I am married to Jim, the most wonderful friend I could ask for. He’s kind, gentle, and full of grace.
We have four beautiful children, an amazing son-in-law, five grandsons, Alex the top dog, and three cats. Jim and I lovingly call ourselves Dr. and Mrs. Dolittle.
I teach classical literature to young people, ages 7-18. The club is held in my home one evening a month, where dinner is served, books are discussed, and parents, alongside their children, grow in wisdom and knowledge. Teaching and facilitating literature club, reading, studying, and enjoying great books with young people and their families is one of my passions that I have enjoyed since 2002.
The joy in facilitating a LITClub
It’s such a great pleasure to encourage children and their parents to tackle books they think are impossible. I enjoy the discussions where I ask high school students to choose an element of literature, such as theme, plot, characterization, or synopsis, and create a multimedia presentation to entice their friends to read this classic. Their presentations are always exceptional.
Motivating kids to stretch beyond their normal limitations is exciting. After reading The Princess and the Goblin, 7-13 year-olds created original allegories in the form of short stories, comics, and drawings. Every parent remarked that it was the hardest project to date, but after her child wrapped his mind around “allegory”, he was excited to work on the project and proud to present it at the meeting. Watching the children press into hard projects, learn determination, and realize the courage that lives within motivates me to continue holding LITClub in my home year after year.
Parents hesitate to believe their children can read books like Les Miserables, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Once they attend two or three club meetings and experience the LITClub elements in action, they understand why their children ask to come back month after month, and they are pleasantly surprised at the level of education the kids receive without feeling like they are attending the strenuous studies of an AP Literature course.
How it all began
In 2002, I began a literature club to meet the scholastic and developmental needs of my daughter and found that the club far surpassed my expectations. The club became a foundation for literary education, support for mothers, and intellectual, as well as social development for children ages 7-17. After my daughter completed high school, I formed a new literature club for my sixth grade son, and the news brought mothers asking to join who I had never met before. Years of success, coupled with awareness that there are hundreds of families who would like to have a club like this, led me to write a book explaining how I created the club and why it is successful, so that others can enjoy this wonderful reading model.
My writing projects
- The LITClub, Transforming Reading Into An Experience was written to help families create a fun environment in their homes to connect with each other and foster the joy of reading.
- Transforming The Hunger Games Into An Experience is a free ebook that includes all the ready-made tools to make sharing this story fun. It comes with a project guide, menu plan, and discussion guide. To get your copy, follow the link and sign up to receive Ali’s blog posts via email. Or, click here to go directly to the sign up form. A copy of the book will be sent directly to you.
- Final Draft, an introduction to essay writing, is written in a simple format to make teaching essay writing a breeze for the homeschool mom.
- The Ideal Man is a devotional to encourage Christian women on their journey.
- I am currently working on a YA fantasy novel that centers around roses, pageants, and secrets. My friend Bridgette Booth and I are writing it together. I am having so much fun with Bridgette. We wondered how it would all work out, but for me, it’s been a wonderful experience. She’s strong in my weak areas, and I think it’s the perfect partnership. We plan to release it in the fall/winter of 2014.
- Regarding this blog, well, I created it to encourage you. If you have questions, please ask. I love two-way conversation. You can also strike up a conversation with me on my Facebook Author Page.