Welcome to our 12 DAYS OF HOMESCHOOL CHRISTMAS POSTS! If you are just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed so far:
- 1ST DAY: Printable ~CHRISTMAS COUPONS~ for a Festive & Focused Homeschool Holiday Season! (pdf included)
- 2ND DAY: 12 “Living Literature” Christmas Picture Books that go deeper than just Holly-Jolly, Ho-Ho-Ho-Hum, Sugar-Plum Dumb!
- 3RD DAY: Give your child the WORLD this Christmas! Golden *Globe* Worthy, World-Wise Gift Guide for Little Explorers!
For our 4th Day of Homeschool Christmas . . .
It’s the most Read-Aloud Time of the Year!
There are few things I enjoy more than cozying up with our kids to read a good book. I love the light in our son’s eyes as the story unfolds—the frenzy of ideas and inspiration he’s struck with whenever he discovers a previously foreign concept. I love the joy on our daughter’s face when she holds a book up to me, her eyes bright and rosy cheeks shining, as she asks sweetly “peez, read to me?” And nothing is quite as incredible as watching her eyes work over the pages as the words reach her ears—her mind expanding before our very eyes. But Christmastime reading is extra special. Something about a fire, Christmas tree, cup of hot cocoa, wool socks, a fresh blanket of snow outside . . . it’s pure read-aloud magic.
Last week I shared our favorite Christmas Picture Books, and today I give to you our favorite Read-Aloud Christmas Chapter Books! I hope that your family will enjoy reading these holiday gems as much as we have!
Our Family’s Favorite ~CHRISTMAS READ-ALOUD CHAPTER BOOKS~
~Readin’ Around the Christmas Tree~
The Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Garth Williams
Our family’s absolute favorites for every season, but especially at Chrsitmas! Laura Ingalls Wilder’s descriptions of her simple childhood holidays are absolutely charming and act as a cleansing breath from the modern-day commercialized Christmas rush. Even though we have already read the first four books in the series as a family, we are looking forward to rereading all of the Christmas chapters together this month. Each book in the series has at least one charming Christmas story, but our favorites are the ones from Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and Farmer Boy.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 4 and up: “Little House in the Big Woods”
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 5 and up: “Little House on the Prairie”
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 6 and up: all the remaining books of the series
A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy
An amazing mix of meaningful and magical, this Christmas miracle story will warm your hearts and inspire your kids’ hopeful imaginations. A lovely, classical Christmas read.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 5 and up
Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt
This book is not actually about Christmas at all, but takes place in a sort of rocky mountain winter wonderland setting. A simple, nature-steeped mountain escape for the holidays.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 5 and up and especially lovely for little animal lovers and adventurers
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
An international Christmas selection, this title takes place in Paris, France. The storyline is as charming and heart-warming as the incredible illustrations by none other than my favorite, Garth Williams. Read this with your kids in celebration of less this holiday season.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 5 and up (deals with homelessness in a soft and gentle way)
The Hundred And One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Is there anything sweeter than finding a puppy under the tree on Christmas morning? How about ninety-nine of them? If you have never read this book before, treat yourself! The Disney classic movie is precious, but the original story and vintage illustrations are somehow even more charming . . . just be sure to get a copy that is illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone! The modern illustrations cannot rival these ink blot beauties! (This old version of the book is out of print, but used copies abound on Amazon used books and Thriftbooks.) Altogether just a happy read around the Christmas tree.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 6 and up especially for fans of the Disney classic film (there is some violent scheming in regards to killing the puppies and kittens for their coats . . . similar to the movie . . . but all ends happily on Christmas morning)
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
We don’t make much of Santa at our house other than celebrating the legends of Saint Nicholas and striving to keep his Christmas charity in our hearts. But we make several book-Santa exceptions: Little House on the Prairie’s Mr. Edwards for starters, Miracle on 34th Street’s Santa, and last but not least . . . Matt Haig’s young Santa-Clause-to-be. A wild, fantastical tale of a boy on a sacred mission through the frigid forests of Finland . . . this book will stir any adventurer’s heart. My husband may like this book the best of all the family, so calling all dad’s to a fabulous Christmas read-aloud!
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 6 and up (there are some hard things to deal with at the beginning of the book such as a truly wicked and cruel aunt, borderline starvation, and a beloved father who goes missing)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
My mom read this book to us every Christmas and I remember most of all that there was a lot of laughter around the Christmas tree . . . from my mom and dad as much as from any of us kids. This is as enjoyable a read for young kids as it is for teens as it is for adults. This book is so hilarious right from the start that the last chapter really takes you by surprise when you realize that it’s much more than just the funniest Christmas story you ever heard in your life. Listen to the laughter fade away and watch the wonder on your child’s face as they discover the beauty and power of Christ’s birth through the unlikely eyes of a rough and tough band of bullies. This book sings the glad tidings loud and clear that Jesus was truly born as a Savior for ALL . . . even Imogene Herdman.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 7 and up (the Herdman kids are very fierce bullies who hit, and lie,and steal, and burn stuff up)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Another Literature-Santa exemption: Father Christmas of Narnia! This story stirs my childhood soul and it is never better then when read aloud at Christmas! Every child needs to travel to Narnia, fight against the evil snow witch, receive useful and rite-of-passage gifts from Father Christmas, and join the army of Aslan —the fierce yet gentle king of the land through the wardrobe.
*Perfect read-aloud for kids ages 7 and up (the story has several frightening and violent chapters)
The Box of Delights by John Masefield
This is a dense Christmas classic, rich in vocabulary and imagination, generous in adventure and danger. I could maybe describe it as Nutcracker meets Wizard of Oz meets Narnia . . . this book boasts the most fantastical and suspense-filled story of any other Christmas book you will find.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 8 and up, and an especially great Christmas gift for a young, adventurous boy (there are plenty of frightful and suspense-filled chapters)
The Grinch was alive sixty-one years before Dr. Seuss was even born! Everyone must experience Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol . . . at least thrice. Conjure up your very best character voices for this one (and you’ll need a lot of them) or opt for an audiobook version. Although I think this book is at its absolute best when performed live on stage.
*Perfect read-aloud for ages 9 and up (slightly younger children will enjoy the play, but reading the original book is quite dense and maybe . . . dare I say it . . . boring for younger kids)
Thanks for reading this post, but thank you especially for reading to your kids! Keep up the good work, mamas & papas!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~