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Story Time!

This week's theme from Stephanie at Ordinary Life Magic is Reading tools.

I've already written about how much books mean to us. As a mum, I feel really, really lucky that both my kids enjoy reading so much and learnt to do it relatively easily. Reading is so important to my husband (in fact, he's off reading a novel right now!) and I have a compulsive book habit too. So from a very young age (probably 2 or 3 months old), our kids were read aloud to. And I have to say, that one of the best benefits of homeschooling is having time to read aloud even now (at 11 and 12 years of age). I loved reading all those picture books that I had enjoyed as a child and found lots of new exciting ones (including a lot of Australian authors):

Ahh, makes me nostalgic for those early days! I wonder if Wombat Girl will let me read them to her now? (of course she will!).

I'm pretty sure (and my memory is a bit fuzzy) that Video Boy was able to sight read lots of words before starting school and could read a few of those simple picture books. Once he started Kindergarten and got those much discussed "readers" he took off like a rocket and whizzed through the levels, so that by the end of Kindy he was allowed to bring in his books from home, because he had outgrown the readers on offer.

Taken just this morning...when he should have been getting ready for "school"
Wombat Girl was, of course, reading those readers too and soon loved to read to fellow pre-schoolers! The teachers were quite amazed (and quite frankly, relieved because it kept multiple children amused at one time). They test reading levels of kids entering Kindergarten, and she scored at Level 20 (the test only went up to Level 20 in Kindergarten) and soon had outgrown those readers by Term 1. The school was pretty good at letting her read her own books at school too. I got lots of questions from other parents ("Did you teach her how to read?").

Did you remember to eat?

The librarian at school was not so accommodating, refusing to let either child borrow "chapter books" at those ages, because "they should be enjoying picture books". Which they were, but they also enjoyed more advanced fair too:

As the kids got a bit older and moved into the latter years of primary school (and homeschooling - yay!), the books (and the series) got a bit bigger:

There are of course the classics, that should be on everyone's bookshelf (or iPad or Kindle):
  • The Secret Garden (Francis Hodgson-Burnett)
  • Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery)
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll)
  • Peter Pan and Wendy (JM Barrie)
  • Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Graham)
  • Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
  • Heidi (Johanna Spyri)
  • Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi)
  • Just So Stories (Rudyard Kipling)
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
  • Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stephenson)
  • Gulliver's Travels (Jonathon Swift)
  • Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

As they grow older and move into the teenage years (arrhhh! No! Tell me it isn't yet!), their choices get a bit more grown up:

AND we have LOTS of non-fiction! Just a few of the faves include:

I realise that we are very lucky to have kids who learnt to read easily and enjoy their reading (I wish I was able to say that about their writing, but that is another post for another day). I know that not everyone's kids do (and I know that the child has be developmentally ready). However, reading is soooo important in this world - to be able to unlock the code of the written word is the key to so much - understanding, learning, enjoyment. If my child were struggling with reading, I would be checking for any underlying learning difficulty or vision issues before anything. Then enjoying the written word together (in whatever form takes your fancy) and searching out books (any sort, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, fart-jokes - whatever floats their boat) that your child can enjoy.

Books and reading play such an important (possibly the most important) part of our homeschooling. Even if the kids never "produce" anything else, they could read stories and peruse non-fiction (and indeed the internet) and they would still be learning and loving it!



  1. I am also thankful to have readers in the house!
    Thanks for the list of your favorites. I see many we love, but a few we haven't tried yet. New book ideas! Yay!

    I've been on the fence about allowing DS11 to read The Hitch Hiker's Guides. I KNOW he would love them, but some of the more adult themes keep holding me back. Maybe this summer...

    1. Video Boy read it a couple of years ago (maybe when he was 10?). He LOVED it!! I could hear the laughing rooms away. He quotes it now. He says that there is only one spot where Trillian is described having a shower that made him uncomfortable and the "Eccentrica Gallumbits, the Triple Breasted Whore of Eroticon Six" reference which he says he had no idea then that it was rude!

  2. "Books and reading play such an important (possibly the most important) part of our homeschooling. Even if the kids never "produce" anything else, they could read stories and peruse non-fiction (and indeed the internet) and they would still be learning and loving it!"

    I agree 200%!!! Particularly as our first has 'graduated' I've realised what a massive impact being a literate family has had our forming us as a family. Thanks for the list, love book lists:) off to check out the newbies (to me)

    1. Erin - what did you do? My spam filter put your comment in Spam! The hide of it!

      Anyway, I think being literate is so important - to be able to read, enjoy reading and critically read are skills that you will use no matter what you end up doing!

  3. Great list of books there, thanks for sharing :-)

    1. My pleasure! I'm sure I've left out lots!

  4. I love reading other people's lists. Thanks for the ideas.

    Lucky here to have readers though my daughter was not a reader until she was much older than the others. I was so disappointed for a long time and read volumes and volumes to her. Now we trade books and she loves to read. The boys need no encouragement.

    1. There's always good ideas to be picked up reading other's lists! I was worried that they, for some reason, didn't want to pick up a book, but not to worry. I'm so glad she came around :-)


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