What’s up with reading lists? Every student should have a high school reading list as part of their college admission package. Each will be a unique reading list that reflects the child’s unique abilities and interests. Online you can find lots of sites that will have a “Reading List for the College Bound.” They should not be used as a “to do” list, though.
Reading lists vary widely – depending on the child and how much the child loves to read. Some kids are doing well to read 6 books a year, and others may read 60. Because my own children are voracious readers, I chose to make a reading list that was broken down by a year at a time. In other words, you may want to have a reading list for freshman year, a different list for sophomore year, etc. When I child is “not so voracious” about books, then you probably want to have a single reading list for the entire high school period.
However you break it down, the reading list includes everything the child reads: reading for school (like Jane Austen), reading for pleasure (like Harry Potter), goofy stuff (acres and acres of chess books), professional reading (PC World Magazine) and books on tape (as long as you include the words “audio”). The list includes everything!
An “everything” list can be stressful when your child read a lot. Believe me, with a voracious reading you don’t need to include every single book they read for an entire high school period. You just want to get enough books on the list to say “well read voracious reader.” For that reason, if your child has forgotten to write in their book list for a few months, but they still have a ton of other books on the list, I wouldn’t worry about it.
The “everything” list can be helpful to a child who hates reading as well. A very small reading list for freshman year can indicate a possible area for improvement for the following year. It may start with a conversation like, “Honey, 6 books aren’t enough for me. What can we do to increase the number of books you read this coming year?” By keeping a reading list, even a very short reading list, you will be able to assess the situation and make some adjustments.
You can see an example of a reading list on my website here:
Those of you who use Sonlight Curriculum will recognize some of the books, but you can see that many other books are included as well. My reading list was just for my children, based on their interests. It included books they were required to read for school. It also included books they loved to read for fun. I didn’t include textbooks, because my children read SO much I didn’t need to fill out the list even more, but I know that some homeschoolers do include textbooks. My example of a reading list was for just one year, but the reading list included ALL their reading for an ENTIRE 12 month period and my kids are PROLIFIC readers. Your reading lists should not look the same – they should reflect your child.
I used the books in the reading list to make course descriptions. My course description would include the text they used, plus the books they read as a supplement, and the things they did for that class.
But again, my reading list isn’t meant to be a “to do list” but is just one child’s reading history. Your reading list should look completely different, and should represent your child’s reading history.