Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summertime Fun or Summertime Goals? How About Both? I of II

When my older kids were “littles,” we did a fun thing in the summer for many years. Well, lots of work for me—and fun for them because they all loved school! I made them “Summer School Goals” booklets. With these, I would sit down each child and tell each one what I wanted him or her to work on in various areas (reading chapter books instead of picture books only, writing out Scripture, math drill, etc.), and then I would ask each child what he or she wanted to do. Their ideas could be anything: swim a lot, play games with Dad, read a certain book series, etc. Then I would pull all of this information together and make each one a “Summer School Goal” booklet.

At first, it wasn’t fancy—eventually, I made them on the computer, and they were a little more official-looking. (On the early ones, I used card stock, and I wrote at the top of each “goal” what it was, how long the duration should be (or how many pages, etc., depending on the goal), and how many of that goal the child should try to meet for the summer. Then beneath that I put large boxes (boxes as in similar to a large graph or tic-tac-toe board). Then I dropped down and put the next goal. I sometimes put the goal in abc order (i.e. reading came before swimming in the alphabet) and sometimes put it in order of ease (the hardest ones at the front of the booklet).

Then we met again to discuss how they were going to meet these goals—we had a certain amount of time three days a week or so devoted to “Summer School Goals” that were at home, academic types of things, so they would work on those types of goals then. I penned in beside each goal approximately how many times they had to do each one each week in order to complete it (i.e. chapter book reading that was half an hour a week might have thirty boxes for ten weeks and need done three times a week to meet the whole goal).

Then they took their Summer School Goals booklets and packages of stickers and started in. Now this might seem like a nightmare to some kids ,but my kids thrived on it. (You have to keep in mind that these are the same kids who thought you did school on Saturdays and in the summer until someone at Sunday school told them differently at about age eight!)

More on Summer School Goals tomorrow—including a ready-made, editable chart (a Freebie from Graham Family Ministries!) that would work well for this type of goal setting or any summer fun or summer goals and a list of ideas to get you started making Summer Goals!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And the final summer reading help!

This will be the final installment of the links from last year about helping your child with reading during the summer. I pray that you and your son or daughter have an amazing summer building those reading skills and making memories!

Introducing readability levels:

Readability levels—I of IV:

Reading with your “already-reading” child to build fluency and keep skills fresh:

“What” to read with your child this summer:


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Summer Reading Links/Helps

I want to leave you with more summertime reading and phonics help links. You may click on the links yesterday to find the beginning of each thread about helping your child with reading, tutoring without a formal program, and reviews of various phonics programs that I recommend.

For any reading or summer help, however, you may go to Positive Parenting 365 blogspot (as opposed to the FB page) and click on either “summer” or “reading” and hit older spots. Scroll up from there to find them in order, etc.

Today I will leave you with more summer reading help! One of the best ways that you can help your very young/new readers is to read with them in the summer every day. Today I will post links for general reader information, as well as specific readers and the uses we have found for them.

How to use graded readers with your kids--

Choosing graded readers—IMPORTANT points to consider:

Starting with the first readers—The Bob Books---

After “Bob”—the next readers we recommend:

Moving along with readers:

Tomorrow—links for readability levels to help you help your non-beginners choose books at their level this summer!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Reading Help

Over the next few days, I will be linking you to many past posts that have to do with summer--helping your chid with reading; spending time with your kids in the summer; etc. Today I will start with general reading help and reviews of phonics programs. Just click on the links below to find the beginning of each thread listed. Happy reading!

Introduction to helping your child with reading (decoding) this summer—start here:

Tutoring your child without a formal program in reading—start here:

Phonics programs to use at home with struggling readers—start here (several posts/reviews):

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's Summer!

In the past eight weeks, we have spoken at three homeschool conventions, done one parenting seminar, graduated one from college and one from high school, had both of our daughters home for a week plus, got one son off for the summer for a summer ministry opportunity, and had an open house for the high school graduate! So when we woke up this morning, we were tired....and yet excited about the summer!

We homeschool year round, which basically means that some learning always takes place everyday! But we do allow time for fun "extras" in the summer--short trips, long weekends, swimming days, bonfire evenings.....more family time--yay!

I want to link you to some posts from last year--about reading with your kids in the summer, about helping your students academically during the summer, and much more. So in the next few days, I will detour again away from first thing in the morning and get some of these things re-posted (as well as some new things!). Then we'll continue first thing in the  morning with our kids by moving into "character training" (chores!). Invite your friends! Thanks for joining us.