Keep literacy and parenting skills going strong over the summer
Summer is a great time for everyone to do some reading—both parents and kids!
- Ten tips for summer reading fun—with creative ideas and a list of books for reluctant readers.
- Ten ways to keep your child reading this summer
- This summer, head to the library for more than just reading!
- Reading together is a great way to jump-start your child’s interest in books. Check out Buckaroo Bunny’s tips for reading books with children. These tips are geared toward caregivers reading to a group of kids in a child care setting, but are just as helpful for a parent reading to one child.
- Why not help your child start a journal this summer? Here’s how: Reading skills and journal-keeping for young children, around kindergarten age.
- On the road this summer? Try this: Traveling light: family language fun to go. This 90-page booklet has great ideas for family language activities for all the kids in the family, from babies through teens!
- Summer literacy resources from PBS.
- For more about reading, literacy and kids, see YourChild: Reading and Your Child.
Now, what do parents have on their summer reading lists? These parenting books are classics that every parent can learn from, and that warrant a second read if it’s been a while. And what better time to practice your well-honed parenting skills than when the kids are around more! You may want to bring your novel to the beach or pool, but keep one of these parenting books on your nightstand this summer:
Here are our top picks for excellent parenting books:
- How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. A great book for parents of kids about age 3 and up, that every parent should read to improve communication and family harmony. If you only read one parenting book in your lifetime, make it this one!
- Parent Talk: How to Talk to your Children in Language that Builds Self Esteem and Encourages Responsibility, by Chick Moorman. Learn the words to end power struggles and communicate calmly what you really want to say. Helps parents of kids age 3 and up develop better communication skills.
- Without Spanking or Spoiling : A Practical Approach to Toddler and Preschool Guidance, by Elizabeth Crary. This approach to guidance and discipline allows parents to choose tools that fit best with their child's temperament and their family's values. Explains what kinds of behavior to expect at different ages, what discipline strategies are likely to encourage the desired behavior in children, and what behaviors can safely be ignored.
- 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, by Thomas W. Phelan. Learn to teach your kids good behavior without yelling—by using counting and time-outs, and keeping the emotion out of your discipline technique. The book is filled with common-sense, concrete examples, and lots of reassuring humor. It covers homework, active listening, self-esteem, public behavior, and more.
- Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. Support and proven strategies for frustrated parents of “difficult” or “strong-willed” kids.
- Siblings Without Rivalry, by Faber and Mazlish. Do your kids bug each other more over the summer when there’s more time together? This is the best book on how to handle sibling relationships, and family dynamics.
- Raising a Thinking Child: Help Your Young Child to Resolve Everyday Conflicts and Get Along With Others: The ‘I Can Problem Solve’ Program and Raising a Thinking Pre-teen: the 'I Can Problem Solve Program for 8- to 12-Year-Olds, by Myrna B. Shure. Help your child or pre-teen learn to resolve conflicts and get along with others.
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason, by Alfie Kohn. If you're well-versed in the parenting book genre, and want to go a little deeper into a text that challenges many of our assumptions, this is the book for you.
If you want to read some helpful parenting Web pages, check out YourChild: Parenting Resources for the best of the Web on parenting.
Here’s a way to sharpen literacy and parenting skills all at once, with one excellent book!
The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease.
A great book that looks at the research on reading and tells parents and educators what they need to know about reading aloud to kids. It includes all kinds of specific tips and strategies that you can start using right away, and a giant annotated list of recommended read-aloud books. Think of all the opportunities to read aloud over the summer: in the car on a trip, by the campfire, at bedtime, or on a lazy afternoon in the hammock. This book will inspire you and give great suggestions to get you started
Compiled by Kyla Boyse, RN
Updated June 2011
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