Simple Summer Reading Tips


Summer is here and the livin’ is easy. Or something like that.


And there’s a lot of truth to it. My husband and I were just talking last night about how one of our favorite things is going to concerts and movies (mostly with our kids!) in the summer because it feels so easy. Sitting in my lawn chair at an outdoor concert just listening to old 50’s and 60’s tunes (some of our favorite swing music!) just makes me feel relaxed. Like I don’t have anything to do, so just sit there. (I have a LOT of trouble sitting….unless I’m doing!)

But the reality is that fall comes after summer. And we can’t forget that all together.


One way we can be help fall be better is to put a little effort into our summer—not a lot—just a little….in the areas that we want to keep strong. (Check out last week’s newsletter for more summer tips!)


I recorded a FB Live this week in which I describe some very simple tasks that you can do to help your new reader continue to learn and grow this summer (or at the very least keep the skills he has!). You can watch the video below.


I made reference to several things in that video, so I am going to do a quick outline/list of the tips with links to the products that I recommend.


Oh, and let me know what you would like to learn more about—teaching a specific writing type, reading help, organization and productivity, cool East Coast swing moves…I can fix you up in future video! 🙂




Below are some affiliate links as I am an affiliate for  By clicking on these links you are helping to support this blog.  Thank you!

1. Reading Baskets: The ORAL reading basket (for books that the student still needs cues and help with) and SILENT reading basket (books that he can read without any help….I moved them from ORAL to SILENT after we worked on them for a while.


2. Read Every Day: Have your student read once or twice a day to you from a reader that is phonetically controlled and/or vocabulary-controlled. Don’t trust the age or grade level written in the upper corner of department store books! (Get help from your librarian, if needed.)

Recommended Reading—to learn about readability levels, phonetically-controlled books, and vocabulary-controlled books.


3. Make a Reading Chart. Have summer charts that are simple to manage (i.e. a smile each day he reads aloud) with built in prizes that are easy to carry out.

Recommendations: Charts for older kids and younger kids for homeschooling and other tasks.


4. Use Audio Books or Book/Audio Sets to Build Listening Comprehension. Your child’s listening comprehension level actually tells you a lot about what level he could comprehend at if he knew how to word-call that level. (Remember, reading is word calling AND comprehending.) I always liked to expand my students’ listening comprehension levels, knowing that they had a huge impact on their comprehension later. Additionally, students will desire to learn to read better if they listen and/or follow along with books that they cannot read—the motivation will become stronger to learn to read (and this also helps develop a love for learning in children.) The picture book and audio sets from the library are great for this.

Recommendations; I can’t say enough about these amazing audio and book sets. One device plays all the books in the set. Easy to follow and learn to control themselves. Not a lot of other pieces, wands, devices, etc. Easy peasy. My students and grandson love these! (Plus, they are familiar movie and tv characters.) There are about a dozen sets floating around. I get mine from Sam’s and Costco at Christmastime, but here’s an Amazon link for one set…check them all out!


5. Do follow up activities that are related to the book he just read—confusing word games, word cards, etc. The beauty of using the words and text that he is currently working on reading is two fold: it is easy for the parent to make word cards or create a confusing word sheet or play with magnetic words AND the activities will contain the very words that he just got stuck on when you read. Quick, easy, pain-free. (You will see what I am referring to in the video embedded in this post.)



6. For readers who can write, consider adding in some fun writing this summer! Be sure it is DIRECTED (i.e. not a writing idea book) and fun! 🙂



7. Go back to beginning sounds if your student still can’t say in a snap that p says puh, etc. If you are still working on beginning letter sounds (i.e. not reading yet), use something that teaches them painlessly AND has true, consistent (not blended) sounds.



8. Check out my other posts, videos, and audios to help you with reading this summer!



What are you working on this summer? What is your favorite reader set? How can I help you with reading, writing, and grammar?


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