How do you pick the books you read to your children?
Every Year I come up with a few books I think my children would enjoy hearing in the coming six months or year. No matter what my motivation I select a few because I know how to pick chapter books like a boss
This does not mean my selections are set in stone. Who knows, maybe plans or interests will change. But I make mile pile of books and I record them in my planner (Check out the planner I use here).
1. Should You Get Stuck On A Book?
You have gotten so into Mark Twain’s characters that you plan on starting up Tom Sawyer as soon as you are done with Huck Finn but as you start it, you notice your kids are not actively listening to the story like they did with Huck. What’s going on? What happened? Oh, that’s right. your oldest went to a birthday party and came home with a magnifying glass and now all of the boys are all about being detectives. Well, say goodbye to Tom and say hello to Sherlock Holmes.
2. Read More Than One Book
Now don't get me wrong. If there is a topic, like family work, that you really want the kids to get a healthy dose of, then that is fine. You can have more than one book going at a time. So do one chapter os Emma and Company and then Sherlock Holmes. The kids will listen to Emma and Company because they are wanting to get to Sherlock shortly after.
I also have my children chose books they would like read to them. For my oldest, he picked a huge list of books that he plans on reading himself. These are also great books to pull from for one-on-one reading or Read aloud.
3. Do You Want To Strengthen Your Family??
-Are there any Core issues that need to be addressed at this moment.
-Is there a lot of fighting? Are children not willing to help with family work?
-Has there been a family trial?
-Are family members having trouble being self-absorbed or caring to much about what other people think?
There Are So Many Great Classics
4. Are You Traveling This Year?
-Are we taking any special trips or going on any new field trips this year?
-What historical events line up with them?
-What States or Countries will we be visiting?
-What new cultures will we come across?
-What historical sites and people will be encountered?
Pick books that support your travel coming up. If you are visiting a n amish community try and find books about that. If you are going to Sea World in a few month then pick books focused on sea animals, and sea creatures, star navigation and more. When you study up before you visit a destination you have a foundation to build on and your not going in blind.
5. Books On The Big Screen
-Are there any new movies coming out this year?-Are there any movies that I feel would be inspiring?
My children (and I) can be very motivated to read a book if there is a movie to see at the end. We have a rule that if there is a book and a movie, we have to read the book first. No Book, No Movie! For instance, we read THE LITTLE PRINCE last year now because Netflix was making it into a movie. It was wonderful. Not to mention, there are slews and slews of children’s books that have been made into movies.
Check out this block post about 41 Best Kids Classic Books Made into Movies.
Yes, often movies are different from the book. We use this as an opportunity to look for things that are the same and different. It is a great example to the kids how watching a movie may not represent a book in its entirely. Check out this post to see how we compare and contrast movies and books
6. Holiday Books
Are there any holidays or seasons I would like to feature this year?
I love to read LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS in December. It demonstrates how simple life, and Christmas, can be. It helps remind us that we have lots to be thankful for and that getting tons of stuff for Christmas isn't what Christmas is all about. We also had a March that we started talking about fairies and Ireland, which lead to the book of Kells and the Viking invaders, and we were able to end our Ireland craziness with a new museum exhibit on the Vikings which then lead, even still, to my son making his very own replica of a Viking board game.
7. Pay Attention To What Your Kids Like
-What are my kid’s interested in right now?
If I can tap into their current interests I will have them hooked. They will learn more and be more willing to dig deeper into subjects.
1.If your kids are into the ocean, your not going to pick an epic western to catch their attention. You need to reach for 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.
2.If your kids are into birds you don’t want to pick THE SIGN OF THE BEAVER. THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN would be a great book to capture your child’s imagination.
Let your child’s interests be the leading force behind your choices and you will see what it is like to read to children who want to be read to.
I hope this helps you choose your chapter books like a boss. Your children enjoying books is far more important than following a regimented books schedule. Branch out and find your own trail. Find alternatives that fit your child’s interest and a whole new world of learning will open up to you.