Keep Your Children Reading Over the Summer

readingWhat can you do to keep your children reading during summer vacation?

There are so many things to do during the summer other than reading. Yet, every child needs to keep up their reading skills. Family members can motivate children to read by using strategies that integrate reading into summer activities and events. Here are a few:

  • Before going to the beach, a park, visiting a historical site, a sporting event, or other activity make reading about the upcoming activity part of the planning, and then talk about the book and the activity over a snack, afterwards.
  • Check you library’s summer reading programs. Make attending these programs a summer activity, as well as stocking up on books to borrow.
  • Let your children see you reading regularly. Grab a magazine when you are in a waiting room. Bring a book to the beach.  Have a book on your night stand.
  • Talk to them about what you have learned and continue to learn from books.
  • Build reading time into your child’s  day, not as something to do when day is done and kids are too tired to do anything but zone out in front of the TV.
  • Much reading during the school year is required reading; make summer a time for fun reading on subjects of interest to your children

  • Give your children the opportunity to read a variety of materials, not just storybooks,  such as magazines, newsletters, and papers geared to their age and interests.
  • Road trips area great time for children to get in some reading
  • Encourage your children to join or start a  friends book club that can meet every two weeks to discuss a book they all read.

Reading during the summer will give your children a jump start when returning to school, not only with reading but with vocabulary and grammar!

 

 

 

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Writing with Wendy , a “Can Do” Feature

writingWriting with Wendy is an early childhood writing skills development resource.

Writing with Wendy offers parents and other family members, as well as teachers, suggestions and exercises for helping children 3-7 years develop pre-writing and writing skills that will make writing a comfortable activity, to be enjoyed, not avoided. Writing with Wendy is all about engaging children in writing activities and creating a foundation that children can build on when the need to write for school and for personal use.

Writing with Wendy is built on the premise that writing begins with storytelling. If you can tell a story, you can write a story. Since parents are the first story tellers, mostly through reading to their children, they have much to share with their children about storytelling and eventually writing .

The suggestions offered in Writing with Wendy give parents and other caregivers simple activities to do with their child(ren) that stimulate  storytelling skills. The activities focus on developing a child’s observational and descriptive skills both of which are important to good storytelling and writing.  Most of the activities give children opportunities for recognition and make them comfortable with sharing their storytelling and writing with others.

While there is a message for parents and teachers about the site and how to use it, there is also a message from Wendy for children visiting the site with their parents. Wendy is the “Can Do” Kid who likes to write. To her writing is fun. In her message she talks to the children visiting the site about writing and why it is important.

The site is divided into four sections:  Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. Each section includes suggestions for helping children develop storytelling skills and using  those skills for writing  stories. There are 3 activities in each section to jump start the process. Each week a new activity will be added to each section.

The 1st and 2nd grade sections also include an overview of what writing skills children will be expected to develop and use successfully in these early grades.

As Wendy puts it, “Just think of writing as storytelling on a page. Then writing will be interesting and fun!

To Access Writing with Wendy go to http://candostreet.com/writing_with_wendy/

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Summertime is Reading Time

readingThe lazy days of summer are a great time to keep the love of reading going in children. What follows is a list of books suitable for reading by children ages 4-8.

All the World

by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee

In an oceanside community, friends and family celebrate the smallest pleasures of the beach and life. A 2010 Caldecott Honor Book.

All in a Day

by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure

The author of the Henry and Mudge series captures the magic of a day in childhood that seemingly goes on forever.

Birds

By Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek

A young bird watcher is enthralled by the many colors, shapes, and sizes of her avian neighbors. Henkes is the author of the well-loved Lilly series.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?

By Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague

The ninth book in the zany How Do Dinosaurs… series, this book tells how, even when little dinosaurs mess up, there are many reasons why their parents still love them!

I Spy Fly Guy!

Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold

In Arnold’s hilarious series about a pet fly, Fly Guy is hauled away by mistake to the local dump and Buzz must find a way to save him. A 2010 Geisel Honor book.

The Lion and the Mouse

Written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Set on the African savannah, Pinkney beautifully illustrates the retelling of Aesop’s fable of the lion and the mouse. 2010 Caldecott Medal winner.

Little Mouse Gets Ready

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith

Little Mouse is learning to put on his own clothes and is ready for adventure. Young children will love how Little Mouse’s challenges mirror their own. A 2010 Geisel Honor Book.

My Abuelita

By Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

An eccentric and flamboyant grandmother shares the stories of her life with her young grandson. A 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor book.

Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors

By Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

A woman and her dog enjoy the changing seasons in a series of colorful poems and illustrations. A 2010 Caldecott Honor Book.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Written and illustrated by Grace Lin

Minli, a Chinese girl, lives in a poor village. When she buys a magic goldfish and joins a dragon that cannot fly, she embarks on an adventurous quest to find the Old Man of the Moon. A 2010 Newbery Honor book.

Source: http://www.schoolfamily.com

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Fun Ways to Keep Children Engaged This Summer

The following post is from Iris Yuan, an Education Consultant at Tutorspree.com, a marketplace for high-quality tutors across the country. Tutors at Tutorspree.com are highly-educated, experienced people who love what they’re doing. For more information, follow @Tutorspree on Twitter or e-mail iris@tutorspree.com. 

Helping children have fun does not mean they can’t be engaged, participating, and learning about the world around them. Below, we share tips and quotes from experienced tutors who’ve worked with children over the summer.

Juliette, a Spanish tutor in New York, says cooking is a great way to both learn and have fun. “Stash your children in the kitchen. Make up some at home cooking projects. There are many cookbooks out there that have recipes appropriate for children to help with and suited to their tastes as well.

Not only does cooking teach a life-long skill, it teaches children how to follow directions, be patient, organized, and clean up after themselves. It also makes children feel great to see that they can create something delicious! Furthermore, if children ever express being dissatisfied with the meals you prepare them, you can remind them about all that goes into creating a meal for a family. In order to make this type of project into a full day’s activity, first let your children make a list of necessary ingredients for the chosen recipe, then go to the market together with the children, and have them help you collect the groceries. This may even be a good opportunity to teach about prices and how to select what’s best.”

Another tip to getting young children interested in learning is to take library and museum trips together.

children

Many museums have kid-friendly areas with interactive activities. Your child may naturally be drawn to a certain area or subject, which you can build on later in the summer. Meanwhile, most libraries hold story times that are age-appropriate. When you’re at the library, be sure to show interest in the books yourself. Find a corner for quiet reading time and read to them, but also read to yourself, so that your child can learn by example.

Suzie, an experienced English tutor on the East Coast, tells us that “reading is easy. It’s portable. And maybe best of all, it’s subtle, sneaky learning. You learn while you aren’t even aware of it. Not only can it be a diversion on the beach, an alternative to “Boring! Not that again!?” TV, or a mental vacation on a hot afternoon, but reading also exposes new vocabulary, offers a variety of sentence structures, and painlessly proffers a proliferation of punctuation. All this without tests, worksheets, or quizzes.”

Finally, if learning school-related material is what you’re looking for, try in-home tutoring and teach some material yourself (but keep it fun!).

Aaron, a past Teach for America corps member, has been teaching for over ten years. He suggests that a great way to help children learn better is by using “positive sandwiches” when giving criticism. This means giving praise first before mentioning areas of improvement, and following up with another positive comment. “When feedback is ‘sandwiched’ between positive comments, problematic reactions are less likely,” says Aaron. “Learning doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. I also use funky colored pens or paper, stickers, jokes, and laughter in my lessons.”

Summertime alternatives to TV and video games are vast and many. Taking children out on trips, such as those mentioned above, and livening up the household with cooking and reading are just some of the ways to keep the summer brain drain at bay.

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Make Reading Fun This Summer

reading Today’s post is by Sarah Fudin who works in community relations for the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s online master’s programs. USC Rossier Online provides current and aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn an Online Masters in Education and become a teacher.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt. You can reach Sarah via Twitter: @USCTeacher<https://twitter.com/#!/USCTeacher>

Reading is one of the most central aspects of your child’s educational development, especially during his or her early years.

Children from three to seven are curious about the world, eager to learn and excited about new discoveries. It is during these years that parents can instill a love for reading in children that will last a lifetime. It is the desire to learn through books and expand upon what they learn in the classroom, motivating learning from school through college, career and even adulthood.

While many children have a natural curiosity, they do not always take an interest in books. Some children may not like to read; they can be daunted by its technical aspects, the newness of words or an assumed monotony of sitting still with a book.

Children need to be stimulated, and you should look for ways to create an interactive reading experience.

This is especially important during the summer months, when children are not in school but should continue practicing the skills they’ve learned while building their foundation of knowledge. To help your children stay engaged with their books, stories and text, try some of these activities in connection with their summer reading list:

Take a Trip
You don’t need a teacher to plan a field trip. During the summer, taking your child on educational excursions can be a fun and creative way to get them excited about reading. With children’s books, it is easy to plan a trip centered on themes found in the narrative. If they are reading a book about animals, take them to the zoo to see these animals face to face. If you are reading a book about the solar system, take them to the planetarium. So many educational books deal with things that are ideally suited for fun trips to museums, national landmarks, aquariums, botanical gardens, national parks and natural attractions, that the opportunities are endless.

Create a Project
Children love arts and crafts, and encouraging creativity is an excellent way to stimulate your child’s interest in reading. Regardless of what your child is reading, you can create a project that ties the book with an artistic project. You can help your children build a model solar system or have them draw pictures of their favorite characters. Write a brief script for a puppet show that enacts a scene from a book, and have your child create the puppets and act out the scene. Science books often also provide at-home science experiments that are fun and educational.

Start a Book Club
Book Clubs might not be the first thing you think of when getting your three to seven year-olds excited about reading, but involving their friends is an excellent way to not only keep them interested, but to reinforce this interest through teamwork and group activities. You and other parents can coordinate play dates for your children to come together and read with one another, work on book-themed projects and even go on trips. Over the summer months, children don’t have daily interaction with their friends as they would during the school year, so this becomes a fun and educational way to keep your child socializing and learning.

Make Reading Rewarding
Rewarding children for reading is not about coaxing them into reading as much as it is about making them feel proud of their accomplishments. For young children, just finishing an entire book is a big deal! Reading is a skill that they should feel proud of, and one way to make them excited about it is to reward them. If your child is at the point where he or she can read an entire book without your help then make it a celebration. Take your child out for a special day trip or a treat of ice cream. Even simple verbal encouragement, like saying how proud you are, can go a long way.

Tie It in with Television
Incorporating television into reading is a strange idea, but it’s actually an innovative way to encourage your children to read. So many children’s television shows have books that tie into them, and you can tell if your child is going to like a series of book by seeing how he or she reacts to the television programs. If he or she likes The Magic School Bus or Dora the Explorer, then you can encourage him or her to read the books. When children are already familiar with the material, they’ll be excited to explore new aspects of their favorite characters or stories. You can also encourage them to watch a new show to see if they’d be interested in reading the books.

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