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Summer is a great time to encourage reading!

Heart of Dakota Teaching Tip - Encourage summer reading
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Summer is a great time to encourage reading!

While it is important to take time off during the school year, summer is a great time to encourage reading. The long, lazy days of summer just beg for you to curl up with an ice cold glass of lemonade or iced tea and a book!

How can you encourage your children to read this summer?

One way to encourage your children to read this summer is by example. If you read this summer, and your children see you reading, they will be encouraged to read! One way we have done this at our house is to set aside time as a family to read.

Have a family “reading time.”

Last summer, we set aside 30 minutes in the evenings after dinner as family “reading time.” We gathered together in our living room with our individual books and read silently. We set the timer, and when it rang… we were done. At the end of reading time, sometimes a few family members shared something about what they’d read. But mostly, we just read. We enjoyed this time so much as a family that we carried it into our school year!

These days we steadily get to reading time about 4-5 nights a week. Sometimes the boys don’t want to take time out of their busy schedules to read. Yet, when we do take time to read, all of us seem to end up enjoying it. My husband and I really look forward to reading time. I finished several books this year I never would have found time to read had it not been for reading time!

What types of books will tempt your children to read this summer?

Summer seems to be a time for a different kind of reading. If you’ve ever walked through a book store in the summer, you will notice tables of books labeled “beach reads.” These are books that are easy to read on a beach or outdoors somewhere. They often are absorbing books you can take breaks from, return to, and easily be caught up in again. Books like this also work well for the family “reading time” I described above. Sometimes “beach reads” have a lighter, more carefree feel to them. Other times they have a brisk and thrilling pace. Overall, they are enjoyable, easy to read, and have simpler phrasing and diction. They are books that are just less work to read.

Series books work well for summer reading.

Summer can be a great time for series books. Series books often have the “beach read” feel. They have simpler phrasing and diction, have similar plots, follow a definite pattern, and require much less work to read because you already know the characters. Plus, if your child gets invested in a series, he/she can just keep on reading from one book to the next. Of course, not all series books are good. Many are not. So, you’ll have to use discernment to discover the series books that are acceptable for your family.

Take time to cultivate the habit of summer reading.

Time spent cultivating the habit of summer reading is time well spent. We’ve discovered our children curled up reading on the couch, reading in their beds, reading in the bath, and reading late at night. They started a book during “reading time” and just had to know what happened next! Try a family reading time and see what you think. Who knows, you may find yourself burning the midnight oil to find out what happens next in your book too!


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Melanie

    This is a delightful blog post. Is there a link to books you carry by age group for summer reading? I’m looking for a high school boy who has read quite a lot. Or, do you have an online catalog option? We are moving back to the US in August so a catalog won’t make it to Mexico before I need to order. Thanks!

    1. I’d be happy to help! If you have a younger high school student, he would probably really enjoy our Drawn into the Heart of Reading 7/8 Boy Set…

      Otherwise, since you are not using HOD for instruction but rather for reading excellent books, any of these boy interest sets for literature/living library would be wonderful! Our sons enjoyed them all! They are listed in pairs (i.e. 9th grade literature and 9th grade living library, 10th grade literature and 10th grade living library, etc.) below…





      We are always here to help – via FB, email, message board, blog, YouTube, website, catalog, and phone. If you have any more questions, please let us know! We’d be happy to help you place your order when that time comes as well!

      In Christ,
      Julie Grosz, M.Ed.

      1. Melanie

        Thank you! These look like great choices. I’d love to see a HOD summer reading program with lighter (more fun?) reading. We read so many historical books, nonfiction & fiction, during the school year that I’m always searching for quality/wholesome books that are for pure enjoyment. I appreciate you taking the time to send some ideas and links. This is very helpful. 🙂

        1. You are welcome, but I totally agree with you! An HOD summer reading program, which is lighter, is an idea we have on our list for the future!!!

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