I always seem to be at a loss for what to do for my kids’ birthday parties. All of my kids have their birthdays in the span of one month. Of course, each of them desires to be unique. I’ll be honest in saying that I feel a sense of relief if one says they just want to watch a movie at the theatre with a couple of friends. It just doesn’t get easier than taking kids to a movie theatre! 😉 So, when my one daughter insisted she wanted an Amazing Race birthday party for her 11th birthday, I had some thinking to do!
Summer can be a great time for reading books. Choosing books that both capture our children’s interest and are at their reading level is imperative. There is so much to do in the summer and reading must be able to compete! To help out with this, I have put together a list of books that my tweens have been enjoying this summer. I am also including strategies that ensure our kids are reading should this prove to be challenging. Cheers to great summer reads for tweens that keep our 9 to 12-year-olds engaged!
Laughter… is it really that important? We all know the 5 senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Some argue a sixth sense is knowing where our body is in space. Others call our sixth sense that gut feeling… our inner knowing. Not long ago, I overheard a student diagnosed with autism asking the educational assistant working with her, “Why are there only 5 senses? Why are there not more senses?” I didn’t think much of it at the time until now after seeing that my mom has recently lost the ability to do something I have always taken for granted… laugh! With my mom’s latest loss, the importance of laughter is blatantly clear to me.
We recently had visitors with little ones for a few nights. It was a great visit and I am thrilled that they spent time with us. The visit had me reflecting on how the support our children need changes over the years. Currently, my own children range in age from 8-20 with the ones still living at home being 8, 10, and 12. Throughout the recent visit, it became glaringly apparent that there are challenges all parents go through when raising young children that quickly become forgotten about as they age. Because of this, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post for all parents of young children highlighting challenges of parenting that we all go through when raising a young family.
I recently shared my favorite spelling hacks as well as discussed why teaching phonics is not enough. In this post, I go through tips for spelling homophones by going through a few tricks to remember which one to use and how to spell it correctly. In addition, I also go over a few sight words, some of which are connected with homophones when spelling them.
We all know at least one person who struggles with spelling. Perhaps you struggle with spelling yourself! After all, there are so many rules around spelling. To add to this, for every rule, it seems there can be just as many exceptions to the rule. With 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language and more than 200 ways to spell them, spelling is not an easy task! Add terms like blends, digraphs, and trigraphs, and the individuals that become confused with spelling really become confused! I share what I believe are the best spelling hacks ever in this post.
Every child strives to do well. No child struggles because they want to or are choosing to. This is true whether struggles are of the academic or behavioral type. Children also aren’t lazy (although they can be out of shape). I strongly believe this which is why one of the things that I truly struggle with is sitting in meetings in which parents or teachers respond to concerns by indicating that a child is simply choosing to be lazy or defiant. I write this post in hopes to shed some light into reasons that a child may struggle academically, emotionally, and/or behaviorally… reasons other than because the child is choosing to!
Community and school-team coaches… they are volunteers that too often are not appreciated nearly enough. My children are currently finishing up another round of sports before a new one starts. They play a number of sports, so move from one sport to another depending on the time of year it is. We have been blessed with some fantastic coaches! This year has been particularly great… so much so that it has me reflecting on all of the positives that come with having our children coached well. Here is a tribute to all of the great coaches out there!
I “should on” myself a lot! This is what I call it because I tend to feel like crap when I do it too much. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I “should” be doing this or I “should” be doing that. It honestly sucks because the result is that I too often prevent myself from enjoying the moment I’m in.
I remember reading with a grade 8 student years ago who could read like the wind. No word seemed to slow him down. The problem? He was retaining or comprehending very little of what he was reading. This sometimes can be expected as is often seen with individuals who are learning the English language but are quick to master English word reading. Other times, the reason for it is a mystery. Actually, we’ve likely all been there at some point where we are reading and lose track of what we are reading about. Improving reading comprehension is essential as it is the difference between just reading words and the words on the page coming to life! This post goes over my favorite strategies for improving reading comprehension.