Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Easy Summer Scrapbook for Kids

First of all, this mama is not a scrapbook queen, so don't set your expectations too high. Although, this project is perfect for any level of scrapbooker because you can make it as simple or as cutsie as you want.

Last summer Bubba had just finished Kindergarten. He was an emerging reader and writer. The first grade teacher in me cringed at the idea of him spending the entire summer doing brain mushing activities like playing video games and watching TV. I wanted him to retain everything he'd learned in Kinder, and maybe even pick up a few new things.

I came up with this:

A summer journal Kindergarten style. I bought an 8x8 scrapbook, a package of colored printer paper, and top-load plastic cover pages. On the left side I made simple scrapbook pages documenting the activities we wanted to remember. I kept the pages simple so that it wouldn't be so overwhelming and so I would keep up with it and get it done quickly and almost immediately.

Then on the right hand side I gave Bubba a piece of blank, white printer paper and told him to journal about what he was doing in the pictures. This eliminated the "Mooom, I don't know what to write about." whining. It also gave him something to say ("I was wearing orange shorts." "I was hitting the ball.")when he was just out of words (a boy thing).

I told him not to worry about spelling (as he gets older we will work on that) and to write whatever he wanted to about each activity. If he asked how to spell something, I said "Do the best you can." If he was completely stuck, I helped him hear a few of the most important sounds in the word and moved on. I asked him to come up with a couple of sentences for each page, and...I also paid him a penny per sentence. If I really wanted extra, I gave him a nickel for 3 or 4 sentences.

When he was finished writing, I asked him to read it back to me. If there was a word misspelled or hard to read, I drew a line under it and wrote the correct spelling (mainly for me when I wanted to go back and look at this piece of history YEARS down the road). I tried to leave the grammar and syntax as he'd written it. My goal wasn't a perfect paper, but to document his work at that time in his life.

We accomplished this while the twins were napping. It kept him quiet so they could sleep and gave us some one-on-one time. I also quickly realized that he would not be up to this EVERY SINGLE DAY, so we just worked on it once or twice a week, or less if we were caught up. (BRIBING him with money didn't hurt either.)

In the end, we had fun reliving our summer memories, Bubba's brain stayed activated, and I ended up with a great scrapbook. It WORKS FOR ME!

Go to Rocks In My Dryer to see more great Works for Me tips.


Char said...

This is a great idea! Thanks for visiting my blog today.

The Binkley Family said...

Where do you find these great blogs? They are all so neat!

Lisa said...

ThAT IS GREAT! I am SO not a scrapbooker but I think I could do that.......well when Ty is able to write! I have done the pics with lines to write beside thus far. I am just not that hip I guess!

BTW, I also consider myself a loyal commenter! I TOTALLY think he should finish. It looks good no matter what field you go into, they don't necessarily care what its in, they realize the time and commitment inovlved and that is what is important! I am FOR IT!

A D said...

That is awesome. It must be the teacher in you. I will one day scrapbook for my kids, I am thinking graduation with pics throughout the years of meaningful things and just funny things. I don't have the time or really care to take the time to go hog wild on the scrapbooking things - they are nice but totally not me. But your idea is awesome. Good job!!

Lori said...

I love this idea! I think I'll do something like this with my two older daughters this summer, for sure!