Ok, we've previously established that I am a mom who likes to keep her kids busy with positive projects and challenges.
So since school is finally out for the summer (we finished the end of June) my children have fallen prey to my summer tutoring program. This includes a couple of things.
First off, before anyone is allowed to play video games in the afternoon (I've told you before, no TV or games before 2:00 pm -- and then their time is limited -- so my poor, deprived offspring have to be creative and spend time outside and swimming and reading and stuff like that) he or she must first complete a sheet of homework. Over the years I've tried lots of workbooks, but Summer Bridge Activities are my favorite...I have even been able to find lots of them at our local second hand store for $1 or less if I watch that section.
The point (for me) is to keep their little minds all fresh and flowing even when they aren't in an organized classroom. Plus these homework pages tend to challenge them to think creatively (like yesterday, Bryce's sheet asked him to write about slavery from the point of view of a slave owner, a slave and then express his own feelings about the topic...FABULOUS!).
Round two of summer torture, I mean tutoring is a reading program. This is my favorite.
While I was at All-A-Dollar I found these sets of cute classroom tags. They came in sets of 30 so I bought five varieties. I put them in a bag with a couple of markers and some scotch tape.
Now, whenever one of the kids finishes a book said child chooses a tag, writes the title of the book on it, signs his or her name and then tapes it onto the wall of our side entryway. The goal is to completely fill the wall before school starts in the fall (which shouldn't be too hard). We do put a limit on the number of books Ellie and Logan can have read to them a day so that the older kids don't sit down and read them a thousand books and fill the wall in a day. The older kids have to read chapter books to count and Bryce's books have to be at least 200 pages to count, but other than that they can read whatever they want.
At first the kids were not thrilled with this idea because they didn't think they could do it, but as the days have gone by and they see how quickly the wall is beginning to fill (we started Sunday so we're making good progress) they have found their second wind and are devouring books at an alarming rate. Mission accomplished.
Once the wall is full we will have some sort of prize. Maybe a dinner out or a trip to Raging Waters or something, I'm not sure what yet. The way they are going I may have to buy more tags and start having them fill every tiny gap so they don't finish too soon. What a wonderful problem to have!