Ray finished “Understood Betsy” as a read-aloud with the girls yesterday. He’s travelling, so he calls them at 8:30pm and reads to them on the speakerphone while they lie in bed and listen.


I feel really great about the rich, classic literature our girls have been exposed to since we’ve begun homeschooling. They read books all day every day, and of course they sometimes choose “fun” books that include fairy characters or either more modern fiction such as the Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary books (still great books but not on my A list). But most times they choose strong, thought-provoking narratives. These types of stories are those that we tend to remember as we age.

Here’s a short list – off the top of my head – of the books they’ve either read individually or as read-alouds over the past couple of years. Note, I almost always get the unabridged version for them to read. I like them to read the originals, even if some of the language is challenging (although most of these are grade-appropriate and not-so-difficult reads). “Little Women”, however, was a junior novelization. They can read the original in high school.

Peter Pan
Charlotte’s Web
Trumpet of the Swan
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Understood Betsy
Sarah, Plain and Tall
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Little Women
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Black Beauty
A Little Princess
White Fang
Milly Molly Mandy
Caddie Woodlawn
Little House on the Prairie
Little House in the Big Woods
Farmer Boy
On the Banks of Plum Creek
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Pippi Longstocking
Dr. Doolittle
Betsy Tacy
Cricket in Times Square
The Sign of the Beaver
White Fang
Bridge to Terabithia

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