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Summer Reading Part II- Best Summer Reading List Ideas

by Jessica Parnell | May 24, 2016 | 3 min read

What do the words “school’s out” bring to mind? Hopefully, stress-free days, fewer lists, more family fun time, and lots of time to read! Summer reading is not a chore; it is an essential part of maintaining our desire to learn and keeps our students from succumbing to summer learning loss. We tackled the reasons why you should plan a summer reading program and how to keep smiles on your kid’s faces in the process in the last article. Now, for the fun part, we are going to share our best summer reading lists! When considering how to get your student to read during their summer break, it is critical that you choose a summer reading list for your homeschoolers that is age appropriate, engaging, and fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started on building the proper summer reading list for your homeschooled children.

How to Choose a Summer Reading List using these 3 rules.

  1. Level their summer reading list so that it is appropriate for their ability, but mix in a few challenging books along the way. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to tackle a book you are just not ready for, especially for a young reader. So ensure that each book on your homeschooler’s reading list is geared towards their level.
    Unsure of their level? Have your student complete a reading competency test. To keep your bookworm on their toes, be sure to challenge them with a few selections that are above his reading level. But, stay close by in case he has any questions or read them aloud together!
  2. Have your reader choose at least 75% of their summer reading. We are all more likely to participate and enjoy an activity when we feel ownership. So, share power with your kids and allow them to create their summer reading list based on their interests. Do not give into the desire to cover topics you missed during the school year! Keep it fun and based on their passions.
  3. Build fun into your summer reading program. Reading a book about animals? Plan a trip to the zoo or aquarium once you have finished. Tackling the “Little House” series? Make time to visit a frontier historical location or a living history farm. Read outside, by the pool, in the car. Take frequent trips to the library and be sure you’re checking out books as well. Create a family reading time followed by journaling or drawing illustrations that go with the reading selection. Reading is fun, so hype it up and take an interest in what your kids are reading! And, when at all possible, make it a group activity to model a love of reading to young readers.

The Best Summer Reading Lists by Level and Interest

You know why and how to create an awesome summer reading list; now it is time to put what you have learned into action! Here are the best summer reading lists by level and interest.

Now slap on some sunscreen, grab your hammock, and get out there to read!
What are the top books on your summer reading list? Share them 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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