21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschool

read aloud chapter books

Are you hoping to add some more reading time into your homeschool routine?

Here’s how we did it, as well as our list of 21 amazing chapter books to read aloud!

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For the school year 2021-2022, we set a goal to read 20 classic chapter books aloud during our homeschool literature time.

In years past, the highest number of chapter books we’d read was 11, so we knew that 20 chapter books would require us to stretch!

We had no idea if we’d make it, but we wanted to give it a try!

It took a lot of effort, but we were able to reach our goal. In fact, we were able to read one extra chapter book, too!

Here are our tips and lessons learned:

  1. Set a specific goal at the beginning of the year for the number of classic chapter books you want to read
  2. Put together a list of chapter books you want to read aloud and always have the next book on hand
  3. Have some way to keep track of the chapter books you’ve read aloud and display it (we’ve got a handy Family Reading List for you … keep reading!)
  4. Set aside a specific time each day to read aloud
  5. Allow your kids to do something tactile while you read, such as color, play with playdough, build LEGOs or blocks, etc.
  6. Discuss what you read together in a fun and interactive way

Keep reading for more information about each of these steps!

1.Set a reading goal

Your reading goal for the year is totally up to you and your kids!

Maybe you’ve never read a chapter book aloud before, and you want to start small.

Or perhaps you have an entire book series in mind that corresponds to what you’ll be learning for history or science.

You may want to focus only on the classics or set a goal to read a specific number of books.

Whatever you decide, it’s a great idea to get some input from your kids. This way they’ll feel more invested and excited when it’s time for your daily read aloud time!

mom reading a chapter book to her kids

2. How to choose your read-aloud chapter books

After you set your reading goal, the next step is to choose your read-aloud chapter books.

Having a list in advance is so helpful because you won’t have to plan and research in between each chapter book that your finish.

No matter your reading goal, it’s a great idea to have a few extra books in mind, in the event you finish all the books on your list early!

To make our list, I started by writing down a list of classic books my husband and I read when we were growing up.

Some of these books were classics, such as Anne of Green Gables, and others were books we simply enjoyed as kids, like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

Then I stumbled upon the great book, 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up by Bianca Schulze at my older kids’ school book fair.

It is full of fantastic book recommendations for all ages and reading levels and gave us a great road map to follow!

Additionally, there’s space provided for you to record your overall impression of the book, as well as write down each person’s favorite character. It’s more of a book journal than a reference book!

Finally, don’t be afraid to choose books that may seem too complicated for your youngest kids!

Quite often you may find that they’ll rise to the occasion to be like their older siblings and pay attention! (Or maybe they’ll wander off and make a mess in their room, which is okay too!)

3. Keep track of the chapter books you read aloud

It’s a great idea to keep a record of the chapter books you read aloud together.

This not only helps everyone to see how you’re doing with meeting your goal, but it can also help everyone stay motivated!

Free Printable Family Reading List

We’ve got an awesome free printable family reading list in The Reluctant Homeschool Mama Resource Library waiting for you to download!

It has space to record up to 20 book titles, authors, and the date you completed each book.

reading list for read aloud chapter books

Additionally, there is an opportunity to let your kids give the book a rating out of five stars (this was my kids’ favorite part for sure!).

To get your free printable family reading list tracker, click right here or on the image below!

4. Schedule your read-aloud time into your homeschool schedule

One of the most important steps in reaching your reading goal is to schedule your read-aloud time into your homeschool day.

Here are some common times to schedule your read-aloud time:

  • first thing in the morning. This can help to get your kids settled and engage their brains.
  • after a demanding subject, such as math or writing. This could give your kids a bit of a mental rest after lots of deep concentration.
  • during lunchtime. This can be a great time to laugh and connect with one another, and it can be a great segway into an after-lunch quiet time.
  • afternoon quiet time. This could be a wonderful way to give your kids a mental “treat” at the end of the school day.

There is no right or wrong time to schedule your reading aloud, and it may take some time to find the time that works best for you and your family.

What does matter is that you stay consistent after you find the right time for you!

5. Allow your kids to do something tactile while they listen

If you have the expectation that your kids will sit still and pay rapt attention to every word you read, you’ll probably end up feeling a little disappointed!

Remember, sitting still and listening intently is not the goal of read-aloud time!

Instead, it’s more about hearing and comprehending the story and enjoying great works of literature together.

To help your kids pay attention, it’s important to allow your kids to do something with their hands while you’re reading aloud.

They may want to color or draw, build with LEGOs, blocks, or MagnaTiles, or work on a craft such as making friendship bracelets or crochet.

(P.S. You may want to have something tactile to do while you read aloud, too! Folding laundry is always an option!)

Related article: 35 Fabulous Books Your Middle-Schooler Needs to Read

6. What to do when you finish a classic kids’ chapter books

Here are some things you can do when you finish reading a chapter book aloud together:

  • give it a star rating. This also helps kids remember how to find an average!
  • discuss the plot, characters, setting, climax, and resolution (these Learning Resources Retell a Story soft cubes are perfect for this!)
  • have your kids draw a picture of their favorite moment or character in the story
  • fill out a book report form (there’s a great one in the Reluctant Homeschool Mama Resource Library!)
  • record everyone’s favorite character in 100 Books to Read Before You Grow Up

And now, for a look at the 21 chapter books to read aloud, as well the star-rating we gave each book and a few notes on each book!

21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud

The chapter books we read aloud are listed here in the chronological order that we read them, with our overall rating out of five stars.

(In case you’re wondering my kids were ages 10, 8, and 6 during the school year when we read these books!)

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

  • 4.75 star rating
  • The story of four children who find their way into the magical land of Narnia and seek to free the curse of the White Witch
  • This is actually the second book in the Narnia series but is often read first.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie is a good adaptation and fun to watch as a family when you’re finished with the book!

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

  • 4.75 star rating
  • The story of Fern, her pig named Wilbur, and a spider named Charlotte who seek to preserve Wilbur’s life
  • Newbery Honor Book and one of America’s Top 100 Most-Loved novels
  • The kids really started to enjoy literature time while we were reading this book

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

  • 5 stars
  • The story of a neglected young boy who escapes his terrible aunts by riding away on a giant peach
  • My 9-year-old son enjoyed this so much that he put the entire Roald Dahl collection on his Christmas wish list!

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 

  • 5 stars
  • The story Milo, a bored young boy, who finds his way to Lands Beyond
  • This was our first out-of-the-park home run of a book! We all loved the clever use of the English language and had to buy it the day we finished reading it.
  • My oldest son in 10th grade loved it and shared it with his friends, too.

The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery

  • 1.33 stars
  • The story of a name who crash lands his plane in the Sahara desert and meets a young boy, who has come to earth via a wayward asteroid
  • This book while widely loved, was a bit too existential for us at the time. We’ll revisit it again in a few years.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

  • 3.5 star rating
  • The story of Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their attempt to find their father who has disappeared into the galaxy
  • Newbery Medal winner in 1963
  • A well-known introduction to science fiction, but a little bit out there for my kids still.

Holes by Louis Sachar

  • 4.85 stars
  • The story of Stanley Yelnats, who is wrongfully sent to Camp Green Lake, a boys’ detention center in the middle of the desert
  • Another Newbery Medal winner and New York Times Bestseller
  • We enjoyed the book so much that we watched the movie the following Friday evening and loved it, too!

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

  • 4.6 star rating
  • The story of the tiny Clock family and how they survive living in the floor of an English manor house
  • My 10-year-old daughter enjoyed the book so much that she bought the whole 5-book Borrower series

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

  • 4.6 stars
  • The story of Winnie Foster, who must decide whether eternal life is a blessing or a curse and whether she’ll join the everlasting Tuck family
  • This was a fantastic book that brought on some really interesting discussions that everyone participated in!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

  • 5-star rating
  • Newbery Medal winner and New York Times Bestseller
  • We couldn’t put this book down! I’ll always treasure the sweet memories of reading this book for one week by the Christmas tree with my kids.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

  • 4.5 stars
  • The story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who never has any adventures, and his grand adventure through Middle Earth with Gandalf the wizard and 12 dwarves
  • The prequel to the famous Lord of the Rings series
  • This was one of our higher difficulty books on our list, but we got through it much better than I thought we would!

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

  • 4.5 stars 
  • The story of the 4 unfortunate Baudelaire orphans who must go and live with their unkind uncle
  • The first of twelve books in the Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • This was another couldn’t-put-it-down book!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

  • 6 stars (yes, we gave it an extra star)
  • The story of Anne Shirley, a precocious orphan girl who is accidentally adopted by Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert of Green Gables.
  • One of our top 3 favorite books of the year! We also watched the 3-part TV series, bought the entire book series and started reading Anne of Avonlea at lunchtime.

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

  • 4.3 stars
  • The story of Claudia and Jamie, two young runaways who find refuge and a mystery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Newbery Medal winner.
  • The kids really enjoyed the fun and suspenseful ending.

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

  • 4-star rating
  • The story of Peter Hatcher, a young tween boy who must deal with the crazy antics of his younger brother, Fudge.
  • We found the book to be a little outdated, and I had to correct a few false messages, but the kids definitely enjoyed reading about Fudge’s funny antics!

Related article: 7 Great Poetry Picture Books for Kids Who Don’t Like Poetry

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

  • 4.25 stars
  • The story of Jess Aarons, a young boy who must deal with the loss of his special friend, Leslie Burke.
  • Newbery Medal winner.
  • Going into this book, we knew it would be sad, but we made it through. Despite the sadness, it was definitely worth a read together.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  • 4.25 star rating
  • The story of Annemarie, a Danish girl who must exercise great courage in helping her best friend hide from the Nazis during World War II.
  • Newbery Medal winner.
  • This is such an inspiring story, but it was a little deep for my kindergartener. The other kids really enjoyed it though!

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

  • 4.5 star rating
  • The story of a young 10-year-old girl who rescues a mangy mutt at the grocery store and how the two settle into their new town.
  • Newbery Honor book
  • This was a fun read that helped us to have great conversations about the power of kindness and hope.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

  • 3.25 star rating
  • The story of Alice, a young girl who disappears down a rabbit hole and meets many strange and interesting characters and creatures along the way.
  • While it was worth the read, the kids were super let down to find out the whole weird adventure was just a dream (*spoiler alert!)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

  • 6-star rating (yep, another 6-star rating out of five!)
  • The story of Auggie, a young boy with severe facial deformities, and his experiences of starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep
  • One of our Top 3 books of the year and a #1 New York Times Bestseller that lived up to the hype
  • We couldn’t put it down and finished it a week early, so we had to read one more chapter book before the school year was over.
  • We also bought 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Precepts and have been reading from it every day

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl 

  • 4.5 star rating
  • The story of Mr. Fox, his family, and other animals and how they escape from the wicked Boggis, Bunce, and Bean
  • This was a fun, quick read that everyone really enjoyed and another worth-reading Roald Dahl classic chapter book.

Where to find these read-aloud chapter books

 To find any of these awesome read-aloud chapter books, it’s a great idea to start at your local library!

Depending on their loan policy and your reading pace, you may be able to read many of these classic chapter books for free!

But if you need more time with each book than your library allows, or you want to build your homeschool library, all of the books are linked above to Amazon. Nearly all of them can be found for less than $10!

Final thoughts about these great chapter books to read aloud:

We hope you feel inspired to read a lot of wonderful classic chapter books aloud with your kids!

It really is doable and can be so rewarding for everyone in your homeschool!

Happy reading, mama!

Pin the image below to easily return to this article in the future!

read aloud chapter books pin

Related articles about homeschooling, books, and more:

27 Fantastic Winter Read Alouds Your Kids Will Enjoy

25 Fantastic Kindergarten Read-Aloud Books Your Kids Will Love

15 Amazing History Book Series for Your Homeschool 

How to Easily Create a Fabulous Homeschool Library

Have you read any of these read-aloud chapter books with your kids before?

21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschool21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschool21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschool21 Amazing Chapter Books to Read Aloud in Your Homeschool

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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