Monday, June 02, 2008

Saving Summer Carnival '08

Ah, summertime....the season of numerous trips to the pool, batches of sweet lemonade stashed in the fridge, and relaxing evenings spent under the stars in the last waves of sticky heat of the day.

Summertime also means the entertainment of children....some children who are usually at school during the majority of the day and therefore entertained by paid educators. Summertime can be anything but relaxing for dear ol' Mom.

Being the mommy of a preschooler and a toddler, I am actually excited about the possibilities that lay before us this summer. Gone are the days of having a baby who just sits on a blanket with a small assortment of toys as his/her main source of entertainment. These are the days when nap schedules are not quite as burdensome and feedings are not hourly concerns. We can now be a bit adventuresome in how we spend our days.

Want to see our tentative schedule for the summer? Click Here (Just know after viewing this you will come to realize that I am a big nerd...also, huge shout-out to my quite organized friend Robin who inspired me to actually write out my schedule after she emailed me hers. Thanks, friend!)

Now that you have come to see the organized dork that I truly am, let me explain a few things on our schedule:

1. Park Hopping/Breakfast on Tuesdays: We live in a great city with a stellar Parks and Recreation Department. Despite this, we seem to visit the same handful of parks time and again. Not this summer. This summer we have a list of all the parks in our town and we are going to visit each of them on Tuesday mornings where we will play and enjoy a picnic breakfast. Why mornings, you ask? Because it is soon to be 97 degrees here by mid-morning and I don't have a lot of fun being outside next to metal structures in such weather. Thus the early morning trip to the park.

2. Isaac's School Time: Isaac and I are going to tackle two big things for school this summer. The first of those is the learning of the Fruits of the Spirit. Again, big BIG thanks to my friend Robin for this idea. We are going to discuss a "fruit" each week by having a mini-lesson, a craft, and a project to help us practice this character trait. I am a firm believer that one must take a lot of time to teach their child social and character skills.....and using the Fruits of the Spirit is the absolute best place to start.

Below is a poster that is going to serve as our main visual aid for this project. I am going to let Isaac color in the fruits during our "kick-off" lesson and then laminate it in order for it to be hung (safely) on the fridge. Pictured next to the poster is the book "Nine Fruits Alive". You can purchase this book here on Amazon. It serves a simple and straight-forward way to present this concept to preschoolers (plus you can actually touch the fruit which appeals to kids).

We are also going to tackle some early phonics/reading stuff. Isaac knows the alphabet and all of his letter sounds. He is showing great interest in wanting to know what words say and in identifying letters and their sounds when he comes across them. I feel like he is ready to start the very basics of reading. We are going to take this slow and see where we are at the end of the summer. I am still looking at various materials I might use to help us in this endeavor. I want something that is rich in phonics (in hopes that he will not "inherit" my poor spelling skills due to being taught whole language in elementary school) and light and easy.

3. Craft Time: Isaac loves the craft stuff almost as much as his mama. Tomorrow I am cleaning out half of my china cabinet in order to fill it with our organized craft supplies. I sometimes get lazy in actually taking the time to sit down with a craft for Isaac and rely on simply coloring in one of our millions of coloring books. To avoid such persistent laziness in this area, I have set aside a particular time for crafts. Lately, Evelyn has joined in on the coloring and gets quite the kick out it. This isn't a fancy, Martha Stewart craft time...just some structured/some free-form crafts. Also, it gives us a chance to interact (and keeps little hands busy) while I start cooking supper.

4. Friday Field Trips: Here is where I need some help from my local readers. I have a few destinations in mind, but am always open for suggestions. Again, this is nothing fancy or expensive...just a chance to get out of the house and explore a new location (unfortunately the Target in a neighboring suburb doesn't count).

There you go....this is how I am saving summer at casa de phillips. Please share how you are saving summer at your house. Leave your link below (make sure the link goes back to your actual post about saving summer and not just the front page of your makes it easier for others to read!) so others can benefit from your ideas!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Fruits of the Spirit book tip! I just ordered it...along with another one specifically on patience. I figure I will probably read it over and over, and who knows? I might actually learn something!!

Happy Summer!

kate m. said...

We participated even though we aren't nearly as organizes as you!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for organizing this. I hope we can all get some good ideas from each other. And, I can't wait to do the Fruit of the Spirit activity!

Kelli said...

I do a Fruits of the Spirit "camp" at home every summer. It's so fun and the kids enjoy it. Each year I try to add a new layer to each fruit, that is age appropriate for each kid. That book is a great one! Get a copy of the fruit of the spriit song too if you don't have it. My kids LOVE that song, and each verse has a different real fruit that we feast on with the spiritual fruits we are talking about that week. :)

Jordan said...

While I'm not quite as organized as you gals, I've gotten some great ideas! Thanks for doing this Lynley!

val said...

I'll post mine a bit later but I'm just as big a nerd as you are....just ask Jennifer! I have my summer planned to a 'T' right now.....can't wait to link it up!

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

Just a fellow ACU mommy and friend of Kate and Jordan. I love the summer fun ideas!

Kelly said...

Sorry for my tardiness!

We are THAT Family said...

I'm a little late for the party, but I posted my best/worst of summer today and someone told me about your carnival. I got some great ideas. Thanks.

Kristi said...

Found your blog through Jordan's! I am an ACU alum as well...I think I went on a Spring Break Campaign with your husband ages ago. San Diego? It's been awhile!
LOVE your Summer Carnival...I plan to do my list on my blog shortly and then will come back and add my name to the list...even if I am a bit late!
Loved your chart, too. Very helpful to a fellow mommy with kiddos about the same age!
Thanks for putting this on your blog!
Kristi (Pawlik) Dominguez

Kristi said... more thing! I just ordered the book, too! I have been looking for this book at all of the Christian bookstores in town for a couple of weeks with no success. We have the other book in this series...Jesus and the Twelve Dudes Who Did...another great one if you're ever in the market!