Porch time with Veronica Swanson Beard and her son

Veronica Miele Beard’s son at Linderhof Palace in Germany

The Veronicas & Summer Reading with Their Kids

Amid all the bike rides and beach days, there’s one summer pastime the Veronicas both love sharing with their kids: reading. "We try and sit together on the porch and read for 30 minutes a day,” says Veronica Swanson Beard, a mom of three. “It’s so sweet to share that time together.” Veronica Miele Beard, meanwhile, adds that far-flung family getaways are her secret to sparking a passion for reading in her children—all five. “Travel inspires my kids to read!” she says. “We collect books from all the places we visit.”

Need help getting your kids to embrace summer reading? Here, in collaboration with our #VBGIVESBACK partner ReadWorks, the Veronicas have curated a list of K-8 passages that highlight incredible, inspiring women, from Simone Biles to Frida Kahlo. Plus, the experts at the nonprofit share their top tips on how to nurture that love of reading so it feels less like humdrum homework and more like a joyful escape…


1. Following their interests can motivate children to read. Help them figure out what they want to learn about and support them in finding ways to read about the topics they’re interested in.​

2. When children find a topic that interests them, help them find multiple texts to read about it. Learning new things is like Velcro—we retain even more information when we read texts that are related to each other by topic because the knowledge from each new article sticks to what we just learned, just like the two sides of Velcro. 

3. Don’t forget nonfiction! Children need to know a little bit about a lot of things to become successful readers. So while your child should definitely read the novels and stories they love over the summer, building knowledge through reading nonfiction has a huge impact on their success as readers.

4. Build confidence by setting goals, which can help children feel more motivated to keep reading. Tying their goals to things they want to learn and do—e.g. “I want to learn all I can about bugs!”—can also help them see the value of reading throughout their whole lives.
5. Have fun! Summer is a time to play, explore and be curious. Reading should be a part of the fun. Encourage them to read about things related to the hands-on activities they love during this time—whether that’s building a fort and reading about architecture, or looking up at the night sky and reading about the constellations.

 6. Make reading social. Ask questions about what your child is reading. Read some of the same things they are reading. If they ask you questions you can’t answer, explore answers by reading about the topic together. Don’t forget to include siblings and friends, too.

7. Access to high-quality texts is key—make sure that children read books and articles that are engaging and well-written. You can find free, printable summer-reading packets—complete with question-and-answer guides—on ReadWorks here


From now to the end of September, we will donate a portion of proceeds from every single veronicabeard.com/en-hn order to ReadWorks, which is committed to solving America’s reading comprehension crisis and student achievement gap. #VBGIVESBACK