Parent Tips!


Make Reading a Way to Connect

Some children respond better when they know other children are going to read and respond to a book, which is why book discussion groups are great. I also think parents should be required to read what their children read at all ages so they can really connect with their child and be able to answer questions and instigate discussion. This is one of the reasons parent/child book groups are so great.

We also regularly hold online chats with authors of books on our summer reading list, which kids can join from anywhere they can get online. Kids get really excited to ask the authors questions and just talk to a 'real live' writer. We have a regular chat-room just for children to talk about the books that they've read, which is catching on.



Full of Summer Reading Fun
Visit your local public library because there is so much going on and the enthusiasm of the librarians is infectious. So many libraries do wonderful summer reading programs for all ages. We actually have a program called "Teens & Tots" where older kids read to younger kids — it's great to make that connection between kids and both generations really enjoy it. We also hold a lot of activities at night like story hours so parents can come after work with their children — and we encourage parents to volunteer, which really shows the kids that reading is important to adults as well.

Research shows that if kids continue to read during the summer they don't lose any of the skills, so we try to find ways to motivate kids like having them keep reading logs and giving rewards and prizes. We also hold "Book Bingo" and replace the numbers on the board with book titles and library vocabulary. The kids get really excited to win the books we use as prizes — it's so great to hear a kid yelling, "Yes! Yes! I just need Dewey decimal!"

Show Children That Reading is Important to You
Model, model, model. It cannot be emphasized enough that children who observe their parents reading become readers themselves. Make sure there is plenty of reading materials scattered throughout the house — not just novels, but magazines and newspapers as well. Make reading a family activity. When everyone gathers together at the end of a busy summer day, read a book aloud. It's a great way to unwind. A picture book is a fine choice, but reading a book that will last several weeks or more extends the pleasure and exciteme nt.

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Terre Haute, IN  47803