A twenty year storm blew into town today. Rain clouds were pleasant in the morning with water-scented breezes. Then spatters, then soaking rain. Luckily I planned a trip to the library. That took all of one hour. Now the kids are crazy. Jumping off of the bed and screeching and jumping on the bed. I just chased them into the bathtub. After bath they get to play Xbox for a little while before bed. So I might get a break. Except I just remembered the laundry in the dryer needs to be folded.
So summer camp today had library, siesta, baking cookies, popcorn, spin art, dancing, puzzles, and then Ian fell asleep for his nap so I got to clean a corner of my room while Anika planned next week's craft activity (picking her favorite ideas from my craft books). No wonder I'm tired. Too bad sleep has been erratic lately. Some good nights and some restless nights.
I did figure out that shortcuts are good. We baked cookies from a pre-mixed batter. Which feels like cheating to me. I know how to bake perfectly good cookies from scratch. But the energy conservation in not needing to clean all the supplies was worth the 'cheating' feeling. I have to cut corners to get through the day. My energy levels are still super-low. Muscles healing.
Still, life doesn't have a pause button.
I had another idea :)
My book idea for Anika today was a simple flip-storybook. Each page is cut off center. On the short side is the character. On the long side is a descriptive (funny) sentence ending. By flipping one side of the page or the other, the story changes with silly outcomes. We wrote The vampire lives in a scary castle. The bunny eats green grass. The princess goes to a tea party. The fairy lives in a flower blossom. The family plays in the rain. Ian kicks the ball. Anika dances at a show.
Even Ian was laughing at our rough draft sentences. The vampire eats green grass and The bunny kicks the ball. Good fun :)
I see the book helping Anika's memory retain part of the story at a time. For reading, it will be successful, fun, and it will build skills where she recognizes sameness within changes. Right now, changing part of a story puts her back at square one. She forgets words and patterns when she turns a page in a book. This format can help her see that she doesn't need to sound out every letter if she recognizes words.
Now I need to illustrate and figure out how to bind it for her.
Oh, that reminds me, I forgot to show our game that we made which helps her learn blending and chunking sounds. Here is our Weremaid and Merwolf. I print the characters on cardstock so the kids can mix and match. The top-halves fit with the bottom-halves. The cards have the letters along the side for sounding out (eventually chunking). I'll figure out a way to share the entire game if people are interested. Pretty fun way to build those reading skills :) I sketched the outlines and Anika did a lot of the coloring. I did the tricky parts, but they're really a team-effort :)