Classic books can be intimidating. Take a deep breath, get over it, and just think of the many benefits of reading them, for your children and yourself. These books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, as these are the books that have withstood the test of time. Let’s talk about how to enjoy classic children’s books across different ages.
If you want to know what classic children’s books are and the benefits of reading them, click here to read our article about it.
In our home, classic children’s books are par for the course. From youngest to oldest, we all relish these books and challenge ourselves with them as well.
If you’re looking to introduce classic children’s books in your home, here are some tips for all ages.
We’ve always advocated family read aloud time; it’s the best way to include everyone, from youngest to oldest.
Don’t be afraid to pick up seemingly “advanced” books, because everyone can enjoy the same book, but at their own particular level. This is also why we read old favorites, such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit every few years. Everyone enjoys it differently at different ages!
If you’re reading to just one young child, choose titles that appeal to young children. My 5-year-old’s favorites are The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Little House in the Big Woods.
I, or her siblings, read those books to her endlessly. When she became a confident reader, she started reading them on her own!
The reader who might be intimidated to read novels
My 10-year-old son gets intimidated with some of the classics. He says he enjoys them better when I read aloud to him…. and so I do, and it’s perfectly fine.
Sometimes, he listens to a Librivox recording as he reads along his books. This is how he went on an adventure with Robinson Crusoe!
The older, voracious reader
Did you know that even when your children are already in their teens and are advanced readers, it’s recommended to keep reading aloud to them? Doing so still helps with their vocabulary, comprehension, listening skills, and all those other benefits I wrote about in this article.
Another great reason to read aloud to an older child is to bond with each other. So even though my eldest is a voracious reader, I make time to cuddle and read to her. We’ve finished one volume of Sherlock Holmes stories, and are on our second one now, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The busy parent
We can’t read all the books in the world, but we can certainly try!
If you haven’t really read a lot of these books in your childhood, it’s not too late to get to know and enjoy them with your own children. Though you will definitely not love all classic children’s books, getting acquainted with various authors and titles will give you an idea of why these books have stood the test of time.
Take the opportunity to read to and along with your children, especially the books that you missed in childhood. It’s never too late!
The literature-rich homeschool
Since I’ve been a book-lover ever since I can remember, it was only natural for me to gravitate towards literature-heavy homeschooling.
We started our journey with classic picture books using Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row and have used it in each of my children’s early years, until we transitioned to Charlotte Mason homeschooling several years ago. We use some of these classic children’s books – known as living books in Charlotte Mason circles – in our homeschool as our school books, and our experience is richer for it.
Whatever educational method or philosophy you’re following, and whether you are homeschooling or not, enrich your children’s education with these wonderfully written books.
Start with one book
Reading good books is a part of human life and development. We grow through these stories that make us think.
I’m grateful for my sister who spent her college allowance buying classic children’s books and Newbery Award winners for me (she’s almost a decade older), and for our parents who always said yes to books, and were readers themselves.
I never really realized how lucky I was until I became a parent and started reading to and selecting books for my children. Having experience and the confidence to introduce these to my children has certainly been helpful!
Sanne and I have been curating books – picture books and classic children’s novels – for 10 years now here at The Learning Basket. We’ve seen our fair share of families through the years develop their own reading culture. This is why we continue to do what we do!
There are so many books out there, and so many titles to choose from. Pick one book — again, we have selected the best and made them available at our bookshop — and just start reading. Enjoy!