The best thing you can do to help your children’s education is to nurture the desire to read. Your children will struggle to grasp all other school subjects if they struggle with or hate reading. Teach them now, teach them young to love reading! One way to do this is by reading to them. Check out some of the best read aloud chapter books to get you started.
You don’t have to teach anything. Just read!
When my husband and I had our son we were gifted so many books! Especially by our teacher friend who’s been a in the classroom and now a reading specialist for over 20 years. Over and over again she tells us to read to our child. Let our child play with his books so he can “read” them himself. Keep them within his reach.
Teaching your child to read isn’t organized teaching at all. You don’t have to know what a verb or adjective is. All you have to do is read to them!
“What if I’m a bad reader?”
If your children are older and you want to start reading to them, just be honest about your struggle to read. Explain that you will stumble on some words and read slowly but this is something you want to do for them. Something you want to do as a family.
And the more you read for your children the better you will get, too!
Reading Aloud is Great Family Time
When I was a kid, most nights before bed my mom would read to us out of our Bible story book. After reading one story she would switch to whatever chapter book we were working on. When I say “we” I mean all of us.
Dad was in his chair reading the newspaper. And us four kids were sitting around working on a quiet craft, organizing matchbox cars or just listening. Whether we were listening or not, we were all together in one room as a family.
We could work on our projects while mom read but we had to be quiet about it.
Use Your Library!
You don’t have to go out and buy every book you want to read. Use your library. Search online, request them and then all you have to do is walk in and check the book out. Easy peasy!
If you do want to buy books so you don’t have to worry about returning them and late fees, look at thrift stores. I can always find a great book or two at my thrift store for $1 or less.
You are never too old to be read to.
Before we had our son, I would ride with my husband many days planting corn, chopping hay or combining. I would usually read aloud to him. It was a great way to get in a good book and enjoy each other’s company.
Now I read aloud to him on road trips or even shopping trips that are just an hour away. We will also read together on winter evenings when he gets in from work earlier.
Even though our one-year-old isn’t as entertained as he would be by his board books, he is hearing and seeing the importance of reading patterned in his life.
20 Best Read Aloud Chapter Books
Books make great Christmas gifts! Grab your free printable “Christmas Gift Checklist” when you sign up for my newsletter!
- Little House on the Prairie series – An all-time classic series, my mom read these books to us over and over and over again. They portray some happy and a lot of trying moments that went into settling our country. My favorite is “Farmer Boy” as it’s full of mischievousness and fun.
- Homer Price– Any Homer Price tales are great fun and a little mystery! These are chapter books, but as individual stories. Each chapter is a short story and can stand alone from the rest of the book.
- Caddie Woodlawn – Caddie is a young girl growing up in wild Wisconsin during the Civil War period. Although it is not a true story, it is based on the author’s collection of stories from her grandmother.
- Charlotte’s Web – Although the movie is a great depiction of the book, the book still allows for more details and requires more imagination from the listening children.
- Anne of Green Gables – Anne is an orphan girl who gets adopted by a brother and sister on Prince Edward Island and is always getting in trouble! The next books in this series are more for adults and could be a bore for younger children.
- The Boxcar Children series – Four siblings are orphaned and live in a train boxcar at first. True adventure and mystery books, this series will keep your children entertained through all 30-some books in the series.
- A Girl Of The Limberlost – This book is technically a sequel. The first book is more for adults and allows this second book to stand on its own.
- Tom Sawyer – Still one of my favorite adventure books! It’s even better if you can read aloud with all the accents!
- Huckleberry Finn – [Similar to Tom Sawyer]
- The Secret Garden – A young orphan girl is left to explore all the mysteries of her uncle’s mansion. I remember being scared by the movie and the way the moaning was portrayed before the girl discovered the source. But the book is less frightening for younger children.
- A Little Princess – An orphan girl is sent off to boarding school. In the end her father returns and it turns out she is a princess.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Again, the movie was more frightening for me than the book. As a child I watched the movie after mom had read the book and I was still a bit scared.
- Because of Winn-Dixie – A girl and her dog find (or create) a summer full of adventures.
- Black Beauty – Told from the horse’s point of view, this book will help children understand how to treat animals with kindness.
- Holes – A serious and fun book full of ironic twists and adventure. I first read this in high school but my young nephews love it.
- Bridge to Terabithia – A story of two lonely children who create their own magical kingdom to escape their realities.
- Matilda – It’s about a mistreated girl pushing through her injustices (with a lot of help from her magical talent) and gaining her dream life in the end.
- Wonder – A great story inspired by a real-life event, this book will help your children understand those who are different from them. A tear jerker!
- Shiloh – The first book is a great lesson about a young boy doing the right (and brave) thing and an abused beagle. There are two more great sequels.
- American Girl series – I loved reading these as a young girl but your boys might not tolerate them as well. Give these historical fiction books a try…your boys might surprise you! Each girl has her own set of stories from a different era in American history.
These books make great Christmas gifts! Grab your free printable “Christmas Gift Checklist” when you sign up for my newsletter!
Great Authors to Read Aloud
I’m sure I’ve missed many great books that were part of your childhood! So here is a round-up of authors that may have a book on my list but are definitely worth reading their works to your children.
- Roald Dahl
- Robert McCloskey
- Shel Silverstein
- Beverly Cleary
- E.B. White
- Jean Craighead George
- Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Carol Ryrie Brink
This is just a small list of books and authors that I enjoyed as a girl. Both reading them myself and having them read aloud. Add your favorites to the list and create wonderful memories as a family. All while nurturing the desire to read.
Go on adventures as a family when you break open some of the best read aloud chapter books.