Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

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I wasn’t homeschooled, but I can remember loving library time in elementary school. It wasn’t just the books or the break away from the regular classroom. It was sitting on the big round rug listening to the librarian read aloud.

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Night Zookeeper is a children’s brand on a mission to make learning fantastically fun and help kids unlock their creativity. Our reading & writing program has helped over 1 million children aged 6-12 to develop their reading, writing, and creative thinking skills.

 

The Benefits of Read Alouds in Your Homeschool

ultimate homeschool read aloud book list

There are studies that demonstrate that read-alouds can improve pronunciation, reading speed, and a student’s ability to make connections while reading. Further, “Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent.”1

Beyond studies, as homeschooling parents, we understand that adding read-alouds to our homeschool can foster much more than an improvement in reading and a love for it, it can foster relationship. Relationship is fundamental to a successful homeschooling experience for our families.

 

How to Read Aloud

This might seem obvious. You choose a book and you begin reading aloud. Couldn’t be simpler, right? There are some tips and techniques that can make your read-aloud time a better experience for everyone.

  1. Practice reading aloud. Vary your cadence. Use fun voices for certain characters if that seems fun to you!
  2. Pick a book YOU love when you first begin. If your favorite book is a longer one, try reading just a few chapters at a time, finding a stopping point that leaves them wanting more. This also teaches your child the art of savoring a book for themselves in their own reading. Stumped, this resource is a great guide.
  3. Keep a list of lists. Books lists will help you know the classics, the tried-and-true, the most-loved books. Suggestions: Caldecott winners, homeschooling read-aloud lists, the 1,000 Good Books List, and the Vintage Homeschool Mom reading list podcast. 
  4. Take turns! You don’t have to be the only reader! Even the littlest of your children can take a turn in the read-aloud seat!
  5. Make use of audiobooks and let the narrator take the role of teacher. This works wonderfully during long drives and the dinner-making routine. You can find a wide selection at your library or even Audible.com. Our all-time favorite family read-aloud was Where The Red Fern Grows. Other favorites include The Courage of Sarah Noble, Heidi, and David Copperfield.

What if I Don’t Like Reading Aloud?

If you don’t like reading aloud, it’s likely due to one of the following:

  • it’s a new concept to you and the learning curve seems too great
  • you’ve never developed a love of reading
  • you’re scared of failing
  • you’re tired after a day of homeschooling and homemaking or working and you don’t need to add one more thing to your list

I understand! You don’t have to be perfect at reading aloud, you just have to begin! It’ll be an adventure! Make use of some of the techniques above and master the new skill or allow others (your own children and audiobooks) to help you!

Ultimate List of Read Alouds for Your Homeschool

Elementary

1. Misty of Chincoteague by Margueritte Henry
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
3. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
4. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
5. Tornado by Betsy Byars
6. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
7. Bright April by Marguerite De Angeli
8. My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannet
9. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson This one we still quote to this day! So many funnies. Worth the audio version.
10. The Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla
11. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
12. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
13. Star of Light by Patricia St. John
14. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
15. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
16. The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
17. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
18. Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack
19. Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells
20. The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
21. Sox by Beverly Cleary Read belly-laughs happen with this one!
22. The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill Miss Agnes is the type of teacher every homeschool mom aspires to be. <3
23. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
24. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
25. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
26. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
27. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois A favorite of my kids when they were in the 8-10 year-old range.
28. Riding the Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla
29. Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry This was wonderful to read around Kentucky Derby time.
30. Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop An introduction to WW2 for youngers.
31. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
32. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary Both my boys loved this one!
33. The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
34. Treasury for Children by James Herriot I love all things James Herriot, and for the parents, the BBC series is a must.
35. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame  Children love this “put yourself in the place of” imagining of a dragon during the time of St. George the Dragonslayer.
36. Mice of the Herring Bone by Tim Davis Growing up on Highlights magazine, I fell in love with this series of how the ordinary can do extraordinary things.
37. Centerburg Tales by Robert McCloskey Homer Price belongs on every bookshelf.
38. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling Can you have too much of a good thing?
39. The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thorton Burgess Burgess books were my first exposure to the living books classification. A happy discovery!
40. Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace
41. The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers I loved this more than my kids, but still made the list.
42. The Bears of Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
43. Joel, A Boy of Galilee by Annie Fellows Johnston This one is special to me. Not only did I love the book, but lived down the road from Pewee Valley, KY, the author’s town.
44. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
45. Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter
46. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien We also enjoyed the motion picture.
47. Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
48. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
49. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
50. Who Owns the Sun by Stacy Chbosky
51.  The Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
52. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

Middle School | High School Reading List (yes, you can read aloud in the upper grades)

 

53. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
54. Watership Down – Richard Adams
55. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
56. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
57. The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
58. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
59. Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing – Judy Blume
60. The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford
61. Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary
62. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
63. Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
64. The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 – Christopher Paul Curtis
65. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
66. Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo
67. A Girl Named Disaster – Nancy Farmer
68. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
69. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key – Jack Gantos
70. M.C. Higgins, the Great – Virginia Hamilton
71. Redwall – Brian Jacques
72. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
73. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg
74. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
75. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
76. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
79. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
80. Mary Poppins – P. L. Travers
81. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
82. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
83. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
84. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
85. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
86. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
87. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
88. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
89. The Indian in the Cupboard – Lynne Reid Banks
90. Watership Down – Richard Adams
91. The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
92. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
93. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
94. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
95. My Ántonia – Willa Cather
96. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
97. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
98. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
99. The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
100. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
101. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
102. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
103. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
104. Silas Marner – George Eliot
105. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
106. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
107. Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
108. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
109. The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
110. Old Yeller – Fred Gipson
111. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
112. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
113. Summer of My German Soldier – Bette Greene
114. Death Be Not Proud – John Gunther
115. Roots – Alex Haley
116. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
117. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
118. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
119. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
120. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
121. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
122. Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
123. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
124. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
125. The Jungle Book (Books I and II) – Rudyard Kipling
126. A Separate Peace – John Knowles
127. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
128. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
129. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
130. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
131. The Giver – Lois Lowry
132. Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
133. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
134. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
135. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
136. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
137. Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
138. Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
139. 1984 – George Orwell
140. Animal Farm – George Orwell
141. Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton
142. A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck
143. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
144. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
145. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
146. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
147. Shane – Jack Schaefer
148. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
149. Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
150. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
151. Antigone – Sophocles
152. Call It Courage – Armstrong Sperry
153. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
154. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
155. The Pearl – John Steinbeck
156. The Red Pony – John Steinbeck
157. Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
158. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
159. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
160. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
161. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
162. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
163. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
164. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
165. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
166. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
167. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
168. Our Town – Thornton Wilder
169. Black Boy – Richard Wright
170. Native Son – Richard Wright
171. The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss
172. The Pigman – Paul Zindel

 

Happy reading!

1 Archives of Disease in Childhood.

 

Read aloud by Media Angels: (available on Kindle)

 

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