Our third grader has heard quite a few read -alouds during this almost two months of homeschooling this year, and I wanted to share a few of our favorite titles with you.
The Third Grade curriculum focuses largely on how humanity lives on earth, being here on earth and our connection to the divine and authority and the journey we make as human beings. It is a beginning foray into a protagonist a child can identify with, as opposed to solely archetypal characters, but I would urge you to hold off on literature with darker and more mature themes. This is a bridge year with literature for children who nine or almost nine. Waldorf parenting and education, I feel at its core, is often about keeping children as “young” as possible as long as possible. A good rule of thumb is to help your child choose literature where the protagonist is about the same age as your child, and if you have a sensitive child, to always pre-read.
Here is what we have read so far this year:
- We have enjoyed Pippi Longstocking and the first few of the Betsy-Tacy books this year.
- All Of A Kind Family, a story about Jewish family living in New York City’s Upper East Side at the turn of the century was a huge hit. I wish more of this series was in print currently and affordable. I do believe some of them are available for Kindle.
- Thimble Summer – this book by Elizabeth Enright was also a huge, huge hit.
- Smiling Hill Farm – this is a book from the Calvert Curriculum (and my copy had a ton of typos in it!). It covers generations of one family on a piece of land, and includes farming, a look at pioneer things, development and much more.
- Next in the line-up includes, “The Cabin Faced West” by Jean Fritz and “The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs” by Betty Birney, which I found on Amazon and will pre-read to see if I think it belongs in third grade or not…
- “Hay For My Ox” is a typical reader/read aloud for Third Grade in Waldorf Schools.
Here is a back post with some other titles mentioned for Third Grade: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/05/04/waldorf-third-grade-student-reading-list/. Readers left comments about their favorite reads on this post. I have to say in regards to some of the titles recommended I would pre-read “The Tale of Despereaux” – my voracious oldest reader read it and loved it and read it alone because she was a strong reader; (although I think she read it in the latter part of fourth or beginning of fifth, not third). I started it and thought it was the saddest thing ever and just couldn’t even finish it. I agree also with the Boxcar Children being good for this age; they remind me of a precursor to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys that some children might enjoy in fourth and fifth grades.
Please leave your favorite titles below!
We are enjoying Diary of an Early American Boy, mostly during our “school” but it’s a great springboard for projects. We made walnut ink from their recipe. I liked “Seven Wonders…” but I pre-read it last spring and thought I’d wait a little longer on it. It might be great now. We read Pippi this summer and the kids enjoyed it, but I was disappointed in it. I guess I thought it was too silly and light, but so many people like it (I remember enjoying the TV series as a kid). So many great books out there!
Yes! Diary of an Early American Boy is on my list….I think Pippi is silly and fun, our favorite is “Pippi in the South Seas” which is the one asked for again and again. I think Pippi is good right for that cusp of later eight to beginning of nine year change, before it seems just too silly …sort of like the match for the full-of-mischief eight year old, but right almost headed off to nine because Pippi has no parents, often comes off as rebellious, etc.
Keep those suggestions coming!
I LOVE All of a Kind Family! Have you read Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards? It is a beautiful story about an orphan who finds a cottage in the woods that she makes into her own space. SO moving and lovely.
Thanks for this list Carrie, we are in a lull right now, having some trouble finding a book to hold T’s interest (and my own, honestly). Library requests, here we come!
I’m so glad to see All-of-a-Kind Family on your list! I always thought they went along great with the 3rd grade year. Yes, sadly out of print.. a few years ago I spent some time seeking out affordable used copies, we have the whole set now, so so loved by my girls.
I will have to try to find an old copy of Smiling Hill Farm, that sounds like a good one.
Your other book list was great too! Thanks Carrie!
(I can’t make my comment post. Will try once more…)
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