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Monday, June 2, 2014

Make Summer Count

The lazy hot summer days are upon us. What literacy activities will you do with your children?

Most of us have some sort of vacation plans for our children. We have decided where we will vacation, what it will cost, and how we will get there. But how many of us have planned as well for our children’s academic success for the summer? Let’s make summer count!

Summer can be a time to catch up on our study skills, enrich them, or just retain them. Either way, we should all make an effort to make summer count for our children, but how do we do it? We make summer count by engaging our children in reading, writing, and mathematics activities every day. Some of those activities can be pencil and paper tasks such as answering questions or completing mathematics computations. Other tasks can be simply authentic tasks such as creating lists, writing notes, letters and email messages, learning to count money, or tell time using an analog clock. Still some tasks can include helping younger siblings with their reading and writing or researching a question or idea. There are multiple ways of making summer count, and the more focused your efforts are on your child’s interests, the greater your likelihood for your child’s success.

Allow your child to explore books listed on the Newbery Award List, The Coretta Scott King Award List, the Pura Belpre Award List. Take a look at books by authors such as Kate DiCamillo, Walker Dean Myers, Sharon Draper, Beverly Cleary, Sharon Creech, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Patricia Polacco, Virginia Hamilton, Karen Hesse, Marie Bradby, Christopher Paul Curtis, Jacqueline Johnson, Lois Lowry, Jerry Spinelli, and Jane Yolen. These are just a few of the many talented authors who write quality children’s and young adult literature. Then, engage your child in a discussion or other meaningful activity (summary, letter to author, illustration, etc.) about what he or she has read. We can all make summer count for our children.

Veda Pendleton McClain is a mother, grandmother, author, and educator. She recently released her second book on parenting titled, Your Presence Is Requested. It is available through or at .


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