Who Else Wants to be a Summer Reading Rockstar?

stack of books on a table with a bookshelf behind it

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I know what you’re thinking.

Summer is half over.

Maybe you are even looking ahead to a summer start on the new school year.

But, even year round homeschoolers choose a different pace of life in the summer.

There’s swimming to be done

and vacationing,

slow starts and lazy afternoons.

Perfect for reading.

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

– Henry James

The good news is summer’s not over yet!

There’s still time to slow down and reach your reading goals.

Summer Reading Goals for Rockstar Status

books on a wood deck

Have you set up any reading goals for yourself or with your kids for the summer?

Summer reading goals could help you to:

  • Catch up– in an area that needs some attention
  • Practice skills– to keep them sharp especially for emerging readers
  • Read aloud– and keep the habit alive in the summer when your routine is not as reliable
  • Discuss books with your teens– when they might have more time
  • Listen to narrations– this is a primary way for me to keep up with my kids’ reading
  • Rest– and sit for a while to enjoy a good book
  • Tackle your book list– my family is always adding to and checking off items on their book list, including my husband
  • Provide down time– for everyone which we all need sometimes if our summer schedules aren’t slow
  • Make reading a part of life– no matter season of life you are in

Ways to Reach Your Summer Reading Goals

man sitting in a chair outside reading a book
My husband Dan is clicking right through is list of top 100 Science Fiction books with a few detours for the fantasy titles our teens keep handing him! Do you share books together?

So, how do we reach our summer reading goals when one our main goal may be to rest and enjoy the summer?

I’ve got a few ideas for you that have helped us.


  • Name your goals– write them down. List them out. See them written out. We can’t reach our goals if we don’t know what they are!
  • Set a time of day– when are you are likely to read alone or with your kids and do it! Remember D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) time?
  • Keep your goals realistic– if your list is too long and margin is hard to find this summer, you will have a hard time reaching your target
  • Challenge yourself and your kids– while you don’t want to set yourself up to fail, you do want to stretch yourself some so you can feel accomplished!
  • Include some fun snacks– for your planned reading time and read aloud together
  • Read Aloud– a perennial favorite of many families and summer is a great time to enjoy reading together. Make time for it in the summer and keep connecting through story worlds!
  • Take your reading on location– head to a cool library or a coffee shop to read and have discussions about what you are reading
  • Head outside– read under a tree, in a hammock (one of our daughter’s favorite places), on a blanket, or take a book to the pool or the lake
  • Host a book club– for friends and family. Enjoy good conversation and themed foods!

Summer Reading on Location

a red  two story Little Free Library at a park with grass and trees in the background
We installed this Little Free Library at the park behind our home in memory of my dad who passed away in May, 2018. We celebrated his life and dedicated the library in May, 2019.

This post wouldn’t be as much fun without some ideas for you on where to take your reading on location.

These are places we’ve read aloud together,

or read on our own (but these make fantastic read aloud locales!).

Some are places we wish we could read!

  • Around the campfire– at your backyard ring or while camping
  • In a tree– my kids used to do this all the time in the climbing tree in the front yard of our old house. They have great memories of this!
  • On a swing– maybe a tree swing! Or the ordinary kind.
  • In a tent– special points if it’s raining! We enjoyed The Green Ember this way.
  • Under a tree– when you can’t climb it. Is there anything more quintessentially summer?
  • On playground equipment– on a quiet day at the park when some low key time is a good idea
  • At the beach on a blanket– when play time is wearing people out, stop a moment to enjoy a favorite read together
  • On a park bench– with a special view
  • In a hammock– a big one for reading together and a single for some solitary reading
  • Near your favorite window– any of us lucky enough to have a window seat? We have glorious windows all over our home, but none with a seat built in.
  • On your porch– one of my favorite places in all the world is my back porch which I have affectionately named, The Porch of Happiness.
  • In a fort– build your own fun reading nook on a hot summer afternoon in your air conditioned home! We had a cardboard castle my husband made after we read Henry & Mudge did the same on a wet yuck day. That castle was in our house for many years and it provided a lot of quiet reading moments for our kids!
  • At a local shop or restaurant– grab a snack and enjoy on a hot summer day!
  • Audio books in the car– on a road trip or errands around town
  • On the sofa– pick your favorite and slow down for just a moment to enjoy a story world. This one has no threshold for the fun. You just snag the book and your kids and start reading. In fact, the kids are optional because once you start reading, they will come around- especially if you’ve established a reading culture in your home.

Can you add your favorites to my list?

Does your family have a special reading spot?

Share yours in the comments!

Our Summer Reading Goals

teen boy on a sofa behind a science fiction book
Check out this new to us title from Brandon Sanderson- Skyward! Our family loves all things science fiction and fantasy!

All of us have been working on summer reading. Here’s a list of the types of books we wanted to read during our time off.

  • Old Favorites– Books we want to revisit over and over again and summer is a good time to immerse yourself in a favorite world.
  • Challenging– Something a little more difficult that makes us think
  • Next in a series– Enjoy more of a world we’ve begun learning about
  • New– something totally new we haven’t read before or been in the world before
  • Informational– This is the learning category like non-fiction gems related to something you want to learn more about

I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.

– C.S. Lewis

What sorts of books would you add your summer list?

Our Summer Book List

 Kindle library display on a 10 inch Kindle Fire with a notebook and pen underneath and nearby

Each of us has a book we are reading right now.

Some of us are getting a lot of reading in

and some are working more slowly on our list.

Here’s our book summer book list:

  • The Penderwicks– I’m reading this through again and I hope to read the rest of the series for myself. My kids have all finished them except some of them have not read the last book.
  • The Great Divorce– my 20yo and I are reading this while he’s home for the summer
  • The Horse & His Boy– my teen boys and I are reading through Narnia together again
  • On the Shores of Silver Lake– my boys and I are reading through this series again (we’re hitting books my youngest doesn’t remember as well when we read them the first time)
  • The Long Winter– fun to read on hot summer nights!
  • Little Town on the Prairie– hands down one of our favorites. Human nature has not changed in the last 150 years!
  • Coot Club– the 5th in the Swallows & Amazons series
  • The Return of the King– my rising senior and I are finishing this together. He’s read it. It’s my first time through.
  • All Things Brandon Sanderson– my husband and three of our kids are reading through multiple series of his. Oh the conversations and shared worlds!
  • The Read Aloud Family– reading more in this lovely book
  • The Enchanted Hour– I heard about this book on a podcast and had to read it for myself!
  • The Brave Learner– bought this just before it released and have not finished it
  • A Circle of Quiet– reading along with the mom book club at the Read Aloud Revival
  • Pioneer Girl– I’ve been reading this one for a long time. It’s not a particularly easy read because of all the annotations. I’ll call this one a savoring!

Ok, so this brings me to a question about how you read!

Do you read one book at a time and read it all the way through? Or do you skip around and read a little of this and a little of that depending on how the book is going or how many things you want to read?

Can you guess which one I am?

One look at my Kindle library should tell you the answer!

In fact, that’s one of my favorite things about reading on a Kindle!

I can take a million books with me and begin reading a book of my choice- whatever that is at the time.

It’s an especially helpful habit as a voracious reader of information- which is my favorite kind of reading!

Pro Tip- if you use a Kindle, one way I remember which titles I want to read when I come across someone’s suggestion is to download the sample. Then every time I open my library, I see that book and when I can, I can get the full version.

Need more pro tips on using and reading on a Kindle? 6 Awesome Things You Need to Know to Become a Kindle Pro lists all the ways a Kindle enhances your reading. Do you know how to use your Kindle well?

More on Summer Reading

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So, it’s July!

How’s your reading game this summer?

Be inspired to pick up an old favorite

or something new to challenge you

or something to learn from.

Tell me what you’re reading!

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  1. I just found your blog and LOVE all your resources! We are a homeschool family starting 11th, 8th, 6th, 1st, and toddler school this fall and I’ve found your ideas fantastic! I look forward to reading more! Blessings & Blessings!

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