Lots of summers in the past I haven’t required anything schoolish from my kids. But every fall I’ve been appalled at how much the kids forgot over the summer. And this year I really want to help our home-10-months school-aged daughters continue to work on catching up to grade level. But I enjoy my summers and didn’t want anything too tough. I did some thinking and came up with a fairly simple plan.
Basically there are two components. The first is half an hour of computer education games a day. The ‘new’ girls (10 and 12) are doing multiplication games. My 10 year old sons are working on Rosetta Stone Korean– we are planning a homeland tour to Korea with them next spring and I would like them to know just some basic Korean when we get there.
The second component is an hour of reading a day. 15 minutes of it needs to be to me, or to their 3 year old sister within my earshot. 45 minutes is on their own. During that hour of reading, they are also to work on a journal entry, and this really is the heart of what I wanted to share with you today.
I bought each child a small spiral notebook and came up with 6 simple questions for the kids to answer. You of course could make up your own, but here are the ones I’m using
#1- Today I read______________
#2 – (Write one sentence talking about what you read, in your own words.)
#3- I am looking forward to____________.
#4- I am thankful for _________________.
#5- I had fun ____________________today.
#6- I am praying about___________.
Besides encouraging the kids to think about what they’re reading, and to count their blessings (we’d had some cranky moods that I’ve been wanting to work on!), these little journal entries have also turned out to be a good intro to writing for my newly arrived girls. I’m asking kids to give a different answer each day. They’re working on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and getting just a touch of practice at paraphrasing what they’ve read in their own words. Plus it is giving me just a little chance to chat with each child about what’s concerning them and what they’re enjoying (or at least remind them of something they SHOULD be thankful for! grin). It is a nice chance to touch bases, esp in a household as busy as ours.
This project has turned out to be more valuable than I imagined. I am glad to see the kids still learning, even during the summer! It works for me!