When I first left my full-time job, I had big plans for our summers. My son was just finishing up PreK-4 and had until then been in daycare for every summer of his young life. My daughter was only one. I couldn't wait to have the freedom to spend the summertime with them.
Fast forward five years... we have had summers full of camps, swimming, bedroom makeovers, vacation Bible schools, slip-n-slides, sprinklers, catching fireflies, and much, much more.
As I look forward to the upcoming summer, I want to be intentional about what we do with our time this summer. I want more playtime, more family time, less busyness overall this summer.
One thing our plans include this summer is reading.
*This post is from Amy, the book contributor here at Homegrown Learners. I love Amy's idea of spreading a feast of books for her kids this summer... and I really like her idea of incorporating more audio books this summer, too!
Summer Reading Plans
And not just reading for the children, but for myself. I am so inspired by Mary. Moms: take the Time to Read.
I spend most of my personal reading time on homeschool and parenting books. But I intend to broaden my scope of reading this summer. Sometimes you just need to get lost in a book, right? Not just the children, but parents too! What better example to inspire our children to read than to see their parents enjoying a good book!
I already have Why Can't We Just Play? on Audible that I plan to listen to on our way to the beach next week. It looks like a fun read to inspire me to stick to my intentions this summer.
For the Children...
I'll pick up books to help keep their brains busy thinking and being creative (and gearing up for the next school year).
My summer reading plans include providing them with a feast of good books to choose from.
My goal is less screen time, more reading, more playing!
My son loves the You Wouldn't Want To.... series of books. You Wouldn't Want to Be An American Pioneer and You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Wild West Town! were two of his early favorites of this series. He picked up a couple of new ones at the homeschool conference last weekend that he began reading on the way home: You Wouldn't Want to Live Without the Internet and You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bacteria. I'll try to pick up a few more of these books for him over the summer as well as plenty of other books to keep him reading.
He has read every LEGO book our local library has. Multiple times. So I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting books about Legos for him. I've added a few LEGO books to this Summer Reading Plans list.
I will also be selecting readers for my daughter. She is a beginning reader, and I want to encourage her love of books. She has just finished Level One in All About Reading. I will pick up books for her that help build her confidence in reading. You can read more about Why I Love All About Reading.
We also plan to work through some of the projects in Sewing School this summer. Her biggest sewing projects so far have been sewing fabric squares together. She's only six. But she told me tonight that she wants to sew me a Wonder Woman costume. (LOL!) Who am I to discourage her from daring to dream big! :-)
Above is a picture of my son with our sweet, old dog who we had to say goodbye to today. When my son was first learning to read, he would spend time practicing reading to Patch, who was a patient and gentle listener. I'm thankful for this time they have had together. They spent hours and hours together reading.
Family Read Alouds
I also want to make plenty of time for read alouds for our family.
When our days are less structured, our family thrives on the anchors that help give our days routine. Read Alouds are an anchor to our days. With my six year old just beginning to be interested in chapter books for read-alouds, I am selecting books I think will hold her attention.
Our next family read-aloud is The Burgess Seashore Book for Children. Our family is heading to the beach soon so I thought this would be a perfect book to read. All of the Burgess Books for Children are delightful.
We will also be reading Pages of History with my ten year old son. I suspect this is one he and my husband will especially enjoy.
Audio books helped to draw my son into reading years ago. We began with picture books on CD where he could follow along with the narration. He progressed to audio books well beyond his reading ability.
Listening to audio books over the years has allowed by active boy to be able to read books while keeping his body and hands busy. He has at least one audio book checked out from the library all the time. He likes to get up early in the morning and listen to an audio book while he plays with Legos waiting for school to start.
My daughter is beginning to show more of an interest in audio books also. We have recently listened to The Fancy Nancy Audio Collection of short stories. Because the stories are short, they keep her attention and we can easily limit how much we listen to at a time.
I'm taking some audio books on our upcoming vacation that I hope the whole family will enjoy. I find that having audio books to listen to on long car rides helps keep the peace and helps keep the screens off. Win, win, win. :-)
An Audible subscription is also a good investment for your homeschool.
Summer Reading Programs
Do your children participate in summer reading programs?
My kids like to participate in the summer reading program at our local library. Over the years, it has been a great motivator, especially for my son. Several summers ago, when he was just beginning to read chapter books, he was inspired by the librarian when she told him he would now be able to track his progress by the number of minutes he spent reading instead of the number of (picture) books.
My kids enjoy being able to track their reading throughout the summer, get a special sticker to show their progress, and earn whatever prizes the library offers. If you have a reluctant reader, perhaps participating in a summer reading program will provide the motivation needed to keep picking up books all summer long.
My children will read for pleasure all summer long, but I will also encourage them to read a variety of books. I like for my older one to loop through a schedule of different types of books - - history, fiction, science, etc. And my daughter, well, we just need to keep encouraging her to read. To fall in love with reading.
You'll find a variety of books in our Summer Reading Plans list. As you face the upcoming summer, I encourage you to be mindful of what you want to accomplish this summer. For me, I want plenty of relaxing connection time for our family, and hours and hours of reading and playing.
I hope you find some ideas from this list to help you with your summer reading plans.
Why Can't We Just Play?: What I Did When I Realized My Kids Were Way Too BusyPages of History Volume 1: Secrets of the AncientsPages of History Volume 2: Blazing New TrailsThe Burgess Seashore Book for Children (Dover Children's Classics)The Burgess Bird Book for Children (Dover Children's Classics)The Burgess Animal Book for Children (Dover Children's Classics)You Wouldn't Want to Live Without the Internet!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bacteria!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without ElectricityYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without ToiletsYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without BooksYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without Clean WaterYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without Writing!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Insects!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Gravity!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Sleep!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bees!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Vegetables!If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People, 2nd Edition (CitizenKid)When on Earth?Where on Earth?If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States (CitizenKid)How to Build Your Own Country (CitizenKid)If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and NumbersAwesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have: 50 New Robots, Dragons, Race Cars, Planes, Wild Animals and Other Exciting Projects to Build Imaginative WorldsThe LEGO ArchitectThe LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Idea Book: 181 Simple Machines and Clever ContraptionsThe Dangerous Book for BoysThe Daring Book for GirlsSewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing; 20 Projects Kids Will Love to MakeThe Fancy Nancy Audio CollectionPeter PanThe Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Collected Stories of Winnie-the-PoohThe Boxcar Children Collection: The Boxcar Children (Book 1), Surprise Island (Book 2), The Yellow House Mystery (Book 3)Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryMr. Lemoncello's Library OlympicsThe Green Ember (The Green Ember Series: Book 1)Ember Falls (The Green Ember Series: Book 2)The Black Star of KingstonThe Bark of the Bog Owl (The Wilderking Trilogy Book 1)The Secret of the Swamp King (Wilderking Trilogy)The Way of the Wilderking (Wilderking Trilogy)
Download the Summer Printable Book List for Kids
For more inspiration to continue reading and learning all summer long, checkout All About Learning Press' reminder of How To Beat the Summer Slide - - Keep Learning All Summer Long!