Poolside Reading

One of the very best things about summer is having down time with my kids. We are more relaxed about our homeschooling (although we do some school during the summer) and spend more time doing outdoor activities. Swimming is everyone’s favorite. Here in Texas it’s too hot to do anything that doesn’t offer a way to cool off.

We even read together by the pool. Or I should say I’m by the pool, they are IN the pool. I pull a comfy seat up to the water’s edge and they float while I read. I come out with a book (and maybe a snack) and they all grab their favorite floating devices. Some of them like to face up, eyes toward the clear blue sky while they listen. Others will hang on a noodle and let their body drift behind them. All is quiet and the outdoor noises disappear as Mom starts reading.

Just thinking about it takes my mind right to the spot where I sit and read. I love to glance up from my book to see them lost in the story, waiting for the next sentence, holding onto the sound of my voice. Their trust in me makes me want to make the story great, using a unique voice for each character and pausing at the right moments to add drama.

Even though we can’t get in the water yet, the kids are already talking about what fun it is when we read outside. Last week we were in the superstore and one of them asked if they could go look at the floats so they could find a comfortable seat for our pool reading time. They can’t wait for it to begin. And knowing how much they love it motivates me to get myself out there and do it instead of using that time for something else, like cooking and cleaning.

Together we make a list of summer books….everything from classics to a few new ones. This year we have “No Place Like Holmes” by Jason Lethcoe on our list. My boys love a detective mystery. I start gathering the books in May and we keep them in a basket, just waiting their turn. In a good summer we’ll read 8-10 books together.

Oh, and one last tip….don’t take your best books out by the pool. They will get wet. Trust me on this.


Lisa Pennington lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 26 years and their 9 children. She homeschools while trying to figure out how to run their little farm with no real knowledge of how to care for goats or grow a garden, turning her life into a comedy of errors. When she has a few extra minutes, she loves to help other women find their identity in Christ and have the courage to live their calling. She blogs about her family life at The Pennington Point and runs an etsy shop with her daughters, Shop 24. When people ask how she does it all she replies, “I’m not sure, but I know I need a nap!” You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PenningtonPoint.