Homeschooling Kindergarten: 75 Books We Read Aloud
One of the main reasons I love to homeschool is the amount of time Zakari and I can dedicated to Read Aloud Time. Helping my child grow into an avid reader is one of the most amazing feelings ever. Sharing the passion of reading is such a natural high and I feel it is a powerful gift I’m giving my son. Once a child learns to read, all knowledge is at their fingertips. A person who can read well can teach themselves anything they want to learn from books.
I am of the camp that all children should learn how to read from infancy. A child can learn to read the same way that he or she learns to talk. As long as we can make the words big enough, they can learn. I don’t want to hear that they will be bored in school. I don’t want to hear that they are developmentally not ready. That my friends is hogwash. Children who are taught how to read, love to read. Teaching my youngest who has autism to read as a baby opened up so many doors for him. Plus teaching them this skill while they are young and hungry to learn makes it so much easier.
Check out my other articles about teaching your child to read:
One of the programs that we were given when we visited the IAHP in August 2017 was to read with Zakari from books designed for children in grades 2-3. We have taken this program and ran with it. While we did take a break from many of the programs, this was one would could not stop if we tried.
Spencer Doman from Doman International (formally from IAHP) made a video about reading being the one most important thing families can do for their children.
Reading Can Comfort a Child
Reading has become a tool I can use to help comfort Z. We read every night before bed. So when we land up staying away from home, I can often get him to sleep by making sure we read our chapters before bed. I have also helped settle him back to sleep in the middle of the night while away from home when he wakes up startled by reading to him. When he is tired he will often ask me to come with him and “read chapters”. It makes nights where he is struggling to fall asleep more tolerable because it just means we read a little more.
Actually to be honest, Z has a habit of falling asleep just as we reach the last chapter of the book. I’m often sitting on pins and needles till the next day to find out what happens to the characters in our current story. I come out of the room and my husband asks me if Z is sleeping and you should see the odd look I get when I say with a pouty face, “Yes, sadly he is…”
Growing up I loved to read. But living in a rural community in the 90s limited my access to reading materials. Our school libraries had limited materials and in the summer they were closed. My mom was not one to go to a thrift store and being a single income family, books were not often in the budget. However my mom did often buy us the scholastic books on deep discount on the front page of the Scholastic Order forms. We also hit up the local mall book sale from time to time. But it was just not enough to satisfy my deep thirst for reading. I got through the summer borrowing the odd book from friends, saving my allowance and buying a book and rereading the books I did own.
It wasn’t until I was a teenager did I have access to the “Mail Library”. I went online and selected books I wanted to read and then waited. When my father came home from work he would stop at the community mailboxes and bring home the resealable cloth mail bag with my books. This was such a happy day every time these books made it into my hands.
Reliving My Childhood Book Dreams
Now that reading together has become such a special time that Little Z and I spend together, it is an opportunity for me to nurture that inner young bookworm of mine too. Zakari and I have been reading a series I loved as a young child, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids. This was a series I did own a few of. My favourite one would have been Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots. So I have been slowly collecting the series for us to read together by visiting the thrift stores, garage sales, and the Facebook Buy & Sell Groups. At first it didn’t seem like his favourite series. However as we have gotten to know the characters, he seems to be liking it more and more.
Non Fiction Historical Chapter Books for Kids
However this isn’t the only series we have been reading together. For Christmas Zakari’s Aunt and I bought him many of the Who Was/Is Series, along with the Where Was/Is Series.I really enjoyed being able to sit with him and learn alongside him about these famous people and places. If you have never seen these books before I highly recommend them. We got most of ours for dirt cheap on BookOutlet. But I’m starting to see them pop up in thrift stores.
Reading Challenge 2018
Because of Goodreads, I have been able to record everything we have read together and create this list for you. I know I’m always looking for new booklist to read with my kids, and I hope this will help you. While I was recording what we read together from the beginning of the school year, our reading journey did not explode until January 2018 when I joined the Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge. I highly recommend joining and coming up with a goal for you and your child to read together. Find me on Goodreads and ADD ME to Goodreads as a way to track our reading sooner, we would have read more than 75 read alouds together.
Our Kindergarten Reading List
- Who Was Steve Irwin? If you haven’t check out this series, what are you waiting for. Zakari is being introduced to many different famous people in a fun, kid friendly way. As the parent I am also learning. After reading this book I ordered the biography Teri Irwin wrote because I wanted to learn more.
- Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, #1) Honestly I wasn’t sure if I’d like this series. However I picked up the first 42 in the series for the crazy price of $15 on Kijiji, so I decided to take the risk. I was pleasantly surprised once we started reading it, Zakari and I got attached to the characters and their crazy adventures. When given the choice of what book to read as our next read aloud, Zakari often picks the next one in this series.
- James and the Giant Peach This was a classic from my childhood. I was one of the longer books we read this year, so it took us a long time. But Zakari seemed to really enjoy it. He often dragged me to read it with him at other times then our regular reading time.
- Who Is Wayne Gretzky? A book about a Canadian hero and hockey. Of course we had to read it and it did not disappoint. Even my hubby sat in and listened to this one.
- Salty Dog (Adventures of Wishbone, #2) Wishbone was one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid. I never knew they had Wishbone books. Since I found out I have been on the hunt to collect them all. They are also on the longer side, so I am saving them for now. But when the time comes we can binge read them. (Does anyone else binge read book series? You know how people binge watch Netflix shows? I can’t be the only one, right?)
- Who Was Elvis Presley? We enjoyed this book. I also loved how they handled explaining some of Elvis’s shadier parts of his life. Very age appropriate in my opinion.
- Because of Winn-Dixie Apparently I live under a rock, because I never heard of this book or movie. I stumbled upon this book at the thrift store and it caught my eye. A few days later our tutor noticed it on my cabinet and told me how she read that in school and loved it. So I decided to read it as our next read aloud and what an awesome story about a girl and her dog. I’m not a dog person and this story really touched me.
- Winnie-the-Pooh I’m not going to lie, I didn’t care for this one. I know, its Winnie-the-Pooh, how can you not care for that. Well to be even more honest, I disliked this book. Its not on my list of books to ever reread. I felt there was no point to the story. Zakari didn’t seem too interested either. We only finished it because it was part of our BookShark Curriculum.
- Who Was Walt Disney?
- PeeWee (This link is for the French version. I found my English copy at a thrift store) I’m so sad I cannot find a link to share this book with everyone. It is an awesome book about a Canadian Pee Wee hockey team. I love how they grew as a team and reading about the team’s journey.
- Babe: The Gallant Pig This is another childhood classic for me. I remember my teacher reading this to my class in the 3rd or 4th grade. Plus after you read the book, you can watch the movie with your child.
- Who Was Jim Henson? I’ve always loved Jim Henson, but after reading this book I have a new respect for him. He was a household name when I was growing up, and my big kids have no idea who he was. Now they do.
- The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House, #2)
- Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1) While I loved the little house on the prairie show growing up I never read any of the books. This was one of the books assigned in our Level 0 Build Your Library Curriculum. I enjoyed it very much, but if I’m honestly I could tell Z didn’t care for it much.
- Twenty and Ten I heard about this book from Emily at ARRRGH! Schooling. So I ordered it for myself. Then I was surprised to see that Bookshark use it as a book for Kindergarten. So instead of just reading it to myself, I read it aloud to Z. We very much enjoyed it. Its a story of a selflessness and courage during the time of Hitler. 20 young children and their teacher risk everything to save 10 Jewish children. I have since recommended it to another homeschool mom and her family enjoyed it as well.
- Anne Of Green Gables (abridged version) The copy we read was from the Target Dollar Spot,
- Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House #3)
- Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House #4)
- Who Was Dr. Seuss?
- The Trouble with Tuck This was one of those random thrift store finds that caught my eye. Its about a girls search to find a seeing eye dog, for her dog who as gone blind. Tuck had saved her life, now it was her turn to save his. Her perseverance and determination was heart warming. If you can get your hands on this book it worth the read.
- Night Of The Ninjas (Magic Tree House #5)
- Magic School Bus – Blizzard Another educational but fun series. Especially for kids who are already familiar with the characters on the two Magic School Bus shows on Netflix.
- Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters #1) This series was such a hit for Zakari. He just loved reading about the children who become Dragon Masters. We stumbled across books 1-6 at Once Upon A Child, and I grabbed them. Books in this series are still being released, and we can’t wait to read more as we get them.
- Pirates Do Ride Scooters (The Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book, #4) This is a series of beginner chapter books for kids with the same Characters from the Bailey School Kids Adventures I talked about earlier. While less detailed and simpler then the original series, they are great for kids easing into chaper books.
- Snow Monsters Do Drink Hot Chocolate (The Bailey School Kids Junior Chapter Book, #9)
- Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House, #6)
- Saving the Sun Dragon (Dragon Masters #2)
- Sunset Of The Sabertooth (Magic Tree House #7)
- Secret of the Water Dragon (Dragon Masters #3)
- Jack and the Beanstalk (Wishbone: The Early Years, #1) For kids that are not quite ready to sit through the longer Wishbone books, this might be a great starting place. They are not as simple as the Bailey School Junior Books, they are quite a bit shorter then the other Wishbone series. This school year we had a blast reading though this short 4 book series.
- Where Is the Amazon? This book was not as good as the Who Was/Is series. It was good as a research book for kids learning about the Amazon. But it was not a book that sucked you in. We did learn a lot, but it did feel like learning.
- Power of the Fire Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #4)
- Midnight On the Moon (Magic Tree House #8)
- Werewolves Don’t Go to Summer Camp (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #2)
- Song of the Poison Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #5)
- Who Is Stan Lee? After watching a newer Thor movie on Netflix, I nerded out and read Zakari this book that night. He seemed to enjoy it and we got though the whole thing in one sitting. What I like about this series is finding people that your child has been exposed to in one way or another and expanding on it.
- Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House, #9)
- The Children of Noisy Village From the author who wrote Pippi Longstocking, we read The Children of Noisy Village. It was part of our Build Your Library Level 0 Curriculum. While I would have never picked it up if it wasn’t a required reading. But it was a nice read. It had a Little House on the Prairie feeling.
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Wishbone The Early Years #2)
- Flight of the Moon Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #6)
- Reindeer Do Wear Striped Underwear (The Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book, #2)
- Ghost Town at Sundown (Magic Tree House, #10)
- Santa Claus Doesn’t Mop Floors (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #3)
- Who Is George Lucas?
- The Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball (Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #4)
- Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House, #11)
- The House of Shadows (Usborne Young Reading: Series 2)
- Sleeping Beauty: Usborne Young Reading
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: (Usborne Young Reading: Series One)
- The Hit-Away Kid Another Thrift store find. This one used a lot of baseball terms that Z and I are not familiar with. But if you have an avid baseball fan in your home, I would highly recommend it.
- Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House, #12)
- The Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips (Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #5)
- Goldie (The Puppy Place, #1) Wow! This series is something else. Each book Lizzie and her brother Charles help a new foster dog find the perfect home. I’m not a dog person, but this series has both Z and I sucked in. Thankfully they seem to be still be printing new books in the series. I know this is one series we are always on the hunt for use copies to complete our collection.
- Who Is Steven Spielberg?
- Vacation Under the Volcano (Magic Tree House, #13)
- Hansel and Gretel (Wishbone Early Years, #3)
- Who Were the Brothers Grimm? This was another Who Was/Is that as an adult I learned so much. For my son who loves fairy tales, it was interesting for him to hear how they came to be.
- Snowball (The Puppy Place, #2)
- Day of the Dragon King (Magic Tree House, #14)
- Wishbone (The Early Years) The Brave Little Tailor
- Viking Ships At Sunrise (Magic Tree House, #15)
- Frankenstein Doesn’t Plant Petunias ( The Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids, #6)
- Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House, #16)
- Little Pear Another Build Your Library Level 0 Curriculum required reading. Its about a naughty young boy names Little Pear. Each chapter is another one of his adventures. While I would have likely never picked it up before BYL we enjoyed Little Pears antics. It helped push us out of our comfort zone.
- The Adventures of Peter Cottontail I had never read any of these stories but found this book at the local homeschooling conference for only $3. Zakari and I have enjoyed it. Each chapter was like a mini story. Mostly about Peter Cottontail and his archenemy Reddy Fox.
- Who Was Milton Bradley? I always thought that Milton Bradley was just the creator of the Milton Bradley company and games. Turns out he was instrumental in bringing kindergarten to the USA.
- Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House, #17) So far to date after reading 21 books from the series, this was my personal favorite.
- The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef This was one of our favourite books in Build Your Library Level 0. This is book #6 in the Carole Marsh Mysteries series. Before this I had never heard of this series. Now I want to collect them all. Its all about 10 year old Christina, 7 year old Grant, their grandfather and mystery-writing grandmother Mimi. What I liked most was it was a easy to read, yet rich in vocabulary not usually used in books geared to this age category.
- Shadow (The Puppy Place, #3) As a family trying to get our son a autism service dog, this story helped us understand the process a dog goes through to become a guide dog. I’m sure when we are finally accepted to the service dog program, we will be rereading this Puppy Place book.
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins Once again I’m going to be honest, I didn’t care for this one. Even Zakari who loves penguins, didn’t get as into it as I thought he would. I know its a classic that has been around as long as I can remember. But if I were to homeschool another child(which no more are planned) I would find a different book to read.
- Pirates Don’t Wear Pink Sunglasses (Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #9)
- Buffalo Before Breakfast (Magic Tree House, #18) The timing for this book was just right. We read all the Magic Tree House books in order. So before leaving for our 4 day get away to North Dakota, I just grabbed the next book in the series. I could not have planned it better, seeing as this book is all about the Lakota natives that lived in what is now North Dakota in the 1800’s.
- Rascal (The Puppy Place, #4)
- Tigers at Twilight (Magic Tree House, #19)
- Truth About Bats (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book, #1)
As you can see, some of our favourite books have been random thrift store finds. I can’t stress the importance of getting books used. If your not a library family like we are, its an awesome way to try a series and not invest too much money.
Why don’t we use the library to borrow books?
We don’t often borrow from the library because I’m to irresponsible to get the books back to the library on time. Its terrible but sometimes the late cost me more then buying the book to keep used. At one point, my library late fees were part of my Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball. That being said, I do often hit up the library book sale.
What books did you and your children read aloud this past school year? How do you keep track of what your reading? Does your child have a particular series they can’t get enough of? Stay tune to find out which series we are loving, and how they are fitting into our homeschool lessons.