A Review of the Summer Countdown Book from Amy Puetz at Golden Prairie Press

I love to use holidays to share history and social studies learning with the kids. There have often been fun things we’ve learned as we read about a particular holiday. American history, particularly, is fun to share with the kids as we celebrate holidays. I’ve had the opportunity to see other of Amy Puetz’s countdown books before, so I was excited to see and review Summer Countdown: Memory Making Stories and Activities for Five Summer Holidays. This book can be purchased as an ebook or a printed book for $14 from the Golden Prairie Press website.

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The countdown books from Amy Puetz have readings from classic excerpts and poems as well as occasional activities for the family to do together. The books really are meant to be used for the whole family. I’ve done some of the readings aloud so that we can share them together.

In Summer Countdown, five summer holidays are covered- Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Father’s Day, and July 4th. The readings and activities will begin at a designated number of days away from the holiday. Then each day, as you head toward the holiday, there are readings and activities to complete.

The first four holidays in Summer Countdown are smaller and less well known. For these there is a two day countdown and then readings for the actual day, making three days of material for each. July 4th, a holiday with historical significance and one that is much more well known, has material for thirteen countdown days and the day of, so there are fourteen days of readings and activities. The book designates the day on which to start the countdowns toward the holiday.

All of the readings- prose and poetry- are from Victorian works- most from the 1800s and 1900s. There are also beautiful black and white period illustrations. I love the classic feel of the book.

As an example of how the readings work: The Mother’s Day readings begin on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Before the readings begin, the book has a nice little introduction about Mother’s Day and how we came to celebrate it. On that first day is scheduled a prose reading- “Borrowed Mothers”; two quotes about mothers from Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther; and a few Mother’s Day games, actually from 1916. The readings and activities won’t take very long, so they’ll fit easily into a regular day. I like to do readings like this at lunch time while the kids are eating.

Another thing that I really like about the book is that it can be used during any year. You can always begin the countdown at the designated time, and , although the scheduled dates are there, there are no days of the week. So the book can be used year after year. I often like to come back to stories we’ve read around the holidays because sometimes they become a part of our holiday traditions.

Summer Countdown will be great for us, particularly because we homeschool year round. And this will make a nice supplementary reading to add in to our abbreviated summer curriculum. Even if you don’t homeschool, though, or you stop for the summer, you’ll find it simple to fit in Summer Countdown because each day’s readings and activities aren’t time consuming and because it’s so good to use for the whole family.

You can find the Summer Countdown book- in ebook or print- along with the other countdown books at Golden Prairie Press.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

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