The winter months can get long and we can get consumed with cabin fever, but there are lots of ways to remedy that. For us, winter is a huge reading time in our house. We all hunker down, light fires, eat lots of soup, and read. A lot. I’ve been brainstorming lately how to add a little “umph” to our reading regime this winter and of course, I thought…book club!
As mother hens wanting to encourage our little peeps to read, what more fun way could there be then to get their friends involved and host a book club? I broke down how to host a book club into just a few simple steps.
1. Involve your child. The first thing to do is get your child involved in the planning process. Sit down with him or her a month before book club and get planning.
2. Pick a book. With the help of your child, choose a book that could be great for an array of ages. Choose something that isn’t too long, as it may take some kids longer than a month to finish. The following is a list of some book club picks for boys and girls for ages around 8-12:
- Mr. Poppin’s Penguins
- Mary Poppins
- Call of the Wild
- Peter Pan
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle
- James and the Giant Peach
- Little House in the Big Woods
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Courage of Sarah Noble
- Dear Mr. Henshaw
3. Choose a date and time for your first meeting. Pick a day that’s easy to get together. For homeschoolers, maybe a Friday would work. Plan for a short and sweet club meeting, maybe two hours, tops.
4. Tell your friends. Talk to the friends you’re including in your book club so they can start reading. Send out invitations for the first meeting.
5. Read the book and come up with several discussion questions to discuss together.
6. Prepare a snack. On the day of the book club meeting, make a fun snack that goes with the theme of the book. Maybe tea and cookies for Mary Poppins, peach yogurt pops for James and the Giant Peach, or apple pie for Little House in the Big Woods. The kids will love eating something they’ve read about.
7. Be prepared to keep the conversation moving. During the meeting, listen in or help steer the conversation if the kids are having trouble leading it themselves. Talk about the characters, the questions you prepared, and ask everyone’s opinion of the book.
8. Choose the next book. Before the end of the meeting, discuss what book to read for the next meeting and decide on the details for that meeting with the other moms.
Giving your kids ownership in their own club will give them a great goal every month, not to mention banish the winter blues.
Have you ever hosted a book club? What were your club member’s favorite books? Do you have any planning or organizational tips to add?