Summer Reading Fun

To me, Summer is all about lazing around, doing nothing but reading, hopefully with a bowl of fresh fruit to munch on or a glass of sparkling juice to sip, by the side. And that’s what my kids and I are mostly doing these past few days, as the temperatures soar outside. We are trying to make the best use of these days before the usual rut kicks in again by mid-June and we get busy with school! (Plus this time there’s the double bonanza of our littlest one starting big school too! Double Trouble, I call it!!)

So… We are forgetting all of that. For now. And immersing ourselves in reading and crafting and big-time movie-watching! Yay!

Since I’m big on setting goals for myself and my family, I decided to make a Bingo kind of reading challenge for Medha and I. Madhav will have his own next year, maybe? Before we began, I checked Pinterest and Google for the keyword, “Reading Bingo”, and found a ton of ideas. Basically, a Reading Bingo is a game where we read all the books listed in the chart, one by one. There will be all sorts of suggestions in it, like “Read a book by Dr. Seuss” for Medha, and “Read a Historical Fiction” for me. We will complete one book after another- I’ll read on my own, of course, and Medha will read with my help as she is still a level 2 kinda reader? (I don’t know where she stands. Maybe there’s a test for finding out?)

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We will stick stickers (Golden Stars!!!) to the charts after we complete each book and reward ourselves with something special after we finish the whole challenge. Medha is way ahead of me, already! That girl is very competitive!! While she might tear through all the books this summer itself, I might need the Monsoon and the Winter thereafter too, to trudge through all the books I’ve chosen. Some of them are mighty big, you see…

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I thought this would be a good opportunity for us to read some of the books we already own, but never read. And also re-read the books we read long back. I’ll be renting or buying the rest of the books only after we read the ones we already possess. It pinches me that I buy more books than I am capable of reading!

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Also, I’ll be reviewing some of the books along the way, Medha’s including. So, please visit us often to check on our progress and give your valuable suggestions. I’m all ears…

Love,

Manasa.

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Around here (02/2016)

There’s so much going on around here. First and Fearmost (OOPS!) Foremost! –

  • Exams!!!- It feels like it’s MY Final Exam or something! The amount of work that I need to put in- to drag Medha to her table, bribe her with candies and jolly rides if she learns just a bit more, prepare worksheets for her to practice and learn the basics of English grammar or look up Hindi letters and words online so that I don’t forget what I know as I try to teach her! Phew!

I just can’t wait for them to be over!

Check out the syllabus the poor 5 year-olds of her batch need to prepare for-

Syllabus for exam

  • Medha’s Reading Challenge- Remember the resolution I made for my daughter for 2016? About making her read a book each day? It’s been over a month and she has managed to read more than 20 books! They are simple, beginner-level books that have about a line or two in each page and run 10-12 pages long. But we’ve come very VERY far from our days of struggling to recognize letters to being able to decipher complex words through phonics. Phonics! What can I say, this magic word has helped her tremendously! We are at the end of our collection of Bob books- Sight Words for Kindergarten and First Grade readers and we can’t wait to read other books. More about it and her progress in another post.
  • Madhav’s Learning Challenge- Whenever life gets busy, my little one’s learning gets pushed aside! I resolved to teach him one concept(letter/number/color)  a week this year and over a month into our resolution, we’ve covered just 2- letter A and color Red and we are still working on Green. But he enjoyed every bit of the activities we did and the books we read as part of this exercise. And I loved working on kiddo crafts. Such stress-busters! Instead of being too harsh on myself for neglecting his learning, I tell myself (not as often as I should!) that had it not been for the resolution, we wouldn’t have done even the little bit that we did.
  • Blogging Funk!- I’m in a rut right now. I’m not sure what to write, when to write or whether what I write matters at all. It doesn’t mean I’ll give up writing for good! Not anytime soon (I want to continue torturing YOU, my favorite reader!). We all experience this kind of feeling, don’t we?At school, home, in our jobs etc. I’ve gone through this a number of times before. And I have emerged from the dark tunnel unscathed. This time too I will come out stronger and happier. But right now, I’ll just be taking it slow, immersing myself in reading, talking to my loved ones and learning the ropes of blogging.
  • Pomodoro Method– Everyday I set my timer for 25 minutes and just scribble away in my journal. For those 25 minutes I do nothing but write. This activity is helping me get out of my funk, sort through the muddle in my head and straighten myself out. In fact, as I write, I find myself brainstorming ideas for posts I’d like to write in future. Isn’t that great?!
  • Finished Spark E-course– Yay! Another thing crossed off my list! This course helped me a lot (I learnt about Pomodoro technique right here)  as I struggled to get out of my blogging rut. More about it in another post.
  • Farm Fresh Produce- We are receiving a ton of veggies from our farm than we know what to do with them! Our friends and family are happy, of course. Still, I’m thinking I’ll become a vegetable vendor soon.. What say?

Vegetables from the farm

  • Exhaustion!- You must have realized by now that I need to take a break, relax and get some sleep. And that’s what I will do…

I hope you get some rest too. Waiting to meet you at the end of the tunnel…

Love,

Manasa.