It is mid-June and we are tidying up the last few remaining pieces of our previous year of learning. As I sort and put away a years worth of books I am also making plans for the summer. I am not a huge “daily planner” of sorts and generally do not tend to fill our time with a long list of activities that are outside of our home. This is where we long to be and, with the exception of a swim day here or there or the occasional day-trip to a local park, for the most part our summer days are spent here. After the morning chores are done we spend time playing outside while it’s cool, making the most of our day before the sweltering Arkansas heat brings us indoors. Summer afternoons are a perfect time to grab a refreshing drink, cool off under the shade of a tree or in the air conditioning, and get lost in a great book. The simplicity of our summer routine offers many invitations for rest and renewal and as my children get older I realize that times like these are golden, soon to become more rare.
This summer we are filling our book basket with a handful of wonderful living books. Many of these will prepare us for the coming years study of Early America using Simply Charlotte Mason Early Modern History and Ambleside Online Year 4, others are just for fun. Our basket is mixed with books we have read before and some that are new; allowing us to discover the joy of being re-united with an old friend and inviting us into new worlds we have yet to explore. Reading has always been a favorite thing to do with my kids, it is one of the reasons we lean so heavily into Charlotte Mason’s methods of education. We have read so many great books over the years. We have fought great battles with bunnies with swords, walked through the often hard and lonely life of Black Beauty, and bonded over nature in the Secret Garden. Reading is one of the lifelines of our home and there is nothing more wonderful than finding a good book we all enjoy.
Although I don’t expect us to get through them all, I keep a fairly long list of books available for summer reading. Some of these we already own and others we will be borrowing from our local library. Instead of purchasing from this list, I encourage you to do the same. When looking for specific books at the library I have found that it helps to be prepared. Arriving at the library with a list of overflowing options will help, and if you happen to come up empty handed as happens from time to time Thrift Books and Once Upon a Time Books are two budget-friendly resources I love and you may wish to try.
Here are some of the books we will enjoy this season:
- For Jordan | The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien | Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls | Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop | Gentle Ben by Walt Morey | The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spear
- For Alissa | Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder | The Good Master by Kate Seredy | The White Stag by Kate Seredy | Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright | Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
- Read Aloud | Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell | The Bible Smuggler by Louise A. Vernon | The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom | Ember Rising by S.D. Smith |
- For Myself | Simple Matters by Erin Boyle | The Simple Home by Rhonda Hetzel | Home Education by Charlotte Mason | Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie | Morning by Morning by Charles H. Spurgeon | One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp | The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler
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