One thing I wanted to talk about was read alouds for my son. Over the years, I have read MANY MANY books to him. I thought it was something he would resist as he grew older, but so far he still loves it.
Since I actually have to purchase many of the books, I choose carefully. I got a lot of ideas from https://www.sonlight.com/ A Christian homeschooling curriculum site.
Also http://materamabilis.org/ma/ A Catholic homeschooling site.
Some of my favorite books have been:
The Milly Molly Mandy Storybook
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/The BFG/Danny, Champion of the World (Not crazy about Matilda or The Witches)
My Naughty Little Sister
In Grandma’s Attic (Christian content)
The Family Under the Bridge
anything by Louis Sachar
The Westing Game
The Phantom Tollbooth
Gooney Bird Green
Red Sails to Capri
How to train (tame?) a dragon
How to Eat Fried Worms
The Hundred Dresses
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Beverly Cleary Books
The Fudge books by Judy Blume
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (I wasn’t as crazy about some of the others in this series as read alouds–they seemed to drag)
A Bear Called Paddington (I think it is important to read these kind of classics so kids can see where a character like Paddington originated before there was a movie, the picture books, the stuffed animals.*)
I know there are more than this……but this is just off the top of my head.
I also like Dave Pilkey and Jeff Kinney, but kids usually read them to themselves.
Why no Harry Potter? Well, I have read some of the books to my son. And yes, I have to admit to being one of Rowling’s minions. Her books are unabashedly imaginative. They remind me a little of Roald Dahl without the bite. The reason they did not work well for us is that they are so gosh darn long! The first book is okay, but they get longer and longer. To be honest, I don’t like incredibly long books for read alouds. It just takes forever to finish them. A kid can read these really long books to himself or herself. (I did not include the Percy Jackson books for the same reason.)
One thing I want to add is that my duty as a library volunteer is to read a picture book to a class but once a week–but my other duty is to visit the public library monthly and choose books for the classes. I adore choosing the books! It is such a great feeling to choose some underrated or unknown book and put it in the box, and knowing that perhaps some child will be introduced to the world of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or Milly Molly Mandy.
I know I have mentioned that the fourth grade boys fell in love with Captain Underpants because of me! The mom told me they didn’t know Captain Underpants (he is not as famous in Japan.) They loved him and requested more of his books!
*I have a funny Paddington story. My mom went to London for sightseeing about five years ago. I said, “The only thing I want is a Bear Called Paddington” She said, “The stuffed animal?” I said, “No, the book.”
So anyhoo, she brought back a Paddington……picture book! Not the actual original novel. But I was totally fine with it, we loved the picture book, and I will treasure it forever.
If you have any book suggestions, please add them to the comments!