Here is a list I have been compiling from different sources regarding typical readers and read-alouds for fourth grade Waldorf homeschooling. Please do remember that your student should still be reading out loud to you each day and you should be reading out loud to them.
Here are some suggestions for reading; I am sure there are many more not on this list but it is a place to start. These books can contain mature themes, more struggle and of what it means to be the complex human being, so most of them are recommended for those at least age 9 and up, and I would caution if your child just turned 9 and has not yet gone through the nine year change that you may wait to schedule these until the second half of the year. My assumption in making this list is that your child is actually TEN, or close to ten, for fourth grade.
My “Must-Have’s” of fourth grade:
- All of the books by Holling C. Holling: Pagoo, Paddle To The Sea; Minn of The Mississippi, Tree On The Trail; Seabird – ties in with local geography and U. S. Geography if you are following the sequence laid out here:http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/waldorf-homeschool-publishing-and-consulting/curriculum/subjects/geography.html
- Thorkill of Iceland: Viking Hero Tales by Isabel Wyatt (includes The Dream of King Alfdan, on Old Norse Hero Tale, as well)
- Norse Hero Tales, also by Isabel Wyatt
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Captured by Vikings by Torill Thorstad Hauger (recommended by Mrs. Marsha Johnson over at email@example.com) (Addendum 7/19/2011, I skimmed through most of this recently and found it a bit too historical for this grade, and don’t think my daughter is ready for the darkness of this material. I would recommend for over sixth graders…please preread and decide what is right for your family.)
- Sticks Across the Chimney by Nora Burglon and The Sticks Swing In by Nora Burglon
- ??? — Nancy Parsons over at Bob and Nancy’s bookshop also recommends East O’ The Sun and West O’ The Moon by George Dasent. I have not read this. I read the description over at Bob and Nancy’s and wondered if anyone who has read this would care to comment on this book?
And, the next two books of the “Little House” series – if you covered “Little House In The Big Woods” in first grade, “Little House On The Prairie” in second grade, “Farmer Boy” in third grade, you would be up to “On The Banks Of Plum Creek” and “By The Shores Of Silver Lake” You could possibly go into “The Long Winter” depending upon the age and maturity of your child. I also like “Caddie Woodlawn” and the sequel if you and your child have not already read that.
- Edward Eager – Half Magic, Magic by the Lake, etc.
- TA Barron’s The Lost Years of Merlin Series could be later half of fourth grade if your fourth grader would be close to 11 or so I think.
- EB White’s books
- Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series
- C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia
- Meinder De Jong’s The Wheel On The School (a favorite here!) and Along Came A Dog
- Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series
- Franklin W. Dixon’s The Hardy Boys series
- Robin Hood and King Arthur if you haven’t done those already
The Waldorf Student Reading List book recommends many more titles, including
- E. Coatsworth’s The Cat Who Went To Heaven, Sod House, The Cave, etc
- Elizabeth Enright’s Thimble Summer and Gone-Away Lake
- Eleanor Estes’ The Moffats series
- George MacDonald
- Robert McCloskey’s Homer Price; Centerberg Tales
Biographies of American Heroes (or European heroes!)
We are working our way through some of the Christian Heroes Then and Now series, but I am picking them carefully as many of them I feel will be better suited to my daughter in the following years…
Please leave your recommendations in the comment boxes below, you can also see a list of more fourth grade books categorized through the Christopherus Fourth Grade Amazon store here: http://astore.amazon.com/christopherus-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=1 (great books for ages 9-11) and books for Grade Four: http://astore.amazon.com/christopherus-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=37
Hope that helps to get you started!
Hello Carrie, I don’t know the book by George Dasent, but I have used a similar one called “A Time for Trolls” (http://www.amazon.com/Time-Trolls-Tanum-Norway-Tokens/dp/8203171281/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307045181&sr=8-1). It’s one I read when I was little and is a wonderful book for 4th grade.
Another book you might consider is “Viking Tales” by Jennie Hall. You can find it at mainlesson.com (http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=hall&book=viking&story=_contents).
Thanks so much for all the info!
Do you have ideas for 4th grade boys and play? We keep ours busy through work and outside play, but he also really enjoys time alone in his room (he has two younger siblings to I can understand that!) where he makes all kinds o super detailed robots and other “mechanical” or “technical” stuff (using paper or cardboard with the most intricate solutions to make them move or other fun stuff). How can we meet his interest and needs now, without losing a Waldorf perspective?
I’m borrowing East O’ The Sun and West O’ the Moon from the library right now. I was considering using it with my second grader next year, but if it’s more appropriate for fourth grade I guess I’ll wait. Our area is heavily Norwegian influenced, which is why I was considering it.
I love these readng lists Carrie! There are several on yours that I know would be great! The tricky part for me (and a lot of others) is that I have almost no opportunity to read exclusively to my older guy without little ears listening or else little feelings being hurt. With 3 years between them I try my best to find stories that will work for both at bedtime. I know this gap will decrease as my little guy gets older.
I also saw on Bob and Nancy’s a recommendation for Swiss Family Robinson at the end of 3rd grade. This would be a great summer read I think and I may just read it after all, knowing that my little one will hear it now and again when the timing is right for him.
Apple – Yes, some of these may be upsetting to little ears, but some of them would be just fine. Some of them will be outstandingly boring to small ears I should think. Perhaps just read them ahead of time and see what speaks to you for where you are now…
The Search for WondLa and The Penderwicks would be my additions to this list. Also,
🙂 Melissa @imaginationsoup
I”m currently having an obsession about East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I just read a young adult novel called ‘East’ by Edith Pattou (another title of the same book is called NorthChild) I really enjoyed it, and so if you doing this with your children it might be nice to read this novel yourself as it is a retelling. Also check out some of the fairy tale illustrations by Kay Nielsen in his book. I’ve had a soft spot for these since I was a child.
Very helpful and a lot of great ideas! Thank you
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I’m sharing my Amazon Listmania list for 4th grade here to augment the excellent list you’ve put together Carrie 🙂 http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1LN6JN2K90HES/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb=
Looking forward to looking at it 🙂
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