What Parents Need to do at Home for their Kids
This is from my Kindergartener’s teacher:
- show interest in school activities
- contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns
- praise your child often
- read to your child everyday
- let your child see you read Read more…
Fun Math Picture Book for Kids
I saw this book during Curriculum Night at my elementary school in my 3rd grader’s classroom. I flipped though it and then bought my own copy because Jon Scieszka of Henry P. Baloney is one of my son’s favorite authors (and mine too!) and Lane Smith is a really talented illustrator. I first noticed Lane’s work on the unfinished script of Dr. Seuss’s last book, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!, and he did an amazing job of combining Dr. Seuss’s sketches with his own illustrations. Also, anyone entrusted with Dr. Seuss’s last, unpublished work must have been carefully selected! Read more…
Picture Books that Build Vocabulary for Kindergarten
I know that some moms think that this is a terrible idea, but I am finding that my Kindergartener loves big words and his teacher sends a list of vocabulary words home each week that is created by our school’s literacy specialist. We just read the word and the sentence at the dinner table (for the benefit of the two older kids), and let our youngest tell us what he thinks the word means. It’s actually a cute and fun exercise and he’s surprisingly correct most of the time. Try it. Your older kids will be DYING to give the answer. And that doesn’t suck!
My Kindergarten Teacher sent this home to help us encourage our children to write at home. Learning to write goes lock step with learning to read she says. I’ve added a few more ideas.
Here’s some great ideas from her:
- Keep pen and paper by the phone.
- Ask your younger child to write down the name and phone number of the person who called.
- Ask an older child to take a message
- Have your child create lists or help you create lists for things like: groceries, things to pack for a trip or sleep over, guests for your birthday party, what I need to do each day before going to bed.
- When you child gets home from school, create a To Do list and cross off as each task is completed. Maybe there is a reward system for completed lists even!
Lunch Box Notes
- Include a note in your child’s lunch box. Kids love getting notes from their parents!
- Your lunch box note can include what will happen after school as a reminder.
Postcards and Letters
- Buy postcards either from your town or city or when you travel. Have your child send postcards to his or her friends while on a trip as well as to relatives.
- You can send postcards from home as well!
- Each week, choose someone to write to. This gets more exciting as your child receives letters and postcards back.
- Pen pals are always fun, especially from other countries where you can exchange little gifts.
- Leave messages in a conspicuous place for older kids to read.
- Leave reminders for appointments or for activities.
- Messages can also be routine: Hi from Mom and Dad or Did you remember to practice piano today?
- You can write up the play date schedule. Wednesday, Suzy is coming over for a play date.
Assistance on the Computer
- Ask your child to write down his question to you. i.e. “How do you spell Bakugan/Webkinz/Pokemon/Nick Jr./PBS Kids?”
- Write down the answer and let him or her type it into the computer browser.
- Give your child blank notebooks or journals to fill up with words and pictures.
- Encourage your child to write a story. Then decorate with drawings or stickers. Keep these books with your real books and make a big deal about them when you read them.
White Boards/Windows and other fun surfaces
- Let your child use white boards (portable or otherwise) to write notes and/or draw.
- The windows in your house work as white boards if you use erasable markers. Let them write their schedule, lists or even spelling words for a fun surface.
- If there is a old surface for a kid’s art table, turn it into a white board with special white board paint. Click on the image of the white board paint to check it out at Amazon.
Most Important: BE A ROLE MODEL!
Banned and Challenged Books for Kids
I am personally shocked to discover that To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye are still being challenged! These are classics people! This is Banned and Challenged Book week so be sure to make sure these and others are in your public library or ask why! Thank you to BookFinder.com for her post. There are also great summaries of each book by BookFinder if you click on the link. Read more…
Will kids read more if it’s on a digital reader?
Here’s what the Scholastic research found (via New York Times article by Julie Bosman):
- About 25 percent of the children surveyed said they had already read a book on a digital device, including computers and e-readers. Read more…
Find the Hidden Pictures Game App
I remember as a kid how much I liked finding the hidden pictures in the Highlights magazines. I didn’t have a subscription to the magazine, but read it at the dentist or doctor’s office. In fact, this magazine reminds me of waiting in an office; just seeing the familiar logo actually conjures up the weird smell — a little medicine-y and a little stale — that those medical offices tend to have. Read more…