Summer Reading Program - Crescent City,CA

Updated on May 29, 2013
C.S. asks from Crescent City, CA
15 answers

My 2nd grader is behind in reading. She has struggled (or at least refused mostly to try) with reading. She is technically not passing her grade level. They aren't holding her back, but she needs help. I am worried that she will fall even further behind over the summer months.

I have tried finding books that interest her because "everyone" says find something that interests them and they will love to read...We have been through the entire library and still haven't found something. Even books she does like (Diary of the Whimpy kid) she doesn't read. When she had to read 10 pages of the book the other day for homework, she didn't answer a single question I asked about what she read.

I want to purchase/find a summer reading program for her. Any ideas for ones that work? Any that you would NOT recommend?

1. She does wear glasses for astigmatism (sp?).
2. She is super smart and Creative. Great in Math and Science.
3. She has been tested and was doing some extra Reading with a tutor through school and she loved the one on one.
4. She is the type of kid that is really bright, BUT doesn't want to "try" if something doesn't come easy to her.
5. We read together all the time. From the time that she was a baby.
6. No reading Program at Library, and no University (small town)
Thanks so far! Good advise coming through!

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answers from New York on

I like all the suggestions so far; here's just one more to add:

Not everyone is a curl-up-with-a-good-book type of person. Rather than searching everywhere for the one perfect chapter book, you might try a how-to book to appeal to her gifts in math and science. You can offer her a deal -- you'll get all the supplies and help her with the experiments as long as she reads the instructions.

This might be a more natural, engaging style of reading for her, and it'd also be a good chance for you to catch and address any core comprehension issues.

You can do the same with a cookbook or a craft book.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My child, a year younger, won't do any reading either. Is behind. Hates it. This is a critical time and not doing any reading means she won't improve. So for her I hired a teacher @ her school for all summer. She loves 1 on 1 but won't do any work with me, at least it's like pulling teeth. I would have done a tutoring center (better hours) but the teacher is 1/2 the price and very aware of her needs and level from the year.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I would like to throw out there, cause this is a subject that creates a lot of concern for parents, that many children don't really 'catch' up until about the 3rd grade. It seems to be some kinda witching hour for kids where everything just kinda clicks. I heard it from one of my older kids teachers once and have found it to be true in a few of my kids.

The thing is, you want to push but not push so hard that you turn the child off of reading, it's a fine line to walk.

Diary of a Wimpy kid is meant for a 5th grader (3rd grader on the advanced end). The book was to hard for her, imagine how frustrating that is. Of course she isn't going to remember what was read, she was to busy focusing on the words and not the story.

So take a step back, go back to basic's; site words, simple repetitive reading books.

A few good books for this range, but are struggling, is....

Make it fun. You read a page, she reads a page. Then have her draw a picture about what you guys just read together.

A few good sites to try. The first is free, the other two aren't, but my kids love them and the last one test them to see where they are at and then set's a path for them to follow. I use them along with homeschooling the kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Does your local library have a summer reading event? Ours does. The kids fill out a little card which records reading in 20/30 minute increments and they get prizes on the way, which is broken up into Levels. (The card usually has three 'phases' or stages; read up to X, get a small prize; read up to Y, get a better prize; fill up your card and get a grand prize.)

My son is a new reader and is very excited for Summer Reading to start.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It sounds like she may need to take a few steps back. The Diary books are probably not for her level. Ask her current teacher for some appropriate books based on where she is at now.

Do you sit with her and read? Sounds like she may need some help.

Also, has she been properly assessed? Maybe there is an underlying problem. My daughter too doesn't like to read. It's a struggle but it gets better everyday. And I did get her a private tutor who gives her some tips! But it's expensive.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think you have a problem that's going to take more than summer reading at home to solve. Has she been tested at school for learning disabilities? If yes, what did those reveal? If not, why not? What are you and/or the school waiting for (I don't ask that rhetorically, I'm asking in case there is a certain milestone that they need to see her miss before resorting to testing)?

When my oldest son wasn't reading on or near grade level in 2nd grade, I had him work with a tutor for an hour a week. The tutor was a specialist in helping kids who think the way he thinks process things in a way that makes sense to them. A simple analogy that he used was that my brain is like a room of filing cabinets, where everything is sorted and numbered and alphabetized and organized for easy retrieval. My son's brain was like when you open up a closet looking for a lego and everything falls out. The technique that he used was a variant of the Lindamood-Bell approach (google that for more info) and it helped him to learn the rules of language visually. After working with him starting the summer before second grade and continuing to the end of that school year, he was reading and spelling on grade level for the second half of that year. He was tested at the end of 1st grade and while he was below average in many areas of learning, none was low enough to qualify him for an IEP. He was re-tested in grade 4 and qualified then.

If I were you, I'd ask the reading specilist at school or your child's teacher, or other parents, for recommendations for a tutor who has worked with children with similar learning patterns to what your child has and invest in that over the summer vs. trying to do this on your own. I'm pretty resourceful and actually work as a teacher and tutor for high school kids and there is no way in a million years that I would have been able to crack the code on what it took to get my son to read. There are experts out there who can help your daugther, and do push the school to do their part as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If she likes science and math what about checking out some books with experiments and games? The library has a whole section of books like this for kids. This may be a good way to trick her into reading more, because it won't feel like reading, it will feel like learning about something she's interested in.
And don't forget about comic books! Many smart people spent hours during their childhood reading every comic book they could get their hands on. Some people are visual and like a lot of action/illustration with their stories.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My son did not like reading and was just not motivated until he was in 3rd or 4th. Now I have to make him stop reading (unless he is playing video games of course). He also would not be able to answer any question about the book, even right after reading it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My dad came up with a reading program when I was a kid that my whole family participated in and enjoyed. He assigned point values for various kinds of books. You could do one point per page for easy fiction, two points per page for easy non fiction and more challenging fiction, and three points a page for challenging non fiction. Then you give rewards when she reaches a certain number of points. With my family the rewards were all given at the end of the summer, but with your reluctant reader it might be better to have smaller goals along the way to reward her and a big reward at the end if she reaches a large goal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Is there something that she really likes doing? My son is obsessed with this one Star Wars video game that we have. We tell him he can only play for as many minutes as he reads, and he needs to read a minimum of 20 minutes. Speaking of Star Wars, that is the one reliable subject we can get him interested in reading. Our home is filled with Star Wars books from the library.

I really like the suggestion of having her read things other than traditional books. Have her help you with your grocery list and then have her read the signs and help you pick things out at the store. Will she read comics? You could read the comics in the Sunday paper together.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Have you had her evaluated? Perhaps eye sight? We recently learned our daughter's vision - while 20/20 or better - has issues. She doesn't "track" well, has focusing issues etc. Is it possible your daughter is dyslexic? When a kid doesn't try, I think there can be another issue vs lack of effort. The difference between teaching my oldest to read and youngest was night and day and I don't think my youngest is smarter at all. My oldest has some vision issues. She also seems to be slightly dyslexic. She did benefit hugely from a tutor in 2nd grade though. If you can afford it, it might be better than a reading program. But I'd also have her vision checked by a good optometrist vs just her pediatrician. Is she "bright" enough overall? If so, I think the reading fight should be looked into more. Of course there are different apptitudes and interest levels for reading but not sure it should be this much of a struggle. I will say that the only books my oldest did want to read at that age though were Ivy and Bean.

ETA: Sounds like my daughter in a way. Also very strong in math and science. So it's logical to me that kids who are very smart in some ways yet struggle with reading have something going on. Why doesn't it come easily?... You likely need someone with more time to test her than the school will spend. We had extensive private testing done which lead to Lindamood-Bell method as well. Seemed to help though then this eye thing came up and it's too much to have her do vision therapy and tutoring so we stopped for now. I think these bright kids who don't want to try is bc they're frustrated and not seeing things right but can't explain what the issue is so they quit. Our daughter in 3rd grade now (but a kind of young third grader) does read very well but she's mentioned letters moving around and things that she can articulate better now that she's older and knows more how things should be. Your daughter is likely too young still. And her spelling is so illogical at times which makes us think she likely is a bit dyslexic.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Both my sons have had reading issues. One was diagnosed with dyslexia. I read to them every night, and used reader rabbit software. Often, area libraries have summer programs. Check area universities for reading programs. Student teachers sometimes are required to tutor students for credits.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

My husband could be in Mensa if he wanted. He didn't get interested in reading until after 2nd grade, couldn't read actually. His grandmother say him in her lap and read the Book of Mormon to him over the summer.

He just had no interest in it until his brain decided to put it all together and like it.

If she's that far behind she should really be in summer school to do a daily reading program.

Also, how are they testing that she's behind? Is it because she doesn't like to sit and read? Do they make her read during a test to see what she comprehends or how many words she covers? What test says she's behind? How are they defining this category?

If she just hasn't read as many books as her peers then she may be reading fine, she may just not like what she's reading. If you've tried everything then she just isn't interested yet.

If she can read the book for science and math and the other topics she likes then she "can" read and comprehend quite well when she is interested.

Perhaps finding some books on the subjects she likes would get her reading list more populated.
If she's not reading those text books well either then I'd take her to an eye doc who does testing for eye/brain disabilities. My grandson had bad vision. No one took him to the eye doc before he was in foster care. His vision was so bad in his right eye that his brain was no longer seeing any images it tried to send to it.

The doc did an evaluation and determined he needed eye therapy. He gave him some glasses that looked much like those that Nicholas Cage wore in National Treasure to look at the back of the document.They had colored lenses, they have sections that flipped up and down, they did a lot of different things.

He was supposed to do his eye exercises every day a prescribed number of times, the doc put glasses on him at this time.

When he went back to the doc his vision was better and his brain was accepting signals from his eye. After continuing the eye exercises for another few months he was able to see normally and not even have to wear glasses anymore. The exercises retrained his brain.

So taking her for an eye exam for disabilities like this is a good idea if she is having trouble reading all text. It could be any number of things like Dyslexia too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I think you need to find out why she doesn't like reading. Is she having trouble with her vision? Could she have a learning difference, delay, or disability (think dyslexia and a host of other vision or cognitive differences)? Do you read with her often? (We still read every night with our 8 and 11 year old kids - it's fun and they understand how important we believe reading is). Do you offer her incentives for reading? (Our library and several local and national book stores offer summer reading programs where the kids can earn prizes). But I would be most concerned with the first couple of issues -- it doesn't sound like a motivation issue if she likes the books; it sounds like she may be having difficulty that she can't explain or understand. Struggling may lead her to refuse to try when it becomes too difficult and embarrassing, and she will fall further behind, not only in the summer but in third grade, when the reading demands pick up and all the other kids catch up to the gifted readers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

That's a tough one! I had a reluctant reader- she read at/above grade level, but would always read short, easy books. Finding books that interested her was what finally worked. I don't think a purchased reading program would work. It sounds like she needs a one on one tutor to help with comprehension and fluency, as well as finding books she likes and doesn't view as "work".

1 mom found this helpful
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