Summer Reading Programs for Kids!

With the Covid-19 shutdowns, most libraries are not doing a summer reading program.

If your local library isn’t doing a program, here are a few programs that are online. You can of course do as many programs as you (or your kids) would like.

bookitNow Enrolling: Camp BOOK IT!
Parents, join us for our first ever Camp BOOK IT! and keep rewarding your kids all summer long. Track and reward your kids’ reading for June, July, and August in our digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they’ll receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® from Pizza Hut! We’ll also share fun activities and book recommendations each week to keep the fun going throughout the summer! For more info on the 2020-2021 school year Bookit program, check out this post.

The City of San Diego library system is doing its summer reading program with some modifications. You can learn more and sign up here.

scholasticScholastic has a summer reading challenge in which kids go online to record the minutes they’ve read during the summer. This year, kids can build an avatar, make new friends, earn virtual rewards, and help unlock donations for kids with limited or no access to books. All you need to do is sign up and keep a “reading streak” in Scholastic Home Base over the summer!

RIF

Soar with reading while summer is out with Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest children’s literacy non-profit. From RIF reading lists and a collection of free ebooks to interactive materials on Literacy Central and a brand new Literacy Central app, Reading Is Fundamental has tools for every level to raise reading to new heights this summer and beyond.

Thanks to We Are Teachers for the heads up on some of these summer programs.  The original article has some additional resources that are regional (and not applicable to San Diego/Southern CA).

2 Free Books from I Can Read Book Club!

I love I Can Read! books. I remember reading them when I was a kid, and I think that my parents still have some of them!

I took advantage of this deal- My kids are going through books so quickly right now with the library being closed and all.

Right now receive your first two books in the I Can Read! Book Club absolutely FREE! You pay just $1.00 for shipping and handling.

If you wish to continue receiving shipments from the I Can Read! Book Club, do nothing. Starting in about two weeks, and every month thereafter, you will receive five paperback books from the I Can Read! Book Club at $3.99 each plus $4.99 shipping and handling per shipment, plus sales tax (a total of $24.94), charged to the credit card that you provided. There is never an obligation to purchase additional books, and you may cancel at any time. Simply call  1-888-965-8737.

Our 100% Guarantee. Every shipment in the I Can Read! Book Club is guaranteed to meet your standards for quality. If any shipment doesn’t meet your expectations, you may return it within 30 days from receipt for a full refund of the purchase price less shipping and handling. There are no purchase commitments to meet, and you’re under no obligation to continue in the program. You may cancel at any time by notifying calling 1-888-965-8737 or emailing us at ICanRead@bookclub.harpercollins.com.

Book It: Enrollment is Open for the 2020-2021 School Year

BOOK-IT.pngHey, Homeschoolers…Book It Enrollment is Open for the 2020-2021 School Year!unnamed.jpg

And if you aren’t a home schooler, You can still participate! New for 2020-2021:

Enroll your own class: Book It no longer accepts campus-wide enrollments. Please select the option that works best for your classroom and only enroll classes you teach.

New and Improved Digital: The updated parent approval process no longer requires parent emails. Just share a personalized link with parents to gain approval or print blank certificates to ensure that all students can be rewarded for their reading accomplishments.

 

More ways to celebrate your students: With the digital program, parents can use digital certificates in person, over the phone, or online, for carryout, delivery or dine in providing even more ways for them to celebrate their child’s reading accomplishments.

Get Started here!  And remember to share this post with your teacher friends!

Everyone loves pizza- and nothing is better than FREE PIZZA!

 

Kids Learn to Read in 30 Days for Free with Reading Eggs!

ReadingEggsLogo.jpgLittle Bit is 4 and Kindergarten is in the fall for her. We want her to be as prepared as possible, which is why we are excited for her to start Reading Eggs!

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning reading program for ages 2 to 13 that uses scientific research to help your child learn to read, in just weeks!

I’m excited because we can unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12-month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12-month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE!

Their mission has always been to make learning easy and fun for young learners, and they feel there’s never been a more important time to do this. That’s why they’re giving you 30 days’ free access to the Reading Eggs and Mathseeds online learning programs.

This is Reading Eggs effort to ensure your child can continue learning at home with a quality educational resource designed by experienced educators and used by over 10 million children worldwide.

And there are tons of great resources too! Free downloads for Grades K to 6th. Reading Eggs just compiled a comprehensive list of FREE resources for parents!

I’ll be reporting back with an update in a few weeks or so. Fingers crossed we’ll have a reader!

leaderboard_readingeggsleaderboard

Details: 12 Months of Reading Eggs and Bonus Mathseeds for $45 – 12 months of Reading Eggs + BONUS Mathseeds – Unlock the complete reading and math adventure with a 12 month Reading Eggs subscription, plus get a BONUS 12 month Mathseeds subscription absolutely FREE – valued at $108.95, pay only $45!* New Subscribers only. Offer for 1 child only. Customers can only claim a maximum of 2 promotional codes per year. These offers cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other offer and are only available to United States and Canadian residents.

Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Stay Indoors Easier

file9831347376219.jpgA lot of people are posting about stocking up on essentials, or ways to make your own hand sanitizer in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I don’t want to freak out or spread any misinformation, so instead, I’m going to focus on how you can get your home ready in case you have to quarantine, either because of illness/exposure or because of a government mandate.

What can you do to prepare your home?

Make sure that you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. I don’t mean a years supply, maybe just enough to get you through an illness (like you would buy if someone in your home came down with a cold or cough), or in the case of #4, enough menstruation supplies for 1 period (most of us with periods have that in our homes anyway).

  1. Enough of your daily prescription meds for 14+ days.
  2. Pain relievers- Tylenol, Motrin, Advil.
  3. Cold /cough remedies- Sudafed, Mucinex, cough syrup. Don’t forget to have kid versions too!
  4. Menstruation supplies- Pads, Tampons, Cups, period panties.
  5. Any other OTC meds that you and your family use regularly.

Food– This is a tough one because each family is different. I recommend doing a pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory and make notes on what you have. I’d pick up a few extra things that are “must-haves” in your home. For us, that’s bagels and cream cheese. Bread products can be frozen, so I tossed a few extras in the freezer, as well a few extra quarts of milk.

I also picked up some of the shelf-stable milk quarts, like these. They are great for camping, as they don’t have to be refrigerated until after they are opened. They are also great for cooking.  I have also picked up some pantry staples so that we can have homemade baked goods (it gives us an activity and food!).

If you are worried about not having enough food because your budget doesn’t allow for an extra stock-up trip to the grocery store, there are food resources to help you. Check out this page for San Diego County food resources. If you are in Northern SD County, there is a list here. If you live outside San Diego County, but within the US, call 211 for assistance.

Cleaning Supplies-I cleaned out under our kitchen sink and organized all of the cleaning supplies- and I also have been cleaning the house. It was originally because we were hosting a birthday party, but, now it will be nice to have a clean house in case we are stuck inside.

A few of the cleaning supplies that are good to have on hand include:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia (but never mix it with bleach or any other cleaning chemical)
  • Pine-Sol or Fabuloso
  • Spray bottles for bleach/water mixtures, Ammonia/water mixtures
  • sponges
  • Magic Erasers
  • Paper towels
  • baking soda or Comet/Ajax (to scrub sinks/toilets/bathtubs)
  • White vinegar
  • Oxi-Clean
  • Laundry Soap
  • Laundry stain pre-treater

These are what we keep on hand all the time. I am pretty old school. I use ammonia as a degreaser to clean the stovetop, range hood, and mop the kitchen floor.

Something to do- I think this is something that most of us are forgetting about. Without school, work, the gym, clubs, or other outside activities, Netflix is going to get really boring really fast.

I did a craft supply reorganization yesterday and pulled together stuff for a bunch of different crafts the kids can do. If you have crafty kids, but not a lot of craft supplies, a quick trip to Dollar Tree with $20 can hook you up with a decent selection of supplies. If you don’t have a chance to go, Dollar Tree has “Pick and Pack” service. They have some craft supplies that would be great- canvases, construction paper, glue sticks, etc.

I will be finishing up the basket of UFO (Unfinished Outlying Projects) sewing, and probably start on a few new things that I’ve been planning (like curtains). I’ve got plenty of fabric and thread. No trip to the store will be needed.

We’ll be hitting up the library today or tomorrow for some books for the kids. But we’ve also got Epic on the iPads, and well as some other educational apps (I’ll be posting a list of free apps later today).

I went through all of our games and pulled out some newer ones that the kids haven’t played, or haven’t played in a while. I foresee lots of family game time.

Some government officials and municipalities are telling people to keep a 6-foot distance from others and no handshakes/hugs. That’s is great to control the spread of illness, but I can’t keep my kids inside all the time. Which is why we’ll be playing in our outdoor space/patio, and the green area outside our home, while carefully avoiding others. I may also take them hiking- many of the trails that we frequent are not heavily used. It is rare that we see other people. The fresh air will do them good. If you have a yard, send your kids outside to play or read outside. We want to avoid others to contain the spread of disease.

file801244167702.jpgAnd my final bit of advice: WASH YOUR HANDS FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS OF SCRUBBING. Use soap. Dry your hands with a paper towel. Use hand sanitizer as needed, but it is not a substitute for handwashing. Try not to touch your face (This is super hard, I know). 

Please be safe!

 

 

Educational Programs on Sale this weekend with Age of Learning!

Age of Learning is a great company for parents to know about: They are the people who brought you ABC Mouse! But for those of us with older kids, Age of Learning also has Adventure Academy (For kids 8-11), and Reading IQ- which has tons of great books for kids to read online.

This weekend, through 2/17/2020, Age of Learning is offering 60%+ off on all 3 of their programs for Presidents’ Day!

I’ve already signed up for Adventure Academy and the big kid is loving it!

Receive over 60% OFF on Annual Subscription to ABCmouse.com.  Get 12 months for just $45 total.

(Fine Print: Your payment information on file will be charged now at the price selected above (1 payment of $45.00 or 3 monthly installments of $15.00). Your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.)


Receive over 60% OFF on Annual Subscription to Adventure Academy.

Get 12 months for just $45 total.

(Fine Print: Your payment information on file will be charged now at $45.00. Your subscription will renew automatically every year at the same price until canceled.)

Receive over 68% OFF on Annual Subscription to ReadingIQ.

Get 12 months for just $29.99 total.
(Fine Print: Your subscription will renew automatically at $29.99 and be charged on an annual basis to the above payment information until canceled within the Parent Section.)

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Saving on Entertainment!

film-strip.jpg

This is one of the most divisive topics I write about. I am completely serious. Television. Specifically- cutting or lowing your cable or dish package to save money.

This is a big bone of contention for a lot of people who ask me how we live on one income. For some people, they “need their shows“ or they “have to” watch the game every week.

Cable and satellite television is expensive, and now with all of the streaming services in addition to cable, it is conceivable that a family may spend upwards of $300 a month on television. That’s JUST TELEVISION! That doesn’t include movie tickets!

Sit down and gather up the cost of each streaming service and/or cable subscription/dish subscription. Where is there overlapping entertainment?

  • Hulu Plus has a live option, which gives you access to sports, and television shows on the same day they air on cable television.
  • If you have cable that includes the Disney Channel, CBS, HBO, or Showtime, is there really a reason for you to pay for the subscription/on-demand versions of those networks?

If you feel like you are ok with changing your television viewing habits, ditching cable in favor for a few streaming options and over the air television which can be viewed with our digital antenna (which is easy to use/install) and is available for purchase for about $50-$100.

Depending on how strong the signals in your area are, you should be able to receive:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • CW
  • Fox
  • PBS (We get three PBS channels)

There are additional networks that are available in various areas of the county.  Here in So Cal, we also get:

Plus we get a few more Spanish language channels, and one Korean language channel.

Now that you’ve trimmed/cut the cord, what other entertainment do you see/attend/do? We don’t go to the movies too often, but we have a weekly date night budget of $50. I try to get it out of the bank in cash and if we are going out together, we spend it together, but if we are going out with other friends, or staying home with the kids, I give him half.  If we don’t use it one week, we roll it over to the next week!

images.jpgOne of my other main sources of Entertainment is the gym. I try and go at least 4 times per week for at least an hour.  Other places that you can trim and your family budget can include your gym membership. If you don’t require a gym that has the bells and whistles and lots of classes, you might consider changing your full-service gym to a more budget-friendly or discount gym like Crunch or Planet Fitness. Both of them have extremely reasonable rates, but they don’t offer classes or childcare usually.

If you’re looking at something that is slightly more family-friendly, I cannot recommend the YMCA enough! For our family, we pay $69 a month, and that is inclusive of childcare on-site for both children up to four hours a day (two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon as long as there is a lapse of four hours of time in between the two sessions), we can visit any YMCA location in San Diego County, and also have travel benefits if we go out of town. There are free classes for everyone in the family, on various types of exercise from family yoga to family kickboxing to open gym for the kids two-three times a week.

They have great swimming facilities for spring and summer, and the family swim is available year-round in the large pool at our local YMCA. I also like that they have trained people in the childcare/kids club area that know how to work with kids who have special needs, so I never feel like my big kid will be ignored or be feeling out of place. If you are a local and want to check out the YMCA, let me know and I’ll get you a guest pass!

In the past we had some really bad experiences with 24-Hour Fitness. We were also paying a lot of money to go to 24-Hour Fitness (upwards of $120/month Between our membership dues and the cost of the on-site childcare) and I felt like our fitness goals could not be supported because of the lack of support and education with their child care employees.

I also like that the YMCA offers discounted rates/scholarships for military families (active duty and retired), those with low-incomes, or receiving certain government benefits.

As far as kids’ entertainment, our local community library has us covered over school breaks. Between summer reading programs, spring break events, Star Wars Days, Back To School supply giveaways, and Christmas cookie decorating/Polar Express PJ parties. You would be surprised at all of the cool stuff going on at your local library!

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you save money on entertainment!

Summer Reading Program at San Diego Area Libraries!

Summer is upon us! And that means summer reading program at both San Diego County and City of San Diego Libraries!

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 5.49.13 PM.pngThe County of San Diego Library System has not yet put up their 2019 reading program. But their main website is here and las years summer reading program can be found here. I’m going to go talk to the kid’s librarian over at our local branch this weekend and see if I can get some info to post.

srp_2019_web_bannerThe City of San Diego Library System has its 2019 reading program up here.

Each program is different, and the prizes for each program are pretty cool. From tote bags and free lunches, to raffle tickets to win awesome grand prizes like drones and Lego sets, these programs are a great way to motivate kids to keep reading all summer long.

In addition to reading programs, there are also fun events at county and city libraries throughout the summer. My recommendation is to check out your local branches Facebook page. The Mission Valley branch has tons of great summer events planned!

 

 

Chipotle Reading Rewards: Rewarding the Little Readers in Your Life!

Disclosure: I received a free meal for four as compensation for writing this post, but honestly, reading/literacy is super important to me and the fam….

Chipotle is passionate about more than just perfectly rolled burritos, it is also committed to cultivating nourished minds and communities, and one of the best ways to do that is through Chipotle Reading Rewards – the annual program that rewards book smarts with delicious food crafted from real, whole ingredients.

CHP-19-07316-Chipotle-Reading-Rewards-Support---Landing-Page-Hero---R1.jpg

Now through Feb. 28, Chipotle is accepting educators’ and librarians’ applications for its Reading Rewards program, which can be added to an existing reading program, or Chipotle can provide schools with turnkey resources to kickstart their own.

The program is designed to help students develop a love of reading by rewarding them with free Chipotle when they reach their reading goals.

One of the reasons I love Chipotle as a family dining choice is there is someone for everyone, even the big kid, who is super picky (he has texture/sensory issues as part of his ASD). Chipotle is committed to making real food from wholesome ingredients without any added colors, flavors or additives. Chipotle has always prepared and used real ingredients that everyone can both recognize and pronounce.

The big kid likes that his food is made in front of him and he is in control of what gets added (no meat- he is a recently self declared vegetarian). I like that there are a lot of good options- freshly chopped veggies, salsas and guac made in the restaurant.

Chipotle’s craveable food is freshly prepared by hand each day using classical cooking techniques in its 2,500 restaurants.

Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone. Ordering through the Chipotle app or website is easier than ever before, and now you can get your food faster with delivery from DoorDash.

chipotle

To learn more about the Chipotle Reading Rewards Program, click here.

 

Review and Giveaway- ASPCA kids: Rescue Readers Books

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 9.25.29 PMRecently, rad folks at Moms Meet and Studio Fun sent us a box that Lil’ Man could hardly wait to get into.

Studio Fun International, a Reader’s Digest company, has teamed up with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the first animal welfare organization in North America and the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 9.25.02 PMThese books are ADORABLE!  Lil’ Man is getting to the age where he wants a pet, and these books are a great learning tool for him.
Each story is inspired by a real-life animal rescue story from the pet’s point of
view and includes facts and photographs of the actual pet that inspired the story. Each book creates a fun and educational hands-on experience written at a Level 2 reading level for early readers. While he can’t read yet, he recognized most of the letters and I can see that these books will definitely get a lot of use as he starts reading.
I really like that the importance of care, protection, and love of animals is incorporated into each
tale with a focus on the joyous outcome. Lil’ Man wanted a dog, but when he saw how much work came with it, he quickly asked for a fish (Because, he told me, “Mommy, you don’t have to walk a fish!!)
For those of us who like our purchases to help others, fell good knowing that four to five percent of the purchase price of every book goes directly to the ASPCA to help continue its mission.

These incredible stories are available in paperback, library binding hardcovers, and e-books. The paperback books are priced at $3.99 (each) or $15.96 (for all four) everywhere books are sold, Including Amazon!

IMG_2249We sat down to snuggle on the couch with some soft blankets, cocoa, and read our new books tonight! Lil’ Man said, “NO pictures, please mommy. I has the no-feel-goods!” But I did snap a photo of our soft blankies and books!

Now it’s your turn to share these fun, heartwarming books with your special littles. Thanks to #momsmeet and #Studiofun I am able to give away a set of the four ASPCAKids books pictured above: I am Daisy, I am Picasso, I am Nibbles, and I am McKinely. Entering is Easy: Leave a comment with what your first pet was! When I was a kid we had a Keeshond named Arthur.

I’ll choose a winner on December 7th. This prize would make a great gift for any young reader on your list!

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.