Why do it?Here are some possible benefits to leaders:
- Spending time with little kids. Many teens and young folks have little or no contact with little kids, and can benefit from the experience.
- Learning the philosophical concepts. These topics, and trains and kinds of thought, are good mental exercise and training - this stuff can be as good for the leaders as for the kids. (Incidentally, leaders will learn the philosophical concepts in a different way from the kids.)
- Community service, doing good.
- Transcripts. For the college-bound: jaded admissions counselors see loads of transcripts and applications showing great academics, test scores, et cetera. They also hear from faculty that incoming college students lack critical thinking ability. That a candidate/applicant has not only done critical thinking, but actually taught it to little kids, may impress.
- It's fun! And satisfying.
Here is one schedule that used to work:
10:00 - Leaders arrive, set up, last-minute plans and announcements. Kids begin to arrive.
10:15 - We begin. First read the book aloud, then initiate and guide the discussion.
11:15 - Wrap it up.
11:30 - Kids picked up. Leaders tidy up, confer, discuss/evaluate the session that just happened, plan for next week.
12:00 - Finished.
Here is another schedule that has worked:
11:30 - Leaders arrive, set up, last-minute plans and announcements. Kids begin to arrive.
11:45 - Discussion begins. First read the book aloud, then initiate and guide the discussion.
12:15 - Recess.
12:30 - Resume discussion.
13:00/1:00 PM - Discussion ends. Kids get picked up, and/or hang around or take off to play. Leaders tidy up, confer, discuss/evaluate the session that just happened, plan for next week.
Here are some resources specially for leaders.Here Tom Wartenberg gives good advice about how to lead discussions.