Summer Reading Book Haul

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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!

Summer Learning


School has officially been out 3 full weeks and Rahni has been hitting it hard and I could not be more impressed with her! For the last 2 weeks we have been refreshing addition facts and working on the multiplication facts that she has not memorized (4, 6,7,8,9). So far we had to review multiplication facts of 3 for a full week and we just finished with 4’s so next week we will put factors of 6 into the mix. She is doing pretty good, I must say, and I think that her understanding that multiplication is just addition over and over (arrays)  makes things a lot easier. That is one thing that I am thankful for with Common Core. Just that one thing so far though. 🙂

As far as reading goes she dove head first into comics and graphic novels a couple years ago and has not looked back since! We recently made a trip to a couple of local comic book stores, The Book and Music Exchange and also The Great Escape and Rahni racked up! She seems to be pretty pschyed about The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, a new comic from Marvel that came out December 2014. She got the lastest copy #6 and now wants to get all of them, of course. Also, she got a few Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers which were pretty expensive considering how old and not so great they looked. I assume that these will only go up in value over the years so I feel pretty confident that the price was justified. Another favorite from her haul is Archie Comics Sabrina The Teenage Witch. From what I have researched the comics for this particular series originated in around 1971. We so far have been able to procure about 30 comics but there are several out there because there seems to be at least 3 different series she appears in not including the Little Archie series. Luckily, we were able to find a lot of the volumes available for digital download on the Archie Comic website for her to read, but our goal is to obtain more paper copies for her collection.

Although it’s been hard to tear her away from her comics she has also been making time for at least a chapter a day of Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone (book 1). She is just now taking it seriously after us purchasing it about a year ago. I think she got discouraged because the words were complicated and some of the concepts were still foreign to her. What a difference a year makes! At my suggestion that she start the book over with new eyes, she started re reading it last week and has 2 chapters to go before she’s finished. Since she is swearing that she has never seen the movie Sorcere’s Stone, (which I know isn’t true because we own all the movies and I have watched them a million times)  I told her that if she finished the book and did the questions from this absolutely awesome guide that I found online, (which you can access here) that she and I would make a night of watching the movie and comparing it to what she’s read. I must confess, I am a bit more excited than she is.

I must say  that I had forgotten how great the books were! When I read them as an adult and it literally took me days to read each one because I was so enthralled with the story. While I did allow my imagination to do most of the work in Sorcer’s Stone, I will also admit that reading them became much easier after having character voices and faces along with landcsapes and visual refernces to use from the movies. Now, seeing it through her eyes and hearing her feedback, it’s almost like a new experience. I will definitely be reading book 2 with her. It’s funny because she says to me the other day, “it’s weird that Snape is a teacher because he seems like a bad guy or Harry Potter’s enemy.” I couldn’t say much for fear of ruining everything. Also, I want to hear and see her reaction once she puts everything together in the Deathly Hallows and see if she has more resolve not to cry like a blubbering idiot like myself and so many others did. Since she is my child, the chances of her not are pretty slim lol!

We don’t have much by the way of a reading list because our focus this summer is to read for comprehension and finding a deeper understanding and meaning in texts. Though she will always have free reading forever and always, her required reading this summer is just 2 books, Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. I think that the relationships and scenarios are so complex in the Harry Potter books that we could literally spend endless amounts of time analyzing and discussing them. Also, the fact that she is really getting into them and is wanting to duscuss these things makes it that much more of a great opportunity now.

Even though we don’t have a summer reading list we would still LOVE to hear from you guys about what you’re reading and suggestions. Please email us or comment to let us know!

We’ll be posting soon about Read Aloud so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

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♥

Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus Ch 4

We’re back!

This week Rahni reads us chapter 4 of Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. We also discuss plans for a children’s book club and Rahni’s Minecraft accomplishments so far.

Thank you for listening and please feel free to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes! We would greatly appreciate it!