Reading As A Family: 11 Best Books

January 20, 2021, 8:03 am

Reading As A Family- Our Favorite Books

I’m obsessed with reading as a family. Because I’m a storyteller by nature, sharing stories with others is way too much fun.  A trip to the bookstore (uh… it’s 2021 so it really) is a dream for me. Ok… now it’s all about scrolling through the new (and old titles) on Amazon.

Seriously, my Kindle Paperwhite is loaded with hundreds of titles that I dream to one day read.

 

Homeschool Moms Love Books

Honestly, my greatest joy is when we are reading as a family.

  1. Those spring days when my girls and I would read for hours while relaxing on the screened-in porch;
  2. Or the freezing-cold winter snow days when we would all curl up on the couch and get lost in Narnia;
  3. Exploring my son’s latest interest through books… think the anatomy of spiders and butterflies;
  4. And with my girls, hanging out in one of their rooms late at night, reading devotions together;
  5. Heck, even reading from our science book is amazing! 

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Flexibility is Key When Reading As a Family

Regardless of where we are or what season we’re in, we can always find a reading spot and a good story to share.  During our read aloud time, the girls (and my son, who is now interested) draw or doodle.

My oldest went through a Rubik’s Cube phase as well. She would manipulate that Cube the entire time I read to them. However, she was always engaged in the story line despite the “distraction.”  Ultimately, all of our children are wired differently. Many children are made to move and are auditory learners.  They may learn best when engaging their hands and eyes in a mindless activity.

RELATED POST: Teaching Tips When Homeschooling ADHD Kids 

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Benefits of Reading as Family

By and large, reading aloud TO your children provides many benefits:

  1. Exposure to beautiful well-written language.
  2. Offers kids ideas and principles that are common in higher-level literature.
  3. Encourage our kids to develop a love for books as a form of entertainment (no screens!)
  4. For those with language-based processing issues, reading aloud gives kids opportunities to develop the skill of listening and visualizing.
  5. Family cohesion and bonding.
  6. Much needed mental break after more laborious school tasks (math, reading, writing).
  7. Sharing stories creates conversations that may not otherwise occur..the list goes on.


Favorite Family Read Aloud Book List

About a year ago, my family and I had a conversation about our favorite books. We decided to put together a list of our favorite books to read together as a family. Hope this list inspires you to capture some time reading as a family. 

RELATED POST: How To Help A Struggling Reader (Writer or Kid Who Can’t Follow Multi-Step Directions)


11 Top Family Book List By Author


1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

Undoubtedly, this is one of C.S. Lewis’s best books ever! The story of Aslan and Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy is a classic story that can be read over and over again.

2. The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis

We love C.S. Lewis. Consequently, we believe the entire Narnia Series is phenomenal! Every story of the land of Narnia is filled with rich concepts and language and yet so intriguing for all ages.


3. The Ramona Quimby Series by Beverly Cleary

Who doesn’t love Ramona? For one thing, she is hilarious and quirky! Her antics are always getting her into trouble and yet she is so lovable. Keeping this in mind, our kids can often relate to her questions about life.

We love Ramona! In fact, my middle daughter loves her so much that she falls asleep to the audiobooks every night. Stockard Channing narrates them and they are so well done!

Thank you, Beverly Cleary, for this heart-warming character! The Ramona Quimby series is a classic for all ages.

4. The Henry Huggins Series by Beverly Cleary

If we are going to talk about Ramona, we can’t forget Henry Huggins.  Once we find an author we enjoy, we tend to stick with them. As a matter of fact, according to my 13 year-old daughter, the Henry Huggins series,

“Is like Ramona Quimby except its Henry. Its fun to read about Henry and his adventures with his dog.” 

Without doubt, Beverly Cleary will always be a favorite author in our home.


5. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Three summers ago, I held a book club for my middle daughter and some of her friends. We read Flora and Ulysses and had a blast. The illustrations made the book even more engaging.

K.G. Campbell did an amazing job of capturing the essence of this story through his comic-style illustrations. The book is NOT a comic, but it is about a little girl who enjoys comics and squirrels. Fun!!

6. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

In addition to Flora and Ulysseys, Because of Winn Dixie is another favorite by Kate DiCamillo.

It is such a sweet story about a young girl who lives with her father. In spite of her mother’s recent absence, Opal adjusts well under the circumstances. One morning, she befriends a precious mutt and takes him into her home.

She and her dog spend their summer on adventures in their tiny town. There are many quirky characters in this story which makes this story even more dynamic. This story sucked us all in and was an easy, relaxing read!


7. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

 

This is an intriguing story about a gorilla living in a mall zoo. Yes, you heard that correctly. There is actually a gorilla living in a mall.

Given that the animals live in captivity, there are scenes that are pretty disheartening. Thus, more tender-hearted children may want to skip this. The relationship between Ivan and a baby elephant is precious.


8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My oldest and I absolutely LOVED this book! There is a major romance component that is simply magical. For this reason, I would recommend this book for 5th grade and up. Historical fiction at its best!

This story follows the journey of a beautiful young lady who is suddenly living in Puritan New England. She befriends a lovely woman whom the townspeople refer to as a “witch.” In the long run, our protagonist shakes up the town. The story is amazing!

9. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

As mentioned previously, Elizabeth George Spears is an amazing historical fiction writer. Accordingly, the Sign of the Beaver does not disappoint.  The story follows a young boy left alone to fend for himself in early America. Despite this, he develops a friendship with a Native American teen and shows an incredible story of survival. In short, this story is phenomenal. 

I cannot more highly recommend all of Elizabeth George Spears books and recommend them as complements to any history unit in your homeschool. They are sooo good!!


10. Among the… People Series by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Clara Dillingham Pierson is not well-known in the culture at large, but she is a secret treasure in the Charlotte Mason homeschooling community. She wrote this series of children’s books each set in an animal-based settings. The characters include farm animals as well as creatures found in meadows, forests and bodies of water.

The titles in the Among The … People series are Among the

  1. Night People,
  2. Meadow People,
  3. Pond People,
  4. Forest People, &
  5. Farmyard People

Miss Pierson does an incredible job weaving in scientific fact into her personified characters. They are an excellent way to enhance science and nature study. These stories are highly-engaging read-alouds and are incredibly well-written literature.

Read Aloud For Childhood Insomnia

From time to time, my oldest daughter has experienced insomnia. In fact, at the age of 7, her insomnia lasted for about a year. I couldn’t let her suffer alone in the dark of night. Because of this, I would lie on her floor and read this series aloud to her from my Kindle.

As horrible as the insomnia was, God did create a sweet memory for us through this shared series. In light of that, this book series has a special place in my heart!   I have just begun rereading Among the Farmyard People as a read aloud with my children now ages 14, 11 and 6. We love it just as much now as we did then!!! Yay!


11. Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin

This is a collection of classic stories told in a highly engaging format.

When short on time, Fifty Famous Stories Retold is a great choice. Grab it on your Kindle and throw it in the car in the event that you become stuck in traffic. These are sooooooo good!

Each of the short stories has an historical element to it and that makes these stories all the more charming.


Reading Aloud As A Family Benefits Kids & Parents

Even if you haven’t developed the habit of sharing stories aloud as a family, give it a try.  This season of quaratine is going longer than we all expected.  We might as well capture the time to connect the family through shared story.

Choose a title and read it together over the next month (or two). Even five minutes a day can deepen connection and recenter us all in this harder season. 

Your turn… share your favorite family books below. I am always excited to receive book recommendations. Which books did I miss? Can’t wait to hear from you! 🙂

RELATED POST: Top 9 Children’s Bibles

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

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