Sunday Book Club: The introduction of chapter books

I don’t think there is anything more lovely in all the world then laying under a tree, submersed in a book. 

My childhood was almost entirely made up of reading while laying in a field, sitting in a tree or hiding under warm blankets.

We filled Anthony’s childhood bookshelf with the classics. Roald Dahl, Jules Verne, J.M Barrie, and I have fond memories sitting on the edge of his bed sharing them before he drifted off. 


Now it’s Quentin’s turn. We just purchased this vintage copy of “The Jungle Books” for him. It’s pages are screaming to be breathed in. That “old book” smell gets me every time. 

We have read to Quentin everyday since before he was born. We have a huge love of good quality picture books, but there’s always a pause when it comes to chapter books. Is the child ready? Will it hold their attention? 

Here’s what we did. 

Follow the Child

If your child finds it hard to sit through a picture book story, it’s not time for chapter books yet. If they sit through two or three at a time, they are most likely ready.
Start slowly

We moved to longer stories like these first. Stories that had a few pictures, but mostly words on every page. We started at night and replaced the picture book that we read as part of our nighttime routine. 
Keep your child’s interests and age in mind

If your child has a phobia of water “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” might not be a good starting point. If your child loves horses “Black Beauty” might not be good either because there is a death of a horse in it. Think about the books you read as a child. They may be perfect for you to pass down to your own child. 

Try a few different books with your child to find one that works well. We leave them out, where Quentin can see them. The covers spark his interest and keep him engaged with the idea. Sometimes it’s only a few pages we get through, sometimes multiple chapters. We don’t have a set limit of reading time or pages a day. This helps keep everyone enjoying the story. 

Research library lists or book lists online. There is so much information out there and so many great books waiting to be picked up by the next generation. 

Do you have a favourite classic? 

Leave a message in the comments. We are always on the look out for great books. 

Author: Beth - Our Montessori Life

A mother of 2 boys and a Certified Montessori Teacher teaching in a 3-6 class. We don't homeschool, but our home is full of a love of learning. Most importantly, Montessori is not just school for us. It is our life.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Book Club: The introduction of chapter books”

  1. Hi, Beth!

    Question. Do you process or analyze the literature? Also, is there reading and analysis of literature in Montessori elementary classes or adolescent program? If so, how is it done? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Mars,

      At the 3-6 level we mostly focus on the joyful act of reading itself. We ask questions about what we are reading, but even those rarely go deeper that simple comprehension. I would follow the child. If children want to expand the reading with related art or projects, of course they would be welcomed to. But at the 3-6 level this usually isn’t seen. They are still too young.

      In some schools the 6-9 class is where more analysis begins, but it often waits until the 9-12 class. It depends on the quality of the school, but most 9-12 and Erkinder programmes incorporate some kind of literature study.

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