Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Book Club Activities

I offer two homeschool book clubs, both based on the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards. The younger students read books from the Bluestem list, and the older students read from the Caudill list. Recently, I was struggling to create engaging and fun book-based activites that would work in a virtual setting. My niece, Amanda, came to the rescue! Amanda is a brand-new (and, proud aunt brag, fantastic!) elementary school teacher and had created a cool activity for her students. She graciously shared the idea with me. I’ve now adapted it into multiple versions. Each time my homeschool students have said things like, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and “Can we do this again next week?”

First, I created slideshows in Canva, which makes everything look amazing. I would then be able to share my screen while the students did the activity. I told students in advance to have pencil, paper, dice, and a calculator. Each activity is based on chance, choice, AND mathematics. (Note: The financial information and situations I present are more for ease of calculation and fun than to represent realistic scenarios.)

Invention Game

After reading and discussing The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Hero by Joan DiCicco and illustrated by Ebony Glenn, I presented my Invention Game.

Invention Game slideshow cover slide
Invention slideshow What Will You Invent
Invention slideshow roll the dice
Invention slideshow draw the invention slide
Invention slideshow what happens next
Invention Game slideshow double or nothing slide
Invention slideshow final slide

The students loved drawing their inventions, having choices on some slides, and having random things happen to them on other slides.

Road Trip Game

With the older students, we don’t have enough time to read the whole book, so I do a Thursday version of “First Chapter Fridays.” I’ll read the first chapter, or first few chapters, and then we dive into an activity based on the book. After introducing them to Clean Getaway by Nic Stone, I thought a road trip version of the dice/math game would work well. (The road trip game was what my niece had originally created, so I used hers for inspiration and made it my own!)

Vacation game slideshow cover slide
Vacation game slideshow New York City
Vacation game slideshow Yellowstone National Park
Vacation game slideshow Golden Gate Bridge
Vacation Game slideshow The National Mall
Vacation Game Slideshow Grand Canyon
Vacation Game Slideshow Public Garden Boston
Vacation Game slideshow Roll the Dice
Vacation Game slideshow flight page
Vacation game slideshow hotel page
Vacation game slideshow exploring page
Vacation game slideshow souvenir page
Vacation slideshow Getting home slide
Vacation game slideshow summary page

Business Game

Because the students had had so much fun doing the Road Trip game during Homeschool Book Club, I decided to create this version (again, based on a game my niece had created) for our virtual Homeschool Hangout. It was just as popular as the Road Trip game!

Start Your Own Company slideshow title slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow proposal slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow getting started slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow ups and downs slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow roll the dice slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow double or nothing slide
Start Your Own Company slideshow summary slide

I love these games because they are infinitely adaptable. Change the topic. Make the math easier or harder. Make them more about math and less about chance or vice versa. I hope you get inspired just like I did, all thanks to my niece!

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.


  1. Chelsey

    I love this! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kary

      Thanks, Chelsey!

  2. Jennifer Knight

    This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. What a great idea for financial literacy…

    1. Kary

      Thanks, Jennifer! I’m so glad you pointed out the financial literacy aspect!

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