Your Homeschool Reading List: The Ultimate Guide

Reading is one of the most important, and also one of the most fun, subjects to include in homeschooling. And a homeschool reading list can be a great tool for encouraging your kids to read. Here is what you need to know about creating a homeschool reading list. I’ll also share what’s on our reading list right now, and links to a ton of other homeschool reading lists organized by grade.

How to Make a Homeschool Reading List
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How to Choose Books for Your Homeschool Reading List

Choosing the right books for your homeschool reading list can make the difference between helping your kids enjoy reading, or turning reading time into a daily struggle. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing books.

Difficulty Level of the Book

It is important to make sure that you choose books that are just the right difficulty level for your child if they will be reading them independently. Books that are too hard will be frustrating to your child, and they will struggle to understand what’s happening in the story. Books that are too easy can be boring and won’t stretch your child to grow.

There are lots of assessment tests that you can give to figure out your child’s reading level. But there is an easier way. Instead of testing your child, gather several books that your child can read mostly independently. If you can figure out what level these books are, you can take an average of several books to figure out your child’s reading level.

A helpful tool for figuring out the reading level of a book is the Scholastic Book Wizard. This tool will also allow you to find other books that are appropriate for your child’s reading level, once you determine what that is.

Content of the Book

Whether you are choosing independent reading books or read alouds, the content of the book is always an important consideration. Are the themes that are presented appropriately for your child’s maturity level? Does the book introduce concepts that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your child?

One way to check the content of a book on your homeschool reading list is to read book reviews of the book before sharing it with your child. Common Sense Media has a large database of book reviews that include plot summaries as well as parental warnings for violence, inappropriate language, sexual content, drug use, and more.

The best way to make sure that the content of a book is appropriate for your child is to read it yourself first before sharing it with them. Your opinions of what is appropriate may differ from those of a reviewer, and you know your child best.

When Is My Child Ready for Chapter Books?

There are several factors to consider when kids are transitioning to chapter books.

First, it is important to make sure that your child has access to books that are appropriate for their reading level. The best way to help your child improve their reading skills is to make sure they have plenty of books to read that are the right level for them. This might mean including some chapter books if that is your child’s reading level.

However, it is important to remember that younger kids use the pictures in a story to help them visualize the story in their heads. Finding a book that has at least some pictures will help them to do that. There are a variety of beginning chapter books that have more text on each page, but still include pictures, that can help kids with this transition. You can also look for illustrated versions of classic books that can be more engaging for kids.

As your kids transition to chapter books, it is important to ask them questions about what they are reading to make sure they are understanding the story. Discussing the book together can help them learn how to visualize the story in their heads.

Even if your child is ready for chapter books, it is OK for them to continue to read picture books as well. There are so many high-quality picture books, and it’s important to make sure that kids get a chance to enjoy them!

How Many Books Should be on our Homeschool Reading List?

The number of books on your family’s list will depend on your family, your individual children, and your homeschool philosophy. If your kids are fluent independent readers and really enjoy reading, you will need a longer list. If you are using a method like Charlotte Mason that relies on living books as textbooks, you will also have more books on your list.

It can be helpful to keep a running list that you continue to add to over time. This will help you make sure that when your kids finish a book, you always know what they can read next.

For older kids, it helps to create one master list of the books that you would like them to read before they graduate from your homeschool. Then, divide the list by the number of years of homeschool that they have left to get the number of books they will need to read each year.

Should I Let My Child Choose the Books?

Letting your child help choose the books is a great strategy. Kids who choose what they read will be much more excited and motivated to spend time reading it. This also helps kids have a sense of ownership of their education. The ability to choose a good book is an important skill for kids to develop as a part of becoming lifelong readers.

That said, it is also important to make sure that your child is choosing books that are appropriate for their age, maturity level, and reading level. This means that there should be some give and take in the process of choosing books.

It is OK to veto a book choice if you don’t feel like your child is ready for the book. However, it is important to be sensitive to your child. Telling a child that they can’t read a book because it’s too hard for them can be really discouraging. In fact, it’s best not to tell your child anything about their reading level. This is helpful information for a parent to know as their child’s teacher, but it is rarely helpful to a child.

One strategy to try is to ask your child what they would like to read about, and then offer a few choices of age-appropriate books within that category. As kids get older, you might give them a homeschool reading list to look through and choose their books from.

Homeschool Reading List

Where to Find Books from your Homeschool Reading List

The Library

The library is always my first stop for finding the books on our homeschool reading list. The library is my favorite source of free homeschool curriculum. But I also love that we can return the books to the library when we are finished with them. It is so helpful that the books can be stored at the library, instead of my house!

Used Book and Curriculum Sales

One of my favorite places to find affordable books for our homeschool reading list is at homeschool curriculum sales. All the books for sale are books that at least one other homeschool family loved enough to own. And usually, the prices are a fraction of the cost of buying the book new. Our local library also hosts a used book sale once a quarter and I have found lots of great books there as well.

Facebook Groups

Homeschooling Facebook groups and curriculum buy-sell-trade groups can be a great source of books to read. These groups also have the benefit of offering books that other homeschool families loved, at a fraction of the price.


If a book is one that you really love and plan to read more than once, or with multiple kids, purchasing the book new is a great option. You can also consider downloading the e-book through Kindle Unlimited. In addition, Amazon offers a 30 day free trial of Audible Plus for audiobooks that can be a great way to read the books on your homeschool reading list for free!

Getting Started with Homeschool Read Alouds

No matter what age your child is, they are never too old, or too young, for you to read aloud to them! One study shows that reading out loud to your child 5 or more days per week will help them to have better written and spoken language skills. Another study says that reading aloud to your child even just 3 times per week will make them more likely to score in the top 25% in test scores for reading.

Reading Aloud with Babies and Toddlers

It can be really difficult to read aloud consistently with babies and toddlers because they have such a short attention span. It can help to choose interactive books that have flaps, touch and feel sections, or directions to follow. You can also let your youngest child be responsible for turning the pages to keep them engaged.

Small children may have an easier time paying attention if they have an activity to do while they are listening to the story. Allowing them to play quietly with a toy, color a picture, or even eat a snack while they listen to the story can help. You can ask them questions about the story to check for understanding and keep them engaged as you read.

Small kids are also more likely to interrupt the story with thoughts of their own. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we have more freedom to discuss these thoughts with our kids than a classroom teacher would. It is much easier to get one or two children back on track than a whole classroom. If there are too many interruptions, you can always say, “Let’s talk about that after we finish the story.”

Assigning Independent Reading from your Homeschool Reading List

Independent reading assignments are a fantastic tool for homeschooling older children who can read on their own. How you assign independent reading from your homeschool reading list will depend on the age of your child. Younger children will need shorter assignments and more frequent check-ins. Older children can handle longer assignments on their own and go longer between check-ins with you.

Do Audiobooks Count as Independent Reading?

Whether or not to count audiobooks as independent reading will depend on your goals for your child. If you are assigning reading to give your child practice with their reading skills, then a traditional book will be a better choice to accomplish those goals. You could work around this by asking your child to follow along with the audiobook in a print copy of the book.

If your goal is to expose your child to a wide variety of high-quality literature, audiobooks can be a great resource for independent reading. They are a helpful tool to allow kids to experience books they can’t yet read on their own. Using a combination of print books and audiobooks can be a helpful way to include more books overall in your homeschool.

You can get access to unlimited audiobooks for a month with a free trial of Audible Plus!

How Can I Know What My Child Is Learning?

Homeschoolers have so many options for sharing what they have learned from the books on their homeschool reading list! Instead of tests, you can assign your child a creative book report or an activity based on the book they have read. Your child might write a journal as the main character, make a lapbook, or draw their own illustrations for the book.

One really fun idea is to create a book club with your child. You could both read the same book, and then schedule some time to discuss it together. This is a great way to assess what your child has learned about the book, while also building your relationship with your child!

Homeschool Reading List

Our Ultimate Homeschool Reading List

Here are 65 classic books that we have read (or are planning to read) in our homeschool!

101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Babe The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliseh

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Dominic by William Steig

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Henry Reed, Inc. by Keith Robertson

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Kildee House by Rutherford Montgomery

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Socks by Beverly Cleary

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

Stuart Little by E.B. White

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Girl with book

Homeschool Reading Lists By Grades

Are you looking for the perfect book for your child’s level? Here are some fantastic homeschool reading lists, organized by grade.


Books Every Preschooler Should Enjoy

Preschool Book List for 4 Year Olds

Preschool Read Aloud Book List


20 Great Books to Read to Your Kindergarten Child

Best Kindergarten Books to Read Aloud

Classic Novels for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Book List

Kindergarten Read Aloud List

Ultimate Guide to 5 Star Books for Kindergartners by Reading Level

Elementary Homeschool Reading Lists

52 Picture Books to Read with the Elementary Grades

75+ Favorite Read Alouds for Elementary Aged Kids

Beginning Chapter Books with Kids

Books for Young Readers

Books for Middles (Upper Elementary Ages)

Chapter Books for Independent Readers, Ages 7-10

Classic Early Reader Books for Kids

K-2 Series Books Reading List

Elementary Age Book List

Readers for Ages 4-7

Wholesome Books List- Early Reader

Wholesome Books List- Elementary

1st Grade

1st and 2nd Grade Reading List

100 Fun to Read 1st Grade Reading Books

Our First Grade Reading List Homeschool Picks

Classic Novels for Grades 1 and 2

Read Aloud List for First Grade

First Grade Read Aloud Picture Books

First Grade Read Aloud Chapter Books

Grade One Read Aloud Novels

Recommended 1st Grade Reading List

Ultimate Guide to Five Star Books for 1st and 2nd Grade Students by Reading Level

2nd Grade

2nd Grade Reading List

Eight Read Alouds and Audiobooks for Grade Two

Our Second Grade Reading List Homeschool Picks

Read Aloud Chapter Books for 2nd Grade

Recommended 2nd Grade Reading List

Second Grade Read Aloud List

Second Grade Semi-Independent Reading List

3rd Grade

3rd Grade Reading List

Eight Read Aloud Novels for Grade Three

Grades 3-5 Series Books Reading List

Classic Novels for Grades 3 and 4

Recommended 3rd Grade Reading List

Summer Reading List for Grades 3-5

Third Grade Reading List

Read Alouds for Third Grade List

Third Grade Independent Reading List

Wonderful Books for 3rd Graders

4th Grade

4th Grade Reading List

Fourth Grade Independent Reading List

Fourth Grade Read Aloud List

Great Reads for 4th-5th Graders

Printable 4th Grade Reading List

Recommended 4th Grade Reading List

5th Grade

5th Grade Reading List

Fifth Grade Reading List

50+ books for a 5th Grader who Loves to Read

5th Grade Literature Book List

Classic Novels for Grades 5 and 6

Fifth Grade Reading List

Our Fifth Grade Reading List Homeschool Picks

Recommended 5th Grade Reading List

Kids on slide with books

Middle School Homeschool Reading Lists

52 Story Books for Middle Schoolers

50 Must Read Books for Middle School

Classic Novels for Grades 7, 8, and 9

Middle School Reading List

Middle School to High School Reading List by Grade

Series Books for Middle School Reading List

Wholesome Books List: Middle School

6th Grade

6th Grade Reading List

50+ books for a 6th Grader who Loves to Read

Recommended 6th Grade Reading List

7th Grade

60+ books for a 7th Grader who Loves to Read

7th and 8th Grade Reading List

Recommended 7th Grade Reading List

8th Grade

8th Grade Reading Books

45+ Books for an 8th Grader Who Loves to Read

Our 8th Grade Reading List

Recommended 8th Grade Reading List

High School Homeschool Reading Lists

52 Literature Books for High Schoolers

100 Books You Should Read by the Time You Turn 20

Books for Teens

Great Books: History as Literature

High School Reading Lists

High School American Literature

Poetry for High School

High School Popular or Contemporary Literature

Series Books fro High School

High School World and British Literature

9th Grade

9th Grade Reading List

Historical Fiction 9th Grade Reading List

15 Books 9th Graders Should Read

Ninth Grade Reading List

Recommended 9th Grade Reading List

10th Grade

10th Grade Homeschool Reading List

Our 10th Grade Homeschool Reading List

Recommended 10th Grade Reading List

11th Grade

15 Books that 11th Graders Should Read

Recommended 11th Grade Reading List

12th Grade

Creating the Perfect 12th Grade Reading List

Recommended 12th Grade Reading List

Check out more homeschool curriculum reviews here!

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