As we end one month and begin another, I wanted to share an idea with you.
Carisa over at 1+1+1=1, has created these wonderful Calendar Connections that we’ve been using for a few months now and love! I don’t remember how I first stumbled onto her post about these, but I do remember thinking that not only was it a great idea, it seemed so DO-able. You see, most of the time when I read about everyone else’s great ideas I just end up feeling inadequate and insecure about my own projects – or lack thereof (tell me I’m not alone?). But this one seemed like something I could actually do!
It’s possible that much of the allure was in the need to laminate things. I’ve written about my love of laminating before.
Carisa has a variety of Calendar Connection themes on her website and so far we’ve done three of them; Botany, Astronomy and the Arctic and Antarctic. I purchased this pocket calendar, after much searching for the best price, and it’s been perfect. As a bonus, the cards that come with it (for the months, seasons, etc…) are in English and Spanish! My kids aren’t doing any formal language instruction right now, but have learned a little Spanish, so it’s been fun to use the calendar cards to learn new words.
I had wanted a large, visual way to help my younger boys learn the months, days of the week, etc… and this has been just what we needed. It also comes with cards for the different holidays or birthdays, which helps us all to see what special things are happening during the month.
So far, I’ve let my boys choose which theme they wanted to do for the month, but this month I chose for them, since Carisa has a Thanksgiving theme. At the end of the month I just go to her site, print out the cards for the theme we want to do the next month, laminate them, cut them out and enlist a little helper in putting them in the right pockets – easy!
Each day, usually at dinnertime, we pull out that day’s card and read it. This usually leads to some discussion or commentary by the boys. I also gather whatever books we have lying around the house or check out new ones from the library that fit our theme and keep them in our book basket for the boys to peruse. Of course whenever we can tie in our other school work with the theme (i.e. doing our science chapter on botany and our Magic School Bus kit about the solar system) we do that, too.
We’ve really enjoyed adding this to our day – my boys look forward to it and remind me to read the new card each day! It’s been a very simple way to learn new facts about topics the boys are interested in and I’m looking forward to making our way through all of the themes. You can find all of the Calendar Connections here.