How to Get to Principles and Lead a Book Discussion When You Haven’t Even Read the Book

Note: I updated this post on 4/8/20 with a new video of Audrey above.

I went to LEMI Training earlier this month so I could learn how to be a Quest Mentor. That’s why I didn’t blog much the second week of July. LEMI Training is a place to go to learn how to mentor scholar phase projects (aka classes) for homeschooled youth. Quest is a class for scholar phase youth who are between 14 and 18 years old, ideally 14 to 15 years old. In the training we got to practice leading a book discussion, writing and giving a speech, taking a blue book exam, and writing a research paper, all in 3 days! Can I tell you how happy I am that I get to mentor this class at our commonwealth school? I have been having mentor-envy towards this class ever since my oldest son took the class years ago. I have watched three of my own children take the class and have wanted to digest all of the books and principles. The Quest name is an acronym that describes what a “principle” is:

Q= Qualities that are

U= Universal

E= Enduring

S= Self-evident

T= Timeless

I am so excited to mentor this class! We get to read books about awesome people, like Martin Luther and Gandhi, and then lead the youth in book discussions. I love leading book discussions! When I mentored my class about the Civil War two years ago, I used a great guide from my curly girl friend Audrey Rindlisbacher of the Ten Boom Institute. She calls this guide “From Opinions to Principles.” You can find it here. If you read it you will learn the four basic types of questions to get your book discussion friends or students from just talking about what happened in the book to talking about meaty principles and how it applies to them. Then you walk away from the book discussion feeling spiritually and emotionally nourished instead of just amused.

Using these four types of questions you can lead any type of discussion, even if you haven’t read the book! (True confession: I didn’t finish reading my book on Luther when I lead the discussion at the training but because I had read Audrey’s guide I approached leading the discussion with complete confidence.) Scroll down after the picture of beautiful Audrey below to watch her video from the Agency-based Education about principles. Enjoy!

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