Discussion Forums - Homeschoolers' Corner Homeschoolers' Corner

Topic: Need help selecting the right books

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Need help selecting the right books
Date Posted: 11/20/2008 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
Back To Top

Ok.  I don't exactly homeschool my children but I am sure someone here can help me.  I have a 9 year old son that has just started vision therapy.  I need to find books for him that do not have a lot of pictures.  I need more like chapter books that are mostly words.  He has to wear these 3d looking glasses and put a colored piece of plastic over the page when he reads for his therapy so the pictures kind of mess things up.  The other issue is his reading level is very low about 1st - 2nd grade level.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  If you have them on your book shelf I would be happy to order from you.  I had thought about the Junie B Jones series as my older son had some when he was younger and seemed to like them but I can't remember how hard of reading they are.  If I remember correctly they were mostly words and when there were pictures it was a separate page.  Thanks in advance for any advise and suggestions.

Date Posted: 11/20/2008 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
Back To Top

Have you ever tried Pee Wee Scouts books?  I have one on my list but about three or four here at home.  If you want the one on my list I will be more than happy to send along all the ones we have.  My youngest does not have a vision problem but was slow to come to love books and these helped to get her hooked.  They are about the length of a Magic Tree House book.


Date Posted: 11/21/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
Back To Top


You can check the AR reading level for many books on this site:


I have entered all of the 2nd grade and 9th grade ones as tags in the PBS system. It went quickly, but life has interferred again :0)

I hope this helps!


Date Posted: 11/22/2008 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
Back To Top

The Dolch books are old-fashioned primers, written at the first grade level with few or no pictures.  One of the titles I can think of off the top of my head is "Animal Stories."  Dolch is the author, I believe.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2008
Posts: 14
Back To Top

What are his interests?  My kids like more stories about animals.  At that reading level, we have used the pathway readers.  Very few pictures, with shorter chapters in the younger grades.   That helped my son stay focused in the beginning.  The pathway readers are put out by an Amish company I believe.   So the stories are about the children working at the house, and on the farm.  I don't have any on my shelf right now, sorry.  

I just went and looked at the readers again, and they have a picture on every other page or so, but they are 1/2 the page in black and white.

The first grade starts with Days go by, and More days go by.  The 2nd grade books are Busy times, More Busy Times, and Climbing Higher.

We have also enjoyed the Christian Liberty Nature Readers.  I believe there are five in the series.  These are fun little readers about animals, and the lives of animals.  There are some pictures, but they are black and white.

Good luck!





Date Posted: 11/24/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
Back To Top

My son was diagnosed with an eye tracking problem earlier this year. I can speak from experience when I say once you know what you are looking for to look at the books yourselves to find a good fit. Other people may not 'get' what you are saying. I know what you are saying and I get what you are looking for.

For my son also what helped was white space on the page. He needed more than usual and also larger font was a big bonus.

I would suggest you make regular trips to your local public library. You really have to gauge the fit of the content of the book with the right layout on the page.

I would highly recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I explain what is good about this book in a book review I did of it last week. You will not find that on PBS I am sure, since it is so popular, only out in hardcover and won the Caldecott medal this year--so check your library. The book is *awesome*.


You are also at risk with boring him or turning him off to reading if you pick dumb content books or 'babyish' books. You have to be careful what you select! I can't stress it enough. "I feel your pain" about trying to find engaging good books for his age that are laid out well.

I could say have him read "Magic Tree House", those are 2nd grade level, larger font, white space on page etc but they are formula books and may bore him, thus dulling the spark that you want to have ignited.

I have found some great books from the 1970s that are laid out perfectly for kids with this problem. They are classics in large format, about 9x12 inches with large font and lots of white space on the page. There are sketches and notes in the margins (not bothersome).THey are part of a set called 'educator classic library'. Perhaps a library near you that has older books might have them. You may also find them used in thrift shops, goodwill, at used book shops and wherever old books can be found. They have Robinson Crusoe, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and others.

I also had blogged about finding good fit books for kids with eye tracking problems. YOu can read my post here. I have more book suggestions inside of that post....


Another suggestion is the series "My Name is America" which are historical fiction US History boy books that are companions to the girl books called "Dear America".

Other posts of mine about eye tracking problems can be read here.



My son responded fantastically to syntonic phototherapy, needing only 21 days of home treatment. He has a prism in the lens of his prescription reading glasses and he is off and running. In that short time he is reading long books like the Eragon series and other books that before he could not read. Today we had a talk about it and he said before the treatment "I could read but it was hard, it didn't bother me to read but it just was really hard".  My son was 10 when he was diagnosed and treated.

I hope your son's treatment goes well and that soon your son will be off and running with 'on grade level' books with content that he loves.


Date Posted: 11/25/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 237
Back To Top

I can't agree with Christine enough on how wonderful these 'Educator Classic Library' books are!

We used one of these when studying "Swiss Family Robinson" and the margin notes were SO helpful! We liked it so much that we bought several of the series when I found them in an antique shop.

Jan Bloom usually has several of the set when she comes to our state homeschool convention. If you don't find any listed in her Ebay store use the link to contact her to see if she has any in stock, and what the costs would be. http://myworld.ebay.com/booksbloom/



Date Posted: 11/25/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2006
Posts: 88
Back To Top

Just out of curiosity I did a search on these and there is a set of 5 of these on E-bay right now. 

auction is at 4.99 plus 8.03 shipping. 

item number  270307938196