My Reading List

I homeschool my two boys so I’m naturally interested in what they can do to improve their education. What (aside from the regular list of things to do before graduation) can they do to keep them ahead of the average.

I enjoy reading and believe that reading is the key to knowledge. The more you read the more you know. Even if it’s about someone’s adventure or life, it’s something that you might not have encountered in your own life without reading about. We read the Bible, stories that reflect what they’re learning in their school subjects, magazines on topics they enjoy and good books. Well, I have to admit the good books idea went out the window for a bit. The boys went through a phase where reading was just not fun.

Now were back to the “grind” and they are starting to enjoying it again. My younger is curently reading Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; my older is reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Both are cool stories.

When I was looking for a reading list years ago to start the boys on I came across the many lists of classic reading.  I settled on two lists: one from, which is the Thomas Jefferson Education website which I highly recommend, and the other is “College Bound Reading List” by the American Education Services at

Well, I had decided that I want to catch up on my reading, too. There are a lot of books that I’m familiar with because I’ve seen the movie.   Who hasn’t seen the cartoon version of The Hobbit, Disney’s production of The Jungle Book, or Liz Taylor in National Velvet?  But have you read the books?  I hadn’t and it was delightful to find they were written so well and the stories were a bit different from what I had “seen”. 

I have always tried to enforce a rule with the boys: if you want to see a movie that’s based on a book you have to read the book first.  As they got older it was actually fun talking to them about the differences; how the characters interacted in a particular scene, how the ending was different, how some new characters appeared in the movie.  I still hold that rule, but the movies recently haven’t been worth seeing. 

I’ll be keeping the list running for them since I have to for their school records.  For me, I’m keeping the list, too.  And I’m having fun doing so.  I’ve deviated a few times, finding other books that interested me.  “Frankenstein” was very different from the scarey guy portrayed in movies terrorizing cities while walking like a zombie.  “The Secret Garden” was exciting but ended abruptly joyful.  I was waiting for something else to happen, I guess.  And, “The Lost World” seemed very real.  I just finished C.S. Lewis’ “Out of A Silent Planet”.  Now I’m reading James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small”. 

Some books on the list I remember from college so I’ve checked them off.  These include Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabbler”, and Miller’s “The Crucible”.  Others I wish I had paid more attention to, so I’ll probably read them again.  And then there are the one’s I only know by the movie such as “Dr. Zhivago”, “Cyrano de Bergerac.”  I recently finished “The Jungle Book”.  I could picture, distantly, King Louie and his monkey friends dancing, Baloo scratching his back on a tree, and the elephants marching, but it was a stretch.  The book was well written and not in any order that Disney put together to make it’s movie, which (by the way) we are all fans of.  I recommend that you read the book. 

I’ll continue to read from these lists because it’s rather fun to tackle a list of things to do, especially one that requires me to relax.