My children enjoy reading. It is something we've always done for fun, so I try to be careful about how many official reading assignments I give. Generally, they do enough reading without being told. I have tried this year to give the older two students some assigned reading, though. I suppose, I tried it at points last year also, but this year has already been much more successful -- although more sporadic.
We mostly follow the Veritas Press reading lists. We have worked through some of their companion literature guides also, but we don't always use the guide as we've found that it can take away from the pleasure of reading -- which I think is essential to maintain. Instead, we review important details -- such as setting, characters, plot -- through conversation. We have the First Favorites Comprehension Guide: Volume 2, which has provided fun and simple worksheets and projects related to each of thirteen books in the First Favorites Collection. On the other hand, while reading The Hobbit with my 8-year-old, I assigned him pages from the corresponding comprehension guide. The guide had assignments for each chapter, and trying to force him to slow down enough to stay on one or two chapters in a day was frustrating. Eventually, I realized it was also silly. The Hobbit is an exciting story, and my son was quite engulfed in it. Good, that's what I want.
Charlotte, 6, is reading The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward this week. She read the story for the first time today, and we discussed the two questions on the first page of the guide. We'll finish the guide. She'll read the book at least once more on her own this week -- and however much thereafter, and we'll read it aloud as a family once or twice also.
Chris, 8, started on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer today. This is on the reading list for fourth grade, as is The Hobbit. There is a comprehension guide available, but we neither have it nor do I expect to purchase it anytime soon. This will be a challenging read for him because of the colloquial language. He enjoyed the reading today, but I did have to read parts of it to him for him to get the real gist. I had to explain things like what is a switch and is a colored person someone who wears a lot of different colored clothing. I foresee this being a fun read.
Check out http://veritaspress.com for more suggested books.