In our house, reading is both educational and fun—emphasis on the fun during the summer months. I’m a big believer in quality literature and non-twaddle…. but I also believe there’s room for more lighthearted reads.
I mean, if I like easy reading in the summer, why wouldn’t my kids?
Every summer, I write each of my kids a reading list. If they read at least ten, they’ll earn a reward (not yet sure what that’ll be this summer).
This year, we’re trying something new to temper the screen time-asking (with a major hat tip to contributor Kat for this idea!). Before they get two hours of screen time, they need to finish their checklist.
Along with chores, outside time, and play/creative time, the kids read for at least an hour.
Here’s a free PDF of the screen time flow chart and checklists!
We’ve done lists like this in the past, and every time, I’m surprised how one hour often turns in to two (or more). The kids will get lost in their imagination riding their bikes, jumping on the trampoline, swimming, and even folding clothes.
But reading takes the cake in this department. Their reading time almost always lasts longer than an hour. It’s a joy to witness.
For the first time, our two readers are close to each other in reading ability. However, at ages 8 and 11, there’s a wide gap between both their interests and ability to handle deeper subjects.
As voracious readers as they are, I’m in no hurry for them to grow up. Their lists reflect this—they’re a mix of easy (for them) reading about lighthearted subjects with more challenging books that’ll spark good discussions.
For each list, I’ve shared a free PDF download of the books and a printable checklist you’re welcome to use. Keep in mind that there’s a wide, wide range of reading ability at these ages, so don’t despair if your kids read easier (or harder) books. There’s no shortage of wonderful literature for kids out there.
My almost six-year-old is still an early reader, so this summer for about 15 minutes a day we’ll work on phonics and sounding out words. He’ll “read” for an hour a day, too—working with me, plus story time with a parent or sibling, plus looking through the stacks of books filing our bookshelves easily adds up to an hour.
Here are our kids’ summer reading lists:
And again, here’s a free PDF of our screen time flow chart and checklists!