Our Book Club has been one of the sweetest additions to our homeschool, and I want to share what we do together so that you might consider adding this activity to your homeschool too!
When the book club moms got together this summer, we planned which two or three books we will read next. We all brought books to look at and suggestions of things we've heard about or have read ourselves. We used books lists from places like Ambleside Online, Read Aloud Revival, Honey for a Child's Heart, Give Your Child the World or Books Children Love to get some ideas as well.
Then we looked them over, talk about pros and cons of each and then set a date and location for the next 1-2 book club meet ups. Since our children are close in age, we planned books that were age appropriate.
How it works for our club is that one family hosts the book club meet up and then each family brings 1-2 activities to do as a group. Each activity centers around the chapter book and we coordinate ahead of time via text what activity we're bringing so they don't overlap. In the past we've done crafts, games, art exercises, history lessons, book discussion questions, reenactment of our favorite scenes or a science lesson. It's been really enriching and fun and has kept our family accountable to read and finish our read aloud chapter books!
HOW TO START YOUR OWN BOOK CLUB
If you're interested in starting your own book club, here are my best tips:
- Find Other Families To Join In: You can start small. Even one or two other families can be enough to make a sweet book club! Consider families who have kids of similar ages and how many children/families you are able to fit in your location. If you have more families you will need a bigger meeting location.
- Decide What Your Club Will Be About (Topic, Length, Reading Level): For our family, it's worked well to pick a chapter book, but you might like doing a picture book or something nonfiction. Keep in mind how much time you have between book club meetings and your capacity (if you have a longer book you may want to leave a longer time in between meetings).
- Pick Your Books and Set a Date: Decide what book and when and where your book club will happen. Maybe it's easier for you to plan to meet at the same location every time or maybe you want to meet outdoors even!
- Have a Party: After you've enjoyed the book as a family, it's time for a party! Sharing stories together as a group is so fun. I have learned something from every family about the story that I would not have seen otherwise. It's another wonderful way for my kids to "socialize" (as is the dreaded "s" word in the homeschooling world) and it is always fun to get together with friends.
Beginner Chapter Books I would recommend starting with for ages 3-8 would be:
The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren
The Cricket in Time Square by George Selden
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stile Gannett
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain Alice Dalgliesh
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
OUR MOST RECENT BOOK CLUB
Our book club read "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" by Marguerite Henry this month and here is how we celebrated:
Food--We had a "Prospector's Supper" complete with bean bake, cornbread and "copper" candy.
Drama--A few of the kids also wanted to reenact the final scene of the book in a short little play
Game--We played pin the Carrot Cure on Brighty
Art/Science Lesson--We learned about the layers of the Grand Canyon and practiced watercoloring it
History---We learned more about President Teddy Roosevelt and his creation of the national parks (he was a recurring character in Brighty)
Outdoors--We played hide and seek with three "gold" pieces (aka rocks spray painted with gold) around the backyard
Our book club adds such a wonderful community element to our lives and is so simple and sweet! I hope you will consider starting one of your own too!
I was JUST talking to my girlfriend about starting a little book club for our girls, and just a few days later this shows up! I LOVE THIS idea and we are so excited to kick off fall with our very first book club. Thank you for the inspiration!