Starting a book club is one of the best things I have ever done as a homeschool mom. We’ve traveled to far off lands, cooked illegal soup, dissected owl pellets, searched for fingerprints, and more. My girls have met new friends and broadened their literature choices. It has become a highlight of our month. There are so many reasons why you need to start a book club for your homeschooler, but here are the top three for our family.
1. Starting a book club will broaden your child’s literature choices:
We schedule our book club for the first Friday of each month. Over the course of the month before book club, the students read the assigned book. In our book club, the mom who is hosting for the month decides upon the book. The hosting mom can also make choices on snacks, discussions, and activities that appeal to her child’s interests. Because book club is made up of children with different interests, the books are varied.
We have read classics like The Secret Garden, poetry books like Love That Dog and new works like Wonder. Mysteries like Harriet the Spy and Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective have kept our detective skills sharp, while Sarah, Plain and Tall taught us with colorful imagery. Some books we have loved, and some have not been hits in our house. An interesting aspect of book discussion is that it’s okay not to like a book or a character. Whether we loved the book or hated it, the children were exposed to different forms of literature and began to develop their own opinions of the different genres.
2. Starting a book club will form friendships.
When I started our first book club, it was mainly for my preteen daughter to develop friendships with other girls her age. She has always been my most social child and was coming to an age where she needed friends beyond her family. Because of this, I designed a book club for preteen girls. She has formed lasting close friendships with the girls in the book club. That book club has grown and now has a very dedicated following of around ten girls.
A few months later we began a book club for girls and boys in the early elementary grades. This group has been growing over the last year and now has around 15 members. Because it is co-ed, the group has a different feel, but the kids are still forming fast friendships and enjoying getting together each month.
3. Starting a book club is fun!
The kids’ favorite part of book club (and secretly, mine, too) is the “Party School” atmosphere. Each mom chooses her own activities for book club, so they are as varied as the moms and their talents.
During our Secret Garden Book Club we sipped tea and ate crumpets.
After tea, each girl built her own Secret Garden terrarium.
For our Love That Dog Book Club, the children munched on “puppy snacks” and created “PoetTrees.”
Our “grossest” book club was our Poppy Book Club. After snacks and discussion, the kids dissected owl pellets.
Starting a Book Club for Your Homeschooler
Starting a book club is pretty simple. In fact, next month I will be posting The Homeschooler’s Guide to Starting a Book Club. Subscribe to our newsletter so that you won’t miss any of the details. And while you are waiting, check out these posts from some terrific blogging homeschool moms.
Mary at Not Before 7 has an excellent question and answer post all about creating a book club for kids. She has planned some amazing and inspirational book clubs over the years.