What Others Are Doing

Outside The Box Reading Ideas For Summer

So the year is winding down and many parents and kids are getting ready for some summer fun around the pool. But we parents know that learning is year round (and hopefully life-long)! So in the spirit of learning, I’d like to share a couple of cool ideas for summer reading that others have put out there for us to use.

Kelly invites us to join her for a Summer Reading Theme-a-thon over at Little Homeschool On The Prairie.

This fun and simple program is designed to encourage families to enjoy reading together and extending favorite stories into togetherness-building activities as a family.

Summer Reading Theme-a-thon begins Monday, June 23 and will extend through the end of August.

I can’t think of a better reason to join in! She will post different themes bi-weekly and encourages you to create family activities and/or trips to make the themes come alive. Then she’ll be posting pictures of participating families and their creative journeys with each theme. This can be great fun for all ages!

HomeSchool Journey has some great ideas for curing what she calls “Imboreditis”.

One thing I noticed about home learning in our own environment, is that the children seem to function better when a specific level of routine remains consistent over the long summer break. If that routine is broken over the summer break, the children seem to develop what I call: Imboreditis. The symptoms of Imboreditis include: persistent whining, the droning sound of I’m bored, lethargic lying about, the dragging of feet, and of course: lots of sighing. If you begin to hear the dreaded I’m bored, I’d encourage you to think creatively.

Be sure to check out her ideas to cure these dreaded symptoms. She includes weekly visits to the library and joining a summer reading program.

Have a great time reading this summer!

Just For Fun What Others Are Doing

175th Carnival of Education

This week’s Carnival of Education (game show edition) is being hosted at Learn Me Good 2. Good luck to MisterTeacher on his upcoming game show appearance!

In The News Just For Fun What Others Are Doing

COH Issue For June 10

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up–thanks to The Common Room for hosting! Just a few of the interesting posts that caught our eye here at RCO:

Hands on ABC Order — some activities you can do with your child to exercise their alphabetizing skills.

First Grade Curriculum Review — great insight from a first year homeschooler on several subjects (not just reading)

There’s More to Education Than Smarts — an interesting post about the social responsibilities that come with an education.

And take a look at the test Phil gave his 4th grader.

There are several other great posts in the carnival for homeschoolers–check it out!

What Others Are Doing

Around The Table We Went

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do a workshop or presentation about reading instruction, so I was happy to finally get the opportunity to do one last night.  I truly love the process involved in sharing valuable information with people for the sake of helping kids read. We had our first Reading Roundtable Workshop for homeschooling parents in our local community of Knoxville, TN.

I’ve done plenty of workshops and presentations about reading in my career, but this one was different. I think my natural tendencies as a presenter to include and interact with my audience, combined with my own desire to learn from others led me to offer a different type of workshop. I’ve dubbed it a Reading “Roundtable” because I had the desire to do more than just the typical dissemination of information to a group of people. Instead I wanted to present the information to the group (with questions and answers inserted as they came up, of course), but then opening up “the floor” to the participants in the hopes that they would share their knowledge, experiences, and/or concerns as they related to reading, curriculum, and homeschooling. Well, the results were awesome!

Although there were few in attendance for our first Reading Roundtable Workshop, the amount of information that flowed freely between everyone in the room was amazing! Connections were made, suggestions were taken, experiences were shared, concerns were aired, light bulbs were turned on, and ideas were born. I’m really excited about how it all went down and the possibilities that are possible!

I’ve had plenty of responses and requests for future sessions, so I’m happy to report that there will be many more of these in the future!

Bright Ideas What Others Are Doing

Comic Books Don’t Teach Anything

Or do they? Many may not consider comic books to be quality literature, but they are. They’re actually really cool pieces to use to create an interest in reading. While they may appeal to both girls and boys, comic books have been shown to be very useful in sparking an interest in reading in reluctant male readers. It’s no wonder since they’re chock-full of awesome illustrations, unique story lines, short text boxes, and speech bubbles. They’re definitely not like your everyday picture book or text, so some may not see the educational value they hold. You might have to dig (through different genres and titles), but if you look closely you’ll find a valuable resource for your child. Chris Shave definitely found them helpful when teaching his boys:

Shave said that comic books are very visual and these images are enough to drive the story forward alone, even without text. The pictures help actively involve the reader in the story.

“There are short bursts of dialogue, speech, and thought bubbles. Because of that, readers who might feel bogged down by long text and big paragraphs will experience success (reading comic books).”

Iliad Comic BookMore reasons why comic books are great selections to encourage reading:

  • They are high interest so your kids will want to read them. This is huge when trying to instill a love for reading in your child! They may start out with comic books and end up with Shakespeare, you never know – at least they’re reading! Read how Taylor put this theory to practice with high schoolers.
  • The characters tend to use a rich variety of words which helps kids expand their own vocabulary. You can do some interesting vocabulary lessons using comic books.
  • Did you know that Marvel (and other companies) make comic book versions of classical literature like The Iliad, Treasure Island, and The Man in the Iron Mask? These would be a great way to introduce the real books and to provide your child with some background knowledge. Or you can use them after reading the real ones to expose your kids to a different version.

All in all, comic books shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing reading material for your child. You never know what will be that one thing that will motivate your child to read until you try it!

What Others Are Doing

Seven Year-Old Super Reader

Here’s an example of a child who reads to learn and shows it off. Gary from Homeschoolbuzz shares a story about seven year-old Emily Salva, a homeschooled student from Franklin, TN, who decided to make a film for her history project on Ancient Greece. This seven year-old narrated and created all of the graphics for her film, Odysseus and The Cyclops, with the help of her dad (a fellow film maker). Her film was so noteworthy that it was accepted into Nashville’s Film Festival. Very impressive indeed!

Most impressive is the fact that she understood The Odyssey. I know high schoolers who didn’t get it! Check it out and pay attention to her effortless reading…great fluency!

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