Whether you have your child home for long idle days this summer and want to make the most of them, or have a goal you'd like to work on in the afternoons and weekends when there's no camp or group or play activities afoot, these Harried Parent's Book Club picks can serve as your textbooks for a little parent-led course of study. Besides helping your child learn and grow, they'll give you some productive together-time, too, fostering closeness and affection. Not bad for summer enrichment.
Children with developmental and learning problems may have a hard time with metaphors, idioms, and other figures of speech that give language its liveliness but aren't literally correct. Put your child through a course of learning with the book What Did You Say? What Do You Mean?
Phonics-based reading programs work well for children with special needs, but many schools have abandoned them in favor of a whole language approach. Put your child through a course of phonics-based reading instruction yourself with the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
Journaling can have many mental-health benefits for children with special needs, and also reinforces writing skills. Use the upbeat, self-esteem-building guided exercises in the book Journal Buddies to get your child in the journaling habit.
Whether your child has a serious weight problem or you want to make sure he or she never does, healthy eating habits are a wonderful lesson for you to teach. Use the book Get a Healthy Weight for Your Child to provide nutritional instruction in a fun and fruitful way.
Kids love to cook, but some children's cookbooks can be too wordy and complex for young chefs with special needs. Use A Man, A Can, A Plan, with its simple instructions, photographic ingredient lists, and kid-friendly dishes, to teach your child to love putting meals together.
Behavior is something that can quickly go from bad to worse, as a child who feels like a failure starts to believe that failing is all he can do. Use the Transforming Your Difficult Child to teach your child that he can succeed, how to do it, and why he should want to.
More and more kids in our overtested, overbooked society are having trouble with fears, anxiety, and uncontrollable worry. Teach your child to master those scary thoughts with the help of the book Freeing Your Child from Anxiety.
Teaching your child to read words is half the battle -- teaching him to understand the meaning and music in what he reads is the hard-fought other half. Use the book Mosaic of Thought to help your reluctant reader gain a greater appreciation of reading.
If your struggling sleeper always seems to wind up in your room at night, use The Floppy Sleep Game Book to teach your child to relax and sleep all the way through to morning in his or her own bed.