Simple Summer Reading Tips to Fight the Summer Brain-Drain! {Ask the LOCAL expert series}



Scottsdale experts
We at SMB are excited about a new little feature we’ve added to the blog!  In addition to our regular lineup of awesome Scottsdale Mom contributors, we’re including a monthly post by a LOCAL expert! We’re covering topics from discipline to reading readiness to carseats and sippy cups!  
Welcome back  this month’s expert: Kristin Cetone, Education Specialist (Learn more about Kristin at the bottom of this post!) 

I know when I was a young child, and then when I was raising two small children of my own,  summers were challenging!

Outdoors, the heat was on.  Local events for kids were limited.  All the games had been played over and over.  Indoor activity was even more challenging.  Boredom would set in.  Sibling squabbles increased.  The kids had grown tired of their toys, playing board games, computer games…

For many kids, academic school year gains turn into summer loss.  Don’t let your child join the statistic.  Summer is one of the greatest seasons for family literacy to build self-esteem.

Spice up your summer with these reading tips:

Summer Reading Tips.jpg


Preschoolers, Ages 3 & 4:

{5-10 minutes per day}

  • Read aloud to them.  Remember, their listening comprehension is higher than their reading ability, so read that picture book to them that they would enjoy  (even though they can’t read it themselves yet.)
  • Point to the words as you read.  
  • See if they can say the words with you as you point.
  • Carry a little tote with books and magazines to read to your child during wait times.

Rising Kindergarteners:

{15-20 minutes per day or every-other day}

  • Enjoy reading books together.
  • While out and about, read aloud to them from the multitude of materials such as signs, menus, at the museum, at the zoo, at the grocery, on vacation…
  • Use audio books or recorded books.  Check out your local library before purchasing at a store.
  • Even more special is for Mom, Dad, older siblings, or grandparents to tape a book for your child to play back and listen to, while they hold the printed book.
  • Go online for sites that offer read aloud materials, or download books onto electronic devices if you have them.  I do not advocate just leaving the child alone with these activities.  You need to listen with them at the same time as they are reading the printed version whether it be online, or a book held in their hands, please.

Rising First Graders and Up:

{20-30+ minutes per day/split out over the entire day if needed}

  • Start with a reading list:  your local library may offer lists by age and there are many online sites such as
  • Make a calendar with your child of “daily routines”.  Many of these activities offer reading opportunities.  As an example: cooking, reading the television listing in the newspaper, reading instructions, reading brochures about interesting destinations…
  • I am not an advocate of excessive TV viewing by kids, set time limits and have them choose age-appropriate shows.  While they are watching, engage the ‘captioning’ feature and reduce the volume so they are encouraged to read the words on the television screen.
  • Make sure your child guides the choice of the books they read over the summer.  You want it to be for ‘pleasure’ about the things they are interested in or would like to explore.
  • Make a chart for your child to keep track of all the books and materials they read over the summer.
  • Swap books with a friend.  Arrange a time for book buddies to read to and with each other.
  • Plan a ‘booknic’  What is a favorite place…the beach, the park, the backyard? Pack lunch and plenty to read.  This is a great idea to incorporate into a play date with other moms and their children.

Summer reading loss is well documented.  Families can bridge the gap with these fun summer reading tips and boost your child’s self-esteem.  Encourage reading for ‘pleasure’, without the pressure they experience in the school year!


About our LOCAL expert: Kristin Cetone has lived in Scottsdale for 20 years with her husband. She currently shares her home with a very opinionated Pekingese named Teddy Bear. Kristin is the author of the children’s book Buckaroo Buckeye, A Little Nut with Big Dreams   In addition to raising her own two children, Kristin Cetone has had many years working with children as a Reading Specialist and particularly struggling readers.  She is excited to be able to share her insights and suggestions on the reading process to help parents help their children (birth-grade 3), strengthen the reading process and become successful readers.


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