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As we are getting ready for our summer break, I find myself getting excited about ALL the fun things that we will be doing together as a family. I want to be intentional in all that I do even when choosing out activities for my boys to be involved with this summer.
One of the things that I wanted to focus on this summer was reading. I want to develop a love of reading in my boys. Why? Because it opens up a whole new world for them. We can learn anything we want to learn about through books. It is such a wonderful and affordable way to learn.
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I also wanted to make things simple and not over complicate things. If I try to do too much it never gets done, meaning I plan all these fun activities, but many times when I plan too much we either start the activity and never finish or we just don’t start at all. I don’t want to do that anymore. I have learned that making things simple without over planning is the way to go for this mama of 3 littles.
So, this summer I want to read wholesome books. Books that spark an interest in my boys, engage us in juicy conversations, have us go through rabbit trials, and have them experience a sense of adventure, mystery, and bravery. I want my boys to embrace boyhood through books and real-life experiences.
Sonlight Summer Readers
So I started to look for wholesome and age-appropriate books for my boys for this summer and that’s when I learned about Sonlight Summer Readers. I was excited to see that they were categorized by level and gender. I took a look at the elementary level for boys and called my oldest son over to talk about the books that were in this set. We discussed what each book was about and if it would be something that he would be interested in reading during the summer.
He was totally in! SO, guess what?!? I was sold! If my son was excited about reading these books there was no need to continue to search on for books to read this summer.
Now, that the books were picked I was on to my next planning phase, which was planning out a simple but yet rich activity for each of the books.
Now, you may be wondering how I go about planning out these activities from books that we haven’t even read yet. Well, here are three tips that I can share with you.
Three Tips on planning out books activities before reading the book
Tip 1- Get your child to help you plan the activity
Getting your child involved in planning their own activities can be so beneficial. Here’s why….
- They will feel valued because you are involving them in planning out an activity that they will be working on.
- There will be no resistance in doing the activity that they helped plan out.
- It will build up their anticipation in getting the book, reading and finishing it up in order to do the activity.
- They will learn the life skill of planning.
- He will be partaking in the planning of his own education.
- Children always come up with the coolest activity ideas. 🙂
Tip 2- Look at the description of the book and brainstorm ideas for activities.
Usually, you will be able to gather enough information regarding what the book is about by reading the description on the back of the book. Here are some points that I hope will be helpful to you.
- Write down the type of book you will be reading. Is it a mystery book, adventure book, a humor book, biography book, nature book, etc.? Just by this point alone, you can come up with some interesting activities to do.
- Read the description on the back of the book because sometimes you will be able to know what the character will be facing or learning, or what the moral of the story might be. It can be anything from working together, finding courage, solving a mystery, learning a life skill and the list can go on.
- If you can’t gather any information from the description alone you can go over to the author’s website and read more about the book. Some author sites may provide activity ideas and free printables that you can use with their books. You can either use their resources or glean from their ideas and make up your own.
- You can also just look at the theme of the book and discuss it with your child and have fun creating a simple but yet engaging activity to do.
Tip 3- Keep it simple.
- Just plan one activity maybe two the most. Planning more than two activities can get overwhelming and believe me you might not get to do all of them.
- Come up with activities that don’t require a lot of materials and try to plan the activities around the materials and items you have at home already. This will save you time and money.
- Have fun planning and creating memories.
Now that you planned out your activities for your summer books, let’s discuss that one thing that will bring it all together.
Can you guess what that one thing is? It’s asking your child questions and engaging them in juicy conversations.
By asking questions you will be stimulating their brains, getting them to think, to be creative in their thinking and so much more. Here are three benefits of asking questions.
- By asking questions you will help sharpen their critical thinking skills. It will help them to think for themselves rather than just accept what they are reading as total truth. We want them to be thinkers.
- I find that children love to talk about things they enjoy learning about. Many of them are better at expressing their thoughts if they talk about it instead of writing it down.
- By having them answer questions it will help develop their verbal skills as well as their self-confidence in speaking up.
The last thing you need to do is pick a time during the day where you will read- aloud to your children. It can be anytime during the morning, afternoon or evening time. Having a designated time helps you to be intentional in following through with reading and finishing the book and later on doing the activity that you and child planned on doing.
Remember that summertime is a time of rest, slow pace and discovery. So don’t overdo it and enjoy spending time with your children while you snuggle and read a good book.
Jessica is a follower of Christ, wife, and mother of three energetic boys. She writes about homeschooling, frugal living, motherhood, intentional living and everything in between. Her heart is to inspire and encourage others to live an intentional life.