Elementary Reading List: 14 Perfect Books

Do you need fresh books for your elementary reading list?

You’ve come to the right place. I’ll be sharing book options that are perfect for most elementary reading lists.

These books are perfect whether you’re reading for pleasure, using as read-alouds for the family, or even as part of a homeschool curriculum.

Here is my elementary reading list:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Matilda

This is the story of a little girl with some serious brain power. She reads at a young age, can do math faster than most, but she doesn’t have it all.

What she really needs is a loving family. Follow along with her adventures as she rights the wrongs in her school with her brain power and finds her way home.

2. School Story

We read this as a read-aloud during my youngest son’s second grade year. It’s a wonderful story about a young writer.

She writes a story perfect for school aged children. Her friend helps her get this book published anonymously, but they face many adventures while keeping her identity quiet.  

3. All of a Kind Family

This is a classic story of a Jewish family in the early 1900’s in America. We used it as a read-aloud during my son’s third grade year.

It tells of all the fun things a family of little girls did during this time. But will this family remain all-of-a-kind? Read it and find out!

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This book has been made into a movie TWICE! It’s a fun book to read with your kids as it’s filled with things most only dream of.

Follow along as a child gets his chance to explore the magical world of Mr. Wonka’s chocolate factory. Children also have the chance to learn valuable life lessons that will hopefully stick with them a lifetime.

Check out the original movie and the newer version! There’s even a Tom & Jerry version.

5. Little House Series

The Little House series follows the story of a pioneer family. It takes you from their very beginning in the woods to life after the children are grown.

Check out the following books that would be perfect for older readers or as a read-aloud:

·       Little House in the Big Woods

·       Farmer Boy

·       Little House on the Prairie

·       On the Banks of Plum Creek

·       By the Shores of Silver Lake

·       The Long Winter

·       Little Town on the Prairie

·       These Happy Golden Years

6. Sarah Plain and Tall

My son read this as a third grader. It’s an interesting tale of a single father trying to raise two children on the prairie.

He puts an ad in the paper for a woman to be his wife and help him raise his children. What he gets is Sarah who is plain on the outside, but her loving heart is just what the family needed.

Get the series

7. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Do you have young readers? This book is a wonderful spin on a traditional story. We’ve all heard the story of the three little pigs.

Now, it’s time for the wolf to tell his side of things. Your children are sure to get a kick out of this!

8. Frog and Toad Series

If you have early readers, this is the perfect series for them. It follows the adventures of two dear friends, Frog and Toad.

The books are divided into multiple small stories, which makes them perfect for early readers. We used these books in our homeschool curriculum for multiple years which makes them a great choice for an elementary reading list.

Interested in homeschooling? Check out the essentials

9. The 21 Balloons

We enjoyed this book as a read-aloud while my children were in second grade. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it’s a wonderful book!

It’s a story of a retired schoolteacher who travels the world in an invention. When he crashes on an island, you won’t believe what he finds!

10. The Paper Bag Princess

I loved this book as a kid. It all starts with a princess living in a castle. She was ready to marry the prince of her dreams and live happily ever after.

However, a dragon swoops in, steals her prince, and leaves her with nothing but a paper bag dress. Discover how this princess bounces back!

11. 26 Fairmount Avenue

We found this book accidentally by reading the book The Art Lesson. My youngest son is really into art, but we loved the book so much we knew we had to read another.

This book is easy-to-read for intermediate readers, or it could be used as a read-aloud. Either way, you’ll enjoy hearing how this family worked hard and was able to build their dream home on 26 Fairmount Avenue.

12. Magic Treehouse Series

Our family is in love with the Magic Tree House series. Kids of all ages will love it because they’re easy to read and follow along with.

What I love the most is the amount of information the books present. Children are learning through a world of fantasy. It’s an amazing learning tool.

13. The Cricket in Times Square

This is another favorite read-aloud in our family. It shares the journey of a cricket who finds himself in Times Square.

Find out how he makes it home with the help of his new friends. If you love this book, you can read the entire series:

·       Tucker’s Countryside

·       Harry Cat’s Pet Puppy

·       Chester Cricket’s Pigeon Ride

·       Chester Cricket’s New Home

·       Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse

·       The Old Meadow

14. The Indian in the Cupboard Series

We read this book as a read-aloud during my youngest son’s third grade year. It’s the fun tale of how a young boy brings plastic figurines to life thanks to a cupboard with a magic key.

Learn how two plastic figurines from opposite sides can become great friends. Also, see how two young boys learn to have compassionate hearts. You can also check out the movie.  

Buy the whole set.

This completes our elementary reading list. If the books seem too mature for your children to read by themselves, consider turning them into read-alouds.

If the books have a movie option, it’s great to let your children read the book and watch the movie. It allows them to compare and contrast between the two.

Considering homeschooling? You can, on a budget, with these tips!

 However you decide to use this list, we hope you enjoy the books as much as we have over the years.

Now that you have the elementary reading list, visit the links, buy the books, and enjoy exploring these stories as a family. Happy reading! 

Homeschooling on a Budget: How We’re Homeschooling for Around $200 this Year

Are you considering homeschooling?

Many people are! I’m all about school choice, so I support anyone who thinks they might like to try a different approach to educating their children.

One of the things I hear most from new homeschool parents is, “I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure what to teach. I don’t even know if we can afford to homeschool.”

I was in the same boat. I knew public school wasn’t working for my kids, but I didn’t know where to start, what to teach, and I was definitely concerned about the added financial load from homeschooling.

Over the years I’ve found my way around the homeschool arena, and I’m going to share my latest discovery when homeschooling on a budget.

Here’s the method I’m using to homeschool the whole family for under $200 this year:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you .I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

What We’re Doing and Why

I’ve tried a variety of different homeschool curriculum over the years. We’ve used a free online curriculum, ordered from the homeschool catalogs, and piecemealed curriculum together as well.

The free curriculum worked well, but there wasn’t enough variety to keep my kids engaged on a long-term basis. Homeschool catalogs are easy, but they’re just so expensive. Piecemealing is what I’ve ended up doing for the past two years, but it takes a lot of extra time.

This year, I was browsing through social media and an ad popped up for Schoolhouseteachers.com. I had followed this site for a while because I enjoyed reading their articles and encouraging posts.

What caught my attention was the sale they’re currently running on their curriculum. I browsed the site, saw that there is a ton of variety in classes, and best of all, there is no piecing curriculum together.

It’s all laid out. They show you how to adapt the schedule they’ve designed for each course to work around your actual schedule. Did I mention the options?! Holy Moly, the options!

How Much Money?

Before we dive into money, let’s get the heavy stuff out of the way first…

Note: I will try to keep this post updated as much as I can, as sales (and other things) change on a website regularly. However, this is only meant to represent my experience thus far with this company. These are my actual opinions of the product. For any questions regarding their products or policies, please be sure to contact Schoolhouseteachers.com. Do your own research before purchasing any product. I am not liable in any way for your experience with this product or company. Thank you!

Shew…now, we can get back to the good stuff!

When you sign on for this program, you get one family log-in. Once logged in you can set up separate classes for each child.

The classes are easy to browse by grade or category. This gives you an idea of what each child’s options are per grade level.

However, if your child is more advanced or needs a little extra practice, you can choose different classes to accommodate.

They have resources for:

It’s amazing all the resources available to you.

You also get a quarterly subscription to their magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Basically, there’s loads of help to those who are new to homeschooling, or even for seasoned homeschoolers, who may need help navigating curriculum or homeschooling in general.

So let’s get down to the dollars and cents. How much does this cost?

This is what got me hooked. Usually this curriculum is approximately $225 per year. Yes, you can actually homeschool your entire family for $225 FOR THE YEAR!

But this year, it was even better. I got in at their current sale price of only $139. Again, yes, I’m homeschooling my children for $139 this year!

What I’m Loving…And More

Let me break down why I’m already loving this curriculum. There’s a lot to it, and I know how hard choosing curriculum can be.

I want to share with you the things I’m loving about this curriculum and also a few things you should be aware of before deciding if this is the right curriculum for your family.

Here’s what you need to know about the School House Teachers curriculum:

1. Oh, The Options

I know I’ve mentioned this already, but this site has so many different options to choose from with classes.

The curriculum is for Pre-K through 12th grade. It has all the basics of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

But it also includes the arts and electives. Therefore, your children can take a variety of:

·       Art classes

·       Music classes

·       Drama classes

·       Architecture courses

·       Accounting courses

·       Courses on entrepreneurship and much more!

If your kids have a variety of interests, the options are vast with this curriculum.

2. Scope and Sequence

Some states are extremely strict on their homeschooling guidelines. If you must keep a portfolio with a scope and sequence for each child and course, this site has you covered.

There’s a detailed scope and sequence for each course. You simply print it out and file it away. This saves a ton of time.

3. Lesson Plans

This is my biggest hurdle. I try to lesson plan a year in advance so I’m not scurrying each week to figure out what we’ll do the next week.

However, this takes a lot of time. Things can also change throughout the year which can undo all the work that was put in over the summer months towards planning.

This is another reason I’m loving this curriculum. All the lesson plans are done and in printable form. You simply print them off each week, fill in the dates, and your kids are ready to roll.

If you need to prolong their plans, just add different dates next to the assignments. It’s flexible and easy.

4. Opportunities

I know I’ve mentioned the variety of classes available in this curriculum, but it gives your kids so many opportunities they may not have otherwise had available to them.

I’ll be honest, my kids don’t always get to do all the elective courses I know they’d enjoy because I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on elective curriculum each year.

We no longer have this problem. My kids will be taking art classes, architecture courses, PE courses, computer classes, and so much more!

There are so many classes that piqued their interest. I had to pace them because they wanted to take them all.

My middle child is interested in online jobs so when he learned there were courses available for podcasting and running online businesses, he was all over it.

There are even career readiness courses. This is important for older kids who need to know what jobs are out in the real world to help them map out their future steps.

5. Different Course Lengths

My children get bored easily. They like variety in what they’re learning which is why I love that some courses through Schoolhouseteachers.com last for 30+ weeks while others last for less time.

Some courses are 18 weeks, some only 8 weeks, and a variety of schedule options in between. This allows my kids to stagger out the courses they take.

Plus, the courses tell you how many days a week they’re supposed to be studied. For instance, my youngest son’s architecture course lasts for approximately 20 weeks, but we only do it one day per week.

But this leaves room for him to take Spanish and art on other days because they’re only taught 1-2 days each week.

This is the case with core classes as well. In Language Arts, my children will get variety because some courses last for less than 30 weeks. Therefore, we’ll cover literature kits for a portion of the year and take a writing workshop at another point in the year.

To ensure they get everything they need, there is daily grammar, spelling, and basic Language Arts practice provided as well.

You can take as many or few courses as you deem necessary for your children.  The staggered scheduling allows your kids to get what they need without working through a redundant curriculum all year.

6. Downloads

When I was telling one of my mom-friends what a great deal I’d found, her first question was, “Yeah, but how many books do you have to buy to go along with it?”

That’s a great question, and I was pleased to find that you don’t have to buy any.

There are some classes which do require books, but they come with a downloadable option. You can pay less than $100 and have access to lifetime downloads through the site the class provides.

 I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking to pay anymore than what I did to sign-up, so I picked a different course which didn’t require extra books and skipped the need for downloads.

I’ve only found this on one course so far, but there are ways around having to download things.

We’re doing a literature kit course this year which I’ll need some of the books, but again, there are ways around having to purchase books.

You could sign-up with Audiobooks.com. You pay a monthly membership and can download a certain number of books per month.

But I prefer using the library (both in person and digital options) or using the free app, Best of Audiobooks. It has over 150 free audiobooks available.

If you’d prefer having books permanently on hand, you could always buy them on Amazon.com. Again, most classes give you the materials you need in a PDF form.

7. Attendance, Grades, Transcripts

With the sign-up option I chose, I got access to AppleCore. This is a wonderful site that allows me to digitally keep up with my children’s grades, attendance, and even create an on-going transcript.

Considering I have a high schooler this year, this saves me a ton of time.

Don’t get discouraged at the sound of having to keep records. It all depends upon what your state requires.

In my state, we’re only required to keep attendance, vaccine records, and take a yearly standardized test.

Most grades don’t really count until your kids get to high school, and you’ll only need a transcript once they’re in high school. This may vary by state so do your homework on these requirements.

If your state requires more, Applecore could simplify things for you.  

8. Not Solely Online

Some people may be turned off instantly by this curriculum, assuming it’s all done online. It is not. You’ll need:

You can do many of the assignments offline by printing the information. This also makes it easier for the kids to submit their work to you.

9. Variety of Ways to Learn

I love how this curriculum gives your children a variety of ways to learn. They can learn online with assignments that are graded by the computer. Your children can learn offline if you prefer. There are also options for curriculum that is video based.

Students need a variety of different ways to learn. I love that this site provides this opportunity to homeschooled children.

There’s a key at the top of the site that lets you know how each course is offered. Follow the key to decide which course options may be best for your children and their learning style.

10. Faith Based

This is a faith-based site. When I started homeschooling my kids this was a requirement for any curriculum I chose.

I don’t shy away from secular topics, but I make sure my children have the opportunity to learn the Biblical perspective to things as well.

Schoolhouseteachers.com provides a Biblical perspective to each subject, and they offer a variety of Bible curriculum based on age or grade level.

In my opinion, this is important to the spiritual growth of our children which is why it’s incorporated into our homeschool every year.

11. Lots of Helpful Options

If all of this sounds great but also overwhelming, welcome to the club! I was amazed to log-in to the site and see how many videos, online chat options, and written resources were available to help parents navigate the site.

It made getting our school year planned a piece of cake. If you hit a hiccup, there’s someone there to help! Having the right support makes homeschooling a lot easier.

12. An Afternoon of Planning

I’m happy to say that I was able to get our entire homeschool year planned out (for both of my kids) in a couple of hours.

I went through the classes, decided the ones we would use, bookmarked them to our dashboard, and figured out our calendar for the school year.

I was able to:

·       Figure out our class schedule (including the classes that don’t last all year)

·       Which subjects would be covered on a daily basis and which wouldn’t

·       Which days of the week we’d cover which subjects

·       I made a note of which classes had book requirements, so I’d know to make sure I had those books available when they were needed (i.e. the literature kit course)

Beyond that, our year was planned, and we’re ready to roll into the next school year!

13. Affordable

Affordability turns many people away from homeschooling because curriculum is expensive even if you buy it secondhand.

Schoolhouseteachers.com is currently having a sale on their curriculum. If you take this option, there are no refunds. You can also sign-up for monthly payments.

Your account will be set-up to auto renew every year, but you can cancel at any time.

They make things easy and affordable. Homeschool families need more of this in their lives!

14. Make a Commission

Our final stop on the “Things I Love” tour, is the affiliate program Schoolhouseteachers.com offers. If you try their product and love it, you’d pass on the information anyway, right?

Well, thanks to their affiliate program, you can make a commission for each person you sign-up. Think about that. You can help your friends save money, their kids get a quality education, simplify homeschooling for people who think, “I can’t homeschool”, and make a 25% commission.

This is just one final thing to love about this curriculum choice.

Conclusion

I realize this is a ton of information, but I had to share this good news with other homeschoolers. Homeschool curriculum weighs on me every year between the financial investment and the amount of time invested in planning.

This was truly a Godsend when this ad came across my social media account. I took a few days to view the site before I made the jump, but I’m so glad I did.

We’re excited about our upcoming homeschool year, and I’m ready for it after one afternoon! I still can’t believe it.

I hope this information will help you on your homeschool journey. Good luck to you in your upcoming school year!

If you’re worrying about missing the current sale, don’t! There’s a new one starting soon. Here are the details:

12 Essential Homeschool Items Every Homeschooler Needs

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

Are you considering homeschooling?

Summer is a time when some families decide to change things up and shift from one school setting to another.

If you’ve decided your family is ready to take this adventure, let me share with you some essential homeschool items.

It’s not what you may think. Here are the things you must have to homeschool successfully:

1. Quality Curriculum

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Notice this heading reads “quality” not “expensive.” You don’t have to spend a fortune to provide quality curriculum for your children.

There are a ton of resources for homeschool families and many ways to create (or purchase) quality curriculum.

Homeschooling on a budget while providing a quality education can be done. Be sure to choose a curriculum that will engage your children.

If you have their undivided attention, they’re learning.

2. Library Card

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

The library is a wonderful FREE resource for homeschool families. If you have a library card, you can check out books, electronics, and participate in their fun community activities.

This is a great place for your children to make friends. It’s also a great way to instill a love of reading within your children.

A library card can unlock a ton of resources for your homeschool, and this certainly makes it an essential homeschool item.

3. Electronics

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

In today’s society, kids need electronics to homeschool. Smart TV’s are wonderful for showcasing things you find on the internet on a larger screen.

Computers are an excellent resource for accessing websites and tablets are great for kids to do their individual work.

The good news is some libraries offer electronics you can rent. You can also use computers at the library.

4. Dry Erase Board

I could not do the homeschool life without my dry erase board. I know it sounds crazy, but I love it.

I can write assignments, provide demonstrations, and review things with my kids in an easy-to-see method by using the white board.  

It’s especially useful if you’re homeschooling more than one child at a time.

Consider this awesome dry erase board lap-desk!

5. Dry Erase Markers

If you’re going to have a dry erase board, you must have the markers that go with. I recommend buying a variety of colors and a quality eraser.

I use my white board all the time (for homeschool and as part of my daily routine.) This means I go through quite a few markers.

Keep a few extras on hand because it’s frustrating when you need to explain something, and your markers are giving you fits.

6. Arts and Crafts Supplies

It truly frustrates me when people assume that homeschool parents put their kids in front of a computer, school them solely online, and that’s it.

If you think this is what you’re in for, you’re wrong. Better to find out now than when you’re in the midst of homeschooling.

Homeschool kids do some things online, but they also do a lot of hands-on activities. You’ll need appropriate arts and crafts supplies for these instances.

7. Internet

We’re fortunate to live in a time when so much is available at our fingertips. The internet is a must when you’re doing any type of schooling.

The internet gives your student(s) the opportunity to do research, complete activities online, take virtual field trips, take classes online, and much more.

If you can’t afford the internet, check into your local library. Most provide internet access. You can take your electronics and stay as long as you like at the library. They offer computers as well.

8. Pinterest

Pinterest is a must if you’re any type of educator. I teach co-op classes along with homeschooling my own children.

I never teach any type of curriculum without supplementing. Each teacher has a way of adding their own spin on things.

Pinterest provides me with ideas to bring what we’re learning to life. Tap into Pinterest!

Follow me on Pinterest and YouTube for more insights and inspirations!

9. Routine

Homeschooling provides a ton of flexibility. It’s great because you can move at your child’s pace, and if life throws you a curve ball, you can adjust your schedule to adapt to that season in life.

However, don’t get too flexible. Kids thrive with routines. It makes them feel secure because they know what to expect.

Some flexibility is great when necessary but do try your best to develop some type of routine. It makes all the difference in our household.

10. Exercise

Physical Education gets overlooked a lot in homeschooling. In my case, my kids aren’t athletic. I have one who wants to be a professional gamer, and the other is probably going to cure cancer. (No joke! He’s my science kid.)

They could care less about sports, but I want them to learn healthy habits when they’re young to carry throughout their lives.

I’m on a routine where I exercise one hour a day, so my kids do the same now. They spend 30 minutes exercising on equipment and 30 minutes riding bikes or jumping on our trampoline.

My friends enroll their children in homeschool PE classes, some enroll their kids in sports, and you can also do PE online.

Find some way to get your homeschooled kids moving every day. Physical activity is an essential homeschool item.

11. Magnets

I purchased the ABC and numbers magnets my first-year homeschooling. My youngest was in preschool, and I thought they’d be a helpful tool for him.

That was the best money I ever spent. We are in our 6th year homeschooling, and I still use them. They’re wonderful for spelling and math.

My kids learn spelling through writing the words and building them with magnets. We do the same with our multiplication tables.

12. Opportunities

Kids need opportunities to learn. They shouldn’t be assigned strictly book work. Take your children to the park, let them meet people, let them ask questions, join a co-op, and take field trips.

Do anything you can to provide educational opportunities for your children. Put them in sports, dance class, art class, or in online classes.

You don’t have to spend a fortune or keep yourself on the go constantly. But do give your child the opportunity to be exposed to different things so they can figure out what they may be interested in and what they aren’t.

Homeschooling is a wonderful experience. There are many ways to go about it, and it doesn’t require a ton of materials to homeschool successfully.

But these essential homeschool items are things I think every homeschooler should have to maximize each resource and opportunity available.

Happy homeschooling!