How to Start a Book Club for Kids [FREE Checklist]

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How to Start a Book Club for Kids with FREE Checklist

Would you like to get your kids and their friends together to read and discuss literature?

Would you believe us if we told you that starting a book club for kids is not only easy, but also A LOT OF FUN?

Our book club has been together for almost 5 years and our kids continue to tell us it is one of their favorite school activities.  Over the years, as the kids have grown, we have made a few adjustments based on their interests and abilities, but the overall format of our book club for kids has remained basically the same over time.

To give you an idea of what has worked for us, here are the basic elements we have included on our homeschool book club for kids (we have created a FREE printable Checklist with this information, you can find it at the end of the post):

Type of Books

For the first couple of years we focused on classic literature.  We live near Walt Disney World so we decided to have our children read original stories that inspired many of Disney’s movies and attractions such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and more.

This past year we chose to read Newbery Award winning books with our older children while the younger children read books related to seasons and holidays.

Participants

Our book club includes between 3-6 families.

Some years we have included all ages in the same group – when we read classic literature titles the older children would read the original works while less experienced readers read an abridged version.  Other times we have conducted different book clubs for kids with different reading levels and/or interests.

Meeting Location

Our book club typically meets at one of the participant’s homes or at a local park.  We usually include a discussion and some type of activity (craft, food, etc.) therefore we need tables and chairs.

Field trips have also been a very important part of our book club.  Whenever possible we look for opportunities to “bring out learning to life” by visiting a place, or meeting with a person, related to the story.

How to Start a Book Club for Kids

Meeting Frequency

The frequency of our book club meeting has varied over the years, depending on everyone’s availability and the format of the group.  One year we meet once a week, for several years we met twice a month, and this year we are meeting just once a month.  Each of these arrangements has worked well for us so we really can’t say that one format is better than another.

Expectations Between Meetings

At the beginning of our school year we determine a list of books and our meeting schedule.

Each family is responsible for completing the book and any required work between meetings.  For example:

  • Each family decides how the book will be read (family read aloud, children read aloud or to self, listen to the book on tape, etc.)
  • The World for Learning World Study Guides we offer were originally created for use with our own book club.  Families complete the lapbook components for the book study, time line, author study, etc. at home at their own pace.
  • We require a writing assignment for each meeting.  Children must complete the writing assignment, be prepared to share writing with the group, and participate in the group discussion at our meetings.  We use this as an opportunity for our children to practice public speaking.

Leading the Book Club Meetings

We include both discussions and hands-on activities during each book club meeting.

Parents take turns preparing and leading a literary analysis discussion with the kids. Students are also encouraged to share interesting information learned during their home studies.

Hands-on activities include a craft, art project, team activity, etc. One parent is responsible for planning, gathering supplies, and leading the activities.

Our kids’ favorite part of book club is the food!  We find recipes related to the theme of the book.  Sometimes we even find a creative cupcake idea and let the kids do their own decorating.

To help you begin, download our FREE “Starting a Book Club for Kids” checklist:

How to Start a Book Club Checklist

Regardless of how your book club for kids is structured, be sure to keep it fun! Build knowledge and skills, but also create memories and expose your children to timeless lessons that classic literature can uniquely offer.

If you have questions about our book club format, please send us an email or post a comment below.

We would love to hear from you!

 

Be sure to check out our World Study Guides to make your Book Club planning EASY! Each Guide contains lapbook pieces, hands-on activities, recipes and more…

Mary Poppins      The Wonderful Wizard of Oz     Around the World in 80 Days

 

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As a veteran educator I am always looking for new ways to bring learning to life for my family. I enjoy traveling, sharing ideas with other moms, and helping my children explore the world around them. Our favorite subjects to study together are history, literature and geography.

Comments

  1. says

    This has been on my mind and our little one has been asking to start one. I am researching ideas and this list comes in handy. Hoping to start one for the next school year! thanks for sharing the list.
    Stopping by from Mom’s LIbrary Linky.
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks.com

    • says

      Reshama, what an exciting project for the new year! Keep it fun and simple. Even if you start with books your children have already read, add in a snack and a few discussion questions and your children will gain an even deeper appreciation for a favorite story.

  2. www.aspiredliving.net says

    Susan I am so excited about this post. In my post I mention the fact that I was unsure how we wanted to proceed with literature study and this is a great idea. Now that we have moved into town (not that we are unpacked) this is something that is very doable!!

    • says

      Kyle, You made my day!! I’m very happy this gave you some ideas — maybe starting a small book club could be a way to meet other families after your move. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sarah Mueller says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have considered starting a book club for my homeschooled kids next year but didn’t have a clue how to start. Now I know what to do! Thanks for sharing at Family Fun Friday!

    • says

      Yay Sarah! I hope you do start a club – maybe have your kids help select a few of the books to get started, everyone could suggest one of their favorite books they would like to share with their friends. I would love to hear how it goes!!

      • Sarah Mueller says

        That’s a great idea to have them pick some of the books. I’m featuring your post this week. Thanks again!

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing this great resource!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  5. 1wendy2 says

    I would love to start a book club for my daughter! She is an avid reader, and I think a book club would really be fun. Thanks for the free checklist! Also, thank you for linking up with us on the Hip Homeschool Moms site! I hope you’ll keep coming back to link up with us. This post will be one of our featured posts on tomorrow’s Hip Homeschool Hop. :)

  6. says

    Great resources and ideas! Love it! Thanks for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! You were featured as one of my favorites this week :)

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