Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Lessons -- One Idea

I sat down and talked with my two oldest to get some rough structure ideas for the summer. We settled on having a library day (Mondays look good for this and help start the week out with new reading material), some pool time, some cleaning time (my idea, of course), some sustained silent reading, and some art time.

Art time?

I had to do a little searching because while Bookivore loves Art, she hates Crafts. So I was looking for something that fell more under Art and less under Cut-Paste-and-Glitter. What I found was a gem of a site that offered me projects based on actual artists (you know -- people who get paid to make art)or on artistic principles.

Woot Woot!

It's called -- appropriately --
Art Projects for Kids, and I love that all the projects have been classroom tested. Some projects need a template, which may only be available for a small fee, but most are free. FREEEEEEE!

Another nice feature is that the projects mostly require stuff you're likely to have at home or can get easily at a local craft store -- paint, oil pastels, chalk. One or two require fancy art stuff like gesso, but there's enough there that you can just skip those and find something else to do. We're going to focus mainly on drawing and painting. As a bonus, some projects upcycle old CDs and CD cases or old magazines.

To make this relevant to the books we're reading, I may adapt some of the projects to include objects or places we're reading about. Or I might just have them write about their art -- the perfect double bonus.

Summer starts in T-minus 3 days and counting!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Reading Programs -- Free Books!

Where did Bookivore go? Not far, but my life was so crazy-busy this winter/spring that I was forced to take a hiatus. Sorry, peeps. I just

But I'm back, though maybe not as frequently, and I want to remind everyone that summer is literally right around the corner. Take advantage of these free programs to score some new books for your kids and build their reading skills into the bargain.

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain .

THIS PROGRAM HAS CHANGED: It's for kids 14 and under. Kids need to read 15 minutes a day during June and July. Parents total weekly reading numbers and initial. When kids reach 600 minutes, they can go into the store and trade their logs for a $5 coupon. Not a rewarding as in previous years, but still a worthy goal. Starts June 1, ends July 31, 2011.

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading 2011 Imagination Destination:

This program has not changed. Kids download a reading log and read 8 books. They can bring their book logs into the store and choose a free book from their list of freebies. Runs from May 24 to Sept. 6, 2011. I looked very carefully and could not find either an upper or a lower age limit, but the book choices range from 1st through 5th grade, so that may be the assumption. In the past, the expectation has been that kids will read the books themselves, so kindergarten is probably the lower limit.

Borders/Waldenbooks Summer Reading Challenge:

THIS PROGRAM HAS CHANGED. If you still have a Borders or a Waldenbooks near you, this is another option. Our store is closing because of the company's recent bankruptcy announcement, so my kids can't do this one. Kids 12 and under read 8 books, then bring completed logs into a Borders or Waldenbooks and can save 50% or more on "selected items." These are listed on the worksheet, which you can download here. May 26 - Aug. 1, 2011.

I'll be back later this week with some ideas for summer activities with kids.