General Tips & Resources
Read, Write, Think - Parent & Afterschool Resources that are organized by grade level. There are activities and projects, games, tips, and how to's to help you get started or give you new ideas.
PBS - Summer Reading Tips for K-1 Students has practical advice to encourage reading and overcome obstacles you may face with reluctant readers.
Reading Rockets - Summer Reading ideas as well as research about the importance of summer learning to student achievement. They have a variety of booklists (theme), activity ideas, and even day trips for book lovers.
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore. All Year Long! - This site strives to provide adults with research-based ideas to get kids into books all year long. There are some very creative ideas for incorporating writing into the mix through journaling, blogging, and more.
Book Adventure - This fun website enables to students to search for books, read them offline, and then come back to take a quiz and earn points. They even offer parent resources to help you track progress. Some students are more motivated when there is some method of tracking.
Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years (2018, April 13) - An interesting article from Natalie Wexler featured in The Atlantic. The author highlights the importance of exposing children to art, music, sports, history, science, and more in order to improve reading comprehension.
50 Writing Prompts Inspired by Summer - You can encourage your child to write with providing different prompts to stimulate thoughts and get their creative juices flowing! Share in the fun by writing with your child sometimes or giving feedback to your child in his or her journal.
Neighborhood Book Club
Book clubs are not just for big people! Since there are probably families around you looking to keep learning alive over the summer, why not start a book club! Depending upon the number of children involved and their ages, you could organize it in a variety of ways [weekly, biweekly, etc.] and any time of the day. Wouldn't it be fun to do one meeting under the stars! To get the discussion started you could place questions in a hat and have the oldest child pick first. Some question ideas are: Who was your favorite character and why? What was your favorite part of the book and why? If you could pick one character to play, who would it be? How would you change the ending?
There are so many apps to choose from these days. A few favorites are noted below. Click here to challenge your child to use an app to create a digital book summary or review. Maybe the school librarian would be wiling to upload, create a QR code, and put the code on the book. The next student who goes to checkout the book could scan the code to hear the review!
Mad Libs - Who can remember doing these as a kid? The wonders of technology allow you do replace the key words on your iOS compatible technology. The best news is that it is free!
Telestory - Parents and children can use this free app to create everything from a music video to a tv show! It is billed as a "TV studio in your pocket!"
Do Ink - Download Green Screen by Do Ink. All you need is a green tarp or green background and your imagination. It is compatible with iOS devices [$3]
Shadow Puppet Edu - Many students are familiar with this app from school. It is free for the iPad and iPhone and allows the user to easily create videos. Perfect to use after a reading a good book or going on an adventure!
Super Why Phonics - This app uses a carnival theme series of activities to practice spelling, practice letters, etc. It is compatible with iOS devices [$3].
Bob Books - The Bob Books are divided into different levels. The interactive series is known for being fun while developing reading skills. There is an iOS and Android version [Begins at $1.99].
StarFall ABC's - This is one in a series of interactive apps that uses positive reinforcement to strengthen letter and sound recognition.
iMovie - Although this iOS app has a fee, the investment will pay off! Students can create video trailers in no time. A fun way to create a book summary!
My Story App - Most students have had exposure to this app in school. They enjoy authoring their own tales with this easy-to-use and fun digital storytelling app.
The Epic! app starts at $4.99 but might be worth the investment. They offer over 10,000 children's books (generally for 12 years and under), including audio books and read-to-me features.
Be sure to check out the Summer Reading Lists posted on school websites. It is important that children work at their independent reading level and try a variety of different types of books.
If your child is new to writing postcards, please use the template provided below. You can print it out, cut out the front and back, glue them together, and create two postcards. Ideally, you would use a heavier paper to go through the mail. Of course, you can buy a postcard at many stores. Whether you go away or stay right here in West Chester, your child can still participate and write his or her principal a postcard and mail it into school. It a great way to promote writing!
This summer program for 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. Check back in 2021!
Local Reading Programs
The Chester County Library System 2020 Summer Reading Club provides a variety of options to earn a badge. There is information provided on their website, including incentives that will help keep your child reading every day this summer! Click here to read more about this great program!
Barnes & Noble has a reading program (May-September) that requires students to keep track of the books that they read in a simple journal that can be downloaded from their site (click the picture to the left). After completing the challenge, you can bring the journal to your local Barnes & Noble and earn a free book! Their website also provides ideas and activities to use with your child. Click here for more information.
The West Chester Public Library begins it summer program June 2020. Click here to read more.