Friday, July 27, 2012

Grasping Time

My first step in making better use of my momming potential and time is to make more intentional use of this summer.

I don't intend to weigh the kids down with "schoolwork," but don't think it will hurt them to use parts of their days to enrich their minds and know I care about their continued development.   In going through our books, and noting how the family is not going to the bookshelf when they want to read, but too often to the teen trash section of the library (judgmental, I know!), I remembered that I used to give them summer reading lists.  These lists included age-appropriate reading to suit their interests; introducing/sharing classic books they didn't know existed.  

For Princess Eager, I plan to suggest choices such as Little Women or her sisters' favorite, An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott, Elsie DinsmoreCheaper by the Dozen, and Meet Me In St. Louis.

Prince Go-for-It already has a couple of books he wants to read: 
Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine and Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Cofounder.  They're both about running, but historical, biographical, and the fun pursuit of his own passion will help him also improve his reading speed and understanding.

Princess Eager might enjoy The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and/or Emma.  She is already reading Emmitt Smith's Game On: Find Your Purpose--Pursue Your Dream.

Prince Go-for-It's summer help:
The Key to Algebra series 
It's also a good time to help those with 'gaps.'  For instance, Prince Go-for-It would like to take 9th grade algebra at the junior high, but isn't sure he's prepared for that challenge.  I can sure help him do that.

Here is where I also admit that Prince CuddleBunny isn't reading yet... and some of you may be shocked and dismayed.  I read to him, and siblings read to him.  He does phonics.  Mostly we talk and 'do'... He watches, is in the middle of most any action, and absorbs information and skills like crazy. (I'm so jealous that he spotted a Cedar Waxwing on our huckleberry bush the other day... I've wanted to see one my whole life!)  It just hasn't been a priority for him to put together what he's learned and take off with reading on his own.  

Just a couple of the books by
Raymond and Dorothy Moore
Early in our homeschooling, I read books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore.  They homeschooled their 5 kids before homeschooling was at all a trend.  They believed in growing a whole child, not just a scholar, so their 'homeschooling' included manual work and service to home and community.  They didn't believe in early, formal schooling, and their own experiences included having one son who didn't read on his own until he was 11, at which time he was so eager to see 'what happens next' in a book his mom was reading aloud, that he took it to his room and figured it out.

A favorite reading-help:
 Teach Your Child to Read
 in 100 Easy Lessons
Each of the 5 Moore children graduated from prestigious universities and are professional successes.  I don't think it will hurt Prince CuddleBunny in the long run that he didn't read by age 8.  He is a busy and smart child, and will easily catch up once he starts.  But I do think it's time to put more consistent time in helping him reach this goal.  I think he just doesn't fully realize the fun of reading enough to want to do it on his own.

We also have a 'fun' workbook to chase away summer boredom, when the other kids are busy.  Scholastic Success With: 2nd Grade includes some lessons in map reading, math, penmanship, and grammar.

Among the books he and I will enjoy together this summer are Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Prince Stoic's old favorites, Some Summer!, and Soup.

I foresee some nice times ahead, around the fire or in a lounge chair on a covered porch...

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