Summer Reading List

cropped-image_2013-11-06_1707571.pngChallenging and age appropriate books can be difficult to find.  It seems that these days everything is riddled with explicit language or sexual connotation. I personally struggled finding books that were both captivating, appropriate and also at my children’s reading level.

I’m not crazy about testing but years ago I had my children tested to find out what their Lexile Reading Measure was.  This was just a way for me to accurately select books that would challenge as well as entertain them on a suitable level.

My daughter was reading at a college level by the time she was in 6th grade and my son was reading at a 7th grade level when he was in 4th grade so you can understand my dilemma.

Maybe you’re in the same position and are struggling to find reading material for your kids.  Below you’ll find a list of some of our favorites.This is a great way to start choosing interesting books for your kids to read.  If they’ve already read these I suggest you look up similar books by entering your book titles on http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/. I found this site quite helpful when I ran out of options.

If you had your child tested and have a Lexile score then you can go to https://lexile.com/ and look up books within your child’s Lexile Level.

Happy Reading…



List of books by Lexile Levels:   

  • The Enchanted Castle by: Edith Nesbit                                                                  Lexile Level: 210L
  • The Castle in the Attic by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                       Lexile Level: 750L
  • Battle For the Castle by: Elizabeth Winthrop                                                          Lexile Level: 700L
  • Dragon Rider by: Cornelia Funke                                                                            Lexile Level: 710L
  • Left Behind “Kids” Series by: Jerry B Jenkins; Tim LaHaye                                Lexile Level range: 440L-770L
  • Hunger games series by: Suzanne Collins                                                             Lexile Level range: 600L-1030L
  • Eragon Series by: Christopher Paolini                                                                     Lexile Level range: 710L-1200L
  • Series of Unfortunate Events by: Lemony Snicket                                                Lexile Level range: 850L-1370L

Linking up with: Modest Mom Blog, What Joy Is Mine, Nourishing Joy, Moms The Word,
Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman, Giving Up on PerfectTrueAim, Crystal&Co,

Know It All

Well…as sad as it sounds and as quickly as it came school is just around the corner (pause as my kids groan and moan in disgust).  Time just flew by way too fast.  I had so many plans and followed through on so few because my children had alternate ideas.  It’s all good though, I mean it’s their summer break and they should do stuff that they want to do or not do.  So we lounged around alot, saw a few new movies, had some sleepovers, hit the pool quite a bit and did the shopping thing.

My 15 yr old daughter lives her summers in denial, any time I tried to tell her when school was going to start she’d shoo me away and tell me she didn’t want to know.  So…I didn’t mention “school” anymore.  Today we were discussing our next weekend activities and she realized that school was starting in a little over a week and FREAKED out!  She had a mini panic attacked as she told me she felt the stress come over her like a tidal wave.  “I told you so” was all that came to mind and quickly out of my mouth.  She didn’t really appreciate those words of wisdom and could only think about the TWO books she still needed to finish reading before school starts.

My 11 year old son has had a different outlook on summer not so much wanting me to avoid any school conversations.  Rather  than be in denial he’s been contemplating what entering Middle School will be like. Although I have been making sure that he works on his “summer learning” math prep.  He hates every minute of it but I know he needs the extra help and I explain to him that this will give him confidence to do well in math this year.  My words of encouragement fall deaf on his ears.  All he hears is “yada, yada, yada”

Being a parent is TOUGH!  Duh!!!

That fine line of wanting to be your kids friend but drawing the line at disrespect is truly difficult.  Teenagers think they know all they need to and that we are just not familiar with how their world works now.  We are out of date and don’t have a clue as to what’s cool and what’s not.  We worry and plan too much.  Luckily my kids are genuinely good at heart so I tend to not want to kill them when I focus on that attribute. However every time my daughter is sarcastic or my son tells me “I know”, I just want to scream!  Well actually, I’d really just like to grab them by the shoulders and shake them uncontrollably until they realize they shouldn’t do that.  That would be wrong!  Satisfying…BUT WRONG!  He he he

Seriously, it’s just that sometimes or rather more than often they think they know it all and view our advice as a lecture.  Today my son asked how long we need to be on this budget plan to pay off our debt because he wants to go to Disney.  I told him that we were close to paying it all off and he said “you always say that”.  I let out a slight chuckle but quickly regained my composure to explain how all the sacrificing is paying off and that their dad is sacrificing the most out of all of us.  All my son heard was…”yada, yada, yada” once again.  I went through the whole payout plan thinking that it would make things clear and they could appreciate that sooner than later we would be out of debt and saving for that long overdue vacation.  Words, words and more words.  My daughter turned to me and said  “we got it Mom, we had it in the first ten minutes”.  She smiles her little sarcastic smile as she cocks her held ever so innocently.  “Ok then!  As long as you got it.”

Kids soooo miss the point of things sometimes.  Here I thought I was sharing with them and bringing them in to understand why we do what we do but in reality they just want what they want.  They don’t want to know how the doughnuts are made, they just want to eat ’em.  I recognize that I talk things to death sometimes (ssshhhh, a lot of times) but I have to say that more and more I find myself wishing I’d been told certain things as a kid so I could have made better choices. Though my intention is to pass this knowledge on I have to be realistic in knowing the truth of the matter is that I’m an “adult” thinking this and rare is the kid/teen that will share that longing.


So I must decide to accept that kids think they know it all

but in reality

don’t want to know it all


they already do?   

UPDATE: Later that evening my daughter was completely stressed about all things school related. She came to me in tears and needing a hug along with some reassurance.  I did what any parent would when faced with this situation. I just melted and gave way to comforting her. Reminding her of how special and smart she is.  How God would not give her more than she could handle and that no matter how tough it seemed right now these would be years that she would look back on fondly because we tend to forgot the bad and focus on the good.  She suddenly remembered that she would be co-president of the Bible Club at school this year and was instantly excited.

Thank you Lord for the ray of sunshine in the mist of her storm.

he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth. 2 Samuel 23:4

Btw…we decided together that next summer there would be no denial.  We’ll see… #LoveMyKids




Summer Learning

Summer time is “no school” time but around here we never stop doing math or reading.  I know, I know sounds cruel but summer learning is my way of keeping the kids on point.  Through the school year they tend to struggle with math and with that in mind I like keeping them a step ahead by working on their weak spots during the summer break.

In past years I’ve purchased different online curriculum but this year I found TenMarks has a free summer program and decided to give it a try.  I’m actually combining it with Khan Academy for better assessment coverage.  I particularly love that both sites create a specialized program according to how they fare on the initial assessment test.  I have the kids work on this for about 30 minutes a day Monday-Friday and so far it’s worked out really well.

If you’re child struggles with math or just needs to keep it fresh give these programs a try, both are free and easy to use.  The daily work doesn’t take much time at all but it helps them build those much needed math skills.  Once that’s done they’ll have plenty of time for heading to the park or just plain lounging around.

Summer Time
Summer Time


Happy Homeschooling




Math that Makes Sense

Homeschooling is great but curriculum can add up.  It’s always great when you come across a great deal.

If your child is having trouble with math or just needs some tweaking maybe this online tutor program can help. The best part about it is that it’s FREE for the summer. WOO HOO!  Freebies are my favorite.

Hurry and check out Yourteacher.com perfect math tutor for grades 6-12.  I just signed up my daughter and she’ll be working on her Algebra 2 this summer.

You may need a tutor.

Ummm…I may be going out on  a limb here but you could probably use a tutor,  Just sayin’