Summer Beach Reading Recommendations.

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It's the first week of summer and SoCal is gorgeous. We entirely skipped the usual "June gloom" and fast-forwarded to sunny skies and warm water. Sweeeeet! It's time to hit our favorite beach spots.
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While the children play in the water I stand at water's edge and supervise. If they're lucky, I'll get in with them. Today I had a sitter watch the twins while I took Jewel & Jude to Newport Beach. James is in Chicago paying a long awaited visit to his auntie and cousins. Wow. Keeping track of two kids instead of five is easy as pie. I even got to read a book for a little bit.
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Nothing like a little light reading, huh? Us English majors never really enjoy Danielle Steele, y'know. Protocal Matters by Sandra Boswell is a practical how-to on manners and social graces. I'm really inspired (and convicted!) by her many wonderful ideas. She's the modern Emily Post. Right now the children are working on proper phone etiquette. Jewel is especially helpful in answering calls when I am busy with the babies.

Of course, we are kicking off the summer with our 3rd Annual Scripture Memorization-A-Thon. Last year we memorized I John 5:1-15. We recited it to Matt near his birthday. It was a lot of fun (really!) because we made it fun! This year we're working on selected verses from Proverbs. Each morning we have our little Devotional Time. The kids bring out papers, pens and crayons and we spread out on the floor together. We sing songs (sometimes riotously) and memorize the verses using lots of expression. I also spend time reading long passages of Scripture to them while they draw pictures. We end our time with prayer, each child offering up their own simple requests.

I read aloud to them from a long, challenging book each summer. Last year it was The Wind in The Willows. This year, I was thrilled to re-discover a childhood favorite A Door In the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli.

It's not a popular book anymore probably because it doesn't include wizards killing other wizards. (No, my children have not and will not read Harry Potter). But, like Wind in the Willows, the character development of the main characters is brilliant. Also, we take lots of time to pause in our reading to define terms, look up relevant historical facts and answer questions.

I try to balance the "heavy reading" with lighter, fluff reading, too. Jewel is reading Junie B. Jones aloud to Jude. James has several Star Wars chapter books he's reading.

As an addtional supplement to their reading, I've thrown in a Latin workbook complete with CD: Song School Latin by Amy Rehn. We listen to the songs in the car. I am their magistra (teacher) and they are my discipuli (students)!

Dude, should I be homeschooling OR WHAT? :0)

As for me, my summer book list includes the following:

1. "Rediscovering Catechism" by Donald Van Dyken.
2. "Abide in Christ" by Andrew Murray.
3. "To A Thousand Generations--infant baptism" by Douglas Wilson

I know, I know. Does she ever read "fun stuff" you're wondering? I do. My reading candy is The Week magazine. It's a news magazine organized into bite size chunks from multiple news outlets. Yes, it's a news magazine. No, I don't read fashion or gossip. Except on airplanes (it's the only way I can wrench my brain away from the fact that OH MY GOSH WE'RE 30,000 FEET IN THE AIR AND IF WE FALL WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEE!).

And lastly, because I know you're wondering: how does she find time for it?

Answer: I very rarely watch TV.

So, what are you reading this summer? Any good fiction recommendations?