Waldorf is known for emphasising story telling in lessons. But that’s no excuse to miss out on some amazing children’s literature!
In this list of 100 books to include in your Waldorf-inspired homeschool you will find a selection of classics read simply because it would be a shame to miss out on them, as well as many novels chosen to match the story themes of each year.
The list spans pre-school/kindergarten through to grade six which sees children all the way to the end of their primary school years here in Australia.
And I haven’t forgotten you precious mamas. There are 10 titles chosen especially for you at the bottom of the page.
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I’ve tried to include a variety of reading levels in each grade. If you have sensitive children you may like to pre-read before assigning titles as independent reading. Many of these we have enjoyed as family read-alouds in our home.
A selection of beautiful picture books to snuggle together and read is just right for this stage.
- The Apple Cake
- Gerda Muller’s Season Books
- Elsa Beskow Books
- Pip the Gnome by Admar Kwant
- A New Day by Ronald Heuninck
- The Story of the Root Children and other books by Sybille von Olfers
- The Tomten
- Pippa and Pelle books by Daniela Drescher
- The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly by Reg Down
- Isabella’s Garden is my daughter’s favourite book 🙂
In first grade children are focusing on fairy tales. Many of these stories you will use in main lessons, but that still leaves countless stories to read aloud together. Animal stories are also perfect for first grade.
- A Bear Called Paddington
- The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Mr Popper’s Penguins
- Charlotte’s Web
- Stuart Little
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- The Magic Faraway Tree series
- The Tale of Despereaux
Feel free to continue with fairy tales in second grade. Now is the perfect time for stories with talking animals as well as also hero stories and fables.
- James Herriott’s Treasury For Children
- Lassie Come Home
- All-of-a-kind Family
- The Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton
- The Voyages of Dr Dolittle
- Mary Poppins
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Wind in the Willows
- Five Children and It
Third grade topics include farming, homes and gardens. Adventure stories are great here, especially children having adventures without adults. Some of these your children will be able to read alone but some should still be read by the parent. Especially Swiss Family Robinson as the language can be a little tough to tackle. Parents may particularly like to pre-read Seven Little Australians as there as some sad themes.
- Swiss Family Robinson
- Swallows and Amazons
- Farmer Boy
- The Boxcar Children
- Little House in the Big Wood and other books from the Little House series
- Seven Little Australians
- The Railway Children
- The Borrowers
- The Secret Garden
- The Birchbark House
A combination of classic literature and titles from this year’s major topics: animals, Vikings and stories of our ancient past. This is an exciting year!
- Leif the Lucky
- The Sword of Siegfried
- Jungle Book
- The 13 Clocks
- Daughter of the Mountains
- Beowulf (look around to find an edition you feel is suitable for your child)
- The Whale Rider
- Abel’s Island
- Black Beauty
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (and the rest of the Narnia Chronicles too!)
Welcome to the year of Ancients! Fifth grade is about more than just Greece, though. Homeschoolers have the freedom to look at many different ancient cultures plus this is the year to study your state’s history and geography. Try to track down some living books that deal with the history and exploration of your home corner of the world to add to this list 🙂
- A Wrinkle in Time
- The City of Embers
- The Egypt Game
- Tales from the Odyssey
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
- Treasure Island
- The Golden Goblet
- The Golden Bull
- To Ride the God’s Own Stallion
Topics this year include the history of Rome, right up to the early middle ages, as well as your own country’s history. In science we are looking at geology, astronomy and horticulture.
- The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
- The Pirates of Pompeii
- A Single Shard
- Tristan and Iseult
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth
- The Thieves of Ostia and other books in The Roman Mysteries series
- The Eagle of the Ninth
- Minna’s Quest
- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (look for an edition at your child’s level. There are many available)
Don’t get too caught up in trying to match all of your read-alouds and assigned novels to the year’s story themes. Let kids explore books that spark their interest and introduce them to as many of the classics old and new, as you can. So many of these I can still remember reading as a child. Many more I still love reading with my children now.
In no particular order, here are 20 more of my classic favourites for children:
- Peter Pan
- Little Women
- The Hobbit
- Around the World in 80 Days
- 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
- Pippi Longstocking
- The House at Pooh Corner (this one is my all-time-favourite children’s book!)
- A Little Princess
- The Trumpet of the Swan
- Gulliver’s Travels
- Oliver Twist
- Tanglewood Tales
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- Watership Down
- The Black Stallion
Don’t forget to take time for your own growth and enjoyment too.
The first four books are some of the most popular Waldorf parenting books. The remainder of this list is classic literature to read and enjoy before your children reach their teenage years.
Why these classics?
These are all books commonly assigned during the high school years. Take the time to enjoy them now 🙂
- You Are Your Child’s First Teacher
- Simplicity Parenting
- Seven Times the Sun
- Beyond the Rainbow Bridge
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Of Mice and Men
- The Three Musketeers
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Les Miserables
This list is by no means exhaustive but is a great jumping off point. If these are the only books I get around to assigning for school (not likely, but just in case haha), I will still be happy that my kids have been exposed to a wide range of classic literature and have had the opportunity to form meaningful connections between their lessons and their reading.
What classic or grade themed novel have I missed that you would just have to include?
For more 100 Things posts on a huge variety of homeschool topics, hit the big purple picture and head over to iHomeschool Network.