Most homeschooling families love books. There’s just something about taking your children’s education into your own hands that makes you also want to enrich their lives in as many aspects as you can. Using great books in your lessons or just simply providing them so that your child will develop their own love of reading becomes almost second nature.
In our home, one of the ways that we both supplement our lessons and enjoy great stories is to have family read alouds. Since I have children ranging from toddler to age nine, I like to try to find stories that will captivate and intrigue them all. Other families have a wider age span than I do and I know it can sometimes be difficult to find age appropriate books that will interest the family as a whole.
I’ve decided to share some of my personal favorites that seem to transcend age gaps. I tend to aim to get something on the level of my oldest children that has a story line that my younger children can follow without much difficulty. A little challenge is good brain exercise, but I don’t want them to get lost and thus lose their interest in the story. Of course, you will have to use your own discretion to determine if the titles are suitable for your family.
10 Read Alouds That Span Multiple Ages
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
This story is a classic tale of the battle between good and evil and there are many resources available on how to make parallels between it and the Gospel. There are some battle scenes and portions that might be scary to sensitive younger children. This is one of my personal favorites because it really stretches imaginations. It’s a favorite with my children because we also have two girls and two boys like in the story.
The Trumpet of the Swan
Louis the swan cannot produce the glorious sounds that the other trumpeter swans in his flock can. Unsure of how to find his way in the world without a voice, this story follows him through various adventures as he discovers that he can trumpet with the best of the other swans, he just uses an unconventional way to do it!
The first time we heard this story, it was with the audio version during a car trip to visit family. It is wonderful. It was so good that when we arrived to our destination, we were in the last chapter and we sat in a parking space for another twenty minutes just to hear the end. It is a great story about a young boy that is rich with Christian lessons.
If you haven’t heard of this little family that lives in the floorboards and “borrows” regular household items from the “human beans” who live in the manor, then you will be in for a real treat. This books is a classic. I still own the copy that was mine as a little girl and I’ve read the entire series to my children.
In Grandma’s Attic
This is a compilation of tales told by a young girl’s grandmother of her own youth. The stories are quite delightful and will have children and adults alike giggling.
Where the Red Fern Grows
There is not enough time here for me to express my personal love for this book about a young boy named Billy who desperately wants to own his own hunting dogs. Once you read this one, you will never forget it! It still holds a special place in my heart from my childhood!
The Tale of Despereaux
Forget the movie! Pick up this book and crack open its pages to immerse your family in this story about a rather eccentric mouse and his love for music, literature, and a princess.
The Wind and the Willows
Follow Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger through their various adventures. Children will laugh at their antics, and learn all about friendship along the way.
James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl was one of my very favorite authors as a young girl. I devoured every book of his that I could get my hands on. This one is one of my favorites. James Henry Trotter is stuck living with his two rather unpleasant aunts who never let him play with other children or experience happiness of any sort. One day, he procures some magical crystals that change his life forever.
The Hedge of Thorns
This is a powerfully moving story about how our actions have consequences and how God watches over His children.
Were there any titles here that you haven’t read? What suggestions would make for read alouds that span multiple ages?
This post contributed by Dusty of To the Moon and Back
The Trumpet of the Swan and Where the Red Fern grows are on my reading list to read to my kids. Thanks for this list!
My children, ages 2-16 just finished reading “Billowtail.” I cannot recommend the book enough. Everyone enjoyed it.
This is a great list! I hadn’t heard of the Hedge of Thorns before. Sounds interesting. I just wrote a post last week of our family’s favorite read alouds from the past year or so that you might like: http://www.housefullofbookworms.com/favorite-family-read-alouds/
[email protected] Peaceful Haven says
What a great list! I LOVE all the books you listed. They bring back many good memories of reading to my children when they were younger!
Kim M. says
Love The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe! Haven’t had any experience with James and the Giant Peach but Matilda by Dahl was quite charming. I think we will have to check out Teddy’s Button. Thanks for the list!
Andie Conn says
Seriously, this is such a helpful list. I’m so glad I stopped by! Visiting from http://www.andieconn.com/5-ways-creative-despite-depression/ and would love a visit back (:
Mariet - Practicingnormal says
I loved The Borrowers as a child and have forgotten about it. I’m going to add that to my list for my children to read. Thank you for the excellent suggestions.
[email protected] says
Awesome picks!! Found you today via Titus2sday
Thank you so much for posting this read-aloud booklist! I have added all of your suggestions to our family’s booklist record, and look forward to catching all of them. Thank you!!
I was just bemoaning the fact that at 20,18 and 15 my kids really don’t want me to read aloud to them any more! When they were smaller I loved the whole cuddle up and read aloud experience, Roald Dahl was always a favourite of ours, and a series of unfortunate events which are better aloud in my opinion. We also had a mammoth Harry Potter year (we had to wait for the last book so that’s how long ago it was). Never known kids so eager to get ready for bed early to allow extra time for story time. Some nights we would squeeze 2 chapters in!
Danielle Hull says
I had never herd of In Grandma’s Attic or Hedge of Thorns! We have found Anne of Green Gables to be a great read-aloud for everyone. Even an older boy who said he wasn’t interested stuck around and listened 🙂 We purchased one of the coloring books from Dover that you can copy and the little ones would color while they listened.
Selena @ Look! We're Learning! says
The Wind in the Willows! *sniff* Thanks for linking up with Family Fun Friday!
Elke Carr says
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane — my first graders loved it. I always read some at the end of the day and my students did not allow me to continue reading after the bus students left. They wanted everyone to be able to listen to every part of the story.
Phyllis Sather says
We’ve read all of these as a family. I need a bigger list!
Melanie Siau says
We are currently reading “Summer of Monkeys” by Wilson Rawls, the same author of Where the Red Fern Grows. I am half way through, and so far, there is nothing objectionable. We are thouroughly enjoying it. If you want a light-hearted, fun book to laugh and make funny memories with your children, this is it! We are still hysterical over last night’s chapter…..oh, OK– 2 chapters (and yes, they begged for another one) I am reading to my 10 year old girl and 14 year old boy.
Sara @ The Holy Mess says
We just finished The Waterhorse and Shiloh and all our children loved both. Of course the Little House series is wonderful for everyone.
My kids and I are doing a read aloud book for the first time right now, and it is Where the Red Fern Grows. I haven’t read it since I was a little girl, and it’s amazing experiencing it again with my girls.
I love this list! I had planned to read Wind in the Willows next, but In Grandma’s Attic looks good, too!