For our returning students, a summer reading assignment was mailed home today. Please be on the lookout for it. Click here for the Accelerated Reader list, a source for summer reading. See below for a summer reading list for parents.
Academic skills often regress during summer due to lack of use. Keep those skills alive by trying some of the following. There are 12 in each category for the 12 weeks of summer.
1. Choose a book to read as a family. Spend evenings reading from the book aloud. Kids can “rehearse read” ahead to practice reading with expression. (Learning to read with expression increases comprehension.) Discuss lessons to be learned from the story and actions of characters.
2. Spend time at the city library. (Does your child have his own library card?) Encourage research into interesting topics or current affairs.
3. Read current events in the newspaper. Write letters to the editor expressing opinions.
4. Schedule at least 20 minutes each day for your child to read.
5. Schedule “family reading time” when everyone reads something of their choice for a specified time.
6. Log onto dictionary.com and sign up for “Word of the Day.” Work the words into family conversation. Or, do “Point and Shoot.” Using a dictionary, open to any page and point to a word as the word of the day.
7. Keep a summer diary or journal.
8. Write poetry. (That means you too, Mom and Dad). Share with each other. Decorate poems and bind. Read to each other.
9. Write music and lyrics. Sing.
10. Make up and tell stories around a backyard fire.
11. Have meaningful conversations.
12. Write to favorite authors or favorite musicians (if alive.)
1. Have kids calculate mileage, travel times, mph, and gas costs for driving vacations.
2. Get out a map and practice map skills and mileage calculations.
3. Keep a budget for food costs on vacations.
4. Estimate water use and costs for pools and landscaping.
5. Cook! Recipes are math that you can eat. Make up recipes.
6. Keep track of grocery costs. (Scary!)
7. Read current event articles in the newspaper and discuss the ratios and percents listed. Draw bar and circle graph using the numbers.
8. Introduce kids to the stock market. Use the newspaper or internet to follow rise and fall of stock values.
9. Amusement parks are great for practicing math and learning about PHYSICS. Figure cost per ride, food, souvenirs. Research the physics involved in their favorite rides.
10. Compare costs at different favorite restaurants.
11. Baseball is full of math. Batting averages are ratios. Follow your favorite teams and players comparing all the runs, hits, errors, ratios.
12. Learn about weather patterns and chart highs and lows and daily temperatures in favorite cities.
(Extended use of these do not train the brain to think critically, problem solve, set goals, or find novelty in situations. These skills are extremely important for school success in all disciplines.)
1. Make the world a better place. Volunteer for a non profit. Help out a neighbor. (Feeling connected to the larger world builds self-esteem.)
2. Author and illustrate, by hand or on computer, storybooks for young children. Donate to Storyteller School for Homeless Children.
3. Do any kind of art. Then do more of it. (Tie dye, sew, knit, crochet, mosaics, Photoshop, photography, pen and ink, paint, color, etc.
4. Schedule weekly game night for family favorites like Monopoly, Yatzee, Scrabble, etc.
5. Plant a garden. Work in the yard.
6. Do a hard puzzle as a family.
7. Drama Night! Have kids (and their friends) act out their favorite scenes from a book they are reading or a movie. (Make costumes, write scripts, work on characterization.) Video it!
8. Keep a summer photo album. Write descriptions for photos.
9. Interview family members for family history information.
10. Write letters (yes, snail mail) to friends and family. Be creative.
11. Go out and play.
Looking for good books on children and parenting? Try these books recommended by Pam, our Learning Specialist, for ALL parents:
The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Edward Hallowell, M.D. Outlines a five-step plan that all parents can use to give their children the gift of happiness that will last a lifetime and shows how the steps work together to foster trust, respect, and joy.
The Nurture Assumptions by Judith Rich Harris. Puts a dent in the idea that parents alone determine the fate of their children and shows what great influence the peer group exerts.
Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, and Real Boys by William Pollack. New approach on raising boys and challenges the old stereotypes in the process.
Raising Resilient Children by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein. Gives practical, research-based advice on how to instill the qualities of hope, optimism, and confidence that translate into resilience. (Especially good for parents with children facing some sort of adversity.)
The Hurried Child by David Elkind, Hyper-Parenting by Alvin Rosenfeld, and Ready or Not by Kay Hymowitz. These books call to task our society’s emphasis on speed, achievement, and “enrichment” at the expense of having a playful, adventurous childhood.
The Irreducible Needs of Children by T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley Greenspan. Delineates as specifically as possible what children need to grow, learn, and flourish.
HIGHS! Over 150 Ways to Feel Really, REALLY, Good... Without Alcohol or Other Drugs by Alex. J. Packer. This book is funny and honest and written in a style that teens enjoy.
The 7 Best Things Smart Teens Do. John C. Friel, Ph.D. Show teens the seven things they need to do in order to overcome common roadblocks they face or will face and how they can change behaviors and assure their success in life as they grow towards adulthood.
The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids by Barbara Strauch. The growing pains of adolescence are primarily psychological. Strauch highlights the physical nature of the transformation using latest scientific discoveries.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. Applies the 7 principles to teens and provides a step-by-step guide to help teens improve self-image, build relationships, and much more.
The 7 Worst Things Good Parents Do by John C. Friel, Ph.D. A positive, rational approach to parenting that is kind to parents and an excellent learning experience. It examines the seven most ineffective and self-defeating behaviors that parents display working from the idea that even small changes can have big results.
The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children by Jim Steyer and Chelsea Clinton. Offers an in-depth look at the effects of TV, video games, and the Internet on today's kids. Also discusses the consequences of exposure to sex, coarseness, violence, and commercialism long before children are ready to understand them and offers real-world solutions that encourage a more active parental and citizen role.
Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher. Pipher theorizes that today's teenaged girls are coming of age in "a girl-poisoning culture”. She offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self.
To easily find other books on similar topics:
- Go to Amazon.com
- Enter one of these titles
- Scroll down to “Customers who bought this item also bought”. More books on the same topic will be listed.
- Scroll to “Editorial Reviews” to read reviews of the book.