Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Reading List, and How I Will Not Become the Screen Time Nazi

School is out for summer!
We've said goodbye to our beloved teachers and classmates
and are ready for a summer of R&R.

I'm up late tonight working on a game plan for these sweet summer months.
My main goal is to keep us as un-scheduled as humanly possible.
Tucker wants to take tennis lessons,
and Lana will swim on the summer swim team.

Beyond that, I'm hoping for lots of sleeping late,
snuggling on the couch, 
playing with toys,
and being together.

As I thought about how I want our summer to go,
I knew a few things:
I do not want to be in charge of regulating screen time.
I do not want their brains to turn to mush.
I want them to have fun, but I also want them to work.
I want to leverage this concentrated time I have with them spiritually:
we are going to memorize Psalm 23 and the Lord's Prayer,
and read through the book of John together.

Here are a few things we have displayed in our playroom
to keep the fun in summer:

By 10:00 a.m. the first morning of summer, both kids had already finished their brain work, Bible reading, and chores; and Lana was pulling weeds in the front flower beds to earn extra money - 
all without prompting.  Hope it's still working this well a month from now!

Edited to add:

We're 7 days in to this new system.
As I sit at the breakfast table and type this update, 
dinner is simmering on the stove,
Lana is sitting at the kitchen counter painting with watercolors,
and Tucker is in the playroom, crashing trucks into each other.

How the plan is working:
Neither of the children have had any screen time in two days,
and that has nothing to do with me!
As they go down their list, completing their tasks,
they get distracted by other things.  
toys, books, games, and their own precious imagination.
They have played together for hours happily,
invented games together,
and taught each other how to do things.
FOR TWO DAYS, they just haven't gotten around to screen time.
This seems a small miracle to me,
and I am loving not having to be the judge and jury on it.
No mommy guilt, either way.
If they ask about doing something electronic, I get to say YES!
I say "Oh, sure you can, as soon as your list is done!  How's that going?"
And off they go.

The downside:
One of my children is highly motivated by earning money,
and today I found both of them getting caught in the trap of asking,
"How much will you pay me to do that?"
And that is NOT going to work.
You see, there are things we do in our family simply because we are Team Davis and we all contribute.  And in the same way that I don't get paid for cooking dinner or paying the bills, and Dan doesn't get paid for mowing the grass or changing the lightbulbs, our children will not get paid for helping our home run smoothly.
Even more importantly, Team Davis looks not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:4)
We want to cultivate an attitude of looking for ways to love and serve each other, 
not expecting anything in return.
So while I'm happy to allow my children the opportunity to earn extra money by taking on extra work, if it generates a heart of greed and selfishness, it's off the table.
We had a good conversation about this mid-day, and I'm praying that the Lord helps me draw out the sinfulness in their hearts, and help them replace it with godliness.

So.  Summary.  
It's a work in progress.
The story of life, yes?


One thing that we all look forward to in summer is READING!

I've been working on a summer book list for both children.
I absolutely love reserving books online and then having them waiting on us at the library!
Here are the lists I've compiled so far,
from jotting down books I see in the bookstore, 
or hearing about them via blogs and friends and recommended reading lists.

Please note:
I have not screened these for appropriate-ness yet.
I do that before I request them, 
usually by googling the title of the book + parent reviews.
This is a rough brainstorm list,
so please double check the content.

Tucker's List:
Tucker's list of books to request is shorter because he has an extensive library of books at home we have collected over the years for his sister.  These are ones that we don't have, or aren't yet familiar with.
He is 5 years old, and just beginning to read, so these are primarily books I will read to him, or that we will listen to via audiobook together.

You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts by Weitzman
Lentil by Robert McClosky
Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban
Elbert's Bad Word by Audrey Wood
Doctor de Soto by Steig
Chicken Sunday by Polacco
A Ball for Daisy by Raschka
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Juster
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Gerstein
My Friend Rabbit by Rohmann
All the World by Scanlon
The Onion's Great Escape by Fanelli
Miracles on Maple Hill by Sorenson
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Adam of the Road by Gray
The Wind in the Willows by Grahame
My Father's Dragon by Gannett
The Matchlock Gun by Edmonds
The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle by Lofting
Misty of Chincoteague by Henry
Cabin Faced West by Fritz
Holes by Sachar
Little Britches by Moody
The Wheel on the School by Roald Dahl
Phantom Tollbooth by Juster
Ella Enchanted by Levine
The Penderwick's
Every Children's Book Written by Shel Silverstein
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Selznick
Wonderstruck by Selznick
Seed folks by Fleischman
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot by Dave Pilkey
Time Warp Trio Series, #1: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka
Whole Sky Full of Stars by Rene Saldana Jr.
Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Enormous Eggy by Oliver Butterworth
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck

Lana's List:
Lana is almost 9 years old, and the books on this list will be on a 3rd-8th grade reading level.

Athlete vs. Mathlete by W.C. Mack
Blast Off! by Nate Ball
Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Latricia Clifton
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman
Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts
Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman
Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen by Donna Gephart
Pie by Sarah Weeks
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
White Fur Flying by Patricia McLachlan
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own making
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Ordinary Princess
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
Pippi Longstocking
Princess Academy
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Anne of Green Gables
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Wee Free Men
The Hero and the Crown
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rickshaw Girl
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
Inside Out and Back Again
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Bay 6
Rosa Park My Story
Riding Freedom
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Catherine, Called Birdy
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
Esperanza Rising
Howl’s Moving Castle
Dealing with Dragons
The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Estes
Dragon Slippers
Liesl & Po
The True meaning of Someday
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Dear American With the Might of Angels
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume
The King’s Equal
The Thirteenth Princess
Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles
Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
The Search for Wondla
Marty McGuire
Cordelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters
The Penderwicks
Three Times Lucky
The Moorchild
Me and the Pumpkin Queen
Everything on a Waffle
The Secret Tree
The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas
All-of-a-kind Family
Emily of a New Moon
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Born to Fly
A Tangle of Knots
Celia and the Fairies
Big River’s Daughter
The Thing About Luck
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Bo at Ballard Creek
A Snicker of Magic
The Luck Uglies
The Fourteenth Goldfish
All Four Stars
The Time of the Fireflies
Rain Reign
Wheels of Change
Moon over Manifest
Counting on Grace
Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
The Great Gilly Hopkins
Return to Sender by Julia Alvare
The Hope Chest
Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges
The Year of Miss Agnes
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
Journey to the River See
Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth
Summer and Bird
Summer of the Gypsy Moths
Laugh with the Moon
Roxie and the Hooligans
Mario of the Winter Caves
Misty of Chincoteague by marguerite Henry
Trixie Belden by Julie Campbell Tatham
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt
The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Green Ember

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