Required Reading Redux

It’s now been several months since we started our “required reading” program.  You can find the first post with the book list here.  Basically, I made a list of books I thought would be good third grade books.  Every month, they had to read one of their own choosing.  I purposefully listed some easier and some harder books as well as a wide variety of genres.

Fast forward to now.  Early on, we made a rule that you could choose one sequel or book by the same author to count as well.  And now we’re pretty much untethered from the list and I need to make a new one.  However, I wanted to celebrate all the books the kids read so far.  Of course, they’ve continued to read their own books for fun as well, but those are mostly easier and lighter reads than these.

Mushroom’s Books

Tornado by Betsy Byars
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
Frindle by Andrew Clements
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averil
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

BalletBoy’s Books

Tornado by Betsy Byars
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averil
Jenny at Sea by Esther Averil
Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
Freddy the Detective by Walter Brooks
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farmby Betty MacDonald
*Additionally, I’ll give BalletBoy half credit.  He read half of Ribsy, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Poppy.

Overall, I’ve been incredibly happy with our required reading system.  Mushroom has read a great variety of books, which he has loved.  BalletBoy has discovered that while he dislikes real animals, he really likes them in books.  Also, I’ve discovered that he’d rather read a sequel than anything else and that while he’s more likely to stay up late reading, he also is the pickiest reader ever!

Right now, Mushroom is working on The Bad Beginning from the Series of Unfortunate Events.  BalletBoy is thinking about reading another Freddy book since he’s so fond of always picking the sequels option.  I’m thinking about having them read a book together, namely My Side of the Mountain, which I think we would all enjoy and which would fit in with our nature study this year.

Of course, the kids read for pleasure as well, but neither of them are voracious readers and if given the choice, I’m pretty sure BalletBoy would never finish anything.  This has ensured that everyone keeps going with reading a good, challenging book, even though making time for it can be tough sometimes.

3 thoughts on “Required Reading Redux

  1. I think this is a great idea. My daughter finally started reading fluently this past January and I have been “allowing” her to choose all the books she reads. I will as time goes on add a few “required” books. She is so unlike my older 2 kids who were big readers from the start!
    It can be a hard balance between wanting kids to discover great books and turning them off reading completely!

  2. Do you have a book list for grade four yet? I love your choices for grade three and look forward to your next suggestions. My oldest is a voracious reader, grade three, but tends to read mostly fantasy. I don’t want him to miss out on all the gems out there!

  3. My 7 year old read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and simply adored the book. Then he read Ribsy and decided the problems Ribsy was having were too simplistic for his mature mind , “I’m 7 years old mom, these are baby problems” he was literally yelling at the book, reiterated his disgust during a brief narration and quit reading half way too, LOL!

    However, he did discover that his favorite genre is officially, realistic fiction.

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