Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Activities

Okay, so my every intention this summer has been to do less - observe more lol! Here are some of the activities we have been up to so far:

Summer Scrapbooks - actually this is a continuing project. Each of my boys has a scrap book that is journalling our travelling around. We started it last March:

T has added his own writing to his, whereas W has just organised the pictures and souvenirs.

My dd and I have started this project together, using a cheap birdhouse from a craft shop. She is gluing and tiling.

And my elder son decided to paint this little model. It might not look complicated, but it was small and fiddly. He spent a lot of time working on this.

Other ideas we have for the summer are to knit some simple dishcloths with my elder son, do an outing a week and then try to "present" it later, prepare for Harry Potter night - this, as you can imagine, has taken a lot of planning on the eldest's part!! He has made banners, prepared menus for banquets etc etc.

Another idea I thought of, and have not yet put it into play, is to engage the older two in family meal planning and once a fortnight each child is responsible for the planning of and budgeting for and some preparation of a family meal. I may try this over the next couple of weeks and if it works, make it a Sunday night regular!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Summer Reading list

This summer we have been sent home a list of recommended books from the Elementary teachers at the school. It is an incredibly extensive list, but has been compiled only using the Newbery Medal Prize winners from 1922 - present day. I am aware that it isn't a cut and dry list and is only a guideline as to where one might like to start looking, but it misses off some of the great books of our time that I really feel are more suitable for children of 7 - 9. Many of these books have female characters or are quite "feminine" in their story, so of course, my son is not as happy picking this up to read and many, I feel, I too conceptualy advanced for children who are just 7.

There seems to be a lacking of a middle ground for the younger readers who are fluent and skilled readers, but lack the emotional development for some of the content. So, I have adapted a list of books that we are going to tackle this summer, either individually or together.

Some of these may not be the world's most reknowned piece of literature, but in my opinion, at this age, it is important to introduce children to a wide range of literary style and stories.

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
2. Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson and Donna Diamond
3. The Tale of Desperaux - Kate Di Camillo
4. The Barn - Avi
5. Shiloh - Phyllis Reynolds
6. The Story of King Arthur - Robin Lister
7. The Scarecrow and his Servant - Philip Pullman
8. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips - Michael Morpurgo
9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
10. Kira-Kira - Cynthia Kakohata
11. The Homecoming - Cynthia Voigt
12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling
13. Where the sidewalk ends - Shel Silversten
14. Missing May - Cynthia Rylant
15. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Judy Blume
16. The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverley Cleary
17. This can't be happening at Macdonald Hall - Gordon Korman

(Anything to avoid perpetual re-reads of Captain P.P Poopyhead and his amazing Underpants!!!)

If you have any books you could add to this list, I would be really grateful.