March is National Reading Month! Reading is a favorite pastime for many, and especially homeschoolers! We share a unique love of books, so what better time to celebrate? National Reading Month is the perfect time to enjoy our classic favorites as well as read new titles! Originally in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd, National Reading Month is celebrated all month to show the importance and benefits of reading.
Reading is beneficial to all ages. Whether you love reading or simply tolerate it, academic professionals agree that reading helps develop vocabulary, empathy, grammar skills, cognitive function, memory, and more. Even if your homeschool is online-based, adding a reading list to the schedule can provide emotional depth to your studies and round out your student’s experience.
The Importance of Books for Homeschoolers
When it comes to reading, the choice of eBook versus physical book does not carry great significance. Whether you want to read on your phone, tablet, eReader, or a classic print-and-bound book, the benefit of the literature will be the same. The stimulus of reading comes from mental engagement, not the screen or page. For budget homeschoolers, the library is often a huge resource for free books and educational materials. Thankfully, with apps like Overdrive and Hoopla, the library is still a great resource for homeschoolers accessing titles from home via eReaders or online.
- Grows Vocabulary. Immersive reading will naturally introduce your child to new words and phrases, leading to an expanded vocabulary. Of course, it helps to research the definition of new words as your student comes across them!
- Challenges the Mind. Unlike movies or TV shows, which create the picture for us, reading requires our minds to piece together the imagery and create the visual story in our heads. Written words translate into moving images and storylines in our minds. Reading exercises our mind!
- Improves Memory. Reading has been proven to improve memory by stimulating the brain, especially the areas responsible for concentration and memory retention. After all, we want to remember the written events throughout the book to fully enjoy the story by the end!
- Lowers Stress Levels. A moment of reading distracts your mind from the problems and pressures of the day. It’s not so much an escape, as it is an act of temporarily lifting the burden from your mind. By relieving the pressure for a bit, you can relax and your stress levels will lower.
- Sharpens Focus. Reading exercises the area of your brain responsible for concentration. When we stop to read a book, our focus skills are utilized to process the words into information and retain a fluid thought process for creating an understandable scenario. As a result, our ability to focus is improved!
- Encourages Sleep. It’s long been proven that it’s far healthier for our natural sleep cycle to read a book before bed rather than scroll on our phones. This is especially true when you read a physical book or an eReader without a backlight. It’s been said that backlit screens are made to stimulate our minds, which makes it more difficult for us to unwind at the end of the day. Give your mind a break by opening a book instead!
- Improves Writing Skills. Almost through osmosis, reading can help improve writing skills. Students will naturally begin to absorb writing patterns and rules merely by being immersed in high-quality literature.
- Grows Imagination. Reading develops the imagination more so than TV shows or movies because we have to imagine it from scratch. This visual imaginative process encourages our minds to create additional imagery and stories more than simply watching a screen.
- Time to Unplug. It is healthy for everyone to unplug from time to time. In our modern society, we have become reliant on screens to entertain us for most of the day. Reading (even on eReaders) gives us a chance to unplug. Text messages, social media, blogs, forums — each of these can build digital pressure and anxiety over time. It’s never a bad thing to do a little detox.
- Develops Empathy. Books put readers in the shoes of other people. These people may be in situations completely unlike our own and otherwise, difficult to imagine. Consequently, books can help develop empathy in readers as they experience the world from the viewpoint of completely different people. It opens our world to theirs and helps us look beyond our circle to recognize the people who experience life quite differently.
Homeschool Reading Lists for Both Boys and Girls!
Books are wonderful because they serve numerous purposes. Books can serve as friends, entertainment, education, self-help, inspirations, and so much more. Most people who don’t find joy in reading oftentimes view books from a tragically dry, textbook perspective. This is a disservice to the boundless and magical potential of billions of books! My theory: if you don’t enjoy reading, then you simply haven’t found the right book!
- A Dozen Books That Make Us Human. Reading can develop and grow empathy in students. This list of books features the values that make us human and encourages titles that focus on these characteristics. These stories will make you laugh, cry, and grow as a person.
- Living Books List for Homeschool Science Study. The Charlotte Mason method of homeschool utilizes what is called “living books” for teaching. Living books are at the heart of all book lovers. With living books, concepts, facts, and lessons are taught through the narrative in books. A good genre example of living books would be historical fiction. However, living books are often an under-utilized resource for science. Here are several titles to include in your homeschool science study!
- How to Teach Homeschool Science with Living Books. Similar to the previous point, this article discusses how to include living books in your homeschool science study, as well as tips for getting started. It’s a unique concept to teach something so analytical with literature, but it’s an extremely engaging alternative!
- Must-Read Books to Prepare for Life. As parents, we want our students to be as best prepared for life as possible. Many of us begin this preparation with our children early on, long before the teenage years. However, the pressure increases with high school. This list of books covers various topics to help your teen prepare for adulthood.
- Elementary Wholesome Books List. It can be challenging to find wholesome literature. We can look at reviews and summaries and yet still miss mature elements in books until it’s too late. Let this list ease your worry with several wonderfully wholesome books for your elementary homeschoolers!
- 21 Books to Chill and Thrill Young Readers. While some of us may not be into the spooky genre, some people feel absolutely fascinated with thrillers, suspense, and horror. To each their own! If you and your children are looking for thrilling scary stories, this list is for you!
- Middle School Wholesome Books List. If parents of elementary students think it’s difficult to find clean, wholesome literature, just wait until you have a middle schooler. In our society today, it can seem impossible to find modern, fun books with family-friendly stories. Take a look at this list if you are searching for wholesome literature for your junior high homeschoolers!
- Books to Encourage Your Homeschool Entrepreneur. Do you have a motivated entrepreneur on your hands? If your homeschooler has a budding business idea and often looks into turning their skills and interests into a lucrative hobby, consider these books for inspiration!
- Early Reader Wholesome Books List. Children’s books are probably one of the most populated genres in the publishing business. There are plenty of options for parents to choose from, however, quantity does not guarantee quality. How do you find high-quality literature for your early readers? You can start with this list!
- Archive of Reading Lists by Age Groups! To find more reading lists, feel free to browse this archive. Homeschool Literature has pages of dedicated reading lists categorized by grade levels, age groups, and topics! Enjoy!