Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What?! May Already?! Time to Prep for Summer (Part 1)!

Since I've had Baby #4, the days of the week run together and for the most part I have no idea what the date is!  So, I was a little surprised to wake up this morning and realize that today is May.  What?!  That means we have entered into our last month of the school year.  My kindergartener will soon be a first grader, preschool year one for the Princess wraps up next week, and soon I will have all four of my kiddos at home...everyday...hmm.  We need a plan!

We don't live close to "town" where most of the activities are and I don't want to spend a lot of time driving each day, so I am going to have to get creative and come up with some activities to do at home or in our little town.  While I am all for free play and unstructured time, letting each day be a free-for-all will be a disaster.  I think if I spend some time in May devising a plan, I may actually be able to pull it off!

My goal is to create projects in the following areas:  arts and crafts, cooking, science, literacy, and motor skills.  Since my kids are all young, but at very different levels, I hope to be able to come up with one activity and adapt it so each kiddo can be successful.  In addition to these activities, I want to plan some fun outings to support what we're learning or just to get out and explore.

Once I get organized, I'll share some of my activities with you all.  One activity we will do every day is reading.  I want to create a weekly reading challenge for each kid and if they meet their minute or books read goal, we will celebrate on Friday evenings with a special activity or treat.  I plan to use a weekly chart to keep track of our progress.  We'll track the books my oldest son reads in addition to his minutes, as it will be fun for him to see how many books he actually read over the summer. 

We will utilize many different ways of reading:  independent book look, Tag readers, books on CD and DVD, and being read to of course.  We plan to participate in our local library's reading program as well.  While we have a ton of books at home, I have saved some from my Scholastic order to pull out this summer and we'll take a weekly trip to the library to check out books, too.  I hope to get some reading in myself this summer!  I think I'll participate in the challenge as well.

How will you encourage your kiddos to read during the summer?  If you're looking for some good books, check out our post from last summer!

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