Homeschool Reading Lists to Get Kids of All Ages Reading
When I started homeschooling eighteen years ago, I looked to the library for books like The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, Caldecott and Newberry winners, and other “best kids’ books” type lists. However, with the increasing emphasis on political correctness, homeschool reading can no longer depend on traditional references. To find the best books for our children to use in our homeschool reading time, we need to rely on our own community to help us filter what our children read. We want quality books that support strong morals, a Biblical worldview, and be historically accurate (no revisionist history here). But they still need to delight and capture the attention of our children!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to sort through all the new books out there and I don’t necessarily trust reviews. Some reviewers heap praises on books that clearly support immoral–even criminal–behavior! I need a reliable, trustworthy source to wade through all heaps of books out there and offer some real guidance for my homeschool reading list. Thankfully, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has done the work with three of their course offerings.
Wow! This extensive categorized list might be the only homeschool reading list I ever need for my remaining homeschool years. Michelle Miller of Truthquest History compiled lists of books on more than 60 topic areas, from architecture to famous homeschoolers to math to summer fun. Each list includes about 20 books with the ideal grade level and a very brief description underneath each book.
In addition to lists by topic, you can also get the lists printed by grade level instead. Very handy, especially since my last two are in grades 7 and 9. Even though quite a few of the books make a better fit for children grade 5 and below, the list includes many books for older students too. And to make it super easy to find (and purchase) each book, they are all one click away from the Amazon website. I found this list helpful, and since I own many Truthquest volumes, I trust Michelle’s compilation. Check out the homeschool reading list HERE.
Some Options for Younger Students
This course reminds me of the Five in a Row thematic literature-based studies for young children that friends of mine used many years ago. Each of the 18 lessons in Adventures with Books centers on a fun theme and includes several picture book suggestions. In addition to the picture books, she offers a list of possible crafts to accompany and enrich the reading. For example, your children can read The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry while making a layers-of-the-rainforest diorama.
Another option is Literature Kits. Students explore thirteen classic novels in this series of literature-based unit studies. Each novel study can stand alone and includes several weeks of lessons that explore geography, science, art, vocabulary and literary devices, food/cooking, and Bible as they relate to the book. Looking through the activities, I got a little hungry. Too many delicious recipes to count! I wished my children were younger again so we could do some of these. What could be better? Great homeschool reading and great food!
Again and again, I keep coming back to SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This membership site offers so many options for families, no matter what the homeschooling situation or style. They truly have something for every subject, every grade, every student.
Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for www.SchoolhouseTeachers.com. She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at www.julienaturally.com where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families.