The Kids Book Club was started by that favorite homeschool blogger I mentioned in this post. She started the ball rolling, and a few of us have picked it up and carried it forward after she moved back to Las Vegas.
Book Club started with about 8-12 kids in each of these groups:
Girls 6-8; Boys 6-8
Girls 9-11; Boys 9-11
Girls 12 +; Boys 12+
There was also a 5 & Under group that was just for siblings of the older groups.
The organizer would collect a $5 family supply fee + $2 per meeting fee. This made it about $20 per year for one child. The funds were distributed to the leaders each month so they could purchase supplies or snacks for the following month. One or two moms would lead each group. So in ways, it was similar to a co-op. Only we just did one “class.” We met the fourth Friday of the month for one hour during the school year. (Taking off for November and December due to holidays.)
The years before I was the leader, the boys read several of the Wishbone series books. Both of my guys really enjoyed those, but they were sometimes a bit beyond their comprehension. Thank goodness YouTube had old episodes of Wishbone.
I volunteered to lead the Boys 6-8 group for a couple of years. It was a fun time. One year I lead the boys through the “Incredible Journey” books by Connie Lee Berry plus “The Enormous Egg” by Oliver Butterworth. The next year we read the first 7 “Imagination Station/Adventures in Odyssey” books. (For the record, “The Enormous Egg” was the hands-down favorite of moms and boys, alike!)
*I should note, with a large age gap between 6 and 8, we knew there could be a difference of reading ability/comprehension. So the moms in the group agreed that if our children could not read the book by themselves, we would read it aloud. This allowed all of the boys to have knowledge of the book when meeting for book club.
Each time we met, I had several activities planned to coordinate with the book.
- Something for them to do while we waited for everyone to arrive – puzzles, coloring sheets, butcher paper to color or write on, and once I taped the butcher paper to the underside of the table to mimic “cave writing.” Because waiting quietly in a seat until it was time to begin, did not work for boys!
- Talk about the book, talk about what life is like wherever the book was set, talk about what kids their age do for fun wherever the book was set.
- A craft.
- A snack.
- A science experiment, if applicable. (The Incredible Journey books all had a quick science experiment in the back of the book that correlated to the story some how.)
As an example, for the “Knights in New York” book, they were able to write “graffiti” on the butcher paper that was over the top of the tables as they arrived. For our craft, the boys built skyscrapers out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows. As a snack, we had apples to represent The Big Apple. The science experiment with pennies and vinegar showed how corrosion changes the color of copper ( i.e. the Statue of Liberty.)
I didn’t have much experience with the other groups. I know some of the girls groups read the Gooney Bird Greene books, and the American Girl books. Because we met in a church facility, we were asked to steer away from books with magic and such, however if given the opportunity, I think the Magic Tree House Books would lend well to a book club for both boys and girls under 10.I think the older boys read Chuck Black’s Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arraethtrae Series. Last year, the older kids combined boys & girls. They read a specific genre each month, then when they gathered they discussed their book and gave reviews to the others.
This year, the groups look a little different. Both of my guys are in a 10+ group. They will be reading whatever book they want each month. Then at the meeting they will give a review and share if they would recommend the book to their friends. The boys are excited about sharing some of their favorites, as well as, learning about new books they’ll want to read.