Children’s Books for Family Couch Time

 

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We had a great time during the second half of our school year just reading through books and using those books as the jumping point to study so many other subjects, from language arts to social studies, from visual arts to science. It’s been an enriching time. The kids seemed to retain the information much better because they were learning them in the context of a story. We were actually in a dry spell with homeschool and switching it up to this revived their desire to learn.

The curriculum we used was Five in a Row. Each week, we focused on a certain book, and I read the book aloud to them once a day for 5 days in a row. After each reading, we focused on two subjects that were drawn from that story book.

For instance, when we read A Pair of Red Clogs, we took a virtual trip to Japan, learning geography and the Japanese culture. Art, which is my kids’ favorite subject, was spent learning simple Origami . At the beginning of each week, the kids are usually asking with excitement what new book we’ll be reading. This was a nice change for me, after hearing a lot of “School is boring.” Sigh. I don’t blame them. I was beginning to get bored with it myself. We’re glad we made the change, and we’ll likely continue it for the next school year.

Here is a list of the books that we read through this curriculum. I think these are great read-alouds for kids, even without the curriculum. I read to all my kids at the same time, and the stories engaged them all, from the 3-year-old to the 8-year-old. Perhaps you are looking for some good books to read to your kids this summer. Most of these should be in your public library.

The Story about Ping

A Pair of Red Clogs

Lentil

Madeline

The Rag Coat

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Grandfather’s Journey

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

Who Owns the Sun?

Do you have any favorite Read-Aloud Books for your children?

 

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14 thoughts on “Children’s Books for Family Couch Time

  1. Oh, read alouds are so good for family togetherness and learning! I used FIAR briefly but I tend to want to veer off the path and was soon off using something else. Have you seen http://www.homeschoolshare.com/levels.php ? Very much like FIAR (just in case you want more when you’re done 🙂 )
    We loved reading In Grandma’s Attic books together!

    1. FIAR really worked for us! We’ve also done First Favorites from Veritas Press, which is similar. I love that it exposes the kids to good books. I’ll check out the link that you provided. Thanks!

  2. We are always looking for new reads!! Thanks for sharing, I am going to go put in a hold for some of these at my library now!

    1. Have a look through them when you get them. It’s quite a variety. Some deal with serious topics. Some are whimsical. Some are like biographies. They are really good books to engage kids in conversations about social relationships, history, other cultures, and character. Hope you like them!

  3. Great post, AI! We did the same when our children were little. Since my husband worked shifts, we usually managed a chapter or two daily after lunch. I would read aloud while one of the kids did dishes. Along with Valerie, one of our favs were the Grandma’s Attic series–so much fun!!

    We also did unit studies around books or series sometimes. I think one of our kids favorites was the month of “Little House on the Prairie”. We lived as if in pioneer days, as much as possible. We had electricity (for the fridge), but used candles & lanterns. And from a ‘Little House cookbook’ we found at the library, meals were mostly based on that, including making our own bread, and even raisins–surprisingly easy!!

    There weren’t many ‘programs’ out there back then. We’re talking between 20-25 years ago! So I just made stuff up, and we had a lot of fun!! But I’m glad there’s so much more available anymore! How great for you!

    1. I love unit studies! They really bring our school lessons to real life. I am thankful there are a lot of resources out there. I don’t know if I would be able to make it all up. But I’m sure it was a lot fun to do it that way, right? An adventure indeed!

      1. Indeed! Mario kept telling me I should make a curriculum, since there weren’t any like we were doing. But I told him then it wouldn’t be fun anymore!!

    1. Lentil, Madeline, How to Make an Apple Pie, and Dancing Bear are fun stories. Grandfather’s Journey, Pair of Red Clogs, and Glorious Flight are well-written biography-type of stories. Rag Coat and Who Owns the Sun (this one actually got me choked up while I was reading to the kids) are stories that deal with serious topics (like death and slavery) … they’re good for parents to read with their children for opportunities to discuss more serious life circumstances. Some of these books aren’t your typical fun children’s stories … they’re not Dr. Seuss books (but there’s a special place in my heart for Dr. Seuss too). What I love about these books is that they opened up a whole world of learning and discovery for my kids.

    1. It’s a great way to learn. Rather than memorizing just a bunch of facts or hearing me give a boring lecture, lessons come alive to them through these story books.

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