What are the benefits of keeping our children reading and learning throughout the summer?
We all want to see our children grow as learners. Reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from losing ground over the summer. Imagine how children could actually grow their vocabulary and reading ability if they read or are read to every day during the summer. Scholastic for Parents has three easy tips to remember.
Read AT LEAST six books over the summer. Better yet…
Read SOMETHING every day
Keep reading aloud to your child...including preteens and teens.
Scholastic also has some great ideas for activities to help students stay active and reading throughout the summer.
Newsela builds nonfiction literacy and awareness of world events by providing access to hundreds of leveled news articles and quizzes, with new articles every day.
ReadWriteThink is a website filled with ideas for teachers and parents. One great example for parents of K-2 students is a project called, Watching a Garden Grow. Plans for this ongoing project are free and easy to follow. To add to that project, check out Kids Gardening . ReadWriteThink also provides resources for families by grade level.
Who likes a scavenger hunt? Check out Geocaching 101: Family fun for All for ideas.
Literacy in Science site has numerous resources and links to help find the “just right” summer science adventure. Included are recommended books, activities, and practical STEM project ideas.
RazKids - Contact your child’s teacher before the end of the school year for access.
Reading IQ - Free for Educators, Subscription for Home Use
Epic Books - Free for Educators - Summer Special for Families - Three months for $3 for new subscribers
Cooking and Baking are a Great Opportunity for Learning! Cooking involves not only reading, math and science. It can even be taken to another level with writing when your child becomes a “food critic” and reviews the recipes that are made.
Recipes to Make With Your Child
STEM at Home Science, technology, engineering, and math are all around us in our home. This site provides practical tips to enhance everyday repair jobs as well as engaging projects and activities.
Camp Invention at Cedar Heights a week long STEM day camp focusing on creative problem solving, entrepreneurship, teamwork, and Innovation. June 19-23.
Math Learning in the Summer
So often when we think about math, we think about worksheets. Learning and growing as a mathematician is more about practical uses of math concepts. For example, doubling a recipe provides real and practical application of the concept of fractions, measurement, addition, and multiplication to name a few.
PBS Parents has information about learning math in the summer
Calculation Nation was created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Imagination Soup hosts a blogger who shares a number of free resources and ideas to incorporate math throughout the summer.
Literacy Tips for Early Readers
Point out print in the child's environment: on cereal boxes, food labels, toys, restaurants, and traffic signs.
Sing songs, say short poems or nursery rhymes, and play rhyming words games with your child.
Tell stories to your child.
Read aloud to your child. Point to the words on the page as you read.
Read a short passage several times to your child until your child can read it with you. Then encourage your child to read the passage to you.
Encourage older children to read with younger children.
Encourage your child to read (or pretend read) to you. Make this reading enjoyable. Don't worry if your child does not read all of the words correctly but, rather, applaud your child's efforts to read.
Go to the library together.
Have books, magazines, and newspapers around the house. Let your child see you reading.
Encourage your child to write messages such as grocery lists, to-do lists, postcards, or short messages to family members or friends. Don't worry about conventional spelling at this point but, rather, encourage your child's first efforts at authorship.
When watching television, have the captioning feature enabled so that the children view the words while hearing them performed aloud.
Literacy Tips for More Advanced Readers
Talk to your child about what he or she is reading. Ask open-ended questions such as "What do you think about that story?" "What would you have done if you were that character?"
Make reading and writing a regular part of your daily home activities. Let your child see you using reading and writing for real purposes.
Visit the public library. Help your child to get his or her own library card.
Read to your child regularly, even after your child is able to read some books independently.
Listen to your child read. Use strategies to help your child with tricky words. For example, when your child comes to an unfamiliar word, you might say, "Skip it and read to the end of the sentence. Now try again – what makes sense and looks like the word that you see?"
Praise your child's efforts at reading.
Play word games such as thinking of different words to describe the same things.
Support your child's writing. Have writing materials such as paper, markers, and pencils available. Read what your child writes.
Set reasonable limits for television viewing.
Adapted from Mraz, Padak, & Baycich (2002).
Barnes and Noble
Students earn a free book by reading and filling out the reading journal online. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! Journals can be acquired at B&N Store, or printed online.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
Students can work to set a world record of reading minutes by logging their minutes on the Scholastic website (registration required). The website has a lot of different activities, plus bonus short stories by favorite authors that can be unlocked by participating in different activities.
Waterloo Bucks Summer Reading Program
Students will get a scorecard at the school. For every 25 minutes they read, a parent/guardian initials a ball on the scorecard. For every 10 baseballs initialed, students earn prizes from the Bucks. Students who participate will earn a free ticket to their reader recognition night game.
Cedar Falls Public Library
This challenge is for all ages (adults included!). Read 600 minutes, complete 6 out of 8 weekly challenges, and you qualify to win great prizes. Also, students can earn a free book for 3 weekly visits to the library. After earning one free book, 3 more visits earn another free book. Also, the library is having a contest and awarding a trophy to the school with the largest participation in the summer reading program.
Chuck E. Cheese Reading Reward Calendar
Students can keep track of their reading for two weeks. If they read every day and fill out the calendar, they can earn 10 free tokens to Chuck E. Cheese.