A Very Short School Day; How we Read So Many Books When We're Not Schooling

With our summer fun underway a bit early this year we have already started shortening our school days.  We try to do a short math activity each day, squeeze in some reading when we can and hope to find time for some fun science experiments or art projects.  All of our schoolwork is worked around our activities and I was amazed today to realize just how many books we managed to read!

This morning the boys watched another episode of Popular Mechanics for Kids; Rip Roaring Roller Coasters and All Access to Fun.  They learned even more about the science behind park rides, attractions and circus shows.  While watching Alec was also playing Kanoodle and Evan was working on an art project he's making for his Aunt's baby.

They all remarked on how much the gummy bears grew and we pulled a "normal" one out of the bag to compare.  I heard them talking about why the gummy bears grew so much and they all agreed "the gummy bears absorbed all that water!"  I love hearing them talk in scientific terms!

Look how big they got!
For math we read a book called Divide and Ride about a group of kids who go an amusement park for the day and keep dividing into groups to go on different rides.

I counted out 12 counters for each boy before reading the story and had them manipulate them as we read through to demonstrate the different equations we came across. 

We always manage to squeeze in a lot of reading during the summer months; probably even more reading than we do during our normal school year! Here's how:

  1. We read story book about math or a fun science idea; like how ice cream is made then follow that up with a fun activity that feels like it's all about summer fun.
  2. We listen to Audiobooks whenever we're in the car riding to the beach, the park, or whatever fun activity we have planned.
  3. We read aloud during either breakfast or lunch (sometimes both meals).  One of our favorite things to do is to take our lunches outside on the patio or on a blanket and read while picnicking.
  4. We read at bedtime to help us unwind from our long days. 
  5. We read about summer holidays or occasions as they crop up and we're interested in them.
  6. We read about artists and try out new art projects.   
  7. We take frequent trips to the library and enjoy lazy mornings in the air conditioning, filling out our summer reading papers, and enjoying a nice cool Popsicle on those days they're handing them out. 

Once their cousins had shown up for a fun day playing in the lake, school was over.   The boys played all afternoon with their cousins; swimming, diving, jumping, having water gun fights and towing each other around on rafts and boogie boards.

I called my boys out of the water and had them all clean up and dry off to get ready for Alec's soccer practice.

On the way we headed made a quick stop at the library to pick up more books.  We arrived at the field early and finished listening to the Magic Tree House Book Blizzard of the Blue Moon. 

We still had some time and the boys were asking what we were going to do.  It was still pretty hot, sunny and muggy so they didn't want to get out of the car and play plus they all wanted to finish eating so I pulled a few books out of our library bag and read aloud Memorial Day Surprise and Monet. They seemed to enjoy both books a lot.

By the end of soccer all the boys were looking pretty tired and wiped out from all the sun.  We listened to another Magic Tree House book on the way home called Monday with a Mad Genius.

 It's all about Leonardo Da Vinci and I'm already excited to pull a book from the library about his work.

Once home I had them take showers and get ready for bed, then I had them each pick out a book.  I offered to read to them in their own rooms; well I should have known that all three boys would want to listen to most of the books so we went from room to room reading:

Hoop Genius (and we learned how a gym teacher created the game of basketball)

Red Panda

Star Wars the Clone Wars; The Secret Villain.  I even got Evan to read a book to me called Pat's Cat's.

I'm trying to focus on one or two sight words at a time and this week we've been trying to get the "at" family down so this was perfect.   I was amazed, looking back on our day, that we managed to get so much reading done! 

Linking Up With:

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JENerally Informed


  1. Oooo! I want to read the artist one! Good tips! I forget that I can squeeze more reading in with them at lunch.

    1. Tonight my husband was working late so we even read a chapter during dinner. I find with my boys that is when they are most captive (and happy!).

  2. This post is making me nostalgic for the good old days of reading to my kids.

    1. I am starting to feel that way with my oldest son; he rarely wants to listen to anything we are reading anymore... not even our books on Cd. :(

  3. Thank you for linking up with What to Read Wednesday. This was the most clicked post from last week and is featured on this week's link up. :)


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