Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time to Maintain Those School Skills

June is almost over.  We took almost three weeks to just relax and play and enjoy being out of school, but now it's time make sure the girls aren't total vegetables when they go back to school.  Mostly that's going to mean I just make sure we dedicate some time to reading every day, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep the kids guessing and learning at the same time.  To get the ball rolling, I'm simply going to break out the play doh today to strengthen Mr. A's small motor skills and get the girls creating.  Then we're going to have a little reading session.  I'll read a book to Mr. A - of course the girls are likely to sit down and listen, too, since they can't resist a good picture book - then while he's resting I'll have both girls read to me.  It's really easy to remember that an emerging reader like Miss M should read aloud every day, but many people forget that older readers benefit from it, too.  At school, some reading tests require reading to the teacher, but kids often stop reading aloud as they become more independent. Then they perform poorly on oral reading tests simply because they are out of practice.  That's one reason it's good for older kids to read aloud.  I can also check her pronunciation and comprehension in ways I can't possibly if she's reading silently.  It's a simple thing to have Miss E read to me (or Miss M or Mr. A), but it could make a big difference in her reading success. 

I haven't figured everything out yet, but I'm working on a little reward program for their reading.  Both girls are just dying to have the new Leapster LeapPad but on their tiny weekly allowance it's going to take them years to save up enough to buy their own.  I'm thinking of assigning a monetary bonus to their reading minutes so they can earn a LeapPad faster, but I haven't made a decision on that yet.  So, for now I've created a simple reading calendar for both girls to track their minutes.  When I figure out a reward program I'll post it here.


  1. Awesome! We are doing some things with Noah since he is a little behind already. I also require Jaron to read 30 mins. a day and practice his piano. These are good incentives to get things done when they want to go out and play with friends.

  2. Great idea! Little man loves story time. He randomly brings me books during the day and then gets a story every night at bed time. I hope he continues to have an interest in books as he gets older.