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 firstname.lastname@example.org) (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!