Monday, June 22, 2009

Library Finds

Almost every day I am adding requests for books to the library's website. These are books I choose from curriculum book lists and recommendations from homeschool bloggers and homeschool Yahoo groups. On occasion, I will also look for books by subject matter. Very rarely do I even take Samuel with me to pick up these requested books. But today I did and here is what he picked up off the shelves:

"The Great Snake: Stories From the Amazon" by Sean Taylor
This is a collection of short animal stories. The first one was along the lines of "how the Amazon came to be".

"The Kid's Natural History Book" by Judy Press
Samuel chose this one because he thought it was a book of crafts. There are a few crafts in it. The "facts" are written in an engaging style. However, it is definitely an evolutionist theory book. There are statements about how dinosaurs evolved into birds and how flightless birds evolved that way. Fortunately he is really only interested in the crafts in the book. I really must be on the search for some good books that present all sides of the argument fairly.

"Harriet's Halloween Candy" by Nancy Carlson
Pure twaddle - the only reason I let him get this book is because I told him I would not read it to him, that he would have to read it himself.

"The First Gift" by A. S. Gadot
I was very surprised to find this book. It was on the display shelf, probably because it is a new and shiny picture book. The illustrations are very nice. The "first gift" is the gift of a name, but much of the text is Old Testament and the last page shares a few paragraphs on Jewish Naming Customs.

"Mouse in a Meadow" by John Himmelman
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that starts with a mouse in a meadow and takes us on a journey of all the animals, insects, birds, plants we find in the meadow, only to end with a weasel looking to make a meal of the mouse. The last pages of the book, show individual drawings of the different, animals, insects, birds, plants found in the book with their proper names so you can go back and make sure you saw everything. I checked and the author has several other picture books, some that look like living learning books and some that look like just fun.

So, all in all, a successful trip to the library. And a reminder to let my son choose some of his own books - I might just be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Reading

Samuel is participating in four summer reading programs.

The first one is for school. He is to read books from the list in this post (although I don't think he has to read them all) and complete this book report form for each book read. I like it because it gives a little bit of writing practice, but let's him be creative by drawing his favorite part of the book.So far, he has read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", "Morris Goes to School", "Frog and Toad Together" and "Each Peach Pear Plum". The Morris and Frog books are chapter books and he would read one chapter per day, which is why the list is pretty short. Plus the fact that he is also reading other books for other lists.

The second one is from Barnes and Noble. After reading and recording eight books on a reading log, he gets a free book from a list that you can see on the website.

The third one is from the public library - ten books read (including those read to you if you are a beginning reader) gets a little backpack filled with coupons for things like a free frosty at Wendy's or admission to the art museum.

The last one is from our church. This is the first year for this so I don't know what the prizes are. The goal is to read (or have read to you if you are a beginning reader) 25 books by the end of the summer. For each 5 books read, you get a prize. Each reading log has space for 15 books. For each reading log completely filled and turned in, you get a chance for the "big prize" drawing at the end of the summer. I don't know what the big prize is, probably a bible. The only rule is that you have to include at least 5 bible stories on your list. I have started asking Samuel to read stories from "The Beginner's Bible" at bedtime, but I haven't put any of these on the list. I think they should count, though, don't you?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kids Wealth Program

Summer has always been a time for us to learn new things. Potty training and learning how to put on his own clothes were big ones. This summer we are beginning is Kids Wealth. Samuel turns 6 in July and it would probably be the time we start an allowance. This is different from an allowance. He got his first Kids Pay on Monday and is now learning the painful lesson of choices. It's awesome. Here are the basics:

  1. Determine how much you spend on your child's wants each month. I did not include college funding or birthday and Christmas gifts. I did include souveniers when we go on vacation, his weekly treat from the grocery store, the money he puts in the missionary globe at church, fast food when he is the only one who wants it, fun books, movies, etc.
  2. Divide that amount by half and make that the "Kid's Pay" which is paid out monthly. You still get some discretionary "treat your kid" money.
  3. Stop saying "no" all the time and let your child make their own decisions and learn consequences of those decisions.

The Kid's Pay is divided into different "accounts", each one having it's own color-coded wallet. The wallets are 30% to Wealth, 20% to Plan, 20% to Learn, 20% to Fun, and 10% to Angel. This next part is a description of each account.

WEALTH - The Wealth Account is your child's long-term investment account. The program talks about "paying yourself first" but because I believe you pay God first, I just altered this aspect. When enough money has accumulated, you open a savings account and eventually an investment account. They don't touch this money ever, just watch it grow.

PLAN - The Plan Account teaches your child how to set a goal and develop a plan to achieve it. This allows them to plan for more expensive items using their own money.

LEARN - The Learn Account reinforces that learning is a lifelong precess worth investing in. This money is for books, software, museums and any other educational activites. This should be spent each month.

FUN - The Fun Account is your child's monthly fun money to buy things they want. Kids learn to make wise spending decisions as they learn to live within a budget. This has already come into play a couple of times this week when Samuel asks for something. So far he has not spent his money because each time I tell him how much something costs, he decides it is not worth it! This money should be spent each month.

ANGEL - The Angel Account should be spent each month helping others, giving to church, charities, benefits, or other worthwhile causes.

I had signed up for their e-mail list long before I purchased the kit. It sometimes goes on sale, which is when I purchased it.