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  1. #1

    Default Book List for 4th Grade Girl

    I've decided to do spelling, phonics and writing exercises and throw in real books to try to help my daughter develop a love of reading and a habit. We're going to try to read a book a month this year. She loves to read aloud and I figured I'd have her do a little every day. She tested at 705 Lexile on the last state exam she did before I decided to homeschool. Going to the library and having her pick out books she thinks she will like has never worked out well for us, so I thought I'd come up with a list of books for the year. I would love any recommendation. Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Before I give you some lists and potential titles, a few thoughts...

    * Don't push her to only read at her Lexile level range. It's okay for her to read lower or higher - in part because the computer algorithms that assign Lexile numbers aren't particularly excellent so books aren't always as easy or hard as the numbers say - and in part because reading at a lower level is part of what increases fluency and therefore reading enjoyment for kids. Leveling systems can absolutely be useful guidelines, but I find Lexile's assertion as part of theirs that kids reading works below their level are always bored. Not true. If the subject or story is compelling, they won't be bored even if it's easy, just like I enjoy reading easy books sometimes as well as challenging myself with older classics.

    * There are lots of ways to "do" required reading. You could make a list and she has to read those books, possibly with discussion questions or assignments. Or you could make a list of many books and she has to pick a certain number. Or you could get books to "strew" or leave around for her to discover or simply have a list of suggestions but she can still pick. Or you can require a few specific books and have others be chosen from a list. Lots of different plans.

    * Don't require too many. Think about going by time over number of pages or titles.

    * Keep your eyes on the prize in terms of your goal. You said here it's to foster her love of reading. Great. So maybe that means letting go of a book she started and hates or changing up your plan somewhat in other ways if it's not working. Reading more and gaining more fluency helps kids learn to love reading. But forcing them to read too much or the "wrong" books can help kill it. So you're looking for the right balance.

    Some good 4th grade books off the top of my head...

    All the Ramona books
    All the Harry Potter books
    The One and Only Ivan
    Wonder
    Nearly anything by Andrew Clements
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler
    Nearly anything by Roald Dahl
    Because of Winn-Dixie
    Half-Magic
    The Saturdays
    The Penderwicks
    The Lemonade War books
    Island of the Blue Dolphins
    Ella Enchanted
    The War that Saved My Life
    My Side of the Mountain
    Bud, Not Buddy
    One Crazy Summer
    Poppy
    Sideways Stories from Wayside School
    The Whipping Boy
    Rules
    Hoot
    Savvy
    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

    I can go on if you want to give me an idea of the specific sort of books you think she'd like.
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  4. #3

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    What are your daughter's interests? What does she like to read about?

    Mine (of about the same age) would only read books about horses, magic/fantasy books, anything about Ancient Greece/Greek gods and goddesses, and nonfiction about natural disasters.

    These past few months, she went through 20+ Goddess Girls books, Heroes in Training and Beasts of Olympus series, and a dozen of Horse Diaries.

    Any deviation from this list would have to be a read-aloud or an audiobook that we listen to in a car.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  5. #4

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    The Bravewriter Arrows list had 100% success with my boy, even ones I suspected he would be wary of.
    https://store.bravewriter.com/collec...-single-issues

    Plus, they have gentle little activities / learning from it if you want to buy the $10 guide.

    Otherwise, as Oksana says, it does depend on her interests.

    We have also used the Mensa Young Readers program, but some of those are arm-chewingly painful.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #5

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    Great advice! We need to get over the testing mentality. My problem is that she doesn't seem to like anything and doesn't want to finish anything she starts. I've been toying with having assigned reading with lots of activities included (cooking, art, etc.) in order to engage her more with the books. Part of me feels like she needs to encouraged to finish the books in order to feel a sense of accomplishment and begin to develop a reading habit. I recently saw a curriculum that looks interesting...Moving Beyond the Page language arts would require her to read 10-12 books (some that I absolutely loved as a kid, like Mrs. Frisby and BFG) and combines language arts, reading and writing. Any opinions about this?

  7. #6

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    I agree with the suggestions. I would add..


    I don't know if I would use a curriculum that focuses on reading if she is not into reading. Moving Beyond the Page is worksheet heavy, based on the book. They have detailed samples on their website. You will want to check them out before buying. (Also know that if you choose MBTP, you don't have to buy all the books. Many of them can be found at the library.

    Have you tried graphic novels? There are lots of great ones.

    I would focus on her interests and allow her to choose books that might be topic that she likes but also easier to read. Focus less on level and more on reading interest. We all read books in multiple levels. Adults who read YA books and graphic novels. (Think of Harry Potter or Gaiman's books)
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariam View Post

    Have you tried graphic novels? There are lots of great ones.
    Yes, she does like graphic novels (Smile, Ghosts, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.) and she tends to devour them.

  9. #8

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    Lots of people love Moving Beyond the Page. The books are great. I agree with Miriam above that it's worksheet heavy... but they're good worksheets, if that makes sense. It just depends on what you want.

    Build Your Library is another program that is literature focused. They also have great book choices - their nonfiction choices are definitely superior to MBtP's, though their lit selections are just different, not better, and MBtP's nonfiction choices aren't bad either.

    Book Shark is another literature focused program. Their science is "neutral" though, not secular. But you can do the program without that. Just something to consider. Their book choices are also good, though much, much more old-fashioned.

    Mosdos is a literature only program that's secular that introduces literary analysis and discussion through shorter readings. The authors and choices are excellent in that.

    Also, I think someone mentioned The Arrow - the book choices for The Arrow are excellent and the program gives you copywork/dictation to teach from as well as some activities and discussion questions about the books. It can be used as part of Brave Writer's overall program or just on its own.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

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  10. #9

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    Thank you for all of the suggestions. This is very helpful!

  11. #10

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    Jumping in a little late, but I've done the entire MBTP program years and I prefer age 9-11 for 4th graders. Personal preference but I thought the 10-12 was a bit heavy on the book choices and a lot of work. One of my kids is advanced and I still chose to go 9-11 for 4th. Mbtp is chock full, a lot to do, so make sure she's ready for the level you choose. Best of luck!

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Book List for 4th Grade Girl