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Summer Reading

As our children have gotten older their love of reading has grown. Back in January I chose the book Holes, by Louis Sachar for our 6th grader to read. He complained about it a bit, but once he got a few chapters into it he seemed to enjoy the story and finished it in just a few weeks.

At the beginning of each summer I carefully select 6-8 books of various genres that are at or a little above their reading level and let them choose two to read over the summer. For our daughter, who will be entering 4th grade, I gathered books like Pippi Longstocking, The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries, Ten Kids, No Pets, the Mandie series, and the Animal Ark series. Well she was having nothing to do with the books I had chosen and told me they were all too boring. She wanted something with more adventure off her brother’s bookcase. After browsing his shelves for just a few minutes she quickly chose Ferals, by Jacob Grey. While this book is a little dark for her age-wise, it is at her reading level and is full of adventure so hopefully she’ll love it.

For our soon to be 7th grader I chose Where the Red Fern Grows to be his mandatory summer reading book, and then he chose One Eyed Cat, by Paula Fox from a selection of books I had chosen. Our son has been stuck on reading The Warrior series, by Erin Hunter, and anything about Greek Mythology or Percy Jackson for the past year. I’m quite happy to have him branching out and reading a few different things between the other books he loves.

Did you miss my previous post on Encouraging Summer Reading?

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Posted by on May 30, 2017 in My Thoughts on Homeschooling

 

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School During the Summer?

Whether you choose to do year-round schooling or not, sometimes it’s nice to go at a different pace for the summer months. There are many different ways for children to continue learning over the summer without even calling it “school”.

Summer Projects:

Teach your child how to code! They’ll have a blast learning how since it’s more like playing a game than “learning”, plus it never hurts to know more about computer programming.
Our favorite websites for learning to code are: Scratch and Code.org  These are geared towards all ages, so even adults can practice and learn how to code quickly. There are examples and an assortment of projects for all levels, so the challenge never ends.

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Work on science projects, science experiments, engineering skills, life skills (lawn care, cooking, automotive care, etc.). The list is limited to only what you can imagine.

Here are some links you may find helpful.

Engineering Ideas

Science Experiements

History & Geography Projects

Summer Camps:

Music camps, art camps, science camps, sports camps, theater, dance, and gymnastic camps, and so on. For those living in the Mobile area the possibilities are endless. Check out MobileBay Parents for a list of available camps.

summer reading 5thgradeSummer Reading:

We can’t forget about summer reading! Our children are both pretty good about reading daily, but for the summer I try to make sure they expand their interests a bit more and try other things.

Here are some of the books we’re reading this summer. The Greek Gods book I’m reading aloud to them and the I Love People is a writing/thinking book I have both children working through together.

There are many Summer Reading programs available to help encourage your children as well. The Mobile Public Library has a great one, plus there’s the one from Barnes & Noble where your child can earn a free book.

Summer Schedule:

A typical week-day in the summer when we’re at home looks like this:

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This is a simple checklist I use to make sure we stay on track.

  • Wake up (typically 7 – 8am)
  • Listen to music, read, draw, or play in their rooms
  • 9am Read with Mom (I read, they listen, we ask questions and discuss after each chapter)
  • Get dressed, eat breakfast
  • Morning chore
  • Play outside
  • Write & Draw/practice Cursive (twice a week)
  • Math/Language Arts (twice a week)
  • Social Studies/Science (twice a week)
  • Eat lunch
  • Electronics time (I break up the electronic time into 1 hour segments)
  • Art
  • Read Aloud
  • Outside chores
  • Play a board game/card game
  • Silent reading
  • Electronics time
  • Play with Legos
  • Afternoon chore

On the days when we have VBS, music camp, martial arts camp, etc. our typical day looks like this:

  • Wake up (typically 7am)
  • Get dressed, eat breakfast
  • Morning chore
  • ———-> summer movie, visit the park, VBS, etc.
  • Play outside
  • Outside chores
  • Silent reading
  • Afternoon chore
  • Read with Mom
  • Electronics time (typically this is right before dinner)
 
 

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Encouraging Summer Reading

summer readingDon’t let reading stop just because it’s summer time. Here are some great ways to encourage reading:

  • Keep books easily accessible to your children. Put some on a bedside table or on a low, reachable shelf.
  • Take your children to the library frequently.
  • Visit a bookstore (or browse an online bookstore) together. Ask your children which books look interesting to them.
  • Don’t worry if your child only wants to read comic books, or books about a specific topic. Let them choose the books and they’ll be more enthusiastic about reading.
  • Consider e-books or audio books as well. Some children do better with listening to a book, and then gradually will become more interested in reading.
  • Surprise your children with a couple of books they would be interested in. Even better, have them shipped to your house with your child’s name on the package. All ages enjoy getting surprise packages in the mail.

nonfiction books

Have 5th grade or older children? Select 2-3 books you want them to read over the summer in addition to the books they want to read. Don’t forget to include both fiction and non-fiction. Maybe a biography and some poetry for example. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get a child to read a topic they aren’t interested in. Don’t give up though. Simply give calm encouragement and bribe them. “Bribe them to read?!!” Yes. It’s easy and there are no downfalls (except maybe for your pocketbook.)

 

reading rewardsGive small rewards for finishing each book. Inexpensive things like notebooks, colorful tape, special pens, small toys, etc. Most of the rewards we use come from the $1 section at Target or were found on clearance. For older children you can use rewards like a trip for frozen yogurt, a movie rental, iTunes song, etc. As long as the reward comes quickly after they finish their book (immediately for younger children) and within 48hrs if possible for older children it doesn’t really matter what you use. Just choose something you know your child really wants. I try to stick to the $1 – $2 range for a single book and $5 – $6 range for 6 books (for my older child). Adjust this however you need for your children and their reading needs. Reluctant readers do better with a reward after every book.

***This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for more info.

 

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