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10 Summer Reading Tips MacMillan / McGraw-Hill
Summer Reading Tips from Tim Shanahan, author of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill’s best selling elementary reading program, Treasures and past president of the International Reading Association.
1. Read Together! Summer usually allows families to spend more time together. This is a great opportunity to read more with your kids to help keep their skills fresh. Children learn a lot when you read to them. Even if your child can read by himself, take turns reading to each other, and be sure to talk about what you are reading. Ask questions, answer questions and explore the ideas together.
2. Share the Experience. As kids get older, help them find books, magazines, or newspaper articles that they would enjoy reading. Take the time to read them too so you can discuss them. The point is to share the reading experience.
3. Ask Questions. Even if you are not reading the same books they are, talk to your children about what they are reading. Ask them questions such as what happened in the story or what might happen next, who is their favorite character, or who is the villain. This builds summarization and recall skills, and your interest helps increase their interest.
4. Designate a Reading Spot. Create a summer reading nook or spot in your home where your child can read. Make sure there is good light and comfortable seating and try to set aside one TV/video-game-free night per week for family reading. Reading night can be a special snack night, too. There is nothing better than reading with a big bowl of popcorn!
5. Use Resources. If your children’s school program provides materials for home activities over the summer, absolutely use them.
6. Find Reading Opportunities Everywhere. If you are taking a trip this summer, send for brochures and maps and have your children read them aloud with you.
7. Leverage Pop Culture. Don’t ignore the value of graphic novels or a popular series like the Twilight books or Harry Potter. These are great ways to encourage adolescents to read more.
8. Plan an Outcome Activity. Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading themselves, plan an outcome event or activity based on the reading. For instance, if the book has been made into a movie, watch the DVD together after reading the book. Book reading can lead to picnics, museum visits, ballgames or even family vacations.
9. Write Letters to Your Children. Writing to your kids is a great opportunity to remind them of experiences that they had when they were younger or to tell them about the lives of older people in the family, like their grandparents. Kids love getting letters and you can even encourage them to write back, helping them practice their writing skills.
10. Mix it up. Don’t just focus on storybooks. Kids often prefer to read about fact rather than fiction, including books and articles about the environment, animals, current events, sports, and other topics. Talk to them about what they like and help them find reading materials that match those interests.
Treasures is a research based, comprehensive Reading Language Arts program for grades K-6 that gives educators the resources they need to help all students succeed. High quality literature coupled with explicit instruction and ample practice ensures that students grow as life-long readers and writers.