Avoid This Summer Slide…

pexels-photo-261348Have you heard of the dreaded ‘Summer Slide’ before? I’m NOT talking about the slide  your kids want to play on this summer! Many children, especially early and/or struggling readers, lose a lot of progress they may have made during the school year if they don’t read over the summer break.  They may ‘slide’ out of practice and find it even more challenging to get back to where they were during the previous school year.  Pretty much every expert recommends that parents prioritize reading as a summertime activity. So let’s do it together!

I found this very informative article from Scholastic with 3 tips to prevent the summer slide:

  1. Reading just 6 books over the summer could help a young reader from losing any reading progress!
  2. Parents need to read something every day! Doing this models great behavior for your kids to mimic. If they see you reading books, magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes, anything and everything, they will too!
  3. Keep reading aloud to them! This benefits children of all ages – yes, it does! Reading books out loud, which are at or above their current reading ability, will build their comprehension skills, listening skills, sharpen their focus, increase vocabulary, among many more wonderful benefits.

So here’s where my Soar Into Summer book club comes into play! In collaboration with RIF, I am featuring the 12 books they have selected for their summer reading program and, I will be reading them aloud on my YouTube channel. It’s a chance for you and your kids to read along with me. If you can’t find the selected book on your bookshelf, at your library, or at your local book shop, don’t worry as I will clearly feature all of the words on screen so that we truly can read along together. Be sure to encourage your little ones to read out loud too!

After reading along with me, visit the Story Time With Michele Book Club group on FaceBook and we can discuss the story. I’ll link to games, activities, and craft ideas related to each book as well. The goal is to stay engaged and excited about each and every book!

Here’s the full reading list for the summer. Stay connected with me via my Facebook page and YouTube channel, and let’s have fun reading all summer long!

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Summer of fun!

We are in the thick of summer over here and I’m already scrambling for things to do with the girls! We were lucky enough to go on a big trip for 3 weeks, but that was over by mid-June. Summer hadn’t even officially begun! I’m kinda feeling like we peaked early 😉

Last summer my little one was still pretty little, taking 2 naps a day, so my days were structured mostly around her schedule. This is the first summer where I have 2 (very) active kiddos on my hands and I’m trying my best to find enough activities for us to do! I’d love to go to the pool everyday, but it’s just so hot in the middle of the day right that we are limited to early mornings or just before dinnertime. Both of my girls really love to do art projects, so most of my ideas revolve around our craft table.

I thought I would share some of things we’ve done so far and I would love (actually, I need) to hear from you what your favorite summer activities are!! For starters, I did have the girls in a summer camp for 1 week in June and 1 week in July.  These were great opportunities for them to see old friends and make some new ones. But, I want to take advantage of this time with my little girls, summer camps are expensive, and I’m not working as much as I was earlier this year so I’ve got the time.

  • I discovered a FREE weekly art class at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden! The girls love this Wednesday morning class from 10a-1p where they make art with traditional  and recycled materials. Today I found them in different areas of the garden using nature as inspiration. And, best of all, at the end of the summer their art will be displayed in a student art show!

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  • Home made slime! We first made this a few years ago for their Frozen themed birthday party so I still had the Borax tucked away in the laundry room. You dissolve 1/2 tsp of Borax w 1/2 cup of hot water, dilute 1c clear glue with 1c hot water , then mix these two together. At this point you can add food coloring or glitter. We opted for glitter, obviously! This slimy substance keeps well in a zip-lock-type baggie in the fridge. This page is very helpful: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/frozen-annas-diy-glitter-slime/

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Continue reading →

No one said it would be easy…

Fullfilling, rewarding, fun, joyful…I can think of a million adjectives to describe what it’s like being a parent, but easy isn’t one of them! It seems like its just one thing after another. There are some really tough days and nobody tells you before you have kids that it will be like that. Its just one of those things you have to experience for yourself…and along the way just keep appreciating those amazing moments when you wouldn’t trade places with anyone for anything in the world!

Sometimes it’s just really hard to find balance. Continue reading →

Mom Is Here!

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Happy Mother’s Day!!! I hope all of you mamas out there are feeling extra appreciated today.  As looked through pictures of me and my girls this morning on my computer I realized there was only 1 of me and my mom together when I was a child.  It reminded me of an awesome blog post by Allison Tate that I came across a few months ago.  I really identified, as so many moms out there I’m sure can too, with that feeling of pride and joy in my kids and the thrill in capturing those special moments in pictures.  There are so many reasons we don’t end up in the picture ourselves.  Maybe it’s just part of being Mom; having the initiative to take those pictures in the first place leaves us naturally behind the camera not in front.  And I won’t rule out that little voice in the back of my mind that reminds me that I’m not wearing make up or didn’t brush my hair today or that my face is just too tired for a picture. Continue reading →

Teething sucks!

Little Bianca is teething.  Poor thing is a baba factory! Slober production is in full force.  She can’t keep her fingers out of her mouth, unless of course she’s found something else to rub on her gums like a wood block or her sister’s plastic Dora doll (no small pieces to choke on, don’t worry mom!).  She’s also pseudo-crawling – she pulls/pushes herself on the floor like nobody’s business.  In short, she’s a handful right now.  I keep saying that those teeth are coming any minute now, but my husband thinks I’ll be saying that for another couple of months.

My question to you today is: what are your techniques for getting through is period? I went through this a couple of years ago with Gia, but I don’t remember anything in particular that really helped.  Is there a particular product you really love?