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Summer Book List for Kids

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! 

 2017 Summer Book List for Kids from Homegrown Learners

Summer Reading Plans

For Me...

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.

The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls are packed with interesting facts and projects that are ideal for working on throughout the summer. 

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

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 BusyWhy 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 1: Secrets of the AncientsPages of History Volume 2: Blazing New TrailsPages of History Volume 2: Blazing New TrailsThe Burgess Seashore Book for Children (Dover Children's Classics)The Burgess Seashore Book for Children (Dover Children's Classics)The Burgess Bird 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)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 the Internet!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bacteria!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bacteria!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without ElectricityYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without ElectricityYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without ToiletsYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without ToiletsYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without BooksYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without BooksYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without Clean WaterYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without Clean WaterYou Wouldn't Want to Live Without Writing!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Writing!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Insects!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Insects!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Gravity!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Gravity!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Sleep!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Sleep!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bees!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bees!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Vegetables!You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Vegetables!If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People, 2nd Edition (CitizenKid)If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People, 2nd Edition (CitizenKid)When on Earth?When on Earth?Where on Earth?Where on Earth?If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States (CitizenKid)If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States (CitizenKid)How to Build Your Own Country (CitizenKid)How to Build Your Own Country (CitizenKid)If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and NumbersIf: 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 WorldsAwesome 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 ArchitectThe LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Idea Book: 181 Simple Machines and Clever ContraptionsThe LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Idea Book: 181 Simple Machines and Clever ContraptionsThe Dangerous Book for BoysThe Dangerous Book for BoysThe Daring Book for GirlsThe Daring Book for GirlsSewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing; 20 Projects Kids Will Love to MakeSewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing; 20 Projects Kids Will Love to MakeThe Fancy Nancy Audio CollectionThe Fancy Nancy Audio CollectionPeter PanPeter PanThe Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Collected Stories of Winnie-the-PoohThe Collected Stories of Winnie-the-PoohThe Boxcar Children Collection: The Boxcar Children (Book 1), Surprise Island (Book 2), The Yellow House Mystery (Book 3)The Boxcar Children Collection: The Boxcar Children (Book 1), Surprise Island (Book 2), The Yellow House Mystery (Book 3)Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryMr. Lemoncello's Library OlympicsMr. Lemoncello's Library OlympicsThe Green Ember (The Green Ember Series: Book 1)The Green Ember (The Green Ember Series: Book 1)Ember Falls (The Green Ember Series: Book 2)Ember Falls (The Green Ember Series: Book 2)The Black Star of KingstonThe Black Star of KingstonThe Bark of the Bog Owl (The Wilderking Trilogy Book 1)The Bark of the Bog Owl (The Wilderking Trilogy Book 1)The Secret of the Swamp King (Wilderking Trilogy)The Secret of the Swamp King (Wilderking Trilogy)The Way of the Wilderking (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!  

 

Free Resources

What are you reading this summer?

 

You might also like: 

25 Reasons to Homeschool

How to Use Notebooking in Your Homeschool

 

Using Audio Dramas in Your Homeschool

I'm a huge fan of reading aloud.

My kids always have books  they are reading on their own. 

But, I'm not sure how much I've talked here about LISTENING to stories on audio. 

Stories on audio are wonderful during quiet time, long car rides, or just because.

(like when you are playing LEGOS in your room and need a little company)

Do you have favorite CDs (or I guess it's MP3s now, right?) that your kids beg for whenever you get in the car or get the music player out?

I love that we have shared memories of quality stories - stories that make us a little better for having listened to them together. 

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post, but I never share anything with my readers that we have not first used and can recommend 100%. 


When to Use Audio Stories

So.... when do we use audios in our homeschool, and HOW do we use them? 

Let's talk about that a bit before I tell you about our favorite new series

There are so many ways to use audio stories - here are just a few things I've done over the years.

  • Quiet Time:  When my kids were little they always had a CD player set between their 2 rooms during quiet time. They always looked forward to quiet time... and SO DID I!  
  • In the Car:  Now that my children are bigger, having a good audio story keeps everyone engaged in the car (and not listening to the radio, which we know isn't always the best). Audio stories are also perfect for long car trips. 
  • To Supplement History:   I've always tried to choose audios that go along with the time period we are studying in history. A couple of years ago we would always listen to audios at lunch time together.
  • In Place of Reading Aloud:  Let's face it... there are seasons in our lives when a lot of reading aloud isn't feasible - but listening to an audio story is. 
  • To Keep Kids Occupied: Audio stories are perfect for keeping a child (or two or three) occupied while you are working with other children. You know your children are getting something GOOD and meaningful while your attention is elsewhere. 
  • Any other Time: Recently my son has been turning on his CD player and listening while he's building LEGOS in his room. He might also turn it on while he's waiting for my husband and me to tuck him in at night. Having this option (especially in the child's room) lets them make wise choices with their time. 

The Heirloom Audio Adventures:

If you've even been a fan of The Adventures in Odyssey, the former producers of that series have something new for you... Heirloom Audio Adventures: The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

(Oh, and guess what? One of the producers is the grandfather of a Classical Conversations student -- thought my CC readers would appreciate that little fact! And... Kirk Cameron is a part of the project, too.)

These dramas, based on novels by GA Henty are historically accurate, and so very well done. The actors are superb and the musical scores are wonderful. I knew from the moment we started The Dragon and the Raven that my son would be HOOKED.  

(Kirk Cameron says the dramas are "movies that played in the theater of the mind" - and he's right!)

About The Dragon & The Raven:

The Danes have swept over every kingdom in England, laying waste to everything in their path. Join Edmund and the one man who is willing to stand against the invaders - the young King Alfred of Wessex. From standing in the shield-wall to sailing on the whale-road, Alfred and Edmund realize the nation’s only hope is to turn back to the God they have abandoned. Can the two young warriors turn the tide of the war and save their world?

Each store is approximately 2 hours long and extremely engaging.

I love these stories because each of them point our children to God.  

Each adventure has also been meticulously researched.  Here's what the creators of Heirloom Audio adventures say:

At Heirloom Audio Productions, we are especially passionate about bringing real history to life. This inevitably means a bit of detective work as we try to figure out what actually happened in the story we’re attempting to tell.

Our task is further complicated by the fact that so much of what passes for any type of history today has been “sanitized” by secularists and is often beyond the point of historical recognition.

That said, our passion and love of history takes us to some amazing places and allows us to do some pretty unusual things as we sort out the details of a sometimes murky past.

Yes!  This is exactly what we look for as we seek to teach our children the unwavering TRUTH of God's word!  It isn't easy to find resources that help us in this task with our children.

Inside the CD case is also a memory verse for the story:

In addition to The Dragon and the Raven, there are three other stories: In Freedom's Cause, With Lee in Virginia, and Under Drake's Flag.

You can also find additional teaching resources for each of the stories online - which is great if you like to extend your children's learning a bit. 

You can watch trailers of each of the stories and see for yourself why we like them so much.


BOTH sets of audio dramas can be purchased for just $79.95 (including bonuses and other features both sets are valued at over $400!).  

Purchase HERE.

(Once you click "add to cart" it will you your subtotal is $79.95 for BOTH sets with some really fun bonuses, too!)


The Giveaway

Heirloom Audio is giving away one set of all four stories (which includes the CDs and mp3s) to one lucky reader.

Simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget to enter.  (United States residents only, please.)

Good luck!  I know you will love these stories as much as we have!

Win 4 Audio Dramas from Heirloom Audio