One Rule For Our Kids Is More Effective Than Three

Huckleberry Finn, Boardgame, 2014-1Worldview conversations are fun and energizing in a LITClub. Even though we are all Christians in this particular group, and we share the foundational tenets that make up a biblical worldview:

  • Believing that absolute moral truth exists
  • The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches
  • Satan is considered to be a real created being, not symbolic
  • A person cannot earn his way into Heaven by doing good works
  • Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth
  • God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today

we don’t always agree on the implications of those tenets. This makes for an exciting evening when we have our book conversations.

We have one rule, and only one rule, in our LITClub. At the beginning of the year we have a party — fun, food, and lots of laughter. Afterwards, we gather in my living room for an introduction to the year. I introduce myself to the new kids. Then the carefree Ali they saw eating dinner with their moms and who just introduced herself changes her countenance to a very serious face.

Kids, we have one rule in our club, and only one rule. You may never, ever, ever make fun of, jeer, roll your eyes, or put down anyone in any way, either with words or body language. If you do, you are out.”

After this short speech, I go back to my carefree self and talk about the year to come.

In the 12 years that I have hosted literature clubs in my home, I have never had to ask anyone to leave.

The One Rule accomplishes 5 things that make a LITClub experience wonderful!

  1. The one rule gives us freedom. It sets the stage for the kids to relax. No one wants to be made a spectacle of. By taking that fear off the table, the kids can use their brain power to think and talk about what’s on their mind.
  2. The one rule is easy to remember. The existence of only one rule makes it become 10 times as important as if there were three or five rules.
  3. The one rule improves our thinking. Book conversations are meant to help us think outside the box. There isn’t a rule about getting wrong answers, therefore, the kids experiment with their opinions. They feel free to do this because the one rule is in place.
  4. The one rule gives us freedom. The kids feel free to toss around their thoughts. Everyone in the group is learning how to share ideas and have others be in opposition. Knowing that you won’t be made fun of gives them courage to share.
  5. The one rule helps us grow. Disagreements in LITClub are fun, even when they are intense. Without the one rule, intense controversy might become unfriendly. But that doesn’t happen in a LITClub. Our members learn how to be polite and engage in a friendly exchange of ideas and opinions. The one rule makes this possible.

What do you think about our one rule?

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

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