How to Start a Homeschool Literature Book Club

IN LAST WEEK’S POST, I shared how high school classic literature proved quite challenging for my youngest teen. The older writing style was requiring him to read slower and think “deeper.” It demanded good reading comprehension skills. And he always procrastinated on this subject. 

start a homeschool literature book club
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We weren’t the only ones. Other homeschooling moms wanted help for encouraging their teens to embrace classic literature. This was how our “Reading the Classics” Book Club was created. The group, open to high school and middle school students, was moderated by parents to walk teens through the more difficult content. It also allowed the teens to share with each other what they were learning.   

Starting a homeschool literature book club is easy to do. Here are the steps we implemented to get things started:  


First, set some goals.

What should teens accomplish from the book club? 

  • Read a well-rounded list of classic literature?
  • Become more prepared for testing or college academics? 
  • Work on reading comprehension? 
  • Simply finish the English graduation requirement? 
  • All of the above?  

·       Next, strategize book club choices.

Should there be a concentration on American, British, or World literature? A period (older or more modern), a genre (mystery, sci-fi), or a mixture?  An excellent list to refer to for ideas is "The Great American Read" top 100 list at PBS.

Determine what the meeting will look like.

With an hour as an optimal meeting length, create a sample agenda.

  • Should time be included to present the author’s bio?
  • How should teens come prepared for the meeting? 
  • Will there be a social component at every meeting (such as an icebreaker)? 
  • Who will be the parent-leader facilitating each meeting?
  • Can older teens lead a part of the meeting? (recommended)

·        Arrange a tentative schedule and meeting place.

How often should a book club meet? Our group met monthly on the first Friday, allowing four weeks to read the assigned book. Longer classics were divided into sections, with meetings maybe every two or three weeks.  

Choose a centralized location to meet, such as a local library community room. Our group started at the library and then moved to a better-suited local coffee house with an outdoor seating area. Of course, Zoom meetings are another way to meet.

When meeting in person, determine if teens will be dropped off or if parents can stay during the meeting. While this may seem inconsequential, we discovered that if parents hung around during the discussions, they unintentionally become “too helpful.” Teens tended not to dialogue openly with their own parent close by. Our coffee house location worked perfectly: the meeting was on the patio, and parents were encouraged to go inside to talk and have coffee.  

Pick your first book!

With a core group, choose the first book from the list already curated. After finishing the first selection, allow the teen club members to decide the next one! I was always surprised by what classics our teens wanted to read. 

Promote the book club.

Now it’s time to find ways to start promoting your event to your homeschool community.  

First, set up a Facebook group
(not a page). 
A “group” (instead of a “page”) setting will allow comments, questions, and book suggestions. Use a free tool like to create an appealing group banner with the club name and maybe a blurb about the club. (Something like a mission statement. Short and sweet.) Use the same graphic, adapted with meeting information, to post in other groups.

homeschool literature book club flyer example

If starting with a public group setting, set up some qualifying questions for safety, such as who recommended the group, the area where they live, and the homeschooler’s age. When the group is in full swing, consider closing the group with additions by invitation only. 

Post details on the club’s Facebook group before inviting and sharing the link. Post a welcome announcement visible to new members and introduce the parent-leaders who will facilitate the first meetings.

Post in local homeschool Facebook groupsBe selective. Choose groups where most members live close geographically and have an active homeschool community. Chat with the group admin to decide what is appropriate and how often book club information can be posted. 


·     Share information at homeschool events. Whether you are attending an event or setting up a table at an event, be ready with information to give teens or parents who have shown interest. One idea is to make a QR code linking to the Facebook group that can quickly be scanned from a smartphone to apply. Use the club graphic to make a few flyers. While old school, a physical reminder is easier for many moms, such as myself. Often, I  would find out about an upcoming class or event, only to forget by the time I got home! 

Make your first meeting informational and fun.

Make the first meeting a meet and greet, with time to present expectations for subsequent meetings. Consider using a handout with club guidelines, a schedule, and optional book selections. When discussing the information, focus on the teens more than parents. This is their club, after all, and they need to have input and buy-in. Get them excited to attend, and bring a homeschool friend! 

Click here to download our first meeting handout for an example.  

Introduce the first book. Have teasers prepared in advance to create enthusiasm and inform teens where the book can be purchased (old or used) or where to read for free online. Include an icebreaker for teens to get acquainted, or meet at a park with lunch afterward. The more comfortable everyone is with one another, the more lively the meetings!

Click here for a great resource for ice breakers to use at any meeting. 

It was interesting to see how our group evolved and grew organically. Many teens became good friends who enjoy future homeschool and extracurricular events together!

Teaching literature doesn’t have to be frustrating. Find fun and ingenious ways to learn literature and develop your teen’s love for reading within your homeschool community!

Have you been a part of a homeschool book club? What was the most significant benefit of the club for your student? What was everyone’s favorite book?


  1. Angie, this sounds great! In High School, I was blessed to have an English teacher willing to help a few of us read thick classics. We had a reading club meeting in her home. I remain so grateful to her for the legacy of these books, which I would never have experienced otherwise. And those books still stick with me. You have provided a clear outline of what to do to get this going in homeschooling. Great!

  2. What a great idea! I do not have children, but the idea of getting together for a book discussion is fun!


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