Summer is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Vacations are often scheduled during this time, to coincide with the kids being out of school. There is a lot going on, but sometimes, we just want some quiet time, especially during the hottest part of the day. That’s when a Summer Reading List can come in handy!
A great thing for both adults and children is to establish Reading Hour. In the early afternoon, have everyone go to a designated quiet place with a good book, a cool drink and maybe some cookies or a snack. This can be a personal or group space.
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The Advantages of a Summer Reading List
Literacy is quickly becoming an epidemic in our country. 45 million adults in the USA either cannot read or only read on less than a 4th grade level.
By creating a Summer Reading List and encouraging your child to read, you increase their chances of learning how to read, having better comprehension skills, and increase their academic grades.
Helping your child to read more may also help improve:
- Verbal Skills
- Learning skills across all subjects
Knowing how to read well may also improve your abilities to complete a higher education, bring in more job opportunities, and provide ways to increase your income level.
Helping to Improve Your Child’s Reading Abilities
Use these simple tips to help improve your child’s reading skills:
- Set aside a Designated Reading Time
- Choose books of interest
- Choose at least one book that is outside of their interests
- Talk to your child about what they are reading – ask questions about the book/character, and questions about what they think/feel/like/dislike/etc.
- Set an Example – Read and talk to them about the book you are reading!
Suggestions for a Summer Reading List
Finding the books you want to read is easy. First, set aside a day to visit your local Library. Choose two to four books per person, or as many as allowed that can be read within a two-week period.
You can also search your own bookshelves or visit a bookstore and stock up. One of my favorite places to go is a used bookstore. First, you can get the books cheaper. But most used bookstores will allow you to bring them back and get a small credit that can be applied to your next purchase.
A third option is to visit thrift stores and garage sales. Many of these have books that are very inexpensive and range from books for toddlers to adults.
Any of these places can provide you with a Summer Reading List for everyone. And if you still can’t find the book you want, you can order from Amazon or another online bookseller.
Books for Your Summer Reading List
For the Kids:
First, if they have a Summer Reading List assigned for school, choose books off of the list. If not, consider broadening their reading horizons by introducing them to some of the classics:
- Nancy Drew, by: Carolyn Keene – this series has always been popular with girls since 1930 and has been updated to fit with the current times. Many of us have read these books when we were young, and they are just as fun for young girls today!
- Hardy Boys, by: Franklin W. Dixon – For the boys (although girls seem to like these as well!)
- Charlotte’s Web, by: E.B. White
- Anne of Green Gables, by: Lucy Maud Montgomery
- The Secret Garden, by: Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by: Judith Viorst
- Wind in the Willows, by: Kenneth Grahame
- Where the Wild Things Are, by: Maurice Sendak
- The Book Thief, by: Zusak Marcus
- How to Babysit a Grandma – Jean Reagan & Lee Wildish
- The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
You can also talk to your child about their favorite genre, and search for age-related books. And don’t consider just fiction. If your child has someone they admire, find a biography or autobiography. If they are interested in a non-fiction subject such as baking, history, or handcrafts, there are plenty of books they will enjoy reading!
Consider your favorite genre, as well as your own personal likes and dislikes. Do you love good mysteries, but also love crafting? The amateur sleuth genre caters to most any fascination – from crafting and gardening, to traveling and baking. Consider these series:
- Sew Deadly, by: Cate Price
- Weaving Mysteries, by: Carol Ann Martin
- Yarn Retreat Mysteries, by: Betty Hechtman
- Homespun Crochet Mysteries by Patti Benning
- Library Lovers Mystery Series – Jenn McKInlay
- Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series – Darci Hannah
Fiction in general offers a fun escape. These books are perfect for whiling away a few summer hours:
- Happy Place – Emily Henry
- The Half Moon – Mary Beth Keane
- The Secret Book of Flora Lea – Patti Callahan Henry
Broaden your own horizons by reading historical, biographical and autobiographical books on events, things or people within your interests. I am a weaver and wanted to dig deeper into the craft. The book I am reading now – Handwoven Tape, by Susan Faulkner Weaver – combines the history of the craft as well as how to do it.
But beware! Reading books may also lead you deeper into a subject. While reading Handwoven Tape, I found some entries that led me to reading more on the history of crafting. And in one of those books, I found an entry that led me to reading more on the history of the Depression Era. There’s no telling where these books will lead me next!
- The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History, by: Kassia St. Clair
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by: Kim Michele Richardson
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by: Barbara Kingsolver
- The Cake List, by: Dianne J. Wilson
- Beyond That, The Sea, by: Laura Spence-Ash
- Living a Simple Life on the Farm – Julie A. Murphree
Other Great Ideas for your Summer Reading List
There is also another resource for great books when it comes to learning something new. Several bloggers have books who can help you with gardening, chickens, crafts, cooking, and much more.
These books are available through Amazon, Etsy, or in downloadable pdf versions. By reading these great books, you can spend your summer planning for the next step in your Simple Life journey!
- How to Raise Backyard Chickens – Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre (Etsy)
- Survival Garden Guide – Annie @ Road to Reliance (pdf)
- Down to Earth Guide to Composting – Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead (Etsy)
- Make Over your Meal Plan – Racheal @ Milk Glass Home (pdf)
- Jumpstart Your Homestead – Kristin @ MR Animal Farms (pdf)
- How to Start a Container Garden – Julia @ Dogwoods & Dandelions (pdf)
- The Depression Era Manual – Julie @ The Farm Wife (pdf)
- Baking Bread as a Relationship – Julie @ The Farm Wife (pdf)
The Summer Reading List – The Great Escape!
Reading is a perfect way to escape the heat, stretch your mind, and relax for an hour or two. The only real problem you may face is that you might just get to a good part and want to stretch that reading time out to the rest of the day!