Cornerstone Academy’s Academic Committee is encouraging students to read over the summer.  It is our belief that reading good literature is integral to academic achievement and excellence, especially in a classical school.  Reading is also very important in fostering the love of learning.  While specific numbers and titles are not being required, it is strongly suggested that each student read at least three good, age-appropriate books this summer.  The attached list is included to assist you in the selection of books that meet these criteria. 

We are also including the link to Classical Christian Education Support Loop’s 1000 Good Books List and a quote of how the books were chosen for the list.

The criteria we used to judge inclusion are: Does the book have literary value? Does the book re-emphasize a Biblical worldview or the Judeo-Christian heritage in some way? Does the book teach, through whatever means, what is moral or just or true? Does the book encourage  good works and to love? Does the book exemplify warmth, tenderness, courage, humor, and other values and characteristics that we desire our children to be exposed to? Does the book nourish the intellect and fire the imagination? Does the book cross age barriers to be enjoyed by all?

The Bible, the best of the good books and the greatest of the great books, is the backbone of this good books / great books list. The books listed are offered in addition to the Bible, but certainly never in replacement of it.

It is our hope that families not view this recommendation to read as one more thing to schedule time for, but rather as an encouragement to make good books available so that the child’s appetite is whetted, resulting in the desire for him or her to grab moments here and there to read.  Most children will read for pleasure when they have developed the skills to do so proficiently and have at their disposal books that interest them.

Some ideas to motivate the reluctant reader:

OFFER AN INCENTIVE – One mom on the Academic Committee offered her children a penny for every page read shortly after they mastered reading.  It did not take long or much money for them to realize that they really enjoyed reading!

READ ALOUD THE FIRST CHAPTER – Give your child a sneak preview!

READ THE SAME BOOK – Be willing to read what your child is reading and then discuss it.  This will let you know how he/she is doing with comprehension while encouraging him/her to pay attention to the details.

SHARE YOUR CHILDHOOD FAVORITE - Show your enthusiasm for reading by introducing your child to a book that you enjoyed as a child. 

TAKE A TRIP TO THE LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE - There is bound to be something that catches your child’s interest.  Some children are happier choosing the books to read rather than being assigned them.  Try to give them several choices that meet the literature criteria.  We recognize that some books that children desire to read are mediocre—not great but not evil either—and suggest that these books be read sparingly to build reading confidence as stepping stones to better literature. 

CHOOSE SOMETHING HISTORICAL – History is studied chronologically at Cornerstone Academy, so you can give your child a head start on the next year’s history lessons by reading a little bit about the next time period.

Have a blessed summer!

Academic Committee

The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one
on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read.
~ Benjamin Franklin ~

The man who doesn't read good books
has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
 ~ Mark Twain ~