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The Best Summer Homeschool Reading Ideas

by Jessica Parnell | Jul 17, 2017 | 3 min read

Summer is a time when our family loves to be outdoors and active. From hiking and biking to swimming in the lake, you name the activity and we’ve probably tried it (or want too!). But, if your family is like mine, you’ve got at least one bookworm who would much rather stay on the shore or under the shade of a tree reading than get sweaty with the family. And that’s OK! God has made each of us unique, and reading is nothing but productive and challenging for your brain (as long as you get a little exercise each day). In honor of the bookworms out there who would much rather stay in and enjoy the AC with a good read, here are the best summer homeschool reading ideas.

Reading Lists

Getting homeschoolers excited about reading isn’t hard; many of us are readers by nature and often teach through literature. But making reading new and fun for the summer can be a challenge. That’s where a good homeschool reading list or homeschool reading challenge list comes in. Here are a few of our favorites to spark the interest of even your most active outdoors kiddos.

  • Scholastic has a summer reading challenge that includes challenges, prizes, and an interactive online component. Great for all ages because it includes a leveled reading list! Best yet, your child can earn prizes and free books!
  • Little ones will enjoy reading through the alphabet. Challenge your young readers to choose and read books by title from A to Z.
  • Why not give older readers a classics author challenge? Read everything by F. Scott. Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, Zora Neal Hurston, Chaucer, etc. Let him or her choose the author and then get reading!
  • Looking for something more planned? Go with one of these great reading lists by age from the Association for Library Service for Children.
  • Read by genre! Use this list for grades K-8 by to choose books from categories like adventure, weird, and funny.
  • Do a summer reading scavenger hunt with this fun treasure map that includes 20 reading challenges.
  • Moms and dads, don’t forget to challenge yourself! I’m working through this list of 17 unputdownable books from

Incentive Programs

Sometimes, even the most compliant kiddos are reluctant to do homeschool reading during the summer. That’s where a good incentive program comes in handy to get everyone on board with a little dangling carrot and a whole lot of fun! Here are our favorite homeschool reading incentive ideas to use year round!

  • Participate in your local library reading incentive program. Even summer homeschool reading becomes more palatable when it’s interactive, engaging, and free!
  • Set a goal and dangle a sweet prize. Track your reading by printing one of these free summer reading calendars and offer up a great prize for every child who reaches his or her goal!
  • Join a virtual summer book camp that includes a book list and hundreds of activities to go with each title. What a bargain for only $19.99!
  • Join Sylvan’s Book Adventure Club, where your kiddos can search for books, read away, then return to the site for quizzes, games, and more.
  • Start a family book club at the dinner table. Read a book together and have a nightly dinner discussion.

Summer homeschool reading can be challenging and fun with these reading programs and incentive ideas. No matter what you do for homeschool reading this summer, be sure you’re doing something to stop summer learning loss. During a season where we have more free time, why not make reading more of a priority and get your noses in a few good books!

What’s on your summer must-read list? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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