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Summer Reading

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

It is time again for schools to give out summer reading lists. These should be available in hard copy or may be available online as well. The State of Connecticut issues a reading challenge each year to educate students and parents on the importance of incorporating reading in their every day life and family routine.

Many schools require students to complete a summer reading packet that consists of a list of books to choose from and several short writing assignments where students are not only asked to summarize, but also to give some meaningful thoughts on the book.

Speaking as a parent, reading is an important skill to encourage in your child. Parents should be reading with their children at home from birth, or even during pregnancy. A baby and toddler's brain is like a sponge. It is rapidly growing in these early years and is taking in everything from their environment that is offered to them.

When our first son was born, I felt a little silly at first reading to him when he was so tiny, but I am glad that I did. As he has grown, reading has become a routine part of our day–usually as way to wind down before naps and bedtime. He has his own bookshelves in his room and the living room full of books. In fact, I love that now, as he is turning two, he will often bring a book to bed with him and “read” as he falls asleep. Early intervention reading is crucial to a child's development and later academic success.

As a reading teacher, I encourage all my parents to be actively involved in their child's reading. Speaking from the middle school and high school perspective, there has been a surge in young adult literature from many writers. The young adult audience has a variety of genres and topics and books to fit all interests.

Parenting Pointers

  • Use the local . There are many amazing activities from to teenage and adult book clubs.

  • Read every day–anything from books to magazines, newspapers, letters etc.

  • Talk about what you are reading and why you are enjoying it or if you decided that a book was not for you, you can talk about that too!

  • Make sure you ask about summer reading materials! If you do not see anything come home with your student, be sure to contact their teacher!

Reading is a skill that branches out to all classes, activities and professions. This is because reading is a gateway skill that opens the mind to many other vital processes.

Reading helps the brain to determine significance in other stimulation that invade us each day. It also helps build vocabulary and language skills that are important for verbal and written communication. Reading also supports our mind in thinking clearly and creatively. By choosing books to read, children are teaching themselves discipline and concentration and patience.

Parent's Homework

Build an at-home library.

You can often find discount books at tag sales or subscribe to newspapers or magazines. You could even join a book club that sends you books for a certain price each month. If you still do not have a library card, get to the to get one–it's free and easy!

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