10 Summer Reading Tips

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.


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  1. amanda

    It’s best to make them think it’s their idea to read the book in the first place!

  2. Heather S

    The whole family has a reading time in the evening where I’ll make everyone something warm to drink and Dad, I + the kiddos cuddle in the living room + all read our books. It make it fun for everyone that way!

  3. Janet F

    To encourage children to read spend time with them browsing books at the library. Show them that you are interested and look for fun and interesting books together.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Janet F

    Email subscribed.

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  5. Janet F

    I follow your blog – janetfaye

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  6. judy brittle

    We try to make it fun. The kids select their own books and we snuggle on the couch to read. Than when they complete their books we fill out the Chuck E. Cheese certificates for reading for some free tokens. Thank you!

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    I’m a subscriber.

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    I’m a follower.

  9. Heidi

    I read to my child to encourage him to read 🙂 He reads on his own now (even though it is just nonsensical noises while he is turning pages).

  10. I have found that the best way to get my son to read is to read with him, either outloud, or just to set down together and read our own books sitting by each other. It makes him enjoy reading more because we are spending time together, and it gives me time to read every day as well.

  11. Betty

    It took me awhile, but I learned kids are just as unique about reading as everything else. My son loved Dr Seuss at a very early age and loved being read to. His sister just wasn’t interested in reading until she was over 3. Even then her interest was limited. She needed active reading, where she was engaged in finding or figuring something out rather then just passive listening.
    They both enjoyed the reading activities at the local library summer program.

  12. Betty

    google RSS subscriber

  13. my best tip is to keep books all around the house. if the kids see you read a lot it will encourage them too as well.

  14. I like to play role the story with my son and it makes him giggle. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I meant to say role play, sorry.

  16. Cat

    My favorite tip is to write letters to your kids, that’s a really special way to encourage reading.

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  20. I read to my kids before bedtime and naptime hoping they learn to love reading.

  21. Jo

    My fave tip for encouraging my kids to read is by having them join the reading club at our local library for the summer

  22. Christine W

    I encourage him by letting him pick out books and making reading time fun with funny voices. Thanks for the chance!

  23. Christine W

    I am an email subscriber. Thanks!

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    I am a follower. Thanks!

  25. Carolsue

    I try to encourage my children to read by reading to them and letting them see that I read a lot. I also take them to the library and let them choose their own books.

  26. Carolsue

    I follow you on Blogger

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    Faved on Technorati! cezovski

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    I subscribe via e-mail

  31. My way has always been to take them to the library and let them get hands on with the books. My oldest was 12 when she FINALLY decided to love to read. It was like someone flipped a switch and all of the sudden the girl ALWAYS had a book in her hand. I used to have to force her to bring home a book at all, and she would just do it to appease me. She picked up a book one day – Harry Potter, of all things, and she’s never stopped reading since.

  32. During the summer months, I will have my children to pick a book or books of their choice and have reading time. (30 mins. to hour)

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  36. amy

    My reading tip is to make it fun for kids to read/learn to read. Let them choose the book to read and give them a small treat or prize for reading X amount of books a week. That way it teaches them about setting goals and getting a reward for reaching those goals.

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  42. This summer, I’m encouraging my sons to read by making it a part of the daily routine. They then write down the books they’ve read, and when we get to a certain amount of books read, we’re going to have a special treat!

  43. Be animated when you read. Have an interest in your voice

  44. Jenny Martin

    Going to the library to get new books is what makes us read more!

  45. My kids read during the summer to enter the contests at the library. That is about the only way I get them to read. My little darlings, lol

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  47. JOdi

    All our children’s books are in the living room on my bookshelves as opposed to my son’s room. So it’s easy when he says “I’m bored”, “What’s on TV?”, etc. to say “Let’s read a book” because they’re right there.

  48. Janet C

    I like to change my voice for each character when reading to my daughters. Thanks.

    gahome2mom at gmail dot com

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    following on Google
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  50. Mom

    My husband reads stories to our girls every night. I love the Leap Frog reading movies and Word World for reinforcing phonics and how letters are used to build words.

    I think it is also important to let your children see you reading if you want them to develop a love of reading.

  51. Beth

    I encourage my daughter to read by setting a good example. She sees me reading, and she sees me shopping for books and looking for books in the library.

  52. Donna L

    We have reading time every night

  53. Donna L

    We have reading time every night

  54. Jess

    I encourage my kids to read by making it a ritual, every night after bath time we’ll snuggle in bed together with their stuffed animals and they can each pick out a story, it’s something they both really look forward to

  55. bridget

    Whenever my daughter starts to get cranky and tired, we sit down and read a few books. Her mood always improves.

  56. Chris G.

    I read chapter books to my (older) daughter. One chapter per day. It’s never too late to read with your child. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    I left a comment on the felt stories post. (Entry #1)

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  67. Since they were old enough to read themselves, I always set by example… I always had something to read myself. They always saw me reading a book, when in bed, sitting on the couch, outside, on vacation, etc.

    Thanks for the chance to win this amazing giveaway!

  68. Anne J

    My favorite way to encourage reading is to visit the library often. The more books the kids have to choose from the more likely they are to read.

  69. Jill

    My favorite tip is to write letters to your children.

  70. sandra

    we try to read to the boys every night

  71. Shelly

    We go to the library often

  72. We love to read books with our kids dailyr

  73. tina reynolds

    i encourage them i also read to them and make a big deal of going to the book store and picking out a new book thanks eaglesforjack@gmail.com

  74. tina reynolds

    i follow via google friends connect

  75. I used to encouraged my children (teens now) to read by allowing 30 minutes a day of quiet time, reading a book of their choice! 🙂

  76. kathy pease

    i have my son read at least a half hour a day before outdoor play or video games

  77. kathy pease

    following your blog klp1965
    kathy pease

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