Sneaky Summer Learning Library

Could you ever just lose yourself in the children’s section of our library or bookstore?

I believe the sheer amount of beauty and possibility contained on the shelves is the attraction for me. As mothers and teachers of our children we know the immense power of literature. Well chosen books (whether they be picture or chapter books) can provide an education in and of themselves.

Summer is the perfect time to sneak in loads of learning with our kids.

Hit the library. Load up your Amazon cart. Ask friends to have a book swap. Strew literature around the house and stock your book baskets and shelves.

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
— Jane Austen

Over the last week some I’ve been participating in a Sneaky Summer Learning book recommendation event on Instagram. Each day of the week I chose five books from five different subject areas to share.

These books represent just a smattering of what I COULD recommend - but I had to practice restraint and limit myself to five.

I tried to include selections for all ages, from preschoolers to high schoolers. I’ve taught all of those ages, and at each stage my children have the most from simply READING.

On to the recommendation…


From basic counting books to a book about female mathematicians that helped us get to the moon, these books represent a fascination with numbers.

Don’t forget that math is everywhere - encourage even your youngest ones to count any and everything.

Sing counting rhymes and times tables. Point out the use of Roman Numerals in everyday life.

These are just five of my favorites for encouraging a love of math.

Science/Nature Study

Summer is the perfect time to go outside.

Keep a basic spiral notebook and some nature study books with you in the car. Go on a tree walk. Pick flowers and see if you can identify them.

Bird watch.

And, don’t forget that the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 20. Sneak in some books about that, too.


If you are traveling this summer, find books about specific cities and/or geographic regions. Watch the lightbulbs go off when you visit a place you’ve read about!

You can sneak in learning about big events in history - like the Yellow Fever in 1793 and the Siege of Leningrad. Reach farther back and spend some time as a Viking with Leif Erikson.

There are also so many beautiful picture books that follow characters around the world, as they age and face challenges and experience successes.

Fine Arts (Music!)

I could recommend a million books about music (it’s kind of my thing).

Any time we learn about a composer I start with Opal Wheeler biographies by Zeezok Press. These books explores the childhoods of musicians and are beautifully written.

We’ve also learned about instruments from faraway places and also about composers and musicians from America that every child should know.

And, music can also play a vital role in history - books share those stories for us.


Some of our most touching moments have been reading books that deeply speak to my children about family, friendship, and personal challenges.

Sometimes there is just no other way to communicate a feeling other than through a story.

Studying heroes of our faith - reading their biographies - has also inspired us and broadened our world.

These books are just a few that my children have enjoyed.

I hope these recommendations have given you a start for your own summer of sneaky learning with books!

Do you have a favorite book for sneaky learning?

Share it with me in the comments below!

You might also like:

Book Series for Middle School Boys

Reading for Kids