Choosing the Best Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschooling

(This post was updated 8-20-19)

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. At the end of the post, don’t forget to pick up your 2019-20 School Year Read Aloud planner for free!

Choosing read alouds for your homeschool

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Resource Sites for Finding Great Read Alouds

Leah’s List of Living Books- This is a catalog of living books that you can access free right here on the blog. It’s ever-growing and is organized by grade level and topic.

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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.
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.

Living Books for Science at Elemental Science– Science is one of the hardest subjects for which to find living books in my opinion. Elemental Science has a good 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.

Choosing read alouds for your homeschool

Great Read Aloud Selections for Back-to-Homeschool

So there are some resources for finding good, living books to read aloud with the kids. Here are a few of my favorites that we’ve read aloud recently. Some are ones that our history/literature curriculum recommended and some are just books that I wanted to read aloud.

Don’t forget to pick up your free 2019-20 School Year Read Aloud Planner. It’s got planning pages and read aloud suggestions for all ages for every month of the year!

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