Where I Find Good Reading Lists for My Elementary Students

I love to read, and when I was little, I always wanted my mom to read to me.  My mom was busy taking care of me and my brother who had cerebral palsy plus running a daycare out of her home.  When night came, she just wanted to relax, so once I learned to read, she stopped reading aloud to me.

Why I Read Aloud to My Kids

I don’t fault my mom at all, but because I’m such a bookworm myself (when I can find the time!) and because I want my kids to be exposed to a wide variety of literature, I’ve read aloud to them since a very early age.  Bookworm (14) no longer wants to be read to, but the girls, especially Cuddle Bug, still love to hear read alouds.

It’s not unusual for us to have four different books that we’re reading at one time.  We usually start our homeschool morning by reading 4 pages of each book, so 16 pages.  Then, in the afternoon, I read them another 16 pages while they clean up the living room or their bedroom, and finally, I read them 16 more pages at night before they go to bed.  Following this schedule, we read about 48 pages a day (sometimes more if a book is really suspenseful and we can’t put it down).

PB & J Girl prefers books that are not educational and more, what I would call, fluff.  I’ll be honest, they’re not my favorite to read, but since my objective is to keep her interested in reading, I read them to her.

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Cuddle Bug, however, loves books that are more educational such as historical fiction and even Shakespeare.  We’ve been reading Tales from Shakespeare, and she loves it.  I thought most of it would go over her head since she’s only 8 years old, but she follows along no problem.  So far we’ve read A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and now we’re in the middle of Romeo and Juliet.

Where I Find Good Books to Read to My Kids

There are many places I look to find quality books to read to the girls.  Here are some of my favorites:

Sonlight

I love Sonlight, and I have used it as our main curriculum for the girls and Bookworm at certain points in our homeschool journey.  I plan to go back to it with Cuddle Bug next year.  Sonlight has quality fiction and non-fiction in each level, so I look there for book ideas.

Bookshark

Bookshark is a more secular off shoot of Sonlight, so many of the books included in their curriculum are the same, but they did take out some of the overtly religious books and replace them with more secular books.

Heart of Dakota

I ordered a Heart of Dakota package for Bookworm last year, and while he didn’t end up using it much, I’m now reading those books to the girls.  Three of the books we’ve loved so far are Mystery of the Silver Coin, Caught in the Act, and Sparrows in the Scullery.  The books from Heart of Dakota are almost all Christian based.

Charlotte Mason Book List

A Charlotte Mason education relies heavily on literature, rather than textbooks, so you can find plenty of age appropriate classics to read on Simply Charlotte Mason’s site.

NPR’s Book List

NPR published a book list for kids 9 – 14.  What I like about this list is that it includes classics and more modern books dealing with contemporary issues.

Remember, once you find a great book that you and your kids enjoyed, be sure to check if it’s part of a series.  If so, read the rest of the books in the series!

If you read aloud to your kids regularly, where do you go to find good books?

 

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