Newsletter #374: Summer Reading - Archived Online.

Since 1980 The Teaching Home has provided families information,
inspiration, and encouragement from a distinctively Christian perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short


     "The man who does not
          read good books
     has no advantage over
          the man who can't read."

          – Mark Twain

Selected Issues Archived Online

Newsletter #373
Getting Your House in Order:
7 Good Questions; 7 Good Answers.
Along with the pleasurable pursuits of summer, there are things that you can do now to make your life easier during the coming school year.  One effort that will yield great dividends is getting your house in order.  In this issue we share practical step-by-step plans and ideas for doing just that.

Newsletter #372
The Use of Our Summer Time.  Summer provides a change of routine with a variety of options for the use of our time.  In this issue we suggest general uses of your time, plus options for your summer schedule. Includes an Anti-Boredom Checklist!

Newsletter #369
Family Day Trips.  Day trips can do much to build family relationships and memories – plus provide enriching educational opportunities. Includes Creation Science Resources for your summer trips and Travel Freebies & Info.

Newsletter #362
Character Development.  Character development is a process of training outward actions and encouraging spiritual growth resulting in the fruits of the Spirit.  Includes links to free lesson plans and list of character qualities.

Reading Freebies

Free Ebooks & Audiobooks

Free Ebooks

 •  Christian Classics Ethereal Library

 •  Amazon Kindle Store - 2,000+ free popular classics
Download one of's free Kindle apps to read Kindle ebooks on all your devices.

 •  Open Library - 1 million+ titles

 • - 29,000+ titles

 •  Book Depository - 11,000+ titles

 •  The Online Books Page - Index to 1 million+ titles

Free Ebooks & Audio Books

 •  Bible Gateway - Text and audio available in many languages and versions.
Free app for iPad, iPhone, Android phones, and Kindle Fire

 •  Internet Archive Ebook and Texts Archive. 4,714,779 Titles. See also sub-collections of various libraries.
Audio Archive

 •  Project Gutenberg - Ebooks.
Audio books

 •  Books Should Be Free - Audiobooks & Ebooks

 •  Open Culture Audiobooks.
Ebooks - Download to Kindle, iPad/iPhone & Nook

 •  The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project, Bringing yesterday's classics to today's children - Ebooks and audio recordings

Free Audio Books

 •  Faith Comes by Hearing - Audio Bible downloads. Scripture recordings in 733 languages.
Introducing Deaf Bible App

 •  Audio Books for Free - Fiction, nonfiction, and children's categories

Reading Lists

Explore these lists with the understanding that not all books will be appropriate for all children or families.  Your best bet might be to ask for recommendations from like-minded friends who have read good books.

 •  Classical Christian Education Support Loop: 1000 Good Books List (by grade level and type of literature). Read "Using the List."

 •  Favorite Home School Books (listed by grade level)

 •  Patrick Henry College Literature List (to prepare students for college)

Pizza Hut Book It!

 •  Pizza Hut Book It! Reading Incentive Program for grades K-6.
See reading helps online, including educational literacy apps, read-aloud tips, 100 great read-alouds (by age).

Free Online Study Guides

These free online study guides include background and information to enrich your reading and/or to test reading comprehension.

 •  SparkNotes


Free Online Reading Logs
& Book Report Forms

Download these free forms:
•  Reading Logs
•  Easy Book Report
•  A Retelling Book Report
•  Book Report
•  20 Creative Ways to Share Books
•  and more.

Reading Comprehension Resources

Reading comprehension is the process of connecting the words that we read to thoughts that we think and is an important aspect of the basic skill of reading.

Reading comprehension skills were dealt with extensively in the following newsletters which are available online in our newsletter archive.

•  Facts - Newsletter #23
•  Inferences - Newsletter #25 and #26
•  Analysis - Newsletter #28
•  Application - Newsletter #29
•  Evaluation - Newsletter #30

Teach Your Child To Read

 •  Curriculum Guide for Reading Mentors is a free 184-page ebook with in-depth information on teaching your child to read, including pre-reading phonics practice and teaching phonics step-by-step.

Five-Finger Reading Level Test

Select the correct reading level for your child to read independently -- high enough to challenge him but not frustrate him. Following is a simple way to help you select reading materials on your child's ability level.

Ask your child to read aloud a page of average length from a selected book. As he reads, press down one finger of your hand for each word he misses. The number of fingers down lets you know how difficult the material will be.

 •  0-1 Mistakes - Easy. Choose easy materials for your child to read alone for fun and to build speed in a slow reader. This easy level also frees him to focus on new words or concepts. It is a good choice for technical or difficult subjects like science or math.

 •  2-3 Mistakes - Challenging. Choose materials on this level to stretch your child's reading ability and vocabulary. You should be available to answer questions while your child reads.

 •  4-5 Mistakes - Difficult. Use difficult reading materials only when you will be reading with your child. Help him sound out new words using phonics rules. Explain unfamiliar vocabulary and teach him to use a dictionary. Expecting your child to read alone at this level could lead to frustration, skipping over words, and low comprehension.

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Sunnyside Up

It Could Be Those
Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Deciding whether 2/5 or 4/5 was the larger fraction had our daughter puzzled.  I attempted to show her the difference by cutting out circles, which I called "pies," marking them in fifths, and shading 2/5 of one and 4/5 of the other.

"Now, which piece of pie would you rather have?" I asked, supposing that she would choose the larger portion.

Her response: "What kind of pie is it?"

Submitted Esther M., Arkansas.

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Peace with God

1.  God loves you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

2.  Man is separated from God by sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)  For the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)

3.  The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

4.  We must personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9)

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 In This Issue 
Summer Reading
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, co-editors
     1.  Read Aloud Together
     2.  Select Good Books
     3.  Bible Read-a-Thon
     4.  Keep Reading Logs
     5.  Read to Someone
     6.  Form a Reading Club
     7.  Teach Your Child To Read
     8.  Listen To Your Child Read


Reading Freebies
•  Free Ebooks & Audiobooks
•  Reading Lists
•  Pizza Hut Book It!
•  Free Online Study Guides
•  Free Online Reading Logs & Book Report Forms
•  Reading Comprehension Resources
•  Teach Your Child To Read (Free Ebook)
•  Five-Finger Reading Level Test

 Recommended Resources 

   •  Diagramming the Scriptures: Grammar and Bible
   •  Common Sense Press: American and British Literature
   •  Birch Court Books: Teaching Aids for Parents
   •  Basic Christian Education: Bible-Based Curriculum


"Summer reading" implies reading for pleasure!

We hope that the ideas that we have gathered up for this issue will help your family enjoy reading together this summer.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

Effectively Teach Grammar & Study God's Word
with Diagramming the Scriptures

Diagramming the Scriptures by Shirley M. Forsen is a textbook which teaches the diagramming of 300+ sentences taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Starting with the simple subject-verb sentence, it then adds new concepts with lots of practice until the student can master compound-complex sentences.

Examples, practice sentences, and review sentences are given for each sentence pattern, part of speech, clause, or type of sentence.

 •  Provides better understanding of Scripture
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1.  Read Aloud Together

Reading is a pleasurable summer activity with educational benefits.  Reading together as a family makes it that much better!

 •  Select a book that will keep the interest of all family members.

 •  Make this time relaxed and enjoyable, but stop to explain or discuss items that come up.

 •  Read with expression at a slightly slower pace.

 •  Read together before or after a family activity, such as a meal, Bible reading, or bed time.

 •  Read at the table, sitting together on the couch, or outside.

An alternative is to listen together (at home or in the car) to an audio recording of good literature, such as those from your local library, free downloads (see left-hand column), or Sing 'n Learn.

2.  Select Good Books

To help your children enjoy reading and to benefit their character and education, select their reading materials carefully.

Determine Reading Level

You can read aloud to your child at a higher reading level than his own, but select a more comfortable reading level for him to read independently so he does not become frustrated, skip over words, or have low comprehension.

Identify Moral Elements

A standard that can be applied to selecting literature is found in Philippians 4:8:

 •  True.  Story is based on truth and reality.

 •  Honorable.  Christian character is reinforced.

 •  Just.  Appropriate consequences are meted out.

 •  Pure.  Characters and story are pure. Sin is not described, admired, laughed at, or rewarded. Language is clean.

 •  Lovely.  Beauty is portrayed (in illustrations as well).

 •  Of Good Repute.  Emphasizes what is good about things.

 •  Excellent or of Virtue.  The material is moral and edifying as well as of high quality.

 •  Praiseworthy.  We can praise God for what we are reading.

Read more about negative moral elements and options in Newsletter #23 and an article, "A Biblical Approach to Objectionable Elements" on the BJU Press website.

Consider Variety and Other Criteria

 •  Select or read to your child books that meet his needs and interests and also stretch his horizons.

 •  Select a variety of literature:
·  Historical fiction
·  Biography (including missionaries and great Christians)
·  Nonfiction (even textbooks)
·  Poetry
·  Drama
·  Books set in different time periods and geographic

 •  Look for books in a series.

 •  Unabridged books are usually best.

Watch your child grow by reading good books this summer!

Two New (3rd) Edition Gold Books
for High School Literature

Both American Literature and British Literature offer a complete curriculum for high school language arts courses.

Classic poems and novels by the best and most influential authors were selected to demonstrate literary principles.

The Gold Book series is designed to encourage the high school student's ability to:
1.  Read and understand literature
2.  Develop the ability for verbal and written expression
3.  Enable him to interpret and access literary meaning in terms
     of content and philosophy
4.  Clearly state a position in response.

Both Books Include:
 •  Novel Studies & Poetry Studies
 •  Writing Assignments & Essay Studies (+Book Reviews - British)
 •  Teacher's Guide and Answers located in the back of the book,
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3.  Bible Read-a-Thon

The Bible is the spiritual nourishment that our families need to grow in the Lord.

If you have never experienced the blessing of reading larger sections of Scripture, this summer may be a good time to try it.

Following this daily schedule will enable your family to read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in 31 or 62 days.

Take turns reading aloud as a family or follow along while listening to a recorded tape or CD of the Bible.

Listen to your selection of translations and languages online at

Use one of these options (estimated reading times are based on recorded readings).

 •  Read it all at once in 31 days. (50 minutes each day)

 •  Read half as much each day and take 62 days to complete it. (25 minutes each day)

 •  Divide the daily readings into morning and evening segments. (25 minutes twice each day for 31 days; 12.5 minutes twice each day for 62 days)

  1. Matt. 1-7 Rom. 1-3 Ps. 1-5 Prov. 1
  2. Matt. 8-11 Rom. 4-8 Ps. 6-10 Prov. 2
  3. Matt. 12-15 Rom. 9-11 Ps. 11-15 Prov. 3
  4. Matt. 16-20 Rom. 12-16 Ps. 16-20 Prov. 4
  5. Matt. 21-24 1 Cor. 1-4 Ps. 21-25 Prov. 5
  6. Matt. 25-28 1 Cor. 5-8 Ps. 26-30 Prov. 6
  7. Mark 1-5 1 Cor. 9-11 Ps. 31-35 Prov. 7
  8. Mark 6-8 1 Cor. 12-16 Ps. 36-40 Prov. 8
  9. Mark 9-12 2 Cor. 1-5 Ps. 41-45 Prov. 9
10. Mark 13-16 2 Cor. 6-10 Ps. 46-50 Prov. 10
11. Luke 1-3 2 Cor. 11-13, Gal. 1-2 Ps. 51-55 Prov. 11
12. Luke 4-7 Gal. 3-6 Ps. 56-60 Prov. 12
13. Luke 8-9 Eph. Ps. 61-65 Prov. 13
14. Luke 10-12 Phil. Ps. 66-70 Prov. 14
15. Luke 13-17 Col. Ps. 71-75 Prov. 15
16. Luke 18-21 1 & 2 Thess. Ps. 76-80 Prov. 16
17. Luke 22-24 1 Tim. Ps. 81-85 Prov. 17
18. John 1-4 2 Tim., 1 & 2 Titus Ps. 86-90 Prov. 18
19. John 5-7 Philem., Heb. 1-5 Ps. 91-95 Prov. 19
20. John 8-10 Heb. 6-10 Ps. 96-100 Prov. 20
21. John 11-14 Heb. 11-13 Ps. 101-105 Prov. 21
22. John 15-19 James Ps. 106-110 Prov. 22
23. John 20-21, Acts 1-3 1 Peter Ps. 111-115 Prov. 23
24. Acts 4-7 2Peter,1John 1-2 Ps. 116-118,120 Prov. 24
25. Acts 8-10 1 John 3-5, 2 & 3 John Ps. 119 Prov. 25
26. Acts 11-14 Jude, Rev. 1-3 Ps. 121-125 Prov. 26
27. Acts 15-18 Rev. 4-8 Ps. 126-130 Prov. 27
28. Acts 19-21 Rev. 9-13 Ps. 131-135 Prov. 28
29. Acts 22-25 Rev. 14-18 Ps. 136-140 Prov. 29
30. Acts 26-28 Rev. 19-22 Ps. 141-145 Prov. 30
31. Ps. 146-150 Prov. 31

Also see The Teaching Home's unique Bible-in-a-Year Reading Schedule and tips.

Teaching Aids for Parents –
for a Great Start to Your School Year!

 Click on links for more information and to order. 

What Your Child Needs to Know
Series give core knowledge for K;
grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Homeschooler's Journal. Use for lesson plans and record keeping. Spiral bound journal for K-8th by FergNus with "Jelly proof" cover. Use for multiple students, unit studies, or other styles.
Also: Homeschooler's High School Journal for grades 9-12.

Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell.  Many features guide you as your set up your homeschool for the year.

Ultimate Daily Planner for Students and
Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens.
These two planners include many features and reference guides.

The Complete College without Compromise: Students Lower College Costs and Avoid Unnecessary Debt. Planning for your student's post-highschool years.

Birch Court Books
Free Shipping with $20 Purchase.  Free Catalog
800-655-1811  |  N7137 County Hwy. C, Seymour WI 54165
See Redeemer Reviews for Christian film reviews.

4.  Keep Reading Logs

It is very encouraging, as well as useful, to record all the books each of your children has read.

 •  For younger children you can make a large or small decorated poster and list the books they read with a simple plus or minus mark indicating whether you would recommend the book or read it again.

 •  Print and paste a reading log (see left-hand column to print an online form, or make your own) on poster board or construction paper and let your child decorate it with his own art, stickers, or photos cut from a catalog or magazine.  You can also find an image of the book he has read on the Internet, print and cut it out and paste on the chart.

 •  For older children, notebook pages give space for more details such as (see left-hand column to print forms):
·  Book title and author
·  Number of pages and date read
·  Genre (nonfiction; present-day, historical, or science
    fiction; biography; fantasy, etc.), subject, or topic
·  Overall rating (e.g., 1-5, with 5 = highest)

 •  You and/or your child can discuss and add a Christian worldview evaluation that might include the positive or negative examples set by the characters, whether good was rewarded and evil punished, etc.  See more on evaluation of literature in Newsletter #23.

 •  A book report can also be attached.  (See left-hand column to print book report forms.)

These records will be encouraging for your child to see how much he has read.

They will be valuable for you to ensure that your child is reading a variety of genres and positive Christian worldview books.

You will also be able to know which books are good for your other children to read and which books you can heartily recommend to others!

5.  Form a Reading Club

Your reading club can be an informal meeting once a week, twice a month, or just one Book Party.  It can consist of members of your own family or a group of other homeschoolers.

 •  Exchange recommendations for favorite books and why you like them.

 •  Present oral reports or speech and drama projects; do an art project together. See "100+ Creative Book Reports / Unit Study Activities" in Newsletter #26.

 •  Have a book party or presentation with each child giving a five-minute book report (a traditional report or an idea from the list in Newsletter #26), perhaps dressed and acting as a character in his book.  Set up a table to display books and projects. Refreshments can include some suggested by the books.

 •  Have everyone read the same book and discuss it, using some of the questions from past newsletters on reading comprehension: inferences, analysis, application, and evaluation.

 •  Use a literature study guide.  See suggestions in Newsletter #26.

Sharing your book with friends or family will make it more enjoyable!

Request Free Print Catalog -or- View Flip-Book Catalog Online
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6.  Read to Someone

Use your gift of reading to bless another.

 •  Find someone older to read to as Jo and Amy in Little Women read to their elderly aunt.

 •  Read to a child. One of a child's favorite things is to be read to - and it takes so little time and effort.

 •  If you are not able to read in person, tape record your reading and send it to your grandmother, a shut-in, or even your little cousin that lives across the country.

 •  Learn to read expressively and meaningfully:
·  Select something that is easy to read
·  Read at an appropriate pace
·  Group words in natural phrases
·  Enunciate words clearly
·  Use appropriate intonations
·  Try to sound like the person speaking in the story
·  Pre-read your selection while practicing these skills

 •  You can also read together in your own readers theater.  Read how to online.

Don't forget the joy of reading together as a family!

7.  Teach Your Child To Read

You can teach your child to read this summer, saving you much time and stress during the coming school year – if your child is ready.  (Reading readiness depends on the individual child and is not based on your child's intelligence.  It is more important to establish a solid foundation of reading skills than to push for early reading.)

 •  Start with short lessons and gradually increase the length. If your child becomes frustrated during a reading session, stop on a positive note, rather than try to finish the lesson.

Instruction materials can be a simple manual such as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, A Beka's Handbook for Reading, or Valerie Bendt's Reading Made Easy which includes the words you say to explain the lessons to your child.

A good phonics system will teach all the letter-sound connections used in English words, 87 percent of which can be read by sounding them out with the rules of phonics.

 •  See Newsletter #97 and/or the free 184-page ebook listed in the left-hand column.

Teaching your child to read does not need to be difficult – all you need are a few phonics resources, patience, and enthusiasm!

8.  Listen To Your Child Read

For a child that is still learning to read, it is very helpful for you to sit down with him and listen to him read a little bit each day.  He will profit from the practice, and you can encourage him, catch any mistakes he makes, and become aware of gaps in his reading skills.

 •  Select good books at an appropriate reading level (see above).

Note: Many of the library's easy readers may not be good for your child to read; nonfiction books may be safer, but watch for nonbiblical elements of evolution, humanism, occultism, modern youth culture, and psychology.

 •  Check comprehension by asking questions and having your child retell in his own words a portion he has read.