Summer Reading Book Haul

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Some of My Favorite Books Right Now

Sew Fab Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas:
Author: Lesley Ware

ISBN-10: 178067404X
ISBN-13: 978-1780674049

Sew Fab is a great book about sewing, style, and designing. There are guides to help you pick your own style tribe, accessorize, and also how to choose your color palette. I love this book because I am really into fashion and clothes. One day I want to be able to use a sewing machine like my mom does to create pretty dresses and skirts to wear. There are also some really cool projects in the book, my favorite one is the After School Tote.

Another thing I love about the book is the illustrations. The pictures look like they are painted with watercolors and all of the girls in the book have on really cute outfits!  The colors are bright and pretty The girl on the cover has on Chuck’s and those are my favorite shoes. I sometimes use the book when my mom lets me pick my own outfits.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fashion or wants to learn more about sewing. It has helped me out a lot!

Jem and the Holograms comics :
Author: Kelly Thompson and Sophia Campbell

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Jem03-cvr-MOCKONLY-d99d3Jem04_cvr-MOCKONLY

I love comic books!

I just  started reading the Jem and the Holograms comics a few weeks ago. I read all 4 comics in one day and have read My favorite part of comics are the illustrations because I want to be an author/illustrator one day. I have seen the Jem cartoon that my mom used to watch when she was a kid and I loved it!

In the comics the main character is Jerrica Benton but her secret identity is Jem. Jem has a girl band called Jem and the Holograms and they give concerts and help out kids with the Starlight Foundation. Jem has a computer named Synergy that helps her and her band transform and it is super cool! I like the Jem cartoons and comics because all of the stories have a lesson and a moral that I can learn.

I would recommend these comic books to anyone who likes music, brightly colored graphics, and comics. There are 11 books in the series plus a holiday special.

The Witches:
Author: Roald Dahl

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ISBN-10: 0590032496
ISBN-13: 978-0142410110

My teacher read this book to our class and I loved it so much, I had to read it myself. I want to read all of Roald Dahl’s books because the stories I have seen in movies were great, and I am sure the books are too!
The story is about 2 boys, the narrator and a boy named Bruno Jenkins, who meet some witches and get turned into mice. With the help of the narrators grandmother, they try to find away to turn back into boys and get back at the witches.
I like this book because it is very funny and creative. The funniest part of the book to me, was when the witches were at their meeting and The Grand High Witch told them all that they could remove their wigs, gloves, and shoes.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes funny stories.

The Jigsaw Jones Mystery Books :
Author: James Preller

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I like these stories because they are funny and there are real mysteries to be solved. I like to watch NCIS, Sherlock,  and other mystery stories with my mom, but I don’t always understand what is going on. The Jigsaw Jones books are very kid friendly and easy to understand. Another thing I like, is that I can read the books easily in one day and still remember details.

The main character is Jigsaw Jones. He loves drinking grape juice and he has a dog named Rags. The story is written like Jigsaw is an actual detective and I like that a lot. It’s not just a kid trying to solve mysteries, he actually is really good at it. The book reminds me of Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery stories.

The Summer Slide Costs Money…and Time

More than just money, summer learning loss costs time. Precious time. Not only time to the teachers, but time to the parents who oftentimes work and have other children, but most importantly it takes away from our children learning something new. This is where the old phrase, “time is money” makes the most sense.

Though it doesn’t seem like much, the $18,000 or more that the education system spends just on the summer slide equates into almost 1 year of post secondary education. That is a lot of money spent on being counter productive, right?

According to The Summer Learning Association, most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).

2 months is a significant amount of time, especially when the school year is generally only about 10 months. That is why I think as parents we need to step up and do more to help our children, our teachers, and our school systems. because despite what some may have you to believe, it really does take a village.

Here are some helpful ways that we as parents can help to combat that learning loss and keep our children engaged:

1. Review your school district’s curriculum maps or standards for your child’s upcoming year and find fun activities online that coincide with the subject matter. In our school district there are not only curriculum maps, but learning objectives, and practice material.

2. Positively reinforce what they have already learned by reviewing this completed school years’ subject matter to show them just how much they have learned. At the end of the school year, my daughter gets  to bring home all of her assessments and journals. We go over those together so that she can see the progress that she made from the beginning to the ending of the school year.

3. Everyday have an “unplugged” time where neither you or your child(ren) is/are connected to any electronic devices. Use this time for fun math and spelling drills, reading above grade level books (with your help), free writing, drawing, painting, etc. Right now, my daughter and I are reading the Harry Potter books together and everyday, even on weekend, we do quick math fact drills to keep her sharp.

4. Before the school year is out, make a list of attainable learning goals for your child to learn by the end of summer break and STICK WITH THE PLAN! Make a big deal when goals are accomplished so that your child can get more excited and motivated to learn. So far, she is on goal for learning all of her multiplication facts. We only have 4 more weeks to go and I’m pretty confident that she will learn them all before the time is up.

5. If there is subject matter that your child struggled with throughout the regular school year, now would be a perfect time to hone in on that to see what you can do to help them to comprehend better or feel more confident about the subject.I asked my daughter what she felt she needed to work on, and I made lesson plans based around that and material for the upcoming school year.

6. If you are sending your child to camp, if at all possible, try to enroll them into programs that will challenge them to learn and to be creative. It’s never too late to research good programs, if not for now but next summer break. Most public schools and public libraries will be happy to give you information and suggestions about camps in your area. Some of the camps may also offer scholarships or tuition assistance.

7. Enlist the help of your child’s school. Ask what you can do to help your child over the summer. Your child’s teacher, counselor, or principal should be able to tell you specifically what subjects if not specific material to review to give your child a head start for the upcoming school year.

8. GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!!!! Throughout the summer there are so many different programs that most libraries have to keep children learning and engaged. The most popular is typically the summer reading program. Make sure both you and your child have up to date library cards so you can take advantage of all the great reading material and also have access to the computers.

9. Find television shows/programs and movies that are entertaining and educational. If your child watches tv/movies then you have to find a way to use those media sources to your advantage. In the age of Netflix, Hulu, and many other online streaming resources it’s almost impossible not to find a couple of things that kids enjoy that is also engaging.  Some of our favorite things to watch are Beakman’s World, Magic School Bus, and Bill Nye.

10. Research and educate yourself on things your child is interested in to find the educational or brain stimulating qualities.Does it stimulate their imagination? Does it help them to become deeper thinkers? Does it challenge their comprehension?  Don’t be afraid as a parent to put restrictions, especially through the summer, on things that serve no purpose. I still am unable to find the advantage of letting my daughter watch Disney Channel.

These are just some of my methods that I use to help combat the summer slide for my child. What are some things you do? I would love to hear your suggestions and comments!

Rahni Reads Green Eggs and Ham


To kick off National Reading Awareness Month by ReadAloud.org and Dr Seuss’ birthday, Rahni reads one of her favorites, Green Eggs and Ham.I think she did a great job and she is super excited to do another video:)

This is perfect to show your little ones for their bed time story tonight!

Enjoy♥

Episode 3 Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus Chapter 3

Hi!
We are back this week with episode 3 of our podcast where Rahni will read us chapter 3 from Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.
We also discuss other books that she is reading and introduce new content to our cast this week.
Please if you have a moment, you can review our podcast on the iTunes store and remember to tell a friend!
Thank you for hanging with us!!

*Update* Somehow my RSSfeed was deleted and now the podcast is not in iTunes any longer. I am sure it was something I did or didn’t do correctly:)

I just resubmitted a new feed…I’m  learning more and more every time I post one of these. For now, you can continue to listen to/follow us on Soundcloud or just press play right here on the blog:)

Again, thank you all for your patience and for sticking with us!!

Books that Rahni is adding to her list

Even though Santa gave her quite a few new books for Christmas, my little bookworm somehow can still manage to want more new books to read. Totally believable. We are talking about a little person who starts at least 5 books at a time. She was reading so many books recently that she ran out of bookmarks so she had to get creative. I had no idea until I found erasers, toilet paper, and receipts as books marks. One time she even used a stick of gum.

Well, seeing as how Santa also alleviated her deficiency of bookmarks issue with some totally cool personalized bookmarks from Frecklebox.com, she has decided to add more books to her already long ‘To Read’ list.

bookmark

Not that I am complaining that she wants to read more, I would just LOVE for her to finish some of the books she has started.

1. This is actually not just one book, it is a series of books by author Hillary McKay with a main character named Lulu.

Lulu is a 7 year old girl that loves animals, so Rahni immediately felt she was a kindred spirit.

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2. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. Henkes is one of her favorite authors, so it’s no wonder she loved the excerpt from this one. It’s about a 2nd grader named Billy who seems a little uncertain about how his year will be.
billy

3. Doll Bones by Holly Black. This appears to be a bit advanced for her reading level but she is adamant about taking a stab at it. A novel about 2 friend who go on a journey at the request of ghost that inhabits the dolls body. I’m not really sure that she will get around to reading this one, but I am pretty sure that I will:)

doll bones

4. Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon. A book about a brave little girl who has an over active imagination and is the youngest of 3.

dory

5. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book! Firebird by Misty Copeland. It’s a book about confidence. courage, and motivation; things that any girl of any age or race can identify with. This is a picture book, so it will not be difficult for her to read. I have a feeling that this book will be one that she will keep on her shelf and maybe one day pass it down to her daughter.

firebird