When my boys were growing up, books were both a treat and something they looked forward to. As I nursed them I read aloud from a book and later, when they were able to hold a book on their own ,we filled their room with infant and toddler books with great graphics and colors.  Books became prizes, gifts, and treats from the checkout counter.  We purchase oodles of books from the Scholastic Book Fairs at school as well as for their classroom teachers.

It’s no wonder that now that both boys are in their twenties that books still play an important part in their lives. One reads mostly science fiction, the other more politically leaning and humanistic.  I’m a firm believer that both boys did better in school, had better vocabularies, and were better students because we instilled the importance of reading very early on.

Summer was a time we could spend even more time exploring books.  Trips to the cool library on hot summer days were something we loved.  Sometimes the adventure was going to the library, other days it was the beginning of an adventure spurred by a book found and read on site.  Phases of dinosaurs, space, pirates and more have been replaced with books on cooking and travel and more grown up versions of Harry Potter.

Charlene Cobb, Ed. D. shares her reading tips for getting your child to love the world of reading. Check them out and then enter below to win a set of summer reading books from McGraw-Hill Education.  I’ve worked in education for over six years and the Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s books are among the finest.

Reading Tips (from Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s “Early Reading Intervention” Author Charlene Cobb, Ed.D.) – reprinted with permission from McGraw-Hill

  • Create a summer escape in your home perfect for reading. Make sure there is good light and comfortable seating to entice your kids to spend time there.
  • Even if your children can read by themselves, take turns reading to each other. This helps build their skills as they listen to your tone and inflection throughout the story or article. Before, during and after you read, talk about the material. Ask you child questions and encourage you child to ask you questions.
  • Whether you are reading to your children or they are reading themselves, plan an event or activity that ties to the reading material. For instance, book reading can lead to picnics, museum and zoo visits, ballgames, or even family vacations.
  • Look for opportunities for your child to read. If you have a manual for a new DVD player, ask your child to read you the directions. Grocery lists and “to do” lists are also good items to help kids practice reading in “real life.”
  • Share the reading experience with your child by reading the same book or material they are reading so you can discuss it.
  • Even if you are not reading the same books as your children, talk to them about what they are reading. Ask them questions such as what happened in the story or what might happen next, who is their favorite character, or who is the villain. This builds summarization and recall skills, and your interest can help increase their interest.
  • If your children’s school program provides materials for home activities, absolutely use them.
  • Suggest your child read a popular series that has been turned into movies like the Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia books. When your child finishes reading the book, rent or go see the movie and discuss how each differed from the other and whether the book or movie was more enjoyable.
  • Look for materials beyond fiction. Kids often prefer to read about facts, including books and articles about the environment, animals, current events, sports, and other factual topics. Talk to them about what they like and help them find reading materials that match those interests.
  • Try to set aside at least one TV/video-game-free night per week for family reading. Make your family’s favorite snacks, get new books at the library and make it fun!


We’re giving away two sets – one here and one on our sister-site Princess Time Toys. The winner will receive a series of 3 readers from the McGraw-Hill Education reading program (age specific, depending on winner).   To enter, post your reading tip below.  Regular contest rules apply.  Sorry, US Only.  Contest ends June 21, 2009, 8pm PT.  You may enter as often as you like (a unique tip for each entry is required) and you may enter on both sites.

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