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This is the fifth installment in a year-long blog party designed to help Sonlight celebrate 25 years of serving homeschoolers. In January, I introduced our family. February’s post was all about how we first started on our journey as a home educating family. In March I shared some words of wisdom garnered from our years of homeschooling I shared a day in the life of our homeschool in April, and in May I focused on convention season. Today, we tackle summer!
Disclaimer: I am not a summer person. I do not long for the vaunted “long, lazy days of summer.” Beaches are not my thing. I do look forward to the bounty of the garden that warm weather brings, but the rest of it? The heat? The bugs? The crazy influx of people at museums, zoos, parks, and libraries? No, thanks.
So what does a bah-humbug Momma do to deal with her least-favorite season? Read, of course.
Summer is a great time for diving in to books that don’t fit in the context of school, but make great read-alouds. Throw your book into your beach bag, find a shady spot under a tree, draw up a chair by the kiddie pool and dangle your toes in while you share the story. On especially hot days, close the blinds, set up a fan and some lemonade, and hit the couch. The following list highlights a few of our favorites over the years.
Swallows and Amazons My kids were absolutely lost in the adventure of the Walker family. Kids allowed (encouraged!) to pack up in a boat and spend the summer camping on an island removed from their parents? Amazing stuff right there! Mix in some (mild) peril and mystery, and this one is a winner.
Poppy There’s an entire series centered around Poppy and the other creatures of the wood, but this one is a classic. Poppy is a spunky mouse with a heart of gold!
Tumtum and Nutmeg The premise behind this book sounds like it’s fit for the preschool and under crowd: mice on a pirate adventure. Believe it or not, even a savvy 12 year-old bought in to the hijinks of Tumtum and Nutmeg; we’ve actually read the entire series!
Peter and the Starcatchers An updated take on Peter Pan with a twist of wacky humor. This prequel has mystery and fairytale magic with a dash of irreverence. Not for the littles, this is nonetheless one of our favorites. (Although we did not enjoy the rest of the series.)
The Story of the Treasure-Seekers A family of English children on a quest to shore up the coffers. Great sibling interactions make this worth leading younger listeners through as well.
Baby Island Even my boys found this story of survival after a shipwreck exciting, despite the theme of caring for babies that really makes the tale.
The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventure of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant) Short, classic Avi. Fun word play, unique premise. Just fun.
Bartlett and the Ice Voyage A fantasy adventure rich with description and vocabulary that will make your mouth water. Queens, ships, a quest … true summer reading!
The Thief Lord Thought-provoking and dramatic, with a deeper message and potential for good discussion. Another “not for the littles” read, but one that families will enjoy.