the most important summer activity

At the end of every school year, parents ask teachers what they can do to reinforce their children’s reading skills during summer vacation. The answer: Read! Read to your children and have them read to you. Incorporate reading into whatever you do to have fun. Take a bag of books along in the car when you run errands or go on trips.

Reading is the foundation upon which all other learning takes place. As you read a story to your children, you not only demonstrate the pleasures of imagining another time and place, you also teach them vocabulary, comprehension and thinking skills-without formal lessons.

Your example is more powerful that you sometimes realize; children want to be like their parents. If you show pleasure in reading books, magazines and newspapers, your children learn that reading is worthwhile and enjoyable.
Source: Teaching PreK-8 magazine

“If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent-and every adult caring for a child-read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.”
Mem Fox, Reading Magic

Each year thousands of children, young adults and teachers vote for favorite new books. The lists are published by the International Reading Association, and help children find books they will enjoy. Log on to and click Choices Booklist or Literacy Links to view these lists. They also include a brief synopsis of each book.

I can’t stress the importance of reading with your children any more than the words you’ve just read! When you read with your children, discuss the book with them afterwards. Talk about the pictures and the text and relate it to your very own life experiences. Read stories over and over. Repetition is important to young children. Rereading familiar text is also important to older children, as well. It will help build their fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. When a book becomes too easy for your child, challenge them to try something that’s a little more difficult next time. Try different kinds of reading with your child. Try partner reading-you read a page and I read a page, you read a line and I read a line. Model reading with expression and your child will likely imitate. Most importantly have fun and enjoy reading!
- Peggy Hoekenga