Sunday, August 23, 2009


This summer our Tuesday mornings have been greatly anticipated as "Summer Reading Partay Days".

..."Hurry and get dressed, or you'll miss your reading partay!"

..."Hurry and eat your breakfast, or you'll miss your..."

Plus, it was another way to bribe my child to accomplish simple everyday tasks. (Oh, and I do know how to spell "party", I just like saying it like: "PARTAY!")

My neighbor, Miriam, is...well, yes, I'll say it!...GENIUS!
She organized and instituted a Summer Reading Club for a few of the neighborhood kids, ages 3-6. Miriam gathered a group of 9 moms that wished to participate.
  • -We settled upon a "Nursery Rhymes" theme and were to provide 2 hours of projects, songs, books, role-play, snacks...that pertained to the nursery rhyme of our choice. In the past, Miriam organized a learning club where one mom hosted a Science morning, Reading morning, Art morning...
  • -Each mom hosted the group of 13 children once in their home.
  • -Miriam sent out to each mother the list of moms and their contact info, the list of children and their ages, the schedule of "Reading Club" dates and the nursery rhymes pertaining to each date.
  • -Then we decided upon some basic guidelines:
Reading Club Rules:
  1. If you or your kids are sick on your scheduled day, you will need to choose a day to reschedule.
  2. You will only be hosting one time. That means 8 times you get a break from your kids!!
  3. Each time it will be for 2 hours. From 9:00-11:00am. All story Club days are at this time.
  4. Get another adult to help you or a couple of teenagers. With kids this young it's great to separate them into smaller activity groups and have them rotate.
  5. All kids need to bring a water bottle with their name on it.
  6. You provide the snack. It is fun to have it related to your theme.
  7. Take pictures if you have two seconds to remember that.
  8. Remind your own child before each time that this is NOT playgroup. They will not be able to wander the homes, get out toys as they please, etc. There will be down time-but it will be fairly structured (playbreak, or related movie clip) and the kids need to plan for this.
  9. If a child is too difficult to handle, his/her mom will be called and asked to come help.
  10. It's a good idea to have activities for them to go do when they are done with the projects-like playdough, books, coloring, etc. (I found that the children who are finished enjoy being helpers to help the other children finish up their projects.)

I was a little frightened to think about hosting 13 kiddos in my home for two hours! What if they are jumping on my couch? coloring on my carpet? or torturing the goldfish?

I must say that those kiddos were perfectly polite little people! It was a great experience! (Be sure to plan well and have everything cut out, available and ready to go.)

It was sooooo nice to have a structured learning time each week during the summer for my 4 year old...and she was able to socialize with and make some new friends.

Each mom came up with some great, creative ideas and projects for the children to experience.

So, I sure hope Miriam invites me again next summer to join in her learning group rotation! (Hint, hint...if you're reading this, Miriam.)


No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails