Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader
Notice how many different activities your Second Grader is curious about exploring, and, maybe, yes, maybe, even, trying ?
Is s/he bringing home lots of celebration ideas ? 100th Day!?!
And you’re ready to jump in ~ ALL in !?!
But you see some hesitation and, then, some reluctance, surprisingly enough, when it wasn’t even your idea….
Uh…it’s not you…
Your seven, soon to be eight year old, may be experiencing a bit of.. ah…gulp.. an identity crisis…(EGADS! ALREADY?!?!)
Seven can be a difficult time for your child’s self-assurance. Not really a baby-baby, but not really a confident eight year old either (think how independent you were in Third Grade).
Unfortunately some Second Graders are already concerned with what their peers think of them and how they “fit in”…..(OMG!!! NOT YET!!!)
Encouraging and engaging your child with a celebration or 20 will help build his/her confidence, self-esteem, and, most importantly, critical & risk-taking skills. I’ve come up with some (ha!) ideas that might help move the process along….
This is Part Two :
Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Celebrations
Where Is My Bright, Confident Child?
Don’t educate your child to become something or someone, educate them to explore and celebrate who they already are. ~ Vince Gowmon
If your seven-year old appears to be a bit shaky at times regarding who s/he is, it may just be a “bad hair” day….or not.
Second grade can definitely be overwhelming for some children. It seems like the expectations are either too high or too numerous to fulfill successfully.
All the new content in school may be coming at your child too quickly for him/her to process in a solid way. Learning strategies for reading comprehension, math problem solving, writing elaboration is only the beginning.
And, if that’s not enough…..there’s research and science fair projects…..but I’ll get into that arena in my next post….”Second Grade Research”.
Oh yeah… and the 3000 new vocabulary words s/he is expected to learn, understand, and, maybe even use, is huge. Some of them are pretty big, too ~ think…..”analyze, transform, reflect, collaborate…” to mention a few…
I did create a product with activities to help your child learn those WOW Words. Just click on the link below:
My previous Second Grader post is all about your seven year old’s Language & Learning Skills :
For now, though, let’s talk about how to engage your occasionally “pensive” child with activities to inspire self-assurance sprinkle with some ego-boosters.
You ! Wonderful You !
Celebrating Me ! is a great way to help your child appreciate who s/he is ~ with a little bit of applause on top.
For starters, you can choose a “few” books to share with your child from the 100s of All About Me books listed on the Good Reads site. Click on the link below:
I, also, created a 12-pg PDF All About Me freebie filled with prompt ideas and fill-in shapes to help your child make a Pin-Up Poster, telling the world who s/he is:
If your Second Grader is interested to know what was going on in the world on the day s/he was born, check out a newsletter PDF template you & yours can fill in:
with a little help from these 2 sites:
And As Life Goes On…..
Creating a Memory Book together is a great approach for your child to see how s/he is growing & maturing into a unique person.
Here are some suggestions of what can be included in this visual autobiography:
- My Family Tree
- My Friends
- Things I Enjoy Doing So Far
- Favorite Vacation So Far
- Favorite Teacher(s) So Far
- Best Present Ever!
- Best Thing I’ve Learned How To Do So Far
- One of the Most Interesting Things I’ve Discovered So Far
- Funniest Time
- Saddest Time
- Happiest Time
- Scariest Moment
- Most Embarrassing Moment
- My Biggest “Growing Up” Moment…..So Far
And here’s the link to the 25cmx20cm PDF Memory Book Template pages:
Share this experience as special You & Me time or pull out your scrapbook/memories to work on the “hobby” together.
Happiness Is Having A Hobby
Creativity is intelligence having fun. ~ Albert Einstein
“Find something to do or…..” was a very effective catchphrase my mother used as an anti-boredom technique.
There were always colors, papers, scissors & glue to encourage idle hands as well as building tools, pretend play clothes, puppets, etc. Designing paper dolls, paper puzzles, costume additions, etc filled many rainy or too-hot-to-play-outside days.
I usually had my nose in a book ~ historical fiction was/is a fav. I, also, loved to cut out articles & pictures to organize into notebooks ~for future reference, of course.
We seldom got bored during outdoor play….. Lots of things to collect & make out there.
Hobbies ~ I have numerous ones ~ are fabulous avenues into who you are explorations & discoveries. Expose your child to the limitless possibilities.
Studies have shown hobbies & collections can benefit your child in many ways. Hobbies can increase focus, time management skills & self-awareness. Collections are great for teaching organization & detail. The website altiusdirectory listed some important ones :
- help develop motor skills & bilateral coordination
- encourage self-discipline & personal accomplishment
- act as educational tools for critical thinking & cognitive skills
- build creativity, imagination & guessing skills
- engage in goal setting, decision-making & problem solving
- grow into career paths
- continue to be lifelong interests
Need a few Hobby & Collection ideas ? BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:
Downsides to Hobbies & Collections: cost, space and MESS…. These sites may help with those detractors:
Oh, and video games,television & web-surfing are not hobbies, though I will watch my favorite shows WHILE doing a hobby.
Smile….You’re on Candid Camera
Turning off Screen Time (while eyes are glued to it) is an invitation to the creation of a House of Horrors with the sound effects magnified through rock concert-caliper amps…..yes, oh, the HORROR!!!!!
The worst & best consequence I could dole out as a parent was NO SCREEN TIME. Within a week, I watched my child transform from a , uh, growling meanie to a cheerful, nice person. Seriously….it was kind scary and oh, so enlightening.
PBS & other educational programing-only (I wasn’t a Monster Mom) – did little to soothe the savage beast……at first….
Current & past studies confirm the negative effects too much screen time has on your child’s growth & development in ALL areas ~ physical, mental & emotional.
Stepping Away from Screen Time
Dr. Michael Gurian, a family therapist, brain scientist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature , offers a few guidelines for how much media is too much:
- Notice your child’s social behaviors ~ unrealistic screen & virtual relationships? isolation from others? withdrawal from interactions?
- Gauge your child’s emotional responses ~ increased aggression? progressive stress & fatigue?
- Measure your child’s cognitive development ~ shortening instead of lengthening attention span? a variety of troubles learning new things?
- Observe your child’s physical growth ~ weight, coordination, gross motor skills, flexibility, endurance
Another brain scientist, John Medina, suggests negotiations based on “trading for digital time”:
- Divide screen time into categories, like school work, technology learning, research & (the heavy) recreation.
- Non-screen activities can buy screen time on the weekends after school work, chores, family time, etc are completed.
Here’s a PDF, usable Alternatives List I created for you:
FYI ~ The National Parks Service offers an AWESOME Junior Ranger program packed with a variety of interests, like fishing, bats, archaeology, caves, historic preservation and MUCH more. Here’s the link for more info:
And, BTW, cooking together is a WONDERFUL way to engage everyone in a healthy, fun life skill activity. Yes, BLB Shop has a few products to encourage you & yours:
You can, also, create some screen time filming, and, then, watching a variety of Pretend Play scenarios, explorations, vacations, holiday gatherings ~ you know ~ good ol’ Home Movies !
Children find everything in nothing. ~ Giacomo Leopardi
Who doesn’t love a good movie !?! Believe me ~ I am a MAJOR fan !
As children, my sisters, friends & I loved to build stages for our variety acts & alternative environments when preparing our role play scenarios. Our parents were always entertained and encouraged sequels.
Your Second Grader’s improved learning & memory skills are encouraging a lot of growth in her/his creativity. Toys without specific instructions & boundaries will engage your child’s imagination & cognitive skills.
Pretend Play is beginning to look & sound like a Reality Show with its detail, dialogue & “sets”.
This downloadable freebie has several Invitation Templates for your child’s Pretend Play scenarios:
BLB Library has a Resource with sites for more Pretend Play explorations:
And, if you have an aspiring artist ~ visual and/or performing artist in your midst, you can, also, check out BLB Library for a Book List Resource:
Or, maybe, you have an aspiring Social Butterfly and/or Party Planner on your hands…. After all, who doesn’t love a PARTY!?!?!
Oh Yeah ! Let’s Partaaay!
Does your child love to go to parties? Is his/her Pretend Play involve making parties (think tea parties, swim parties, sleepovers) & inviting others?
Your Party Planner may have a career plan in her/his future….for now. It may be time to take your Social Director to the next level.
Talking & fantasizing are definitely the beginnings of what is called ~in your seven-year old’s mind~ the pre-planning stages. You can help reality set in with a brainstorming, Q&A session, especially when the Budget enters the equation:
- Who is the party for & Why?
- When & Where?
- Is there a Theme?
- How Many People will be invited?
- What Kind of party is it: brunch, lunch, dinner, snacks only, dessert, buffet?
- What kind of Food & Drinks will be served ?
- Entertainment: games/contests, prizes, music?
- Clean-up crew?
- Cost / Budget?
Here’s a pair of PDF templates (Party Organizer & Budget Worksheet) to get you & yours started : Party Planner
And your child is stretching out: neighbors, school & community.
Celebrating Your Child’s Out~of~the~Door Places
Since Kindergarten you’ve been hearing “My teacher says…” “At school we….” “S/he’s my friend at school…” Your youngster is, hopefully, a proud & eager participant in all things School. Get out your pompoms & join in !
This “School Rocks !” PDF , fill-in-the-blanks, mini-poster freebie will let you know why your Second Grader is so enamored with her home-away-from-home :
How well does s/he know the neighborhood & community? Has s/he been studying maps at school ? Make one together that starts with your home & branches out to nearby places you visit together, including shops, the library & fire station.
The study of Community Helpers has been part of your child’s classroom since Kindergarten. This PDF freebie will give you some clues about how familiar your Second Grader is with his/her town, city, state & country. An interview sheet is included in case s/he wants to find out more about specific community workers : Community Helpers
So, speaking of the USA…..
Celebrating Major USA Holidays
There are 10 Federal, or Public holidays we, as a Nation, celebrate together. They are days to recognition & honor our accomplishments throughout the history of the USA.
Usually included as a 3-day weekend, many businesses, especially banks, some state & federal offices, the post office & maybe, your child’s school will close to enjoy the long weekend.
Those 10 Federal Holidays are:
- New Year’s Day ~ January 1
- Martin Luther King Day ~ third Monday in January
- Presidents’ Day ~ third Monday in February
- Memorial Day ~ last Monday in May
- Independence Day ~ July 4
- Labor Day ~ first Monday in September
- Columbus Day ~ second Monday in October
- Veterans’ Day ~ November 11
- Thanksgiving Day ~ fourth Thursday in November
- Christmas ~ December 25
Here’s a 6-page, PDF freebie with Family Activity Ideas for celebrating each of these Holidays plus 5 more including Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and Halloween : 15 USA Holidays
We, also, as a Country of many diverse cultures, celebrate the many different countries’ customs & heritages so many of us brought with us when we arrived to live here.
Celebrating Our Multiculturalism
The future of our world lies in the hands, hearts, and minds of our children. ~ David Decker
Many schools across the USA hold an International Day for families & friends to share their different customs, foods, heritage, clothing, handwork & language.
Some schools celebrate their diverse cultures with an International Night. Families set up tables & booths to showcase their different customs, foods, heritage, clothing, handwork & language as a mini community festival.
I taught on a campus with so many international children, we hung flags from the hallway ceilings, representing each one. We were like a small United Nations !
BLB Shop has a 77-page PDF product ~ USA Multicultural Celebrations ~ with information, book lists, activities & recipes for you & your family to experience while celebrating our Multicultural Nation. Just click on the link below:
Of course, there are 100s of festivals across the USA, including 10 Major Global Celebrations. These special days are celebrated by millions of people.
Ten Major Global Celebrations
These ancient Holidays are shared by millions & millions of cultures around the world. Most are based on religious beliefs. However, not all who participate in the festivities are necessarily followers of the religion.
How many of them do you know?
RELIGION BELIEVER WORLD POPULATION COUNTRIES MOST LIVE IN MAJOR HOLIDAYS
Christianity Christian Two Billion Americas, Europe & Oceania Easter & Christmas
Islam Muslim One Billion North Africa, Asia & Middle East Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr
Hinduism Hindu 900 Million India Diwali & Holi
Buddhism Buddhist 350 Million South & Southeast Asia Vesak & Obon
Judaism Jew 14 Million USA, Israel & Europe Passover & Hanukkah
To learn more about these celebrations, check out the Resource in BLB Library : Ten Major Global Celebrations. It includes information on traditions & symbols with a book list for each culture :
And….just one more thought about Celebrations…..
Did you know there are days on the calendar for celebrating peanut butter, spaghetti, dragons & daydreamers ? Months & weeks have specials celebrations, too, like Frog Month & Pizza Week. Holiday Insights on the site The Spruce is LOADED with Family Fun Celebration Ideas. Here’s the link:
Well, believe it or not, I didn’t mean for this post to be so lengthy….
But, if you’re reading this, Faithful Reader, I hope you discovered some new ways for you & yours to celebrate !
Let me hear how much fun your Family Holidays are !
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