My Three Kid Circus

This may be as crazy as it gets… but we're lovin' it!

The Power of Good Book July 2, 2012

Filed under: School Work — Sarah @ 5:55 pm

I love the power of a good book.  One that can’t be put down, one that makes you stay up late or get up early.  But what I love even more is that my kids have discovered this too.

My kids do “summer school,” as they are terming it this year.  We opted for an hour a day, and that hour could be divided between reading, math review, writing assignments, piano practice or checking out the iPad/computer for different education games.  They can choose how to spend it, so long as they put good faith effort into all subject areas.  Some weeks they may have specific tasks that need to be accomplished, but for the most part, the goal is for them to learn to manage their time while keeping their brains active.  Of course, there are some guidelines, but with such a short summer, I’m choosing my battles.

So, it was much to my delight this morning, that my older and independent readers found an entire hour ticked away before they even ate breakfast.  Both of them engrossed in a good book: one, anxious to know how it ended, and the other plowing through a re-read of the much beloved Harry Potter series.  Even my little guy begged to read one more Little Bear story to me last night.

(And bless my kids, despite reading for an hour this morning (and then several more hours this afternoon from my daughter), they both went beyond an hour to accomplish their less favored work.  Gotta love them.)


Kids Cook – Book Report! January 24, 2012

Filed under: School Work — Sarah @ 9:26 pm
Tags: ,

My second grader had to read a cookbook this month.  He gets quite a bit of flexibility in how he “proves” that he read the book, so he opted to make treats for his classmates. 

I present to you, Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake.  Made all on his own except taking the cake out of the oven.  I obviously turned my back when it was time to decorate the cake!


Summer Bridge Work June 27, 2011

Filed under: School Work — Sarah @ 9:01 am

Yes.  I am one of those moms.  This summer, I hope to do more hands-on learning but still keep those little brains of theirs sharp.  I’ll be sharing some of my  ideas throughout the summer.  Here’s what they have to figure out today:

  1. Make a list of the people you would like to mail a postcard to while we are on vacation.
  2. Find out how much it costs to mail a postcard.
  3. Figure out how much money you will need to buy stamps for all of your post cards.
  4. If you have $5, will you have enough?  If not, how much more will you need?  If it is too much, how much change should you get?

And of course, they will be reading.  We read everyday.  Thankfully, I have children who do this without any teeth pulling.

Will your kids be doing summer bridge work?   If so, what fun things do you have planned?


Good Reads June 20, 2011

Filed under: Celebrations,Crafts,School Work — Sarah @ 11:30 pm

One of my goals as a parent is to raise good readers.  While I wish I could say that I’d like to raise children who like to read as well, I am fast learning that it is very difficult to dictate what your children like.  At best, I can expose them to a lot of things and immerse them in things that are important to our family, but at the end of the day, it’ll be up to them to decide if they actually like something, no?  But back to my original goal.  Even if my children end up hating to read, I hope they atleast learn to be good readers:  readers who can choose books that are atleast mildly interesting to them, books that occassionally challenge their ability or thoughts, books that provide them with knowledge, a laugh or strike a chord with them somehow.  Our children have been read to since they were infants, one of them has had a love for books from that moment on and today, she is often found with her nose in a book.  Another took years before he’d sit long enough to hear more than a few words at a time.  And yet another reads purely for information.  I am grateful that my children have always had teachers who have also placed high value on reading.  So when I came across this bit of subway art, I knew it had to be turned into our end of year school gifts.

I started with this cast of characters:

I love this piece because it captures just about every single “expectation” that we’ve set forth for our kids.  You can download your own copy at eighteen25

The piece of wood is actually a cutting board that I found at Daiso.  And I used red acrylic paint and glossy mod podge that I had leftover from other projects.  Put all together, it turned into this:


I made an extra one for our incredible school librarian too.  She’s makes being a librarian a way cool job. 

Changing topics only slightly, one of the ways I will encourage my kids to read this summer is to sign them up for different local reading programs.  If you don’t do this already, I highly encourage you to check into it!  Your local library probably has a program, as do many bookstores.  My kids are participating in a minimum of four programs so far.  I recently heard a stat (I’m not sure I actually believe, but I will share it anyhow) that claims that if children read just four books at their level over the summer, they will maintain their end of school year reading level over the summer. 

How do you keep your kids reading over the summer?  And what good reads have they picked out so far? 

PS – If you’re stuck finding reading programs, here are two:

Borders, Double Dog Dare

Barnes and Noble, Summer Reading Imagination Destination