Any one who home schools already knows the importance of books! My husband and I have the stance that as long as our kids are reading we are happy. I don't really interfere with my children's book choices. My daughter loves any and all things regarding mythology and magical creatures or magic. She has read the entire Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson series and many individual books on these topics. Many she has read over and over:). Often she asks me to read the books after her so we can discuss chapter by chapter the story sometimes to ad nauseam, but it makes her happy. Each time she reads a book over she picks up a new word or understands more clearly the plot or the reason why a character does the things they do. By discussing the book helps with this. She often remembers much more than I do:).
My son on the other hand is still reading the level 2 or 3 readers. He is well past this level but it is his comfort zone. His favorites at the moment are anything Hot wheels or superheros like batman, superman etc. He has been know to pick up an occasional chapter book like Junie B Jones or Horrid Henry and read sections of it on his own. He also loves joke books. We hear every new joke he has discovered and bathroom humor is really big here at the moment. We hope it passes soon:)
So during the day, when not in school my children read what they choose with no input from me. It always pleases me to find they have got up to their separate rooms to read completely on their own. However, I also understand the importance of reading the classics. I want my children to enrich their reading experience and know and come to love the classics or at least appreciate good writing. So my husband and I read to our children most night before bed. With my daughter we are reading a lot of classics. I have no trouble reading the original book but will sometimes chose to read a retold version of the classics. I know some home schoolers frown on this but my husband and I are fine with it. Some would say we aren't really reading classics if we chose to read the revised book. But my belief is I want my children to fall in love with the story and when they are older and I introduce the original version they will be more eager to read it as they are familiar with the story already. This is my plan:) As to how we chose which version we will read is not at all scientific. It depends what we have in the house!
After we complete the book I will try to find a movie about the book. I am not always successful for this but I do my best. Again as to whether we watch the older movie version or the newer version (if there is one) is very dependent on what we can find at the library or the video store.
So in the last 2 year since beginning we read the following classics to my daughter
Little house in the woods and the movie
Alice in wonderland (original version) and the cartoon movie
Black Beauty (original version) and the cartoon movie
Narnia (retold version) we will be reading the original this year and the new movie
Journey to the Center of the earth (retold version) no movie yet
Huckleberry Fin (retold version) no movie
Moby Dick (retold version) and a movie
My Secret Garden (original version) and a movie older version
Gulliver's Travels (retold version) and the cartoon movie
So far the only original classic we have had to give up reading was Robinson Cursoe, I will be looking for a retold version for that one. It was just too much for my daughter to comprehend.
As for my son we are not doing classical reading yet. I am still working on him being more comfortable with reading a chapter book so to that end we are choosing books that interest him such as Magic school bus chapter books, Magic tree house books, Dinosaur Cove and the Wright on time series. My husband and I are not happy with the Horrid Henry books or the Junie B. Jones books but we allow him to read those on his own:) We don't like the way the children behave in those books. We first were introduced to these book by a public school teacher, believe it or not. She recommended them. Now that we have them I have not been able to get rid of them. But I look forward to the day I can!!!