Summer Reading for Families

The May issue of Southern Seminary’s Towers magazine has a books focus with an emphasis on reading fiction for the purpose of enriching your spiritual imagination. I contributed an article for parents about the value of reading aloud to their children, whatever their ages. Included are strategies to make it simple and more fruitful.

Here’s a snippet:

Reading aloud to your children is one of the best things you can do for them, and with them.

It makes a huge difference in their learning. Philosopher Adam Swift says, “The evidence shows the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t—the difference in their life chances—is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t.”

But even more important than an educational advantage, reading good books aloud builds close emotional attachments that are rooted in physical closeness, shared memories, beloved characters, and a common vocabulary.

It’s encouraging to see rising support for stay at home moms. But if you decide to be among them, amidst the long hours of binkys, blankets, and diapers, you’ll inevitably ask yourself at some point, “What are we going to do all day?” In a word: READ. Once you get started you may just find yourself worrying that you’ll run out of time before you run out of books. There is just so much worth reading.

It’s never too soon to start reading aloud — even to babies in the womb — and never too late to continue — even to teenage boys!

To keep reading, go here.

Need some ideas for read aloud this summer? Here are some of our favorites.

Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel
Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban
Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne
Mountain Born, Elizabeth Yates
Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis
Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Not just for girls! At the heart of this series is Pa’s determination to provide for and protect his family despite hardships)
Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
Mr. Mysterious and Company, Sid Fleischman
Wilderking Trilogy, Jonathan Rogers
Tumtum and Nutmeg, Emily Bearn
Five Children and It, E. Nesbit
Twice Freed, Patricia St. John
Snow Treasures, Marie McSwigan
Miracles on Maple Hill, Virginia Sorensen
Freckles, Jean Stratton Porter
The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes

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