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Summer Reading Part I- How to Integrate Summer Reading for Your Homeschool Student.

by Jessica Parnell | May 17, 2016 | 3 min read

Summer evokes joy and excitement for most of us and brings to mind cookouts, swimming, long nights catching fireflies, and an ease of life that we’ve been longing for throughout the year. But, if you are not careful, you will find that summer can also drain your students of what they have learned this year, which is a danger, especially for young readers. While summer is a season to relax, summer shouldn’t mean taking a break from everything, especially reading. Keep your kids’ noses in the books this summer with these reading options and strategies for homeschoolers.

Summer Reading Strategies

  1. Make it fun. Keep summer reading fun by letting your child read only the books they choose based on their interests. Let’s face it; we have forced many books on our homeschoolers this school year, going on and on about the virtues of classic literature and reading for understanding. But, summer reading should be all about fun! Allow your child to pick from an extensive list of choices, or take them to the library and let them choose their books all on their own. Resist the urge to make summer reading about your goals and sneak in a few selections from your list that you didn’t get to this year. Let them drive and summer reading will become an exciting, natural part of your lazy summer days.
  2. Make it Social. We all know that kids love hanging out with their friends during the summer. So, why not make summer reading a social activity? Encourage your homeschooler to start a book club this summer. Invite neighborhood friends or kids from your homeschool co-op. Have each student bring their favorite books to share with one another. Then, select a few to read each week together as a summer reading group. The book owner should create a set of questions or talking points for their book. Then hold reading discussions at a party. Be sure to have great snacks and fun drinks for the book worms and, if possible, base each party around a theme from that week’s book!
  3. Make it Surprising. Maybe your child is in a rut or routine with their reading. They have read every Magic Tree House book three times. Use summer reading as a time to encourage new authors or genres. Keep it surprising by signing your child up for a new magazine or book subscription. Grab a book on poetry or a graphic novel next time you’re at the library and read together. Make summer about introducing new styles and genres to keep your summer readers engaged and excited about reading.
  4. Make it Low Key. What is most important about a hot summer reading plan is to keep it cool. If your student begins to think you are forcing them to read, you will never hear the end of the complaining. Instead, make reading routine and low key. Read together at night around an outdoor fire or in the morning over lazy breakfasts. Make going to the library for books and fun summer events a part of your weekly outings, so it is just as routine as going to the swimming pool. If you over encourage or require summer reading, your homeschoolers will be less likely to enjoy it and pick up those books on their own. Have students make their own lists of books, genres, or authors they would like to read, and then they will be ready to tackle the weekly library trips with excitement.

Need a place to get started with your books? Stay tuned for our next Summer Reading Blog “Age Appropriate Summer Reading Lists!”
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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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