Step by Step directions on how to run a kids’ book club through Scholastic Reading Clubs as a homeschool parent.
How to Run A Kids’ Book Club through Scholastic Reading Clubs
This is NOT a sponsored post – rather a response to several readers who have asked about this in greater detail. This post is for you!
Every month, I host a kids’ book club for the children in one of our local Moms Groups.
As a homeschooling teacher, I have registered with Scholastic Reading Clubs and use this to help parents order their books. Recently, I have had several requests for help on how they too can start a kids’ book club with their group. This is a very basic “How to Run a Kids Book Club through Scholastic Reading Clubs,” tutorial.
If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
This is just how I organize ours, I am sure there are MANY different ways that work well too!
- I always use the phone method because the staff is always extremely friendly and helpful. Once you are registered, you will use this account forever! They will provide you with a class code that you will give to other members of your class or parenting group.
- Shop the online flyer and choose your age group and book that you will read to the group. If you click on the grade level where most of the children will be grouped, then click on This Month’s Catalog, and there will be a featured book of the month. This year, Scholastic will provide you with a simple activity guide and stickers or bookmarks for all participants if 5 of that book is ordered (must all be in the same order)
- Choose a day and time you will host your event. Then. write a letter to describe your book club (choose a book order deadline at least 2 weeks prior to the event date as it will take that long for them to arrive through media mail) I have chosen to require participants to purchase the book we are reading as there are many studies that show repeated exposure to literature has benefits for children. Additionally, in the past, I would have 20 families say they would attend. I would prepare song sheets, crafts, and activities using my own resources for all 20+ children. Then, with last-minute cancellations, I would have 4 and a TON of wasted time and resources. Requiring the book purchase has drastically decreased my cancellations and most months we are at 100% participation, meaning all families signed up, show up. Those that do not, schedule a time to pick up their book and activities at a later date.
- Invite participants through e-mail or online. You will receive an e-mail from Scholastic when any parent places an order through your class Scholastic account.
- Send out reminders the day before book orders are due. I will put book suggestions on our website and give a shout out to the deals that I think are the best. If your class total doesn’t reach $25 then either you have to buy more books or pay for shipping!
- Then on YOUR Scholastic teacher page – submit your class orders. I usually do this early in the morning the day AFTER book orders are due. I have a couple participants that order through another teacher and that is OK!!! They just let me know that they have ordered the book, checked it out from the library or purchased it somewhere else. I don’t mind this at all and add them to my count for activity preparation.
- Now it’s planning time. I look at the ages and the number of participants and plan a song, an activity, and a craft. You can plan everything yourself or invite participants to contribute. The lesson plan that came with our preschool book last month included an activity, a few printables, and a cute letter from the author. These can be used as your activity!
- When the books arrive, I place each family’s order in a plastic bag with their name on it and include a paper flyer for the next month. Then, I put the bags right back into the box to bring to the book club meeting.
- I send an e-mail reminder the day before the event.
- The night before set out all supplies. The day of, load up the car and have fun!
Here is the letter I post to the participants.
Please feel free to cut – paste – change the wording the way you need for your group.
It’s that time of year again for Kids BOOK CLUB!!!! Hosted by Amanda.
Amanda is an experienced K-1 teacher with her MA in Reading Education K-12 and mom to 3 kiddos. Every month, one book is chosen and will be read out loud to the kids.
*Participants must purchase this book in order to participate.*
If five books are purchased, then she gets a free copy of the book for her kids (otherwise she buys too!). This year scholastic is also sending a small activity for all participants to take home (maybe a sticker or a bookmark) when 5 or more of the chosen book are ordered. Amanda also makes and prepares activities related to the book for the kids to do afterward. Sound like something you and your child may be interested in? Here is our class link at Scholastic. (Fill in your link here).
Our class code is (fill in your class code here)
You register your child once (this is good all year) and purchase this month’s book – “Fill in the book choice here.” In the (Month) (Catalog Name) and any other books you may want. Scholastic is well known for offering affordable books – there are several good ones for $1 that make great present toppers, books for the car, or even for birthday goodie bags.
Orders are due by (Set your date) NO SHIPPING CHARGES! They are sent to Amanda and she brings them to the park to deliver on the date.
IF you are unable to attend and must cancel last minute, you must make alternative arrangements to pick up your books within 3 months or they will be donated to a local school.
Then, on (Date), come to (park name) for a kids book club play date.
Bring your own snack and (choose what you want participants to bring.
Last month I asked for families to bring a toy that is good for sharing; blocks, a game, building toy, large puzzle…. The possibilities are endless and we will share just as Llama shares at his play date!
Feel free to come at 9:30 to play at the park before reading!
Geared for pre-school age children, but all are welcome”
Common Questions for Hosting Scholastic Book Club:
How do you run the actual event?
- 15 minutes Meet and greet / hand out books to parents / playtime
- 15 minutes Song and lesson intro
- 15 minutes Story, questions, and discussion
- 30 minutes Activities 15 minutes Free play / making connections with others.
How do you read the book?
- It depends on the age of the kids and the book selected.
- Sometimes we read chorally, meaning everyone helps to read the words at the same time. This works best with simple, predictable text.
- Sometimes I read it and they look at the pictures and turn the pages in their own books.
- And sometimes, we let the parents take turns reading different pages.
What do you do with siblings?
There are so many choices! You could run 2 book clubs simultaneously. Let’s say you are a homeschool group with a group of 1st graders and some have toddler or preschool siblings. Then, I would have 1 parent take the older kids and do a 1st grade book club and the rest of the parents take the younger kids and run a younger aged picture book club for the siblings. The other option is to include them all and choose books that kids of all ages would enjoy.
Do parents pay you?
The great thing about Scholastic Reading Clubs is that everything can be done online. Teachers no longer have to collect money from families.
If I am a classroom Teacher can I start a book club?
Of course! I am fortunate to be able to stay home and teach my young kids, but was a teacher in a public school classroom for multiple years. A Kids’ Book Club can be organized many ways. You may want to start an afterschool club or even have the interested students buy the book and eat lunch with you (the teacher) outside. I know my second grader would be delighted to do something like this with her school teacher!
Will you host a book club for the kids in your life this year? I would love to hear about it!
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