May 30, 2013
An important part of learning to read is reading out loud. During the summer months, students have some extra time to practice reading, and parents can easily become involved in the read-out-loud process. A fun book to get kids involved in reading aloud is Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman. This book features children’s favorite fairy-tale characters, such as the Three Bears, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding in very short tellings with a twist. Each story is told in "two voices" and uses traditional reading techniques—alliteration, rhyme, repetition, and short sentences—to invite young children to read along with an adult.
If you have an older child listening to that child read, one of Dan Gutman’s My Weird School Daze books can be fun. For example, in Ms. LaGrange Is Strange!, the new lunch lady talks funny—and why is she writing secret messages in the mashed potatoes? Reading this book together will help find the answer. Perhaps this is the summer to read a Mark Twain award book together. In Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor, twelve-year-old Raine O-Rourke explores a mysterious mansion while her mother works there. This book has mysteries, secrets, and a cast of unforgettable characters. When my daughter was in sixth grade, we took turns reading a chapter of a Mark Twain book. We enjoyed it so much that it became a nighttime ritual for many months.
Even reading classics together or a book like Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton can be enjoyable. Many children don’t outgrow the joy of having a book read to them and will look forward to sitting down and listening to one more chapter of a book. Reading out loud together can bring joy to both parents and children. Use this summer to begin a tradition of togetherness that can carry through to the school year and beyond.
Jean Ann G.
Lone Jack Branch