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Preparing the Books: Choosing This Year's Read Alouds (Back to Homeschool Blog Hop and Read Aloud Wednesdays Link Up!)

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Welcome back to Day 3 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Along with other bloggers from The Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Connect, I've been sharing posts about starting back to homeschool this week. The focus of my posts has been preparing to start back to school. You can find all the posts and links to all of the other participating bloggers here. So check it out for homeschool information and inspiration.

Because I post about reading aloud on my Read Aloud Wednesdays posts, today's post is all about preparing our read alouds. I'm going to share some of my favorite resources for finding great read alouds along with ten of the books I already have planned to read aloud with my kids this school year. You can still link up your posts with today's Read Aloud Wednesdays post, so keep reading and link up any reading related post- reading lists, book related activities, what you're currently reading. I love to find more great read aloud ideas.

Resources for finding living books to read aloud

Although reading aloud is one of my very favorite things to do with my kids- while doing "schoolwork" or just for fun- I've learned that when it comes to reading aloud, not all books are equal. Some books are good books, they just don't flow well to read aloud. And some books are "twaddle", and I just feel as if they're a waste of time to read aloud. I've learned to be selective as I choose the books we're going to read aloud. And although I allow some twaddle on our bookshelves, and we definitely have some popular television or movie related children's books, I try to choose books of value to really spend time reading aloud. Here are a few places that I look to find good books and a few resources that have been recommended to me.

Honey for a Child's Heart-This is an excellent resource by Gladys Hunt. It's an annotated book list for ages 0-12. There is also Honey for a Teen's Heart with recommendations for older readers.

Living Books List from Amy Lynn Andrews- although Amy Lynn Andrews is known for blogging instruction and resources, she also has an awesome living books list on her site. You can search with different filters.

Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson- I've heard Sarah Clarkson- blogger at Storyformed- speak. She encourages the sharing of stories and to hear her is to be inspired to read and read with your kids. Read for the Heart is a great resource, listing over 1000 books for reading with your kids.

A Charlotte Mason Home- This site has a list of "twaddle free" literature listed by suggested grade level. It's not a very big list, but there are some good recommendations here.

Ambleside Online- This site contains a totally free, full curriculum for a Charlotte Mason education. I've never used the full curriculum, but for each grade level there is a booklist of the living books that will be used in that year. These booklists are a great resource for finding good reading, even if you don't plan on using the site as full curriculum.

Literature and Movies for History and Science- On this page there are several categories of resources. But my favorite are the living books for science and living books for math. Those are two subjects I've had the most trouble finding living books for, and there is a pretty large list here.

Simply Charlotte Mason Book Finder- Simply Charlotte Mason is one of my favorite resource sites. The Book Finder can actually be used as a lesson planner/organizer for a subscription fee. But the book finder part is free to use. It's a catalog of over 1500 living books listed by category. You can search with different filters for subject or grade level.

So there are some resources for finding good, living books to read aloud with the kids. Here are a few that we're reading this year. Some are ones that our history/literature curriculum recommends and some are just books that I've wanted to read aloud. I read aloud to the younger girls for several school subjects and at bedtime. I read aloud to all four kids- including my high schoolers- at lunch time.

Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass

Homer Price by Robert McClosky 

Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen

Andrea Carter's Tales From the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow

C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller by Geoff and Janet Benge

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

Now it's your turn to link up your reading related posts. Share what you've been reading or fun book related activities.

As We Walk Along the Road

Don't forget to visit the other blogs in the blog hop for more Back to Homeschool fun.


  1. We share a few of the same planned books!

  2. Thanks for this! I hadn't heard of some of these resources, so I'll be looking them up!

  3. AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New books! Most of these are new!!!! Must look. Thanks for the resource ideas too! :)

  4. What a wonderful list! We have read some of them but now I have more to acquire! :)


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