Monday, June 22, 2009

Making Summertime Memories

Welcome! The newest thing on my horizon this summer is this great literacy class I'm taking for the kids. It’s being taught here in Fort Myers by three lovely women. Their names are Judy O’Halloran, Peggy Van Voorhis and Marilyn Senior.

I’ve learned that I can make an educational, fun experience out of everything we do. Judy, Peggy and Marilyn suggest six areas of learning for each experience – reading, writing, speaking, media, listening and critical thinking.

Here’s how it works. My family and I are going on a summer vacation to Illinois for my brother’s wedding. I’ll give you one example of how we can incorporate each of the six areas.

Reading: Before we leave, we’ll read a book or two about weddings.

Speaking: I’ll tell the children a story about my wedding. We'll chat about it.

Writing: I’ll have the children draw me a picture about a wedding. My older son can write a sentence or two to go along with it.

Listening: We’ll listen to some common songs that are played at weddings.

Media: While on our trip, we will take pictures and put them in a scrapbook when we get home. I could have my 6-year-old Google weddings and see what he finds (don't worry -- we have parental controls set up on his computer!)

Critical Thinking: I’ll ask them questions about the wedding. What they liked, what they didn’t. Why they think certain things happened.

The purpose behind all of this is to make a total experience out of everything you do! We’re not simply going to a wedding this summer, we’re also learning all about weddings in a very fun way!

You’ll probably notice that you are already doing some of these things with your kids – but what this philosophy did for me is put a framework around it. It gives it purpose.

Following this philosophy has been tons of fun for all of us this summer! They love it! After only doing it with them once or twice, my son started leading the activities!

For more information about the class, email Judy O’Halloran. I'm going to write out her email address to ensure she doesn't get spam. Her address is johalloran at comcast dot net.

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