Today I finally started to see the fruits of my labor, because quite honestly this whole blogging business while trying to get my kid’s summer school rolling was really overwhelming. I’m the last to go to bed and they’re the first to bed and then of course they’re up full of energy bright and early!
But today was really rewarding because I caught myself with my “teacher hat” on, which I guess it’s not on as often as I thought it was… and I only noticed because my kids asked with a very serious look on their face, “are you a teacher?” To which I replied, “Yes, mommy has been a teacher for a long time and now during the summer I’m going to be your teacher at home!” Then while I was reading our first book my daughter put her hand on my lap, smiled and told me that I was a really good teacher and that she likes how I read better when I’m a teacher. I didn’t know how to take it at first because it’s not like I don’t read to them often, but I did notice that with my “teacher hat” on I wasn’t just reading to them to get the story told and over with, but I kept on pausing and asking questions and connecting some dots which made the story 4x longer than it would have taken because it was a short book. I guess when it’s night and I’m just reading to them to go to bed I just want to make it as short and sweet as possible, with some questions but not too many.
As part of our weekly routine on Monday we had gone to the library and picked up all the books we were going to read for the week and we used our suggested reading list to help us out. Today we read A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom and it was the perfect book for them because it was about a duck that kept bothering this poor polar bear and although you can tell that the polar bear is upset, he never let it get the best of him. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about our feelings and how we need to think before we act even when we get angry or upset because right now that’s something we’re struggling with. Then the bear comes to find out that the duck is bothering him because he loves him so much and wrote him a note about how he’s such a splendid friend. Which was another great point to discuss how sometimes people may do things with good intentions but we may not understand it. Overall we literally dissected the book apart to the point that it’s now one of their favorite books – yay!
After doing some reading we moved onto writing, but not before using the book for one more activity. Here’s an activity that you can use with every book you read. It’s just letters that I cut out from magazines and pasted onto a cardboard backing and stored it inside an empty wet-wipes container.
The kids pick a word from the book and then spell it out with the cut out letters. They saw it more like a puzzle and it took a lot of effort for them to build a word. With some team work, they were even able to spell the largest word in the book – SPLENDID! Proud mommy moment right there.
Then we went onto some more writing by practicing the capitalized letter “A” and lower cased “a” from these worksheets that you can print out for free. Afterwards we worked on our letter book where we wrote some words that started with the letter “A” and drew some pictures of things that started with the letter “A”… an ant and anaconda… we’re really into snakes right now (when I say we, I mean them, I have a crazy fear of all things that crawl). They’ve always been huge dinosaur fans and ever since we read about the Titanoboa fossils at the Smithsonian, it’s the new cool thing.
In case that wasn’t enough, today was also their first official time baking. Sure, they’ve helped in the kitchen before during breakfast or at random times, but this was their first time start to finish, full-blown, hands-on, baking! We started with rules, safety, and all the basics. I introduced them to the measuring cups and spoons, and the importance of following instructions and listening and this is what they made for dessert (if you’d like the recipe you can find it here)…
To finish up the day we read our first ABC scripture which was Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” and we talked about what that meant and they practiced it a couple of times. Then we read one of our favorite books… in Portuguese… because after all, summer time is my opportunity to teach them the language that they don’t get to learn as much during the school year because of school and it’s important to me that they don’t lose their roots, so we read Guess How Much I Love You or Adivinha Quanto Eu Te Amo! This time I made sure to read with my “teacher hat” and my “mommy hat” on because it’s our special book…