Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Importance of Summer Reading: Some Helpful Tips for Parents

Helpful Tips to Foster a Love of Reading for Lifelong Learners - From the Desk of Mrs. Pulido

As an educator, I believe that summer reading is important in developing lifelong reading habits, maintaining literary skills, and promoting reading for pleasure. Students who continue to read during the summer perform better when school resumes in the fall.
Although I understand that when summer vacation starts, we are all tempted to put away our books altogether and be outside riding our bikes, playing softball, or cooling off in the pool. I also understand that as a parent, committing your child to reading, even just for a little each day, is a struggle especially when outdoor activities and distractions of TV, video games, and the Internet seem more exciting.

Here are some helpful tips to foster a love of reading for your child:

1. Read together. You don't necessarily have to read the same books, but by simply sharing the experience of reading with them, you are more likely to get them motivated to read enthusiastically.
2. Set aside family time to bond through reading. You can do this by going to a coffee shop, bookstore, or a library together to make reading a fun experience to remember.
3. Ask them what book they are currently reading and use this as a topic of conversation with them.
4. Help them select a book that might pique their interest.
5. Encourage them to join/form a book club. When reading becomes a social experience, kids become more enthusiastic and more motivated. Check with your local library for summer reading incentives.
6. Encourage them to keep a log/journal of their reading minutes to help them keep track of their progress.
7. Create a book trailer video by using Animoto (, a video slideshow maker with music.
8. Use sidewalk chalk and draw three squares in a row to create a giant "storyboard" to draw and/or write the beginning, middle, and end of a book they just read to summarize important narrative elements. You could also do the same with 2x2 squares: top left - CHARACTERS top right - SETTING bottom left - CONFLICT bottom right - RESOLUTION
9. Check out a bilingual book that has English and another language you want to learn together. Read it in English first. Then try it in the second language and read it again to make a memory game of new vocabulary learned.
10. Find a recipe to make with your children before or after they finish the book. Edible playdough could go with any story, or find a popular book with food-related themes, such as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, or invite their friends to make a friendship fruit salad (try this recipe: to go with Toad and Frog.

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