Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What to Do this Summer

A reader recently wrote, saying she was looking for ideas to keep her daughter learning over the summer. She said she was interested in academics, but more specifically in faith studies.

I replied (after thanking her for the vote of confidence in assuming I would have good ideas) :

Here's my best advice: have fun with your daughter this summer!

It sounds like she's doing great academically, so if it were me (and actually, it is, because Ramona is the same age) I would be inclined to use the summer for whatever fun projects you've been putting off. Do you find yourself saying, "We'll do that when we have more time"? Now's the time! Craft projects, nature walks, the pool or the lake (or ocean, if you're that lucky), museums and art exhibits, games in the backyard -- big doses of being together and having fun. Library trips and lots of reading together is always great, too.

A couple of great websites for ideas:

Alice's craft page at Cottage Blessings is one of my favorites. She has gorgeous ideas that incorporate the faith into crafts.

First Heralds has some fun and neat ideas that are faith-related, too.

While at that website, click on her "Links of Interest" to visit
Catholic Cuisine and Catholic Mosaic for cooking and reading ideas as they relate to the liturgical year.

Catholic Mom has a lot of great stuff, too.

Ann Ball's Catholic Traditions in the Home and Classrooms has some wonderful projects. Some of them are beyond my gang and me ... when she starts writing about anything that requires too many tools, I skip on to the next project.

I find that my kids absorb "religion" best when it's woven into the fabric of our daily lives. As you play and explore through the summer, just watch for little teaching opportunities. Being on a walk together, for example, gives you a chance to talk about creation, beauty, God's perfect design, etc. It becomes a science/faith lesson, but your kids think you just took a walk.

For a specific Mother/Daughter Bible time, I did enjoy doing a book called Little Girls Bible Story Book for Mothers and Daughters with my older girls when they were about 5 and 8. I plan to go through it again with Ramona. It's not Catholic, but it lays the foundation for a lot of Bible stories, and my girls loved that it involved me talking about examples from my faith and life.

I also like using the
Faith and Life series of books from Ignatius Press as read-alouds, because I can tailor it to the child, and get great discussion going. Their first-grade book, which incorporates beautiful artwork as illustrations, would be at your daughter's level.

Is this the kind of thing you were looking for? I hope it helps! Have a wonderful, blessed summer!


1 comment:

Alice Gunther said...

You are an angel, Karen. THANK YOU!

And thank you for the marvelous suggestions!!!