We are gearing up for another year of homeschooling. Each new season with my children becomes a cherished favorite, and I do not write that to be applauded or eye-rolled. I have loved all of the ages & stages of my children. Even the repetitive homeschool moments.
Recently I read a mother’s thoughts, how mothers unintentionally “wish away” their children’s childhood by constantly looking forward to upcoming seasons. Instead, we mothers must learn to enjoy the present, with all its delights and difficulties. Can you relate?
Now that I have two children reading, I am gathering a collection of read aloud books. Even as my children move towards independence, I am happy to have them nearby so I can read aloud. Sometimes I read to them during lunch as it’s a wonderfully easy way for me to keep my four children at the table eating (wink). But we always read aloud to signal the end of the day, while the sun begins it’s descent and they are worn out from a day of play.
I polled some of my friends for read aloud suggestions for first and second grades. Based on their suggestions, here is what I bought:
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Stuart Little by E.B. White
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Earlier this year we built a bookshelf for our living room. A few months before that, I had re-arranged the furniture and we moved our television to the basement. Well, wait. Now that I’m writing this out I can’t quite remember the timeline of when we removed the television? I guess you’d call that a success. Indeed so.
Now we use our living room for reading, fort-building, afternoon daydreaming, time outs, and housing plants. Here’s the latest state of our bookshelf. It’s filling up nicely, wouldn’t you say so? Now, to find shelf space for our newest stack of books…
One more thing I wanted to share: I purchased all seven titles second-hand from thriftbooks.com. I was thrilled to find copies of each book that our family would enjoy for many years. I even choose books that were listed as “in very good condition” for roughly $4/each. Amazon is a favorite for many, many items, but thriftbooks is a fun alternative for growing our book collection. Have you shopped with them? (This is not a sponsored post.)
Which books have you read? Which do you own? What books are on your “want to read” list?
See you in the comments!
I remember reading the Secret Garden and loving it as a child. Thank you for sharing your list!
I’m very eager to read it again! Thanks for commenting, Betsy! xx
We have listened to Charlotte’s Webb, Stuart Little, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and The Secret Garden on audiobook. Our oldest is starting 2nd grade, and she has read Pippi Longstocking, as well. I find it challenging to provide her with reading material that will last her a while (longer chapter books) that is age appropriate. Audiobooks or read-alouds are great, because I can talk with her about the content.
I would also add The Moffats by Eleanor Estes, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Trumpet of the Swan.
Oh thank you sooo much for adding a few suggestions! I have a child who is plowing through material at a fast rate. So if you find any solutions, send the title my way? Perhaps a longer series, like “The Boxcar Children”? xx
My 7 year old read the first “Boxcar Children” book last year and loved it so much, she re-read it a couple times!
Yes! I fondly remember those from my childhood as well :) great suggestion. Thanks, Ami!
Island of the Blue Dolphins is a beautiful story, but I would recommend for 4th grade or above. Some heavy and heartbreaking content! ~ a homeschool co-op teacher and mom of 3 :)
Thank you for sharing this, Nicole! xx
My six year old and I just finished Island of the Blue Dolphins and we read Charlotte’s Web last summer! I love reading aloud with him. We also read The Tale of Despereaux recently, which was great fun. He loves all of the Roald Dahl books, especially Matilda and The Witches. And if you’re looking for series, he’s over the moon with The Magic Tree House (which has actually taught us both a lot of history) and The Dragon Masters series. I have a shelf on Goodreads, “chapter books we’ve read aloud” that helps me keep track: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/50556895-katie?shelf=chapter-books-we-ve-read-aloud
I’m hoping to read Pippi Longstocking, Mary Poppins, and the Ralph S. Mouse books this year!
Are you using Brave Writer for Language Arts? This looks like Julie Bogart’s Dart curriculum!! Enjoy reading with your kiddos this year :)
My Mom is reading the Secret Garden to my oldest right now! Have you looked at it yet? My Mom did a little editing for language. Do you edit or do you have a conversation about how certain words are hurtful and we no longer use them? What are your thoughts?
I will likely choose different words as I read aloud. That’s what I typically do. But I’m also a big fan of having conversations about what we prefer and suggestions for how to choose better words.
This is such a wonderful, classic list, thank you for sharing!! I’m adding a few of these and for sure will check out Thriftbooks. I recently just picked up The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles based off of a recommendation to read aloud with my second grader. The Amazon reviews were all high praise. Although, once I saw it was written by THE Julie Andrews I was sold!
Ohhhhh, I’ve got to check that out! Thanks for sharing, Angela! xx
My mom started reading the Nancy Drew books to my sister and me when we were about 5 and 7. They always held our attention and when I got a little older, I started reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys on my own. (I think it’s great that you read to your kids – my mom reading to us instilled in me and my sister a permanent love for reading – we have been avid readers our whole lives.)
As a kindergartener, the first chapter book I ever read on my own was “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” and I went on to read many of Beverly Cleary’s other books as well.
I was a big fan of The Boxcar Children, and read and reread them for years.
There was also a Christian series that came out in the 80s/90s called the Trailblazer Books by Dave and Neta Jackson that touched on important times in history – escaping from slavery, Martin Luther, etc. (it’s been a long time since I read them so I’m not sure what they would be like under today’s microscope, but I really liked them back then).
I’ve also found that most children enjoy the American Girl books.
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