Winter is the perfect time to curl up with a good book or Ebook-Reader and read aloud to your children.
It is never to late to read aloud. I read to all my children when they were teenagers.
You can download a 31 page list of classics by grade level (K-12) at the bottom of this post.
Did You Know You Can Get the Classics FREE?
You can get original versions of several classics on the FREE on Kindle or phone apps!
Many are also available in ebook format from Project Gutenberg. Once you get an ebook online you can usually send it to your e-reader.
A Few Free Ebooks from Kindle
- Robinson Crusoe
- Treasure Island
- Pride and Prejudice
- The Secret Garden
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Little Women
You don’t have to have a Kindle to get free Kindle books. See Free Kindle Reading Apps
Originals or Adaptations?
You can’t beat free books. If you have a Kindle you can get dozens of free books. The
Kindle is less than half what I paid for it at $135 it would pay for itself.
The library offers originals and condensed versions free.
However, long chapters and difficult language can overwhelm and obscure the richness of the story. i.e. my boys listen better and enjoy the story.
Literature for the masses or literature for the lazy? Does it matter?
We recently read aloud a children’s adaptation of Robinson Crusoe (apologies to Charlotte Mason– she prefers the originals).
Remember the goal is first to encourage a love of learning.
Differences in Originals and Adaptions
Let’s look at the adaptation I just read to my boys. The original Robinson Crusoe included cannibals and was a bit daunting for younger children.
I wanted the religious part did want the cannibalism or a super long book. So we purchased Robinson Crusoe (Scribner’s Illustrated Classics) (99 cents on Kindle and under $4 with shipping and handling used on Amazon).
Bonus: Since we purchased the paperback I put it on PaperBackSwap when finished! (Read more about PaperBackSwap here))
The Book: Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719 . The book is a fictional autobiography of an English castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island and documents Crusoe’s spiritual journey as he comes to peace with God
The Author: Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets, articles, and poems. Among the most productive authors of the Augustan Age, he was the first of the great 18th-century English novelist.
Consider expanding the book with lesson plans:
Most classic have lesson plans. Look at all these for Crusoe:
- Religious Purpose in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe – This book is a heavily religious novel. This is signified through three instances in which religion emerges as a major theme at pivotal points in the plot.
- Robinson Crusoe Island Adventure Lesson Plan from Crayola. Write original Island Adventures with detailed characters, setting, and plot, then construct an island environment using a paper bowl and Crayola® Markers.
- Island Survival – In this activity, students will participate in a simulation of life on a deserted island. They will be challenged to use their critical thinking skills and knowledge of islands to “survive” and ultimately return to safety. Grades 4-12.
- The Original Survivor – PDF. With this unit, students will understand the connection between classical literature and the human experience. Grades 4 & up.
- Robinson Crusoe Island of Despair Study Guide– PDF
- Robinson Crusoe Teaching Unit (Prestwick House) – A complete teaching unit and reproducible individual learning packet including a chapter-by-chapter study guide, topics for discussion, vocabulary, and a multiple choice and essay test with answer key.
- Robinson Crusoe Lesson Plan from Reading A-Z – Vocabulary, questions, grammar and other activities.
Classic Literature With Similar Themes
Family Guides to Great Reading
Books with annotated lists of classics, Bible stories, biographies, and more.
Free Choosing and Using Resources Booklet (31 pages PDF)
Includes Classics by Grade Level
My Favorite Christian Fiction Authors
Mostly contemporary, no Amish
- Kristen Heitzmann
- Charles Martin
- Angela Hunt
- Susan Meisner
- Randal Arthur
- Susan May Warren
- Lynn Austin
- Robert Whitlow
- Terry Blackstock
- Deborah Raney
- Mary E. DeMuth
- Nicol Baart
- Dee Henderson
- Brandilyn Collins
- Karen Kingsbury
Subscribe for 65 pages from The Heart Wisdom Teaching Approach (pdf)