feels strange to blog about cleared schedules in the midst of the storm and following last week’s cancelled school and activities. Some of you may have had your fill of unscheduled family time this week. But if you or kids were too occupied by work, screens or other distractions to “bond” – I encourage you take advantage of the special night.]

There are lots of ways you can enjoy the night as a family. One new suggestion encouraged by the Town this year, is holding a Family Book Club. (Scroll down for other suggestions.)*

UNscheduled flyer
(click to enlarge)

Here are some ideas for how to launch a book club that night:

  • For younger kids, read a short book together.
  • Pick a book in advance, and begin reading it aloud together that night. Follow up on future nights.
  • Talk about books that family members have read recently.
  • Look over the book list together, vote on a selection, plan to get copies of the book, and schedule a night to discuss it.

Once you’ve read your book, here are some ideas from the Library for follow up: 

  • Make positive comments about the book first
  • Give everyone a chance to say what they liked about the book before discussing things they did not like
  • Good basic sample questions include:
    • “Who was your favorite character and why?”
    • “Did you like the ending or would you make the story end differently?”
  • Younger children can draw a favorite scene or character or kids (and families) can act out a section of the story
  • If appropriate, plan a meal with foods that go along with the book

To get you started, click here to open the Library’s list of book recommendations organized by age. (Note: It was compiled as a resource, not restriction! Pick any book you like.)

Obviously, the Library is closed today. But you can browse their online catalog here. (If you have your library card #, you can even reserve books.)

*Looking for different things to do?

Have a relaxing dinner together. (Maybe you can even cook one together.)

How about a Family Game Night? (You don’t even need to own a game. I found some ideas here. I’m sure a quick google will pull up more ideas.)

Here are some other suggestions by SYFS from a past year:

make homemade pretzels, eat dinner backwards (start with dessert!), borrow travel books from the library and plan a family vacation, have a Lego building session, write a family letter to a distant relative, start a family scrapbook or go through closets and donate clothes to charity (have a fashion show first!).

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