This post was originally published as the introduction to an issue of TheHomeSchoolMom newsletter. Sign up here and get access to subscriber exclusive downloads.
My opinion? The single most important thing you can do as a homeschooling parent is read to your kids every day. But what to read?
Try consulting some high quality book lists and recommendations to learn about the books librarians, educators, book bloggers, and families have loved. Pin or print a book list that appeals to you, or mix and match suggestions from multiple lists. You can find book titles grouped into checklists, lists with descriptions, lists by year, lists by topic, and more.
Search for the books in your library catalog, local bookshop, or online retailer. You’ll fill your library bag and bookshelves with treasures to share with your kids.
Here are some examples of book lists and recommendations you can browse:
- Caldecott Award and Honor Books CheckList, 1938-2021, provided by Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County
- Newbery Award Winners, 1922-2021, provided by Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards, 1970-2021, provided by American Library Association
- Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011-2021, provided by American Library Association
- MelissaWiley.com Book Recommendations, provided by the children’s author and blogger Melissa Wiley
- HeritageMom.com Book Recommendations, provided by Amber O’Neal Johnston
- 11 Books for the Horse-Obsessed, provided by Barnes & Noble Kids
- 12 Nonfiction Books Kids Will Actually Read, provided by Brightly (Penguin Randomhouse site)
Not all books on any book list will be suitable for every child or every family. Preview books and read multiple reviews if you are wondering if a specific book will fit. Books sometimes fall in and out of favor, too, and older books may not reflect current cultural norms and updated understandings of history. That said, you may be reminded of some of your own childhood favorites you do want to share with your children.
Do you have a favorite book list or book blogger? Does your library share book lists and staff picks on their website or in their stacks? Share your favorite resources for selecting books with members of your homeschool group or on social media (and in the comments below — we love all things books!).
Homeschool families benefit when we spread the word about good books.