Things to look for…in general, we want the writing quality to be high. Outstanding is better. If you don’t know where to start, I’ll provide a list of things to choose from. That said, if you are raising an “information person,” who would much rather read non-fiction, that’s okay. There are beautiful non fiction books out there. This is how you will know. If you read a book every day for five or six days in a row and you, as an adult, HATE it, it’s probably poorly written. Just a rule of thumb. And what, you ask, should you do with those slick Disney versions of real books and preachy Berenstein Bears that your children love and you hate? Donate them. I want to read to my children. Much. But I don’t want to read stuff I hate. Except for the B book, Berenstein Bears generally makes my skin crawl…so. Out it goes.
If you have a child who likes to read instruction manuals for how to operate your phone, that’s okay too for a season. Just make sure that they are written by an native English speaking person. When I start dictation with the young uns, I usually choose something I know they love and are familiar with from a story or from a favourite nursery rhyme.
When I feel they are old enough to have an opinion of their own, they choose the material usually. Best poetry book ever for dictation, Favorite Poems Old and New. Organized by topic, and including hundreds of poems for all ages of children, and all suitable for children, this book is a winner.
Barely could I homeschool without this book. The cover is falling off and we literally have used it daily, with one child or another. Also love Mother Goose by Scott Gustaffson and the version by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells.
Coming up…choosing excellent literature for children and how to force children to love poetry.