Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer break, Shakespeare and reading charts

I know I’ve been bad about posting this semester, but it was quite productive and we got a lot done so my lack of blogging was for a good cause. Now that the semester is over I’ve been able to breathe a sigh of relief. Since all our lessons have been finished and school has been officially closed we have literally done nothing but relaxed. I’ve done some more reading of my own and have been kind of hooked on Shakespeare recently and have went back and read several of his plays again after a long time. Then we searched the library and they actually have summarized versions of his plays for kids which we got from the library and my 5 year old (who is almost 6 by the way) and I read them together. So far we have read A Midsummer Night's Dream and are currently going through Twelfth Night. Even though these plays were written for kids, they were targeted more towards 9 year olds and have quite a lot of quotes from the originals in them, therefore I have had to explain a lot to her. There’s one book that I particularly loved and I’m thinking of adding it to our library, Tales From Shakespeare by Tina Packer. It retells ten of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It’s wonderful for kids and even I enjoyed going through it.

Another thing we decided to do was create a summer reading chart, to encourage more reading. I’ve noticed lately that my girls have both been really into playing with their dolls and doing all sorts of elaborate imaginative play, which I am so happy to see, but it has been cutting into their reading time. So we created a chart for reading. Basically on one page there is room to fill in 16 books. Once she reads a book (and it has been a proper book, not a book that is only a few pages or a board book that belongs to her little sister) we can add the book’s title, author and the date she read it on to the page. Once she has filled up the whole page with the 16 books (don’t ask me how we came up with that number, we just did) then she will get $1 for that page. Every page she fills up she’ll get a dollar for. There are a couple of rules though, one is that she is not allowed to read the same book twice (unless she wants to, but it won't be counted on the chart) and if she reads a thick chapter book then I will count that as two books. We decided to start this today, since it is the first day of June and she’s already read 3 books! I just hope I’m not bankrupt by the end of the week.

I will be writing more about what we did this past semester (the homelife projects) and what our plans are for the summer, her birthday, and also next year.