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Reading Book Choices

Reading Book ChoicesAs we progress through the school year we get to enjoy more books.  I prefer using actual books rather than basal readers.

My younger son is reading through Sonlight’s Language Arts 1 readers while my older son is reading some chapter books.  I selected his books based on his interest, reading level, and the quality of the book.  By quality, I mean that I wouldn’t choose Goosebumps or comic book as a reading book.

My younger son has recently finished A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland.  It is a Cat in the Hat Beginner book.   While this enjoyable book doesn’t have the rhyming style of Dr. Suess, it is written in rhyme.  Here is an excerpt from the middle of the book:

It went up so high
It was something to see!
As high as a house!
As high as a tree!
As high as the sky!
And I said, “Stop! Stop!
You are up TOO HIGH!”




My younger son is now currently reading The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto.  It is a Step into Reading Level 3 book by Natalie Standiford.  This book was a bit of a jump from the A Big Ball of String for my son, but he is chugging along.  There are no rhyming words in this book and it is common for 6+ lines of text to be on one page.  However, the book still has lots of colorful pictures.  Here is an excerpt from the book from page 32.

Then the team crossed a frozen river.
The dogs and the sled

slipped and skidded on the ice.  
Oh, no!  Over went the sled.
Gunnar got it up again.
But the medicine was gone!


My older son just started on a new book.  He is reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I keep telling him that now we have to watch Little House on the Prairie together.  I’ll have to figure out when it is on and sit down and watch it with him now that he is reading about two of the characters on the show.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter on Filling the Ice-House:

A cross-cut saw has a long, narrow blade, with wooden handles at the ends.  Two men must pull it back and forth across the edge of whatever they want to saw in two.  But they could not saw ice that way, because the ice was solid underfoot, like a floor.  It had no edge to saw across.


When Father saw them he laughed and called out:


“You flipped that penny yet?”


Everybody laughed but Almanzo.  He did not know the joke.

We are currently half-way through the school year.  The plan to ditch the Sonlight I Can Read It series was a good one.  My son hated it and I was a bit hesitant because it would be a big jump forward.  However, my younger son is plowing along in his reading books with his confidence building more and more as we go.  We are looking forward to many new and interesting books ahead of us.

2 Comments:

  1. We read Farmer Boy last year and loved it! After every chapter, my son would add to our ongoing lists about the book. List 1 was “Work Almanzo did.” List 2 was “Fun things Almanzo did.” Quite often his work was also fun, so this helped to emphasize a little moral I’m trying to teach. Keeping these lists really helped summarize the book well and offered a profound comparison to our daily lives now (and my son’s pathetically short list of chores)! I hope you enjoy the book together!

  2. I just reviewed Balto and if your son is interested, I included a Balto word search game at my post 🙂

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