As school year is coming to an end, I am looking forward to the summer with my kiddos. I like to have things planned, even though we may not do what is on the agenda. It gives me a piece of mind having the day prepared. Sure we still may wing things or change it up completely, but I at least have an idea what is going to go down for the day!
My summer for the kiddos always has time set aside for reading and math facts. This year I am also adding in weekly spelling word list, and practice on cursive writing. My older 3 will also be doing a monthly book report. We will of course have our outdoor activities of swimming, nature walks, biking, running, etc. Time to play and have fun!
One of my favorite reading tools is Ticket To Read. It is a yearly subscription of $20. They also have a half year subscription or a summer only subscription as well. I honestly think this is money well spent. I have seen all 3 of my older kiddos succeed in using this tool. My 10 year old no longer uses it. My 9 year old has struggled with reading and this is helping her a lot. My now 6 year old is enjoying it as I am watching him grow leaps and bounds.
According to Ticket to Read:
24/7 Reading Excitement
Ticket to Read lets your students practice important reading skills at school, home, or the library—anywhere they can access the Web.
- Designed for K–6 students
- Engages and motivates students in a Web-based environment
- Builds phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension
- Offers multiple reading levels with hundreds of reading passages and activities
- Develops early reading skills with phonics games
- Includes support for native Spanish-speaking students
- Embedded reward system motivates students to build virtual toys and decorate their personal reading space
My pre-k children I won’t start Ticket-to-Read until next summer. Although one of them may start Ticket-To-Read this coming school year and she is starting to do some reading. They right now are enjoying Starfall and Bookflix. Bookflix is a subscription through the school. I mainly use Bookflix for them as books on tapes. It reads to them as they follow along. My Kindergartener can also use Bookflix to read to him or he can choose books based on his reading level and read them himself.
Reading is very important to a child’s development. I even continue to read aloud to my older girls too. Right now we are finishing up Book 8 of the 9 book Sisters Grimm Series by Michael Buckley. We are really enjoying this series. This has been our nightly routine. The chapters can be long so we get in at least a chapter a night. It has been a great mother/daughter experience!
The boys are reading the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne with their Dad at night for their daddy/son bonding time. When we finished up the series with the kiddos Rob and I will switch and I will read another series with the boys and he with the girls. So we switch back and forth every other series. Our plan for the girls next is The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and the boys Eerie Elementary series by Jack Chabert.
My kiddos love their nightly reads with mom and dad. Something we all look forward to and also a great way to unwind from the day. As I was browsing along looking for some reading ideas for the kiddos this summer I came across a fantastic website Brightly. What a great resource. It has book ideas for all ages including grown-ups! This is where I got the idea of doing a family book club this summer! They are on there 5th installment of family book club. The other books they have done are still outlined on the website. This month’s Book is Pax by Sara Pennypacker. The book is geared towards tweens, but they also list books for younger readers. So my plan is to choose on of the family book club books and pick a corresponding book(s) to read to my younger 2 kiddos. Read more about Brightly here. You will not be disappointed!
If you are looking for more book ideas for younger kiddos (babies-early elementary) then I would also recommend to you Jodie’s website Growing Book by Book. She does a virtual book club for kids, and a family dinner book club. She offers a lot of other resources as well for young readers and guidance for parents. You can read more about Jodie here. She also provides writing ideas and literacy ideas. Once again a wealth of information!
Another great tidbit is find a theater or even children’s theater (playhouse, performing arts center, broadway, etc.). Last year we enjoyed reading Peter Pan and then going to watch it at the local playhouse. We also read The Tales of the 4th grade Nothing by Judy Blume, and then went and watched the show performed at the children’s theater. This is one of my favorite things to do with my kiddos. I LOVE the theater!