Archive for July, 2013

Helping out in one’s community builds a sense of pride and increases character. Community service increases moral fiber, makes communities better and opens up a world of new experiences for students. It’s something we instill in our students every day, making them more engaged global citizens. But in the summer DSC_0086months and without school, often the importance of community service goes away, lost among a sea of video games, vacations and massive amounts of sleep.

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the importance of community service goes away. Volunteering at a young age sets life-long paths for students, and there are many great opportunities for community service for kids, even during the summer.

Kids can look into volunteer opportunities with organizations that are close to them. Are your children into pets? Take a look for a rescue shelter in the area that may need some help feeding animals. Or do your children like cooking? Or making things with their hands? There are places where they can go to do these things, from youth-centers to home building projects. And no matter how big or little your children are, organizations like these will be sure to find a great place for them to help!

If your children aren’t sure where to start, maybe there’s an organization that you know of or already volunteer for. Give them a call and see if your kids can join.

Of course there are other ways your kids can help in their community without even going far from home. Many kids will spend their summer mowing lawns, washing their neighbors’ cars or even setting up a lemonade stand to beat the hot summer heat. You can get your kids excited about helping their community by talking to them about how making donations to their favorite charities can make a huge difference in many lives.

However you and your kids decide to help, participating in their community will show kids how everything they do is all part of the bigger picture. Start thinking of some fun ways your kids can get involved and keep the spirit alive, even when they’re not in school!

Keep enjoying your summer!

 

Sources:

http://shorewood-il.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/how-to-volunteer-with-your-kids

http://www.unitedway.org/blog/entry/community-service-for-kids/

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/volunteer.html

Parents’ Day

July 24th, 2013

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. You might even still be using the scented bath Parents Daybubbles or wearing the tie you got on those fantastic days just a few months ago. But it’s the middle of summer, and with the kids home you deserve one more holiday. Fortunately the holiday gods have heard your call, and answered with….

…Parents’ Day!

That’s right, there’s one more day devoted entirely to you, the hard-working, devoted, completely committed parents of the world! Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July every year, it’s a day where you can rest, relax, and focus on you. The holiday was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, and has remained on the book ever since.

As parents it may just be a fantastic excuse for you to take a day to yourselves, but on the national level things are really heating up for Parents’ Day! Every year the Parents’ Day Council promotes the holiday through a wide range of events and activities. They even honor “Parents of the Year” at the local, state and national levels, truly recognizing the hard work that it takes to grow and nurture the next generation of citizens. It’s your work that accomplishes that feat, and we appreciate it!

Of course if you want to get in on the fun, you can help acknowledge the day by celebrating with other parents that you know. Many families celebrate by sending cards and gifts, including flowers and cakes, to the great parents they know, and sometimes even non-parents who play an active role in their children’s lives. From teachers to family friends to grandparents to everyone, it takes a village to raise a child and you know that every person deserves acknowledgement for their hard work.

Parent’s Day is on July 27th this year, so plan ahead and make sure to have a fantastic day! After all, you’ve earned it!

Sources

http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/parents-day 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parents’_Day

http://www.parentsday.com/

We all know it’s good for our children to read over summer, but do we know why? Most children, especially young children, experience what is Readingcalled “summer brain drain.” It’s a phenomenon that essentially makes your child forget instruction that they have already learned. Summer brain drain can erase up to three months of instruction over a single summer.

One of the most effective ways to prevent summer brain drain and continue your child’s learning over summer is to have them read. Reading a few books over summer is essential to your child’s overall educational advancement.

Take your child to the local library – many of which have summer reading programs – to pick out books to read over the summer. A summertime theme may keep them interested in reading, so talk to the librarian about books that focus on summer activities and ideas. We have compiled a list of a few books for summer reading.

Kindergarten Reading List

If your soon-to-be kindergartener does not know how to read, you can read-aloud or read along with them.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
  • The Animal by Lorna Balian

First Grade Reading List

  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
  • Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Too Many Toys by David Shannon

Second Grade Reading List

  • Henry and Mudge stories by Cynthia Rylant
  • Nate the Great series by Marjorie W. Sharmat
  • Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel

Third Grade Reading List

  • Math is CATegorical series by Brian P. Clearly
  • The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
  • Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Jones

Fourth Grade Reading List

  • Gully’s Travels by Tor Seidler
  • Amazing Days of Abby Hayes series by Anne Mazer
  • Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

Sources:

http://kidsactivities.about.com/od/SummerLearning/a/What-Is-Summer-Brain-Drain-And-How-To-Prevent-It.htm

http://k6educators.about.com/od/Summerlessonplans/a/2013-Summer-Reading-List-For-Elementary-Students.htm

Summer Activities

July 9th, 2013

Summer time is fantastic, but sometimes it’s hard to find fun things to do with all of that free time. Here are some ideas to keep your kids engaged.facilities.play.lowres

Take your kids to the local playground and help them to make new friends. It is always great for a child’s development to have continuous social contact, especially when school is not in session. Not to mention the social aspect for you, the parents, to be able to socialize and mingle with neighbors in your community.

Get involved with playing ball games, but consider trying something new and different. Have your kids ever played racquetball or badminton? How about lacrosse? Step outside the box and learn something new. You never know what your child will take interest in and that interest could last throughout their high school and college careers.

Take an afternoon and play a few rounds of mini-golf, or have a weekend party at a local laser-tag facility. Having a laser tag party is definitely a great way to spend a hot afternoon indoors. Throughout the summer it’s always great to have get-togethers with your children’s friends and families, and being able to have a varied list of activities to go to will always keep your child busy and excited.

On a hot weekend, you can also take the family out to the brand new water park for a splash-filled day! We live in a very hot community, and water parks are a great place for families and friends to go out for an entire day to enjoy the cool water while escaping the heat. Once you start going, this will definitely be one of your child’s favorite places this summer!

Whatever you do, try to make it fun for everyone! Summer is a great time to try new things and move outside of your comfort zone.

Enjoy!

 

Sources:

http://www.kingputtlv.com/

http://www.laserquest.com/

http://www.wetnwildlasvegas.com/

Independence Day

July 3rd, 2013

We probably all know about the significance of the 4th of July.  It’s the day that our Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  Nowadays, we celebrate with BBQs and going to the lake, enjoying time with our families and friends.   Of courseflag-fireworks fireworks and parades are a big part of the celebrations.

The first celebration of the 4th of July occurred in 1777 when thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once in the morning and once again in the evening in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Philadelphia celebrated the first modern American 4th of July that we all would find familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, speeches, prayers, music, parades and fireworks.  Ships were decked with red, white and blue.

In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration and it wasn’t until 1791 that we can find the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day.”  In 1820, the first 4th of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest celebration in the state.

Fast forward to 2013, we are celebrating 237 years as a nation. Continuing the same traditions that Philadelphia first created to celebrate the 4th, with speeches, prayers, music, parades, and most important of all fireworks. Let’s take the time to appreciate the sacrifices our forefathers made, which enjoying the freedoms we are afforded.

Enjoy your summer!