A Reading List for your Children

“My Family, My Faith” asked Dr Messmore to share his recommended reading guide for children, of all ages.  These are the books he has read, or plans to read, with his own kids plus his suggestions for family movies and websites.

Preschool (under 5)
• Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault
• The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
• Corduroy, by Don Freeman
• We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen
• The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
• The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Primary (ages 6-12)
• Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
• The Book of Virtues (selections) and • The Moral Compass (selections), by William J. Bennett
• Magic Tree House series, by Mary Pope Osborne
• Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective series, by Donald J. Sobol
• Frog and Toad are Friends, by Arnold Lobel
• The Magic School Bus Chapter Books, by Joanna Cole
• The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
• Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingles Wilder
• Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White Geronimo Stilton series, by Geronimo Stilton
• Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
• The Hardy Boys series, by Franklin W. Dixon
• Nancy Drew series, by Mildred Benson
• The Imagination Station series, by Marianne Hering and Marshal Younger (This series can be ordered through Focus on the Family but might not be available in Australian bookstores; other good series to order from Focus on the Family include Adventures in Odyssey Novels, the Kidsboro series and The Last Chance Detectives series.)

Educational Computer Sites
ixl.com (math games)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Sound of Music
The Music Man
The Wizard of Oz
The Neverending Story
The Muppet Movie
The Incredibles
Toy Story
Life is Beautiful
National Treasure
E.T. (language)
Indiana Jones (language)

Tips for Parents as Educators
• Make a habit of eating dinners together at home.
• Read to your children out loud.  Have lots of books visible in your home.
• Limit the amount of time your kids play video games (perhaps only on weekends?) and encourage outdoor play.
• Make an effort to take children to exhibitions at museums and galleries.
• Let your children know what you’re doing at work and why it matters.
• Involve children in household chores as soon as they are able.
• When you have a small task to do around the house (hanging a picture level, putting together a bookcase, baking a cake, pumping up a flat tire) ask your child to figure out how to conquer the challenge. Allow them to help accomplish the task. This will help with problem solving and make work seem fun.