Summer Reading Ideas, Part One

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips, Montgomery County

Summer Reading

Summer is the perfect time for reading. When it gets too hot to play outside, then it is an excellent time to curl up with a book. If you get bored with your surroundings, then books can transport you to another world or setting. If all your friends are busy, get to know historical figures or fictional characters in books. Reading expands minds, increases vocabulary, improves communication skills, and so much more. There are many benefits to reading. So where to begin? Keep reading to be inspired with great summer reading ideas.

Where to Start?

I love the classics. The richness of the language, the sweet storylines, and the morals taught either directly or indirectly are all reasons why my go-to book is a classic.

Book Recommendations-

  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne: My children loved the different characters in this series. Accompany Christopher Robin on his many imaginative adventures in the Seven Acre Wood. There are several more books in this series if your children like this one.
  • Teddy’s Button by Amy Le Feuvre: This is such a sweet story about a boy named Teddy coming to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. We get to experience his internal struggle with contentment, the loss of his father, etc.
  • Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I have read these books countless times as it follows the life of the author growing up in a pioneer family in the Midwest. It is full of heart-warming stories of sacrificial love, adventures with Indians, conflict with schoolmates, and glimpses of life during this time in our nation.
  • Little Britches by Ralph Moody: This is also the first in a long series of books covering the life of the author, Ralph Moody. We find him starting a new life with his family on a ranch in Colorado. It is similar to the Little House series but with a male protagonist.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: This is the first in a series of books from the author centering on the March family during the Civil War. It is a coming-of-age story about four sisters growing up in a difficult time.

Although I may have picked some obvious books to recommend, they are my absolute favorites and a great place to start. All the suggestions except for Teddy’s Button are a series so reading one could open your child to more books they are likely to devour. Reading these books can build a good foundation for more advanced reading in the future.

To Read or To Read Aloud?

Benefits of Reading-

What a great question! I want to cultivate reading skills in my children, which can only be accomplished by reading. However, I purposely choose readers for my children a little below their reading level. If you have no idea what their reading level is, here is an online test. I want reading to be an enjoyable experience. It is not fun when it is work.

Benefits of Read Alouds-

I also love to read aloud to my children regardless of their ages. Therefore, I choose books to read aloud that are above their reading level. I want to expose them to harder vocabulary, rich language, and more complex characters without the frustration of reading it themselves. Reading aloud to a child also benefits them in many ways. One of them that might be overlooked is bonding time. You are not just spending time together. You are sharing an experience. Reading a book together can also be a springboard to deeper conversations. You can get to really know one another by reading to children.

Therefore, the answer to my question, “To read or to read aloud”, is a resounding yes! You cannot go wrong with either choice. However, a combination of the two provides the benefits of both options.

Hopefully, you enjoyed these summer reading ideas and recommendations. We covered some great books as well as the benefits of both reading and read-alouds. Next time, we will discuss ideas that will incentivize your child to read more. So look for that article soon. Until then, happy reading!