How to Choose Books to Read to Your Kids

Guest Post by Suzette Ladouceur

My father was a reader. I often saw him come into the living room in the evening after work with three books, sit on the sofa, and read one chapter in each book. He always had three books going at the same time.

I inherited his love for reading, and I am doing my best to instill that love of reading in my own children.

I began reading to them both from infancy. Simple books. Books with few words. Books with lots of colorful pictures.

Laura Strickland Art from MyCuteGraphicsBooks became something for us to look forward to. A time to sit and snuggle with Mom. A time to spend uninterrupted time together.

Now, Little Girl is 8 and Little Boy is 4. And just as they have “grown up,” our selection of books has also.

So how do I choose which books we are going to read?

1. Does the book line up with our personal beliefs/convictions?

Before reading a book with my children, I always read the back and inside cover if it is a title I am not familiar with. It is something I learned from my mother. Because words can root themselves deep within our hearts and minds, I am careful that what we read does not go against our personal beliefs and convictions.

2. Draw from my own reading experience

As I mentioned earlier, I was an avid reader growing up. Because I have an incredible list of books to draw from, I never have to worry about finding books for my kids to read or to read to them.

3. Know your own child

Little Girl likes to know there is something to look forward to at the end of a long term project.

Chapter books definitely fall into the category of long term project for her. I try to find great children’s classics or works by great authors that have been turned into movies. After completing a book, we then make an evening event of watching the movie complete with popcorn.

As a parent, I also know what concepts and situations my children have already been exposed to and which ones they are too young or are simply not read to meet head on yet. Knowing what is in the book and where children are work together in my decision to read a book to them.

4. Living Books

Lion Witch & Wardrobe ArtBecause we homeschool using a classical approach, discussion and conversations are a huge part of our method. Finding books that will stimulate conversations about topics, concepts, beliefs, and life lessons is important to me. A few months ago, we read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which gave us plenty of opportunity to talk about life and beliefs.

5. Recommendations from friends

I have several friends who are also raising avid readers and our beliefs and convictions are pretty close. I know that if I am running low on inspiration of book titles, I can always ask for a recommendation and it will be a winner.

My ultimate goal is for my children to view reading as more than a subject in school but as a pathway to learning everything they need to know and want to know. A doorway to places around the world. A venue for broadening their vocabulary. And an enjoyable past time that will stay with them for years to come.

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About the Author

Suzette Ladouceur is a stay at home, homeschooling mother to two children, 8 and 4, and married to the love of her life for almost 12 years. You can learn more about her at her blogs The Joy of Homemaking ( and Coffee Mugs and Conversations (

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The children reading art was created by Laura Strickland of My Cute Graphics. Free Clip Art

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2 Responses to How to Choose Books to Read to Your Kids

  1. Claudia Brood

    Excellent advice and inspirational! Well done, Suzette!

  2. What a great post Suzette! Thank you!