Read To Your Kids During Summer

I am not a student and my son is only just “graduated” from Pre-K, but yesterday after his last day of school, I was singing “Schools Out for the Summer” and felt the sense of relief and freedom of a younger me.

I love the warm, light evenings, no socks and carefree moments of the summer.  But, I know it is essential to continue to educate my son so he is prepared for kindergarten in the fall.

He was given a book at school on his last day yesterday titled Do Unto Otters A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller.


This children’s book is a concise, fun way to teach kids about an important element at this age: manners.  It explains saying, “please,”  “thank you” and “excuse me.”  It also discusses why teasing is wrong and the importance of playing fair and being honest.

This brought up an interesting conversation about cheating and the exclusion of others. My son is intrigued by these concepts and even admitted that he had laughed at a classmate when he was crying.  I explained that was hurtful and he understood.

Math, reading and science are all necessary tools to have, but nothing can trump the importance of manners. This will help prevent bullying and increase the self-esteem of the next generation.

Enjoy the pool, ice cream and sleeping in.  Also, try committing an hour of your day to read to your kids. It will make a difference.


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  • Good for you, the two most important things reading and character building! The amount of time students spend in school is not enough, we need more great parents like you to do this on their own time!!


    Yes, audio books can be something else we can pull out of our bag of “tricks” to help our reluctant readers. But they're not tricks, really – just ways we want to help them discover the joy of reading that will hopefully last a lifetime.

    Here are a couple of ways to use audiobooks to get your sons and daughters interested in reading:

    Pair Books with Unabridged Audio Books: Look for both formats at your library or bookstore, then experiment and choose the best strategy that works for your child:
    Follow the book as the audio book plays. This helps with word recognition and awareness of phrasing; or
    Listen to a chapter, and then read it. This helps students understand main ideas before they are read, which can improve fluency; or
    Read a chapter and then listen to it to self-check for understanding.
    Create Their Own Books on Tape: Make your children the stars of their own audio books! Have them read into a tape recorder. During playback, help them follow along in the book and help identify errors. You can stop the tape and demonstrate correct words and phrases. Some research has indicated that as your children listen to themselves and hear their own reading growing better, their skills will likely improve. Reward children for the errors they find and correct as well as for their successes.

    ~ Lisa Riebe, author of the POnd Punkies series for reluctant readers

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