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Friday, March 2, 2012

Reading Lists by Grade

In our home, our children are required to read every day. One of the ways I try to accomplish this is by putting them to bed 30 minutes to an hour before their bedtime, and having them read in bed until lights out. My oldest has always been an avid reader, so I don't need to remind her to read. My boys are a little less willing to read by free choice. But that's OK. Reading is still a daily requirement as long as they are of school age in our home. I call this "Free Reading" time, but the word "free" is somewhat misleading. They aren't free to choose whatever they want to read at this assigned reading time. I direct their book choices. There are other times of day when they are free to choose any book they wish to read, but I want them reading out of a book I've chosen for them daily.

I really have a vision that all our children leave our home one day having read as many classic books as possible. Last year, I spent some time creating a list of classic literature, and then looking up the grade level of each book. I use Book Adventure as my main source for finding out the reading levels for most books. I then created reading lists for each grade and saved them on my computer. These lists are what I use for each school year. My children are required to read every book on the list for their grade-level in the span of one school year (and sometimes, into the summer break). The lists are not final - they are still a work in progress.

As spring rapidly approaches, and summer is just around the corner, books are a great way to keep children engaged in learning. In our house, we encourage our children to find productive activities during their free time. Reading is an activity that not only increases their vocabulary and leads to good writing skills, but also immerses them in some great stories that are part of our history. Character lessons can be taught through classic literature, whether they be good examples or bad. We strongly desire for our children to develop a LOVE of reading while in our home, even if they don't have it naturally. We tell them that READING is LEARNING.

I would like to share my grade-level reading lists with you, but I have a few disclaimers:
  • I have not taught all of these grades yet. My oldest is in 7th grade right now. So these lists may change based on what we discover as we get into the upper grades.
  • I have not read each of these books myself. I cannot vouch for their moral appropriateness until we get to each one.
  • These are suggested grade levels. Your child may find some books on their grade-level list too difficult or too easy. Each child is unique. I have one son who reads one grade ahead of his grade-level. So for him, I use the list appropriate for his reading level, not his actual grade.
  • These lists definitely are not all-encompassing. You are welcome to add to them or take away as you see fit. I might do that myself. There's far more great books in the world than are listed here, that's for sure.
OK, here they are! I hope you find them useful.

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of the Lamplighter books? EXCELLENT!