Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Reading is like playing an instrument: Without practice, you’ll get rusty.
Each summer, when my husband was a young boy in elementary school, my mother-in-law, Mimi, would find age appropriate books that would interest him. She would sit him down and read the first chapter aloud. Mimi would then hand him the book and say “I think you are really going to like how this ends.” He was hooked!
Here are 3 fun and simple activities to encourage your young child to read all summer long, and keep his reading skills sharp while getting him “hooked” on books.
1. Have a reading day at the beach or pool. For every half hour in the water, take a 10 minute “reading break” in the shade of an umbrella or a tree.
2. Start a neighborhood “Parent/Child Book Club.” Keep it small. Start with two or three of your child’s friends and one of their parents. Take turns hosting. The host family chooses the book for the meeting. Your child can read the book by himself, or you can read it to him. The host family should also list 5 questions to get the book discussion started. For example: “What did you like best about the story?” Or, “Where did this story take place?” Group book discussions are a great way to help your child see different points of view, while having fun with her friends.
3. Enroll your child in a summer reading program at your local public library. Most libraries have summer programs that help your child earn rewards for reading during the summer. Some libraries even offer discounts to local attractions that the whole family can enjoy.
Relaxed summer reading is the perfect way to get your child “hooked on books!”
Editor's note: Check out these these related articles on summer reading: