How to Start a Homeschool Book & Movie Club
One of my favorite parts of homeschooling my girls has been participating in the monthly book and movie club. I love the opportunity to share my love of reading, and of course the camaraderie between many families in our area is a bonus. Read, Watch, Talk – Book and Movie Club has been successful for almost a year now. Below are a few ideas to help you organize and start a homeschool book & movie club yourself.
Who Will Participate in the Club
When we were first discussing the idea of a book club, it was for younger, reluctant readers. There was already a homeschool book club in our area, but it focused on older, independent readers. However, as time has progressed, the club has incorporated a very wide variety of ages. The youngest is six and the oldest is fourteen. However, this is due to the variety of ages of children in a family. In fact, even the parents participate in conversations regarding the books read and movies watched. There is also the option of creating a book and movie club based on gender or specific interests. However, we wanted to open the club to everyone.
What Books/Movies Will Be Discussed
As I noted above, it all depends on the ages and reading levels of the children participating in the group. However, we have found great success with books from Roald Dahl and classics like How To Eat Fried Worms, Despereaux, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (The Secret of NIMH is the movie adaptation). It also helps to use booklists, which have been assembled by ages and stages already. Booklists take away the stress of having to come up with books out of the blue. The parents in our club have ultimate say on which books are selected; however, we do our best to listen to our children and which books/movies have been the most successful.
Where Will You Discuss the Book and Watch the Movie
We decided that having the club meet at different homes of those involved was the best idea. However, churches and libraries are two other very solid ideas. You simply need to get in touch with the church or library in your area to set up a time and day that works for everyone. We were lucky enough to have homes that could accommodate a group of people.
When Will You Hold the Meetings
This is simply something to discuss with those interested in participating. Last year we had success on a Thursday or Friday morning. This year, due to different schedules, we have changed it to Friday afternoons. The important part is to accommodate those families interested in participating.
How Often Will You Meet
Our club meets once a month. However, just recently we had to extend reading for another week because the book was quite long. So I think the idea should be—keep it flexible! The meetings are approximately two-hours long, which has everything to do with how long the movie runs and how productive the discussion. Our book and movie club has become a time to socialize as well, so occasionally we plan time for our children to play together as well.
How to Invite Others
Our book and movie club was an extension of a larger homeschool group. We have a Facebook presence; so it was easy to set up an event and invite everyone at one time. However, word of mouth works, too. Recently I invited a homeschool friend of my daughter’s to read the latest book with us, and I will drive her to and from the meeting. Extending a helping hand is always a great idea to encourage more participation.
Other Bits to Consider
Will there be food? Beverages? Will there be activities, like worksheets, that will be completed? Is the host/hostess responsible for getting the movie? As I have pointed out above, flexibility is key to anything surviving, including a book and movie club. You will quickly find your groove, and remember it is what works for YOUR group.
Creating a book and movie club is really not difficult. It simply takes a bit of planning and minimal dedication. I encourage you to give it a shot. Shoot me an eMail and let me know if you enjoy it as much as I!
Michelle Martin was born into a musical family and has been teaching music for over 20 years. Besides teaching piano and voice, Michelle is a performer, a choir director, a writer, a composer, and a homeschool mom. Most recently she has published three music curricula through Schoolhouse Teachers. Music has always been a passion for Michelle, and she believes exposing a child to music is just as important as learning math or science. Michelle lives with her husband, Jim, two daughters, Zoe and Eva, and a myriad of furry and aquatic friends.