Dear Silverdale Families,
Only a few more days and your children will be home with you for the summer! Regardless of plans, please encourage your children to make time to curl up with a good book. Reading is the key to all learning! Every year, I like to leave you with two lists of ideas for you to consider with your children. One list was developed by the Learning Campaign for Children with Disabilities and the other is from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Enjoy your kids and see you in September!
Summer Reading Tips for Parents
- Read aloud together with your child every day. Make it fun by reading outdoors - on the front steps, patio, at the beach or park. Also, let your children read to you. For younger children, point out the relationship between words and sounds.
- Set a good example! Parents must be willing to model behavior for their children. Keep lots of reading material around the house.
- Turn off the TV and have each person read his or her book, including mom and dad. Read the same book your child is reading and discuss it. This is the way to develop habits of the mind and build capacity for thought and insight.
- Let kids choose what they want to read, and don't turn your nose up at popular fiction. It will only discourage the reading habit.
- Buy books on tape, especially for a child with a learning disability. Listen to them in the car, or turn off the TV and have the family listen to them together.
- As you go through the day - cooking, gardening, grocery shopping, playing games - utilize this time as an opportunity to pick out words or read sentences.
- Take your children to the library regularly. Most libraries sponsor summer reading clubs with easy-to-reach goals for pre-school and school-age children. Check the library calendar for special summer reading activities and events. Libraries also provide age appropriate lists for summer reading.
- Subscribe, in your child's name, to magazines like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines, to keep up the reading habit over the summer and develop vocabulary. Ask them what they think about what they've read, and listen to what they say.
- Ease disappointment over summer separation from a favorite school friend by encouraging them to become pen pals. Present both children with postcards or envelopes that are already addressed and stamped. If both children have access to the Internet, e-mail is another option.
- Make trips away to encourage reading by reading aloud traffic signs, billboards, notices. Show your children how to read a map, and once you are on the road, let them take turns being the navigator.
- Encourage children to keep a summer scrapbook. Tape in souvenirs of your family's summer activities – picture postcards, ticket stubs, photos. Have your children write the captions and read them aloud as you look at the book together.
Know the Rules...Summer Safety Tips for Parents and Guardians
- Be sure to go over the rules with your children about whose homes they may visit when you’re not there and discuss the boundaries of where they may and may not go in the neighborhood.
- Make sure children know their full names, address, and telephone numbers and how to use the telephone. Be sure they know what to do in case of an emergency and how to reach you using cellular or pager numbers. Children should have a neighbor or trusted adult they may call if they’re scared or there’s an emergency.
- Caution children to keep the door locked and not to open the door or talk to anyone who comes to the door when they are home alone. If you have arranged for a family friend or relative to stop by, make sure your children feel comfortable being alone with that person. Make certain they understand not to tell anyone who calls they are home alone.
- Don’t drop your children off at malls, movies, video arcades, or parks. These are not safe places for children to be alone. Make certain a responsible adult supervises your younger children at all times when they are outside and away from home.
- Teach your children in whose vehicle they may ride. Children should be cautioned to never approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult.
- Make sure your children know to stay away from pools, canals, or other bodies of water without adult supervision.
- Since daylight lasts longer during the summer months, be sure your children know their curfew and to check in with you if they are going to be late. If you allow your children to play outside after dark, make sure they wear reflective clothing and stay close to home.
- Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Many states now have registries for public access to check criminal history or sex-offender status. Observe the babysitter’s interaction with your children, and ask your children how they feel about the babysitter.
- Check out camp and other summer programs before enrolling your children. See if a background screening check is completed on the individuals working with the children. Make sure there will be adult supervision of your children at all times, and make sure you are made aware of all activities and field trips offered by the camp or program.
- Investigate daycare settings thoroughly before placing your children. Make certain the center or family-daycare home is licensed; completes full background screening for all employees at, volunteers of, and others affiliated with the facility; and allows parents and guardians to freely come and go as they wish. Observe the personnel and activities several times before making your decision and visit unannounced after placement.
- Be sure all custody documents are in order and certified copies are available in case your children are not returned from a scheduled summer visit.
- Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Your children are your best source for determining if everything is okay. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away and practice basic safety skills with them. Make sure they know they are able to tell you about anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
As always, thank you for partnering with us in support of your children. Stay in touch!