This week, we officially began our Smart Summer 2012, a summer filled with fun learning, focused and free days, and a whole lot of flexibility–everything I think families need if they want a plan to work. We have an outline for our days.
If we get to everything, awesome; if not, that’s totally cool too.
Maddy, Owen, and Cora were totally psyched to some of their old faves on the calendar, along with some new and exciting activities as well.
They were also over the moon to learn about why these beautiful books and journals were sitting in our dining room for the last few days. Fun, inexpensive blank journals that were theirs for the choosing to use for their Everyday Journals–the happy cousin of their Everyday Name Books from years past.
So awesome. I wanted to dance because I spent a lot of time creating them with my kids in mind–trying to come up with reading and writing activities that would be engaging and that I could adapt for Cora.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Everyday Journals: I loved the idea of having something regular to do every day that would include reading, writing, creative thinking, and all that digital literacy greatness that I’ve been reading about and trying to include for my kiddos.
I also loved doing the Everyday Name Books with the kids for the past few summers because, well, kids (and parents!) like consistency. And it was awesome for Maddy, Owen, and Cora to have something to look back on so they could see their progress and improvement.
Maddy chooses her Everyday Journal
So when I sat down to create the Everyday Journals, I had those same things in mind. But I also knew that the kids would have to want to do the activities or the whole thing would be a bust.
And I also knew that the kids would need to have some ownership of the whole thing in order for it to work.
So Cora and I picked up a bunch of blank journals at the store the other day–ones with cool designs, jewels (for Cora), gold edges (for Maddy), and huge (for Owen). They were totally inexpensive–from two to four dollars each–but well worth the investment. And we brought them home, gave them some room to choose, and they did. They love their journals.
The Everyday Journal Topic cards. . .
. . . and the way we’re organizing them–new cards and old cards.
But the journal itself is only a piece of the pie; the other piece is the Everyday Journal Topics–creative, thoughtful daily activities for kids.
You can download the Everyday Journal Topics here, as a pdf if you’d like.
If you use them, awesome! Please let me know what you think.
The idea is that each day, whomever’s day it is will choose a card from the Everyday Journal Topics, and during work time that day, we’ll do it!
The Everyday Journal topics include reading, writing, and thinking activities that begin with:
- Photo Inspiration;
- Nature Inspiration;
- Poem Inspiration;
- Techy Inspiration;
- Artsy Inspiration.
And specifically, the activities involve everything from getting outside, staying inside, reading, watching, listening, computer time, you name it.
I incorporated some of my favorite websites–ones that I want my kids to start trying and experimenting with–under my watch, of course, as well as some of my favorite teaching materials and learning tools from some fabulous companies.
I am totally psyched to share our adventures each day and look forward to hearing how these work for your kiddos.
Tomorrow, I’ll share how we will organize our day–or try to!–so that we manage to fit all that we have planned. Woot!
Here’s to happy, creative, thoughtful fun with our kids!
Check out a few other posts that may help you develop strong and healthy habits for your family:
- wait time
- my day, your day
- frozen peas
- kids who rock the kitchen
- kids who rock the laundry
- rest time
- gem jars
- arm circles
- noticing kids
- homework routine
Check out these other fab posts about getting kids writing:
- at-home writing center
- authentic writing: power notes to nana
- 1-hand summary
- teach left-handed kids to write
- stop, observe, and write!
- everyday journal writing — and tons of topics!
- hello, teacher! notes
- FUN ways to learn spelling words
Cheers, and happy reading during this incredibly exciting journey!
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.