My kids got out of school on Friday and were adamant yesterday morning that we have “school” at the usual time. Complete with recess. I’m not one to say no to a desire to learn, so I pulled some tasks out of my always-stocked box of activities. We started the day with Bingo (nothing like reinforcing number recognition with the younger one), then pulled out some rocks we had gotten at a museum. I had both kids draw several of the rocks in their summer journals, and then we took turns looking them up. Littlest one ended up reading about the deepest desert in the world (happens to be in Ethiopia, where he was born). My older kid wrote and my younger kid dictated descriptions of the rocks, and some fast facts about them after we identified what type of rock/mineral they were. Huge success, with some reading, writing, art, and science thrown in the mix.
This morning, my son came running out of his room telling me it was time for Moveable Alphabet. For those not versed in the bizarre methods of Montessori, Moveable Alphabet involves using letter tiles to spell words, focusing on phonetics and phonemes. Ever the mother of invention, yours truly went to the game cabinet and pulled out two games we have accumulated from yard sales: Scrabble and Boggle Jr. I set up the Boggle cards so the picture was showing and the word was hidden. I then had my son use the Scrabble tiles to spell the words. He was fabulous. You can see in the picture that there were a few missteps. I copied them into his summer journal, with notes about phonemes he had missed. Behold, the new game of Scraboggle.
For example, “aw” was spelled o-w. I asked him to read what he had spelled, and he immediately realized it was sow, not saw. His hand kept flying to his face to make the “aw” sound and to try to recall what vowel came before the w.
Another interesting one, to me, was can (as in tin can). My son would say it to himself and listen to me, but he kept hearing a “d” at the end of the word. I let him misspell it, and when he pulled the card out to check we talked about why it was can instead of canned (that is, why there was no “d”).
Finally, he tried to spell bus as “bhs.” I tried having him read it back to me and he slowly read “b-huh-s.” I asked him what the H says, and he said “huh.” “Please watch my mouth,” I said, and mostly exhaled to say hhhhhh. That said, he corrected bhs to bus.
I hope this inspires you to use existing games and resources you have at home to keep your kids engaged and learning this summer. I’d love to hear about what you come up with. Happy reading!