How to Help Your Child With Summer Reading

Learning doesn't begin in Kindergarten; it begins from the time your child is born. And as your child's first and most important teacher, you lay the foundation in reading early on to help your children later in life.

It's never too early to start, and experts recommend reading to your children every day. There is no better time to start making reading a part of your family's everyday routine than in the summer.

Here are some Parent Power! ideas to help encourage reading this Summer!

Keep reading fun! Nagging your children to read will make them feel as if it's a chore.

Ask questions about what they are reading. Showing an interest in their interests will build confidence, but be sure not to let on that you are "testing" them. In return, offer up an interesting snippet of something you read in the newspaper or reference your own recreational reading.

By all means, never reject a request to go to the library! Encourage it and while you are at it, show your kids by example how even adults enjoy reading by picking out a book or two for yourself.

If in your child's summer reading you see signs of trouble, it may be time to find out how reading is being taught at school. Is the program phonics-based or fuzzy?

Just like the approach to reading, if you keep the television viewing to a minimum at an early age, you'll find it easier to keep it to a minimum as your children get older. Making reading a part of your family culture will help ensure that battles over television and video games do not ensue.

This summer, pick up a magazine or book in a library or a bookstore and make reading a priority in your home and be sure to keep it fun. Doing so will benefit your children's education like nothing else and your child's reading skills will take off in the classroom this fall. It's worth the effort, as the rewards will last a lifetime.

Great Reading Resources for Parents:


Cobblestone's magazines are particularly inviting and well suited for reluctant readers. They offer a variety of content, including fiction, poetry, news stories, as well as hand-on ideas for crafts, experiments and puzzles that really connect with kids because they are designed to fit specific age groups.


The Core Knowledge Sequence is a guide to a strong K-8 curriculum, developed by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. It is widely used at home and in schools all across America. The foundation publishes a series of books, What Your Kindergartner-Sixth Grader Should Know, based on the idea that each child should build upon the knowledge they gain from year to year.


The Great Books Foundation offers parents and children suggested reading lists and discussion forums. Check out the K-12 reading lists to get some great ideas for your children.

The Center for Education Reform has been providing Parent Power!, a program aimed at helping parents make sense of schooling since 1999. Visit for more ideas.

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