We're Excited About Summer Reading at Hartfield Academy!

The summer season is upon as at Hartfield Academy, and with the summer comes many things: rest, sunshine, play time, and (you guessed it)...summer reading! You can find your child’s summer reading on the Resource Board of your MyHartfield account. We asked Mrs. Lisa Lucas, our Lower School Head, to share some tips and tricks to tackle your summer reading as a family. 
1. What do books mean to you, and how have they impacted your life, or your childrens' lives?
I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember.  As a child, I loved getting lost in a story and have vivid memories of reading at school and not even realizing I was there until the teacher told us we had to do something else.  One of my favorite reading genres as a child was biographies.  I love to learn about a person's story.   One of my all time favorites was Walt Disney's biography.  Learning about his belief of making dreams come true instilled a lifelong value of working hard and pursuing one's dreams and helping others believe in their own dreams. 
I have never truly stopped reading, because I am a lover of learning and there is so much to learn.  As an adult I read less fiction and focus more on books related to my personal interests of faith, leadership, relationships and education. 
Something I always valued highly while raising young children was reading to my two boys every single day.  I believe it helps with language development, vocabulary expansion  and creates a natural curiosity to learn about this incredible world. My boys have both been strong readers, earning many AR awards and I believe it has helped them to be better students and test takers because of their increased vocabulary.  We read all kinds of children's books together and it was a true joy for me when both of them started reading and they wanted to read the story. They both continue to read books now at the ages of 22 and 17. 
2. Will you be reading this summer? If so, what books?
Yes! Yes! Yes!  I read all year long.  I read approximately 2-3 books per month.   During the summer, I try to be a little more intentional with my reading and try to read one book for spiritual growth, usually something for growing or strengthening relationships, something pertaining to leadership, something related to my work and in the summer I allow myself the opportunity to read some fiction for fun.  Since we have been out of school, I have read a self published book by a friend of mine entitled "You Reap What You Sow", "The Shark and the Goldfish" by Jon Gordon, "The Little Book of Talent" by Daniel Coyle, "Shoot your Shot" by Vernon Brundage, Jr., "Jesus the God Who Knows Your Name" by Max Lucado, and  I am currently reading "Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone."  by Adrienne Bankert. I also am spending a lot of time reading articles about returning to school with Covid-19.
3. Why is Summer Reading important for each Hartfield Student?

Summer reading is critically important because it keeps your brain working and thinking.  Just like we have to keep our bodies healthy with exercise, reading keeps our brains engaged.  For our youngest readers, it keeps them practicing their reading skills so when they return they have retained those skills and not having to spend a few weeks catching up on skills that didn't remain strong because of not being put to use.  For the older students, summer reading helps in a similar way but on a deeper level.  With a more mature brain, one can process information on a different level, explore their interests and discover new interests. It also helps us to stay connected with each other by reading some of the same books over the summer.  When we return it provides the teacher and students a common place to begin building their relationship as they discuss the books they read.
4. Do you have any tips on conquering your summer reading list?

I have several things that have helped me find time to read because I am busy just like everyone else. Here are my Great Eight tips to help you conquer your list!
  • Read what you find interesting - you will read it faster and longer at a time because you like it.
  • Read a little bit every day.
  • Find a favorite place to read (I like to read poolside, on my deck or in my bed)
  • Find a favorite author or series of books that you enjoy.
  • Don't pick a book based on the number of pages.  If it is boring to you, even though it is short, you will take longer to finish it because you don't like it.
  • If you don't naturally like to read, create a plan for your summer reading.  You can break it down by numbers of pages per day, a chapter a day or even just setting a deadline like reading one book by July 4.
  • Take your book with you.  When mom has you in the car running errands you can read, when you are waiting at the dentist office you can read, you can read while driving to the beach or any other trips you may take this summer. Those little times add up to a lot of reading time and rather than playing on your ipad. 
  • Read a certain amount before you go to sleep at night.  I do this every night all through the year and this is how I get most of my reading in during a busy day.  It also helps your mind and body relax so you get a good night sleep.  Just be careful not to stay up too late reading because you can't wait to find out what happens next. 
Thank you for the advice, Mrs. Lucas! We’re all ready to dive into our Summer Reading Lists!
Hartfield Academy is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Southern Association of independent Schools (SAIS).