Once Summer arrives, our homeschool year has come to a complete end as well as any last bits of sanity I had remaining. I want my kids to keep reading but am not really in the mood to keep track of it, bribe them or even read aloud to them throughout our summer break. My goal in the summer is to simply encourage my kids to explore their own interests through reading great books of their own choice.
Truth be told most of my kids are relieved to be done with their Sonlight readers. Don’t get me wrong they love all their Sonlight books, once fall arrives they are excited to get back to their regular reading! They just enjoy having the freedom to pick their own books from the library to devour all Summer long. The good news is, they love reading, the bad news is their book selections can have mom less than thrilled.
Last year in particular my son was reaching an age where finding good reading material was getting difficult. I am happy for my kids to have some say in their reading choices but am not okay with them reading books where the kids disrespect grown ups, talk disgusting or gossip about other kids. What ever happened to quality literature for young kids being easily accessible at our library?
As much as I want my kids reading quality literature, I want them to have fun & relaxing reading to enjoy as well. Summer is here and I’m with them, I want some fun reading for myself too! In fact because I want time in the Summer to catch up on my own reading, I don’t want to screen every single book that crosses their path either.
I needed someone else to find the fun books for me…
Thankfully, each year Sonlight Curriculum has put together packages of Summer Readers for kids to enjoy. Because of this I don’t have to screen every book, I fully trust Sonlight with their book selections. Last year was our first year enjoying the Summer Readers and they have become well worn treasures on my kids bookshelves.
Another reason these book selections score awesome points is because most of the are books are part of a series. If your child falls in love with one of the books in the package, more than likely they can find more from your local library. Last year we ended up buying the entire series of Bad Kitty books, which were part of the Sonlight Summer readers, because my kids just loved them so much!
Typically Sonlight Readers are filled with educational value, during the school year that is exactly what I am looking for. However my idea of Summer Reading is to let our brains keep up our reading skills with some relaxation worked in. Everyone needs a brain break and I’m glad Sonlight has hooked our family up with a list of fun books to enjoy every Summer.
How to keep summer reading relaxing…
Don’t Push It
Last year when we first opened our box of Summer readers my kids were only half interested. It’s like they didn’t believe I would buy books they would really want to read. Instead of pushing them, setting up rewards systems or setting rules I just left the books strewn around the house. After the first month of Summer they were starting to get curious. Next thing I knew, they were diving into every single book. I think they were bored of their own library choices because they spent the rest of Summer asking to find the rest of the books in the newly loved series from their Sonlight readers!
Set The Example
As a former Sonlight student, I am an avid reader. During the school year my own reading takes a back seat because I am reading aloud to my kids quite a lot. While I am completely satisfied spending our homeschool year sharing books with my kids, I long for lazy summer days doing my own reading. Once Summer comes I take a picture of our Sonlight stack, sigh a satisfied sigh, put my feet up and grab one of my own books to read.
The kids are on their own for reading in the Summertime! I don’t even do rewards, I just let them decide they want to read! This may sound cruel but in fact, my goal is to show them that reading is something you keep doing even when you’re a grown up. When they see mom read, it sets the example that it’s something worth taking the time to do.
Invest In Resources
Many parents don’t hesitate before buying their child a tablet or gaming system, yet think twice at the idea of spending money on new books. In our family, we aim for giving our kids a screen free childhood as much as we can. Because of this I am willing to invest in resources like games or books, that will help them to not even miss screens. Sometimes this looks like giving kids chores to earn money if they want to buy books, just paying those ridiculous library fines without making a fuss, also typically when our homeschool year ends I bless each of our kids with books to enjoy over the Summer.
Despite our titles being well loved last year, Dreaming Daughter was reluctant to get her Summer Readers from Sonlight this year. However when she opened the box, she literally gasped with excitement over the titles! That is a lot out of a typically unenthusiastic tween! Tenderhearted Boy on the other hand was so excited he had me tracking that box every minute. When the box didn’t come until one day after the expected delivery date he literally ran to the box when he saw it on our front steps the next day! I’ve never seen him open a box with so much anticipation and excitement.
Both kids already have the summer book stacks on their bookshelves just waiting for school to end so they can start reading! If you are looking for some books for your kids to read this summer I encourage you to check out the Sonlight Summer Readers. There is a huge selection you can choose from based on your child’s age as well as choices for boys & girls!
Prepare your kids & yourself for a relaxed summer full of great books!
Make sure to enter the giveaway below to enter to win a package of Sonlight Summer Readers!