Monday, April 2, 2012

Have Your Own Alphabet Fun

Summer Camp programs are popping up early this spring like tulips and the allergy season. However, if you’d like to avoid developing your career as a chauffeur you should consider creating your own Alphabet Summer.

Structuring educational lessons using the letters of the alphabet is a common practice used at daycare centers and schools throughout the nation. I was first inspired to use the alphabet as an organizing technique after reading blogger Amy Caroline’s Knit Together blog where she details many of her homeschooling adventures.

In the depths of winter a few years ago, I started daydreaming about long summer days doing fun activities together as a family. As I was thinking about the many things we could do, Amy Caroline’s blog came to mind and I thought of having an Alphabet Summer. When I explained the idea to my oldest daughter who was in the middle of Kindergarten at the time she thought it was a great idea and we immediately started generating ideas together.

Our first year was filled with a lot of outings mainly because our youngest was only six months old at the beginning of the summer. Last summer we spent more time at home and hosted weekly craft camps with neighbor children based on the letters of the week. We had nearly thirty different children join us over the course of the entire summer to celebrate the letters of the alphabet.

The beauty of Alphabet Summer is that it can easily be customized to fit your family’s needs, interests, and resources. Our first year consisted of many outings and field trips near home that cost very little as we explored our city’s backyard and visited places we drive by all the time but never fully explore such as the drum shop just four blocks away or the labyrinth at a church less than a mile from our home.

This year our second-grader would like to participate in more organized activities and attend overnight camps. In addition, I have taken on a part-time job that will make it impossible to organize and implement weekly craft camps and field trips.  Therefore, this summer we will try something new that I’m calling Alphabet Summer Lite. We will still host a few craft camps but it will be only once a month instead of once a week.
If you’d like to follow along on our Alphabet Adventures this summer, follow my blog and check out our Facebook page. Click here to learn how to create and enjoy your own Alphabet Summer. Click here for an extensive A to Z list of things you and your child can do this summer. Last year the kids at our end of summer party randomly picked letters of the alphabet and assigned them to the weeks of summer for this year. If you’d like to follow along, here they are:

June 11 – S & C
June 18 – G & W
June 26 – H & X
July 2 – I & R
July 9 – L & F
July 16 – U & P – how perfect to watch the movie “Up” this week!
July 23 – T & O – send a letter TO someone!
July 30 – B & F – Best Friends!!
August 6 – Q & J
August 13 – D, N & A – Genetics!
August 20 – M, V & E
August 27 – K, Y, Z

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