I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

5 Days of Summer "Unschool": Reading

The Unlikely Homeschool

We're halfway through our look at Summertime "Un-school."  Thanks for joining me.  If you're new around these parts, I should start by mentioning that on the whole, I am NOT what you would consider an "unschooler".  I tend to take the road more clearly marked...organized unit studies, notebooking pages, a few worksheets here and there...you get the idea.  But in the summer, I take a more relaxed approach to our scholastic endeavors.  The summer sun calls us outside and so our learning often has to come along with us.

Watching Sweetie Pea reading a book in a hammock as I write this reminds me that reading CAN happen even in the dog days of summer. 

Today, let's chat about encouraging summertime reading.

Library Book Clubs

Just about every public library hosts a summertime reading program complete with small trinkets as reward for meeting short-term reading goals.  If you don't already have a weekly library date during the school year, try to launch a new habit during the less-busy summer months.  Frequent visits to claim prizes EQUAL frequent visits to discover new literary treasures.  Although Sweetie Pea has always been a library fanatic, Super Boy has only recently wandered away from the games and puzzles and has discovered his favorite shelves.  He has spent the summer lugging home arm-loads of good finds.  (I have actually had to make a rule that he can only check out as many books as he can carry home.) 

Family Reading Challenge

If your library does not host a summer club, create one of your own. Challenge everyone in the house to a reading contest.  Be sure to include yourself in the competition.  Create a fun chart to keep track of books completed or minutes spent reading.  Follow everyone's progress.  Consider offering small trinkets, special dinnertime desserts, "passes" for a household privilege (later bedtime, friend over to play, board game date with mom or dad, etc.) for meeting milestones.  Set a family reading goal and try to meet that goal together.  At the end of the summer, celebrate your group success with a inexpensive family outing.  

"Past Bedtime" Reading

Celebrate a more relaxed schedule by allowing your kiddos to stay up past bedtime to read.  Sporadically throughout the year, we allow the older kids the special privilege of late night reading.  For obvious scheduling reasons, this happens a lot more often in the summer months.  The rules are simple.
  • You can stay up late (usually 30 minutes to an hour), but you have to be in your bed.
  • And, you HAVE to be reading. 
A child who would otherwise dread picking up a book might jump at the chance to read if it meant staying up late.

Around Town Book Clubs

The following are links to reading incentive programs offered by local business and on-line organizations.  

The old adage still rings true..."Better caught then taught."  If your kids see YOU make reading a priority this summer, they will be more likely to pick up a book.  So, take a few minutes each day to grab a book and some sun...and encourage them to do the same!

I hope you'll join me for the rest of
Five Days of Summer "Unschool".

Here's a look at the entire series:

Want some more summertime ideas?  
From July 16-21, join me over at iHomeschool Network for the Five Days of Summer Series brought to you by Beech Retreat and 20 fabulous homeschool bloggers from around the web.  That's 100 homeschooling ideas, kid-friendly activities, and homemaker helps to make this a summer to remember!

The Unlikely Homeschool


  1. Any thoughts about summer reading activities for the "not quite" readers? I'm thinking of the child who is part way through learning to read but not an independent reader and reluctant to carry on doing the usual daily phonics because "It's the holiday".

    1. Sarah, Is your little one reading pre-reader books yet such as Bob Books, Scholastic Readers and such?

    2. Yes, just about although not at the enjoying this stage yet. We are trying to keep going with different books and some games.

  2. What are your summer read aloud suggestions. I will have in addition to my children my niece and nephews around all summer. (we are neighbors) I the heat of the day here in NC, I'd like to read to them instead of plugging in a tv, movie or game station. Thanks

    1. Adrienne, I actually put together a post about what we'd be reading for last summer. Here is the link. http://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2012/06/in-keeping-with-book-theme-of-earlier.html

      This summer, we will continue to read through our 2013 read aloud goals which are found here. http://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2013/01/13-books-to-read-aloud-in-2013_2.html