Six Considerations for Your Child’s Summer Reading Goals

Today, my friend Meghan of First Comes Love is sharing with us a topic dear to my heart — setting goals for summer reading. With the kids on summer vacation, it’s the perfect time to make some goals with your children to improve their reading skills and further hone their love of good books. See what advice this homeschooling mom of 6 has to offer & be sure to visit Meghan. Child's Summer Reading GoalsAhhh, summertime. Picnics at the park. The playground. Family vacations. Extra reading.


Yes, reading. At some point during the summer, we are free from a school schedule. What better time to encourage reading in a child than when it doesn’t compete with other reading-type activities? Reading in the summer can be for pure enjoyment and completely interest-led, an amazing combination for fostering love of the written word.

I have always loved reading, and I’ve been diligent to encourage that in my children. It hasn’t been easy, but the three oldest (out of six) now look forward to free time for extra reading and are already piling stacks of books to be read over summer break. Perhaps the tips and tricks I’ve used {and continue to use for my Littles} will be helpful, no matter whether you already have an avid reader or if your child is challenged or simply not motivated to read.

As you think through goals for your child for this summer, consider…

Your child’s reading level. Challenge him, but don’t expect too much too soon. The goal is to encourage more reading throughout the rest of the year, not drive him to his video game where he knows he can achieve Level 4.

Commitments for the summer. If he’s involved in day camps and soccer games and vacation activities, he won’t have as much time for reading, unless that vacation includes hours on end in the van without a DS.

Interests. If the girl likes princesses, make sure she has plenty of fairy tales in her list of books. If your boy always has a frog in his pocket, check out nonfiction animal books with lots of pictures. 

Areas you wish to encourage. If you have a child struggling to learn history, try her on the Imagination Station books from Focus on the Family. Eschatology? Read Left Behind Kids. Character growth? The Martha Finley books like Elsie Dinsmore.

Motivation. Offer an incentive, some sort of a prize at the end of the summer for the number of books read. It works for the library summer reading programs. What you choose will depend on your child. My 14yo and 12yo would read diligently for the prize of more books. My 10yo would be motivated by a Lego prize. My 8yo would enjoy a trip to the ice cream parlor. 

Competition. Most children are competitive to some extent, especially with siblings. Make this work for you. Keep it polite, of course, but a chart of books read could provide a tangible measurement of who is ahead. My 10yo boy is quite competitive, so when his 14yo sister is ahead of him in number of books read, he is driven to read more. If you have an only child, have him compete against you or a friend. {Well, we adults could stand to read more as well.}

So pile up those books, pull out the reward stickers, and plan a few fun trips to the library or the bookstore. You won’t regret reading.

Also, check out Meghan’s recent posts for book ideas for children including:

Fiction for Girls Ages 7 & up


Meghan Carver homeschools her six children with her college professor husband. In between school subjects, loads of laundry, and trips to the library, she blogs at, seeking God’s will in all of it.

You can also find Meghan here:


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  1. I love how you touched on the importance of limiting our activities to help create time to read and also the importance of motivation. Great tips!
    Morgan recently posted…Organized TravelsMy Profile

    • It’s tempting to fill up our summers with worthy activities designed to help our children, but one of the most important activities can be free time with some great books. Thanks, Morgan. I’m glad you found it helpful.


  1. […] If you’re looking to set some summer reading goals with your children, be sure to check out this post. […]

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    Six Considerations for Your Child’s Summer Reading Goals