Summer Reading

Summer Reading Programs for Kids – 7 Options

Published On June 12, 2013 | By Toni Spilsbury | Cafe Mom, Community, Education, Family, Just For Dads, Tech Toys & Tools

Does your child need help developing reading skills this Summer? Perhaps they just need a boost to keep their reading skills sharp.

My first grader actually struggled this past year with “blending” which means she needs some help mixing her phonics skills with the ability to master sight words. As my bright girl slowly started to fall behind in all subjects because of math word problems and the need to answer sentence questions, she began to doubt herself which only made matters worse.

Towards the end of the year I started searching for options to help give her the skills she needed to enter second grade with confidence in her reading abilities. I did some searching and here’s what I found:


1. Institute of Reading Development

With many Summer program options, this five-week course meets one day a week for two hours at UNLV as part of their Continuing Education Outreach. This is actually the program I chose for my daughter. Although she only attends the class once a week, she has work to do at home throughout the week. The program focuses on:

  • Learn phonics & word-attack skills
  • Develop fluency
  • Build comprehension
  • Become a fluent independent reader

The cost for the program is $391 and this includes all of the books needed for the course.

Instead of telling my daughter she needed help in reading so we’re attending this class, I simply told her that she “gets to go to college this summer”, and she was thrilled.

For more information, visit they also have a ton of reading resources and book suggestions on their website.


2. Ask A Teacher

Many teachers tutor over the summer but most do not promote it. One-on-one reading instruction and practice is a great way for your child to get the individual assessment and attention they need. Simply ask your local school if they know of any teachers who are tutoring during Summer.


3. Reading A-Z Online

This online resource offers leveled reading resources such as books you can print. They also offer a printable phonics lessons and reading lesson guides. As a parent, it’s difficult to navigate this site and know where to start because it’s really geared for teachers.  So starting with the “Get Free Samples” is a great place to get some free books to print along with worksheets to help with comprehension and skill.

For more information, visit


4. Tutoring Institutes

Local programs through Kumon, or Sylvan Learning offer specialized tutoring programs for reading in addition to math, writing and more.

Save $100 Now on a Reading Tutoring Program at Sylvan Learning


5. Club Read through Library District

This is an online club that gives incentives to kids for reading through a personalized reading page. There are also many free programs throughout Summer with storytime, crafts and activities.

For more information, visit


6. Bloggers Know!

For inspiration and fun tips for ANYTHING, I can always count on my fellow blogger. You may think that Pinterest is just a place to plan your dream home or wardrobe, but just type “reading skills kids” in the search bar and you’ll come across some out-of-the-box thinking that only the “mommy blogger” can achieve. Here’s one of my favorites:

Great post on encouraging reading skills from


Here’s a reading log you can print and hang on your refrigerator from

print this Reading Log from


7. There’s An App for That!

Whether we’re on the road or sitting in a waiting room, I make no apologies for handing over the iPad or iPhone to keep my kids occupied. Reading Comprehension Camp is an iPad application that allows you to have multiple “readers” (kids) and track their progress with in-app stories by grade level accompanied by comprehension activities. This app is strictly for developing comprehension skills.

Cost is $19, visit


Share Your Ideas

Do you have a resource or idea to help kids develop reading skills during the Summer? Leave a Comment below or send them to us here:

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About The Author

Toni Spilsbury is a blogger, brand strategist and social media producer in addition to being a philanthropist and mother…. but not in that order. From busy corporate gal to even busier mom of four, one with special needs, Toni established an online connection with today’s on-the-go moms as someone who understands the unique demands of working moms. In 2005, Toni co-founded the Nevada Blind Children Foundation and began working to build the first school for the blind in Nevada. With a passion for cooking, creating her own recipes and a desire to merge her family life and career, Toni wrote a book The Organized Cook in 2009 before embarking on a journey through branding, blogging, social media and e-commerce that gained her an insight and passion for the unique niche of content-driven e-commerce. Toni’s second book, Because of Connor, is due out in late 2013 which gives readers an insight into the unique struggle of life’s ups and downs when set against the backdrop of caring for and coming to grips with a severely medically fragile son.

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