Congrats, you made it through a whole year of homeschooling! Although a summer full of absolutely nothing may sound ideal to you right now, soon you may need to figure out something to do with your student to keep busy this summer (crazy as that might sound!).
How to Start a Homeschool Book Club This Summer
A great way to engage your student and ensure they continue to learn throughout their break is to start your very own book club. This is also a simple way to stay connected with family and friends throughout your break!
So, how do you get started?
Step 1: Invite Others to Join Your Family on This Journey
First things first — for your book club to be a success, you’ll obviously need members to join. Of course, there is no reason why your book club can’t include just your own family. Indeed, this might make things simpler for your family since you won’t have to coordinate schedules with other members to find a time and location to meet.
But if you homeschool with Classical Conversations, consider inviting members from your local community to join your family on this journey to read and discuss books this summer. This is an excellent way for both you and your student to stay connected and continue to learn with your peers during the break.
Step 2: Select a Meeting Location and Time
If your summer book club consists of just your family, this step is easy! For example, you can meet impromptu whenever your student finishes a chapter in a book to discuss the development of the plot, key themes, and characters.
On the other hand, if you’re starting a homeschool book club this summer with members from your local community, this step can be tricky. First, it can be difficult to coordinate schedules during the summer (after all, homeschool families must have their summer vacations!).
Still, don’t let this discourage you from reading through books with other families this summer. Whenever there’s a scheduling conflict — due to a vacation, a week-long camp, or some other fun summer activity — it’s easy enough to postpone your meeting to a latter date. Or, you can host your homeschool book club online, using video chat to discuss your books with other members so you’re not bound by a physical location.
Step 3: Choose What to Read in Your Book Club
Here comes the fun part — choosing which books to read!
A great way to differentiate your summer book club from, say, your student’s community days during traditional semesters, is to allow your student to choose which books to read. If you and several other families join a book club together, all the students can vote on a couple books to read this summer.
This will free your student to read books they are genuinely interested in, whether those include light reads like fantasy novels or more challenging books like historical biographies. This will make your summer book club seem less like “school” to your student, and more like a fun summer activity.
Step 4: Engage in Deep Dialogue or Read Aloud
Being part of a book club allows your student to have rich conversations with peers and parents about books’ key ideas, characters, and narratives while at the same time discovering how to apply lessons from the reading to their own life.
If you’re wondering where how to begin these conversations with students in your book club, just rely on your knowledge of the classical tools of learning. Specifically, the Five Core Habits of Grammar are useful for starting meaningful discussions about any topic.
If you need a refresher on the Five Core Habits (or are new to classical education and have no idea what we’re talking about here), consider joining us at Practicum 2022! This summer at a Practicum event in your area, you can learn about and practice the Five Core Habits of Grammar with other homeschool parents using science as your topic. To register, click here.
Of course, your book club meetings don’t have to be just conversations among students and parents around a previous chapter or a book’s key ideas. Especially if you have younger students in Foundations, you can simply read books aloud whenever your club meets.
Hosting a Book Club to Spark Curiosity This Summer
Although there are many ways to engage your student’s mind this summer, creating a homeschool book club is perhaps one of the best.
If your student is already an avid reader, you should have no trouble convincing them to join a book club with you. On the other hand, if your student struggles with reading, being part of a book club in community with others — especially if they are reading books they are interested in — is an excellent way to encourage strong reading habits.
Whatever the case, being part of a book club will certainly spark curiosity in your family and will enable you to continue learning while having fun throughout the summer.
Not yet a Classical Conversations member and interested in our community-based approach to homeschooling? We’d love to hear from you! To learn more about us, click here.