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Summer Reading List for Elementary Kids (plus FREE Reading Log!)

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You know I love a good book and whether you are homeschooling year-round or taking a summer vacation, the summer months are the perfect time to work on reading skills! Let’s look at 35 titles you are going to want to add to your homeschool’s summer reading list.

Prepare your home now for summer reading with this homeschool mom-approved list! With titles for all of your elementary-level students, we have simple easy readers, in-depth chapter books, and classic tales – plus a few options you don’t normally see that are our family’s personal favorites.

So be sure to save, bookmark, or print this post and get yourself down to the local library so you and your children can get started on your way to summer reading success!

Five Reasons for Summer Reading

If I’ve never said it before, let me say it now – reading is vital!

Reading is the one skill that allows us to learn every other skill and whether your children are learning to read, reading independently to themselves, or sitting around listening to a read-aloud, reading should be a frequent activity in your home and homeschool.

Yet, for some, summer reading can be a bit of a challenge – especially if you opt for a summer vacation.

So before we get to our list of summer reading titles you & your kid are sure to love, let’s review why summer reading is so important for your children.

  1. Avoiding the “Summer Slide”: Children who do not read during the summer can experience a loss of reading skills. By reading regularly during the summer, children can maintain and even improve their reading abilities – even if they read for just 15 minutes per day!
  2. Building Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension: Reading exposes children to new words and ideas, which can help them build their vocabulary and improve their comprehension skills. In fact, this is one of the core reasons we make book-based learning such a big part of our homeschool year-round.
  3. Encouraging a Love of Learning: Use this time to allow your child to explore topics that interest them. When children get excited about discovering new ideas it enhances their love of learning. So even if this means multiple trips to the library each week, keep those kiddos stocked up with interesting books! πŸ˜‰
  4. Improving Academic Performance: Studies have shown that children who read during the summer perform better academically when they return to school in the fall. Remember that love of learning & vocabulary growth? Those two items help ensure your child is ready come fall to start homeschooling for another year.
  5. Developing Critical Thinking Skills: Reading requires children to think critically and make connections between ideas, which can help them develop important cognitive skills… meaning while they may ask for video games and YouTube, reading helps them learn so much more!

How to Pick a Book for Your Summer Reading List

It is important to know your goals for summer reading. Does your child need to focus on reading comprehension? Does your child need to practice reading? Or is this simply a lovely way to spend a summer day? Or, are you trying to sneak in a lesson or two using books in your homeschool?

Regardless of your reasons, be sure that books are readily available, updated as necessary, and promoted throughout the house (we have a bookshelf in nearly every room of our house!).

The biggest goal is to encourage reading, make it fun, and make it an easy choice by including plenty of fun summer reading activities.

Select a few books based on your goals and see which ones your child is interested in reading. Create a list together that includes reading goals such as: how many pages per day and how many books through the summer. Keep your child’s current reading level in mind while making selections.

Below are suggestions for elementary-level students. This is not a complete list of books to choose from, but rather a starting point as summer ventures closer with each passing day. Feel free to use this list to get your summer reading started and be sure to track your progress with this summer reading log.

Summer Reading Ideas For Your Kids

As I know we do with homeschooling, I chose to skip grade levels and instead grouped the books as either lower elementary or upper (with some options working on both categories). As with all books, feel free to pick and choose what works best for your children, their interests, and your home.

Lower Elementary Books:

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  3. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  4. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  6. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  7. The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly
  8. The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole
  9. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  10. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  11. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  12. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  13. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  14. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
  15. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Upper Elementary Books:

  1. Stuart Little by E.B. White
  2. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  4. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  6. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
  7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  8. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  9. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  10. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  11. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
  12. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  13. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  14. Holes by Louis Sachar
  15. The Wheel on The School by Meindert DeJong
  16. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  17. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  18. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  19. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  20. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Make Reading A Part of Your Summer

The goal, of course, is to encourage yourself and your children to make reading a part of your summer. Whether you opt to schedule reading daily, choose to read outside in the sunshine, or listen to audiobooks, it doesn’t matter.

What does matter, is making reading an integral part of your summer and your lifestyle so you can encourage and spark a joy of reading and a lifestyle filled with literature.

Be Sure To Grab Your Free Reading Log

Track all your reading all year long with one of these fun reading logs!

Additional Reading Resources Just For You!

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