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tdbates78

How do you create book lists?

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Since I pulled my DDs out of PS I pretty much let them read what they want, so long as it's age-appropriate, to help instill a love of reading. While they still aren't quite there they no longer make a big fuss when I force them to read. So next school year, which for us begins in a few months, I would like to create a list of books I would like them to read. I'm not sure how to go about this though.

If you do book lists/required books, how do you create your list? Is there a generalized list of grade-level books you pull from? Do you theme your lists to coincide with science and/or history? Do you give your children a say as to what they would like to read? 

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I think about what I want them to get out of the books.
Some are classics that every child should be exposed to.
Some are modern best-sellers that I think they would love.
Some tie into history to make an event or person more than a blurb, but something that was real.
Some are ones I loved as a kid and want to share with my own.

I don't give my kid a say in his book lists.  He gets a say in his free reads.  Books that go on the list are there because I want to expose him to more than what he gravitates to.

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I always create yearly booklists for my kids.  They are also allowed to free read/pick their own but this cures a lot of "I don't know what to read next". 

I pull from several sources.  Ambleside online has great lists and is my main resource.  But I'll also check bookshark and Goodreads lists for their age group.  

I try to have a wide variety of options.  Classics, absolutely.  Modern best sellers, sure.  Genres I know they enjoy (fantasy for one, mystery for another, "18th century girls" for another).  Historical fiction as long as it's also worthy. Next year we're doing middle ages and you bet there's a lot of Arthur and Robin on the lists!  I also try to throw in some science and a few audiobook suggestions.

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I used the lists in the WTM book as my base - lit, hist, sci, all of them..  Then, I found other lists on the net and added things to the WTM lists from those.  Ambleside, 1000 Good Books, etc.

I also added any books that people on these boards mentioned and I liked.  I found a lot of math books that way.  

The same booklists were required for all my kids.  They could read anything they wanted in their free time.  In the beginning, they didn't read much outside the lists.  As they got into the lists, however, I found that they made time to read all kinds of things outside the required lists.  But it took quite a while for them to get to that point.  

I will say that sometimes there would be a book that my kids would truly dislike, and, if I looked at it and thought they could skip it, I would let them do that.  But this didn't happen often.  There were plenty of books they complained about that I made them read anyway.

Oh, I remembered another source for my booklists.  I was hs'ing back when catalogs weren't on the net - all through snail mail.  I would pour over those and chose any books that looked interesting and find them used or get them from the library.

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Thank you all. My girls aren't "free reading" type of kids. I really really wish they were, because that's how I was as a child (still am) but they are not. So I have to tread lightly so I don't end up with too much push back or regression. I think I'm going to try a mixture that relates to what we will be studying in history, science and checking out the lists mentioned. 

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1 minute ago, tdbates78 said:

Thank you all. My girls aren't "free reading" type of kids. I really really wish they were, because that's how I was as a child (still am) but they are not. So I have to tread lightly so I don't end up with too much push back or regression. I think I'm going to try a mixture that relates to what we will be studying in history, science and checking out the lists mentioned. 

Mine were well up into their teens before they got into reading on their own time.  It just takes time for some kids.  Once mine developed outside hobbies they often read up on those.  I encouraged that by helping them find books related to their hobbies - library, bookstore (new and used), net, etc.

Your girls might get there yet.  :)

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1 minute ago, --- said:

Mine were well up into their teens before they got into reading on their own time.  It just takes time for some kids.  Once mine developed outside hobbies they often read up on those.  I encouraged that by helping them find books related to their hobbies - library, bookstore (new and used), net, etc.

Your girls might get there yet.  🙂

Thank you for the encouragement! I've been kind of weary thus far of forcing them to read anything just because I want them to love to read. We really struggled a few years ago when I pulled them out of first grade. The school would send home readers that my girls did not enjoy, and they had to read the same books all week. So I took them to the library and let them choose their own (appropriately challenging) books.  

Fortunately I am finding plenty of books that speak to their interests so I'm in the midst of creating a list right now. When starting out I'm going to try books slightly below their age levels (something like Sarah, Plain and Tall) because the chapters and book itself isn't too long, and work my way up from there. I think I'm also going to have them fill out a reading chart with a special incentive when they meet certain milestones (10 books read, 20, etc). 

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Don't forget about audio books! They are an easy way to enjoy more complex stories and language.  And since I live 30 minutes from everything, we enjoy quite a few! 

One of our favorites is Charlotte's Web, read aloud by E. B. White himself. He does the voices! Another is The Reluctant Dragon by Graham; it's hilarious.

And I love booklists. I look at lists by everyone whose ideas I like. Right now I'm getting more ideas from Bravewriter. 

In your shoes, I'd make sure that the first summer booklist was a real charmer, designed to lure them with the stories. I would go for quality rather than reading level, and make the books just a bit easy to read. I can't tell on my phone if you posted their ages/grade levels, but if you add that, I'm sure folks can suggest books that might draw them in.

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Duh I never thought about audio books! I will have to give that a try!! I have a polyp on my voice box that may have to be surgically removed. This causes me to lose my voice very frequently so read-alouds are difficult for me to do. I love a good audio book!

My girls are 9. One of them is really into pony/horse anything. Her current favorite is The Pony Club books. The other likes Kylie Jean books and fairy books. I have a list started but if anyone wants to give me some suggestions I would gladly take them!

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For non-readish 9yo girls I'd reccomend lots of fun books, with an emphasis on longish series. 

Tuesdays at the Castle series 

Half Magic series

Roald Dahl books

A Little Princess 

The Secret Garden

Understood Betsy 

Little House Series 

All of a Kind Family series 

Any Edith Nesbit, but maybe on audio because they can be harder.

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Many of my favorites are listed above. 🙂 In addition, I'd add these as readers:

The Ordinary Princess
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm
The Fudge series from Judy Blume (it starts with Tale Of A Fourth Grade Nothing)

I still tend to gravitate toward well-illustrated books for my almost 4th grader.  There are so many for this age that are absolutely beautiful that it's a shame to skip them.

 

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When I pulled DD from school in 4th grade, she hated to read. It didn’t come easily, and the school had really stressed getting a certain number of points each week on AR tests, which she often did poorly on. She was completely unmotivated. 

One of the victories (okay, won’t lie, some days it feel like the only victory) in my homeschool has been getting her to like reading. And if I had started her off with some of the books people are listing here, expecting her to read them to herself, I don’t think it would have happened. I’ve noticed that some homeschool book lists seem ahead of what I’ve been realistically able to expect from her.

I started reading Little House in the Big Woods to her, but she was in no way ready to go from reading those awful fairy books (The Rainbow Magic Fairies series) to that on her own. While I was reading to her, on her own at the library she asked the librarian about Little House books, and the librarian showed her some chapter book versions of the Little House books that she really enjoyed.

I think those books were really what got her into reading, and while they definitely weren’t as good as the real thing, they were stepping stones. I’ve had her read a lot of Illustrated Classics type books, to introduce her to good books, then later had her read the real thing. Having a framework in her mind of what’s going on helps her when she comes across unfamiliar vocabulary. Sometimes watching the movie first helps, too. 

We also do a lot of audiobooks. 

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As far as where I actually get my book lists, mostly I compile them from lists written by other people. A few years ago the library printed off a copy of some library association’s 100 Greatest Children’s Books list (which the children’s librarian had helpfully separated by grade level).

Some come off of the Sonlight reading lists, some go along with our history. Some are books I enjoyed as a kid. Some are Newberry books. The internet is full of book lists, and people here on the boards often have great suggestions.

If I’m unsure about level, I go to the library and look at the book to see how it compares to what o know DD can read. I don’t stress about her reading good literature “below her level”. A lot of the value of literature is not in what reading level it is, but the deeper themes and life questions it brings up. I say this as an adult who enjoys YA and children’s literature, though. I don’t let her do ALL reading below her level, but every book shouldn’t be a challenge.

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Here are a few that my daughter, now 11, enjoyed around that age: 

Anything by Beverly Cleary, especially Socks 

Igraine the Brave by Funke

Justin Morgan had a Horse by Henry

The Light Princess by MacDonald as an audiobook

The plant that Ate Dirty Socks by McArthur

No flying in the House by Brock

 

 

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