Friday, June 10, 2011

How to keep my young kids interested in reading all summer.

So my oldest baby is now reading!!  Urgh! Now that we're almost done with Kindergarten and he's reading (Thank You Mrs. Schillhammer!!!)  I'm trying to figure out how to help him not loose this skill he's learned so well in his class.  Besides all the books that we've purchased for him to hopefully do for his math and language skills, now I have to think about books he can actually read. We've put a few in the car for all the many road trips we will hopefully be taking, and we've also started listening to books on CD in the car. We all love this! But I'm thinking that if we can establish a routine that he sits for 20 minutes or so a day and knows that he has to do those things at that time each day it'll be easier to get done.  And I'm thinking we rotate math with reading so he's not overwhelmed.  These are all things we kind of learn as we go with our first child, and becomes easier (I hope) as we get to the next.

So we belong to the Barnes&Noble Kids club. And I get these great emails from them and the last one included a nice article about how to keep them reading throughout the summer. Feel free to check it out for more on this subject.

Here's a bit of what they have to say: During these summer months, it may be helpful to think of yourself not as a backup teacher, but as a supportive coach whose job it is to incorporate reading more fully into your child's life. It's always important to read storybooks to children, but summertime offers a wealth of additional opportunities to introduce them to the world of print.

Getting ready for a vacation is a great time to play memory games, which help children to focus on details, categorize information, and learn to think more systematically-all important reading readiness skills. Here's a game to try: One person begins, "We're going a trip and we're taking our pajamas." The next person adds, "We're going on a trip and we're taking our pajamas and a teddy bear." Keep taking turns, repeating all the previously mentioned items and adding others - until it gets just too silly to continue. Or, you might play an alphabet version of the memory game, starting with "a" for apple, continuing with 'b' for blackberries, and so on.   The full article is online.

When I read this it reminds me of all the great apps I've found for our iPad.  If you use iTunes just do a search for educational apps or math apps. I recently brought my iPad and iPod in to my sons kindergarten class and the kids were doing math flash cards and SO excited about it. The teacher was excited too because it was just another way for them to practice their math. My sons favorite app this week is called "Math Ninja".  It's part game, part math.  He LOVES it! Thanks apple!! And they're all FREE!

If you have any tips or things that have been successful for you please share them. We all have the same goal. Keep our kids learning, happy and enjoying the summer!