Like many parents, you may have just attended an end-of-the-year conference with your child’s teacher. If you did, your child’s teacher probably recommended that she read over the summer from a list of required or recommended books.

  • Create a reading plan with your child. Using a calendar, help your child make a schedule for summer reading. Helping your child plan ahead and stick to the schedule will help him avoid leaving his reading until the last few days of summer.
  • Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family’s schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon, or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it, but also remember that flexibility around trips and special family events is OK.
  • Alternate required reading with your child’s own choices. Your child will be more motivated to read when she has the opportunity to select some of her own reading.
  • Read books together and discuss them. You can read aloud together by taking turns by page, or you can get two copies of the book and each read silently. In either case, tell your child what you are thinking as you read and ask your child questions about what he reads. By reading together, you help your child to understand what he reads and motivate him to read by demonstrating that you enjoy sharing ideas about books.
  • Find audio books if your child is struggling. By listening to books on tape and discussing them with you, your child will learn new vocabulary and information. If audio books are not feasible, read required books aloud to your child and discuss them together. At the same time, help your child to find books at a comfortable level so she gets practice reading herself.

Some children welcome the idea of reading books from a summer reading list. For others, particularly weak or reluctant readers, school reading lists can seem like a chore. Try some of these tips to make sure your child’s required summer reading goes smoothly.

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