Welcome to the fourth day of 10 Days of The How To’s For Book Clubs. Today we are going to be talking about hosting a parent/child book club.
It has been six years now since my oldest and I started participating in a mother/daughter book club together. The notice went out via an e-mail loop, a mom was looking for girls around a certain age and their mothers to join a mother/daughter book club she was looking to start. People have come and gone but some of us still remain. In that time we went from very rigidly having book club on the 2nd Sunday of each month at a specific time, to now having when we can (even sometimes on a Friday) based on the schedules of the 4 families (6 girls) that still remain.
A little over a year ago we answered the call, well e-mail actually, of another mother who was looking to start a book club for her young daughter. This book club, as myself and another mother have deemed it, the “Little Girl” book club. This is due to the fact that our older daughters are in the book club together that I spoke of first. This “Little Girl” book club is large, and still growing as time goes on. I believe we are at 8 or 9 girls, maybe more. We still meet on a rigid schedule of the first Sunday of every month and whoever can make it can make it. With such a big group it is easy to still have a good turnout even when some cannot make it.
So what have I learned throughout the years and my experiences with parent/child book clubs? For starters there are always pros/cons to every situation, and the dynamic changes based on the people involved.
My Suggestions For Running a Parent/Child Book Club:
Gather a group of people together based on either common age, gender, or interest.
- Maybe you do a sci-fi themed book club that has varying ages of boys in it.
- Or like us just gather girls that are all the same age.
- How about an active group based on how to books/activities, experiments, excursions, or crafts?
Decide how you want to deal with date, time and location.
- I would do this before seeking out people, but you could also wait to gather people and then pool the possible participants as to how they would like to handle these topics.
- Note that with a large group it is very difficult to please everyone’s schedules. Thus with our large group we have a set day and time for each month. This may not be as big of a deal with a larger group though because even if some can’t make it, there are still enough to have a good sized meeting.
- On the flip side with a smaller group it maybe more crucial to pick a date, time, and location that works for everyone to ensure you have enough people to make the meeting worthwhile. With our older girls we just look at our schedules for each month and try to pick a date and time that works for all of us.
- For location you could choose to gather in a space such as a room in the local library, a church space, for older kids and non-activity based clubs you could meet at a book store like Barnes and Noble, or of course in one or more people’s homes.
Make a plan for how books will be chosen.
- In the case of both of our mother/daughter book clubs we rotate the location from house to house, keeping to the first Sunday of the month at 3 pm. The host mother/daughter choose the book, provide the snack and create the activity that will be done.
- With a themed based book club such as one based on the American Girl Doll series, you may just want to set an order that the books will be read in ahead of time and that is the schedule you follow.
Be diligent but flexible.
- It takes effort to build and maintain a book club. Be sure to carry the load of e-mails, phone calls, or whatever method of communication you are using. If it is something you really want, the work will be worth it.
- Be willing to alter the plan if that is what is needed to keep the group flowing.
Topics in This Series:
Day One: Overview/Landing Page
Day Two: Types of Book Clubs
Day Three: Finding or Starting Your Own Book Club
Day Four: How To Host a Parent/Child Book Club
Day Five: Guest Post – Kids Books to Rev Up The Imagination
Day Six: (Monday, October 21st) Elementary Aged Book List
Day Seven: Favorite Books For Boys
Day Eight: Favorite Books For Girls
Day Nine: Popular Children & Teen Book Series
Day Ten: Example of a Teen Themed Book Club
BONUS DAY: (Monday, October 28th) A Book List of Children’s Classics & Other Favorites
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