The Benefits of Having Children Read Classics

I think most everyone would agree on the importance of having children read. As a homeschooling mom I read and saw a lot of really bad literature for children and young people and decided early on with my children that I wanted them to be exposed to books that have stood the test of time and are consider excellent literature, the classics.

Over the years as I would read classic books to my kids and they began to read them as well I saw firsthand many of the wonderful benefits that come from reading classics.

Reading classics will expand and increase vocabulary. Children will be exposed to a vast amount of vocabulary words that they might not hear otherwise. And when the words are read in context it helps in understanding what the words mean.

I’ve seen that reading classics gives children exposure to writers that have an excellent command of the English language. This in turn, I believe, will help make children better writers. When they read and see how our language is used they in turn can learn proper sentence structure and this will help them in their own writing. For some children reading also improves spelling.

I’ve seen that classic books most often have intricate plots. This can help improve thinking skills as the child follows the plot.

I also love how classics will give the reader an in-depth look into history. The books are typically set in various times in history and after reading the book the reader walks away with a much better understanding of that time period.

The best part of reading classics is that they are very enjoyable books to read! Many classics can be hard to get into; they take time developing the characters and the plot. But once you are into a classic book they become almost impossible to put down! There is a reason they are consider classics!!

If you would like a list of some classics and a few resources I have a web page with a book list that I used when my kids were younger: 

This year I assigned my daughter Sierra and son Isaac their book lists of classic books to read and here is what those lists look like:

My daughter Sierra is 16 and in 10th grade and my focus is on American Literature:

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
David Crockett Scout by Charles Fletcher Allen
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe

My Son Isaac is in 8th grade and here is his list (more books may be added):

Call of the Wild by Jack London
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Boy Knight by G.A. Henty
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne



  1. Ooohhh your 10th grader's list looks almost the same as mine! Good choices!

  2. I love the classics. We have most of these books in our home and our kids (even though public schooled) are "encouraged" at home to read them. Thanks for sharing your complete list. There are some one your sons list that I will be adding for my 7th grade son.

  3. Thanks for sharing these. Many we have read, many we have not. Also thanks for sharing the web page. I want to check it out. Enjoy your day and God bless.


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