How to Find Suitable Books for Your Children to Read
© Beverley Paine
I found the easiest way to locate fiction for any age group (children/teens) is to wander around a school library. If you feel confident enough why not visit the local school and introduce yourself to the librarian. You don't have to take your children if you or they would find the visit unsettling or intimidating. Librarians love to talk books and school librarians like nothing better than to point parents in the direction of great literature.
I used to spend a hour or so at the school library by myself when my children were homeschooled. Fiction written for teens is my favourite as it deals with many issues in a honest way - most novels deal with identity and coming of age issues. I tended to steer away from the 'problem' novel and preferred imaginative stories.
The good thing about the library is that you can borrow up to ten books from a range of genres and give them to your son. He doesn't have to read them all, but it might be a gentle way to stretch his reading repertoire.
The other easy way to find books for different aged children is to chat to a bookshop owner. Many of them have their favourite genre and that will be obvious the minute you walk in the door, but most are very similar in nature to librarians and would spend hours chatting about books if they could. Ask them who the best authors are for your son - what's new, what's coming out, what's popular and why.
Also do a search in google for book lists or literature lists together with Charlotte Mason. I think the Ambleside website has an extensive list in age order.
The other place is to check out the local writer's centre website. They will have a list of Australian (and especially WA) authors for children. They should have a library you can borrow from as well, if you become a member.
For the internet savvy parent or child you'll find a wealth of books online, especially those past their copyright. The Children's Literature Web Guide has the following very useful collection of links to help you begin your search:
A search for 'children's books online' will bring up many useful sites that will have you exploring the internet for hours, if not days! Also take a look at this list of children's authors.
Most computers come with software that will allow a child to hear the online book. Although the accent is weird and the pronunciation not always quite right, children who love to listen but aren't keen on reading can take advantage of this function.
There is no excuse to not bring the wonderful world of literature into your child's life!
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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