Red Apple Reading Wins Homeschool.com Summer Resource Award

We at Red Apple Reading are ecstatic to be one of the handpicked summer learning resources on Homeschool.com’s list this year! Homeschool parents agree, Red Apple Reading is a great way to keep young kiddos in the reading loop over summer break or any time of the year.

Visit Red Apple Reading today and take advantage of our special summer promo code: RARSUMMER17 for 20% off online pricing on any plan. Existing customers can also use this code on their special renewal pricing. Code expires on 9/4/17.

View the article and list from Homeschool.com here.

Red Apple Reading wins Homeschool.com Summer Resources Award 2017

Preparing for Summer Break

With school wrapping up for the year, school children across the country are itching to begin their summer vacation. Parents, however, realize what a mixed bag summer break can be. We love a more relaxed schedule but hate fighting the battle against mind numbing entertainment. How can parents plan a balanced summer for their little ones? Can we really have a fun break that also includes some education and structure? Red Apple Reading is helping parents plan the perfect summer for their little ones.

Ask yourself some questions
Think about what you would like your summer to look like. Are there any goals you have for your family? Do you want to spend more time outside? Read a certain book series? Teach the kids a new skill? Do more crafts? You’re more likely to have a productive break if you begin with some clear objectives.

Embrace a little structure
Once you know what you would like to accomplish, you can begin making a plan.  Start by making a loose schedule. For instance, you may want to dedicate the first part of the day to chores, have outside time before it gets too hot, and spend part of the afternoon reading. Your schedule will depend on your goals for the family. If you are a working parent who has someone come in to keep your child during the day, communicate your schedule to the babysitter.

Remember to be flexible
It’s always good to have a goal in mind for the day, but hold your schedule loosely. If your kiddo wakes up cranky you might need to give her some extra cuddle time on the couch. You may let your little one bring his tablet along on a day you have several errands to run. Remember, you rule the schedule, it doesn’t rule you.

Include some academics
The transition back to school in the fall will be easier if your kids have engaged their brains throughout the break. One of the best things you can do for your children is to have them read regularly throughout the summer. Many kids lose gains they made in reading during the school year when they neglect summer reading. You can also review math skills, perform science experiments and visit a museum.

Don’t forget the fun
Remember that summer break should be fun! Even if you don’t have any big trips scheduled you can still incorporate some fun activities into your week. Need some inspiration? Check out our Summer and Outdoor Fun Pinterest board.

Make this summer break the best yet! If you don’t have a subscription to Red Apple Reading’s online reading program, consider getting one for your kid this summer. It’s a great way for kids to have fun while brushing up on their reading skills. Try our free trial today!

 

Reasons to Visit Your Local Library This Summer

Red Apple Reading - Reasons to Visit the Library This Summer

When was the last time you visited your public library? If you already have a hefty collection of books in your own personal library, you may not see a need to make a trip to the library in your community. However, your local library may have a plethora of resources for you and your child that you are unaware of. Check out these hidden gems that are available at your local library.

Story Time
Many of us have fond memories of circling up on the carpet and listening intently as the librarian read to us while she held the book open so we could see the pictures. How did she read upside down like that? This time honored tradition is still alive and well at most libraries across the country. Check your local library’s calendar and see when your little one can participate.

Downloadable Products
Many local libraries have links on their web sites where you can check out free downloadable books. eBooks, audio books, and videos are a few of the options that are typically available through a digital library. Is your child obsessed with electronics? Why not offer him a book to read on your e-reader? Do you have a long trip coming up? How about downloading some audio books onto an MP3 player to help your youngster pass the time?

Events
A quick perusal of your library’s calendar will reveal a variety of events offered to patrons. Homework help, craft time, creative writing classes, book clubs and movie showings are just a few examples of the extra activities that may be available to you and your little ones.

Books
Yep, this one is a no-brainer, but it bears reminding that libraries offer access to a wide variety of reading materials. How great is it that we can visit a library on any ordinary day and borrow a book for free?! Another great perk of book borrowing is you don’t have to find a place to keep the book when you’re finished and someone else gets the opportunity to enjoy it as well.

Quiet
Not many things in my life could be described as peaceful and quiet. But you know what? A visit to the library provides a little tranquility to my otherwise hectic day. An outing to the library may be the calming activity that you and your kid need.

Fun
Libraries are just plain fun! When we visit the children’s section of our local library, my son can use the cool interactive Promethean table, visit the pet turtle, and play with all of the cool blocks and games that are available. What fun “extras” does the kid’s portion of your library offer?

Is the public library an overlooked resource in your community? Today is a great day to explore the many benefits of your own local library! What do you think? We would love to hear about some of the resources/events you take advantage of at your public library.

 

Summer Reading: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Summer Reading: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly | Red Apple ReadingOnce again the school year has flown by and summer is upon us. Many parents are thrilled for your kids to have some down time, but don’t relish the fight against television, video games, and social media. For me, summer reading has always been an important key to adding some loose structure to the break. However, reading can create mixed feelings in our kiddos: some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain ugly!

Summer reading is important and can be enjoyable if you present it the right way to your children. If you’re looking for some fun ways to implement reading into your kid’s summer break, Red Apple Reading invites you to try some of the following suggestions!

  • Scavenger Hunt – At the beginning of the summer plan a weekly scavenger hunt at your local library. For instance, the first week have your child search for a book about animals. The next week look for a mystery story. By planning a hunt with different genres each week, you can turn reading into an adventure!
  • Reading Rewards – Have your kid “purchase” technology time, swimming time, or ice cream dates. Don’t worry – this isn’t a shady scheme to make a little side money! Kids earn these prizes by reading! You decide how it works. Perhaps 1 hour of reading earns 20 minutes of television or 1 chapter book earns a trip to a fast food restaurant.
  • Family Reading – At the beginning of the summer, pick a book that the entire family can enjoy. Spend half an hour each day reading the story aloud to everyone. You’ll be surprised how much you and the children look forward to this daily activity!
  • Book Surprise – The first day of summer break present the kids with a surprise gift basket full of new books. These don’t have to be brand new titles; you can visit thrift stores and second hand shops to purchase “new to you” books.
  • Technology Temptation – If your kid is tech savvy, then take advantage of that passion and tempt them with technology! Allow your child to engage in reading in ways that don’t involve traditional books. For instance, did you know Red Apple Reading offers a bi-monthly e-magazine for kids and parents? Check it out today 
  • Mystery Book Basket – We love this fun idea from Inner Child Fun. Similar to “Blind Date with a Book”, this kid friendly version will add a little mystery to their book choice!
  • Library Programs – Most public libraries have summer reading programs for children. These programs encourage summer reading through fun programs, activities and prizes. This year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program theme is On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!
  • Book + Activity – Does your little one love a good craft or project? If so, combine her love of creativity with reading. Come up with a craft to make to go along with a book she is reading. Don’t worry if you’re not the creative type! A quick perusal of Pinterest will offer an abundance of ideas!

Be prepared to offer your kids a summer full of reading fun! With a little forethought and planning, you can experience all the good of summer reading and (hopefully!) avoid the bad and the ugly!

 

Teaching While You Travel: Making the Most of Your Road Trip!

Teaching While You Travel - Red Apple ReadingAre you planning a family trip this summer that involves long hours in the car? Everyone loves a vacation, but the actual road trip itself can be tedious – especially for families with small children! Do you wish you had a dollar for every time a child asks, “How much longer?” Is it possible for a Mom and Dad to arrive at their destination with their sanity intact? If you’re looking for ways to keep your children entertained on your approaching car trip, then look no further! Red Apple Reading has some tips for not only keeping your kiddo entertained but also intellectually stimulated during your upcoming road trip!

  • License Plate Game – This oldie but goodie never fails to please! Have children search for license plates from as many states as possible while on the road. If you want to add a little extra geography boost, print out maps and let kids color in the states as they find them!
  • Audio Books – Before leaving for your trip borrow some audio books to listen to as you travel. Many children’s books are quite compelling and are fun for adults to listen to as well! One of my favorite children’s authors is Andrew Clements. See what you can find at your local public library!
  • Math Fact Fun – If your little one is learning her multiplication tables, then a long road trip provides the perfect opportunity to practice. Take advantage of the extra time together and quiz your kiddo on her math facts as you travel. Perhaps you could even reward progress with a milkshake or other treat!
  • Road Reading – A car trip is filled with opportunities to read along the way! If you have beginning readers challenge them to spot words on street signs, billboards, and buildings. The kids will enjoy shouting out their finds and you will enjoy the progress they make with their reading!
  • Keep Little Fingers Busy – We all remember how tempting it is to poke, pinch, and prod siblings on a road trip. Avoid hearing the backseat mantra, “He’s touching me!” by keeping those little fingers busy! Before leaving on your trip find some shoelaces and cut up several straws. Little ones can thread the straw pieces onto the shoestring, take them off, and do it again. This simple activity will keep the kiddos out of trouble and help develop crucial fine motor skills! Check this out on Knoala!
  • Memory/Alphabet Game – Help sharpen memory and letter skills with this fun road trip game. Someone in the car begins the game by saying, “I’m going on a road trip and I’m bringing________”. The first person fills in the blank with something that starts with the letter A. The next person repeats the first person’s item, and adds something that begins with a B. The game goes on until your list goes all the way to Z!

We hope these suggestions make your next car trip a little less stressful! We would love to hear what your family does to pass the time while traveling. Leave a comment below with your best ideas for keeping kids entertained on the road!