Letters to Authors

Life Skill Discovery Writing a Letter

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Our oldest decided, after reading the first couple of Harry Potter Books, to write a letter to J.K. Rowling.  So we asked each of our kids to choose their favorite author.

We all have our favorite authors, our children are no exception.  Gravitating towards stories that mirror their interests and, for the older kids, are on their personal reading level, kids love to follow a familiar story-teller. The excitement that comes from reading your own books, gaining fluency through familiar print and a sense of clarity when comprehension is mastered gives you ownership. Here are the authors our children elected to write:

My 8 year old: J. K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter Series

 

Our 6 year old: Mo Williams author of comical Piggie, Elephant and Pigeon Books

 

The 3 year old: Sharri Duskey Rinker author of the cleaver Construction Site Books

 

As each child wrote their letter we required the following elements:

  • Date-honestly we forgot this element, Oops
  • Greeting
  • Body of the Letter – with something they liked about their books, a question and a drawing
  • Closing
  • Our return address- just in case an author feels inclined to write back.

This time, we didn’t make a template or use lined paper, I just let them write on blank printer paper.  Click Here for a Letter format

Next, I located the address for each author, many are already posted online however, I had to write a personal email to Ms. Rinker’s business manager. We received a response with in a day! Finally, the kids addressed, sealed and stamped their envelope. Their favorite part was posting their mail, waving goodbye and wishing good luck for their letter’s journey.

 

 

(Her video says: “Goodbye, I hope you make it to Mo Williams.”)

 

 

Summer Family Adventures Week 8

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Summer Family Adventures

July 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our July Summer Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Week 5 Adventures!

Monday: Art Class. Handprint Art.  From our Collection of Art, Cooking & Life Skills of On my Own Cards, the kids will follow the directions to create Handprint Hedgehogs.

Tuesday: Cooking with Math Time to make healthy cookies!. I’ll let the kids choose from one our sweet tooth picks on this weeks menu.

Wednesday: Sports Day– Since our move, we are on the quest to find a new martial arts school for our oldest and the other two would like to also try.  Today they will all get a workout at the gym.

Thursday: Life Skill Discovery Writing a Letter.  Our oldest decided, after reading the first couple of Harry Potter Books, to write a letter to J.K. Rowling.  So we asked each of our kids to choose their favorite author to write to and we will turn it into a fun life skill project. Check out this week’s posting on which authors were chosen.

Friday: Exploring Science. Exploring Science, we may head up to the local city and try out one the science museums today.

Family Adventure

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Blues Cafe or Museum!  

With our recent move, and all the crazy that goes with a transition, sticking to our activity schedule was a challenge.  So, we have some catching up to do on our Summer Wish List. This week we are going to try and head to a local museum and head to the Blue Cafe for our family adventures.

Summer Family Adventures- July

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Summer Family Adventures

July 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our July Summer Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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These are our Summer Goals (A line through them means we have already accomplish):

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, I created a beach scene that will later be used for a fun game board and reading chart.

Daily Challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Summer Family Adventures:Week 2

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Summer Family Adventures

Week 2

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List. For a review of our week 1 adventures, click on this link

Here are our week 2 goals:

Monday: Life-Skill Preparing and Packing for a trip – Our kids will learn why lists are important as they sketch their own and help us pack for the move. Family Trip Packing List

Tuesday: Exploring Science Discover a local beach and learn about the creatures who call that habitat home.

Wednesday: Music Break– Practice on the ukulele and guitars, begin to learn the basics of reading music.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.

Friday: Cooking with Math. Measuring out Trail Mix for our Road Trip.

Family Adventure

Road Trip

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On the road again!! Our family is traveling to see family this week and meet the newest family member a sweet little boy.  The kids are sure excited to have some cousin playtime and we can’t wait to see my brother and sister-in-law!

Summer Family Adventures

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Summer Family Adventures

June 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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Summer Goals:

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map illustrated by my husband. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, he crated a silly snake that will later be used for a fun game board.

This week's daily challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Week 1 Adventures

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Monday: Science Experiment- make parchment paper. Click this link to see a video of how we created our paper.  It was a quick, easy and fun craft that took no more then 15 minuets.

Tuesday: Writing- from yesterday’s paper making the kids created stories and scrolls.

Wednesday: Art Class– a local artist and friend hosts an class for kids Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  We are headed over to the Chill in the morning , where she’s teaching, to paint.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.  Today is also the oldest birthday!

Friday: Cooking with Math. We will be baking a cake for her birthday party with the kids help.  However if you are looking for a terrific resource projects with easy steps for grades pk-2, check out “On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills“. We will be using this resource throughout the summer.

Family Adventure

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Blueberries and blackberries are ready to be picked.  We hope to fill a couple buckets of fresh fruit.  We may also make a quick stop at the local beach to enjoy the beach, before we move.

 

Elements & Dragons

Elements & Dragons Birthday Party

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Elements and dragons, that’s the newest trend for our eight year old girl. On Friday she has a couple friends over to play games and celebrate. With dragons on my mind, I was able to come up with some adorable post card invitations  and a couple creative games for the kids to play.

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Dragon's Quest

Blending elements and dragons, I created an adventure map with clues to locate the dragon’s treasure. Each path lead to a new element themed riddle.  Each clue we sealed with a small bit of wax and a pressed a seal.

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This little dragon seal was an affordable find on Amazon. For the paper, I saved time and purchased an inexpensive packet from Amazon. If you wish to create the appearance of old manuscript. Try using this method and check our video to see the kids in action.

  1. Soak your paper in 2 tablespoons coffee, tea or chocolate and 2 cups of water  in a 9X11 baking dish. You can paint with a brush to ensure the stain blends to the paper or just allow it to soak for 5-10 mins.
  2. Remove the paper and place onto a paper towel blotting the excess water.
  3. Set the oven to 200 degrees. Cook the paper for 5-10mins. Or use a blow dryer on each side to dry.
  4. For extra aging, tear the edges before placing in the oven or afterwards burn a couple holes in the paper.
Elements Story Teller

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A couple posts ago, I wrote about our date night story teller.  For Sophia’s party I created a fun dragon/element version.   The activities on this particular version are related to literacy and story elements. While one flap requests you to describe what’s inside a dragon’s egg another asks to how to capture a dragon.  There are also a couple of movement prompts.  Download here, have fun and enjoy this Elements Fortune Teller.

  • To play ask your friend to pick an element. Spell that element or word moving the teller back and forth.

 

  • Next, have them pick a number. Do the activity and then count that number again moving the teller back and forth for the number picked. Finally have them choose a triangle to open and read the activity.  Repeat as often as you want.

Adventure Map Clues

Adventure Map

Invite

Elements Fortune Teller

 

Capture the Moment

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Capture the Moment

Yesterday as I worked to design our June Home Reading Calendar, my middle child wandered over with a book, “Peek-a-Zoo” by Marie Torres Cimarusti, which she had just finished reading. She requested to create a flip book just like Peek-a-Zoo.  As I was in the middle of reading calendar’s, it was a challenge for me to switch gears but it ended up being a treasured learning opportunity. Quickly, I grabbed one of the $1.00 bin ready-made blank books, taped a quarter sheet of copy paper onto each page and invited her to work along side of me.  This is what she created.

With more time, I will create a fancier flip book for her to build a story. But, this was quick, fun and perfect for her little creative task.

Later that evening, I noticed my oldest daughter had also finished a book about her newest love, dragons.  Within it she described each dragon, broke down the anatomy of a dragon (in her mind), added a joke and a story summary. You never know when inspiration will hit. Stop, capture the moment enjoy seeing the creative writing bloom.

Summer Journals

Looking for how to start your summer journals?  Grab a composition journal, staple the journal on the front cover with a book chart  or recording sheet on the back.  On this recording sheet I have the following sections:title, read by (the child read by themselves), Read with (Shared reading with my child) or Read To (Read Aloud to my child), Date and a space for initials. I’ll use this journal throughout the summer to capture learning moments.