Disney Aulani

I recently took my family to a 3-night trip (July 23, 2015 to July 26, 2015) to the Aulani resort in Oahu, Hawaii. Prior to and even during the trip, I did a lot of research online, which helped me enhance my experience significantly. I want to share a few tips from our trip here. Aulani was sold out during our stay there, so the timing mentioned here should be applicable even if the resort is sold out for your trip.

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Barnes and Noble has announced its summer reading program for kids. The criteria is simple: Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal. There is no restriction to the type of book — it can be fiction or non-fiction, short or long — it doesn’t matter. In the Reading Journal, you’ll also need to write down whom you would recommend this book to and why you would recommend this book. Bring the completed Reading Journal to any participating Barnes and Noble store, and your kid can receive a free book. The list of available free books is in the Reading Journal PDF link above.

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A few days ago, I went to my local Trader Joe’s, and found a sign outside of its entrance announcing its Easter Egg Hunt event:

Sunday, April 20th, 2014, Easter Sunday

Ages 3 or younger: 7:50 am
Ages 4+: 7:55 am

Since we were not able to make it to any of the other local Easter Egg Hunt events, we decided to go to this one even though it means getting up early.

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Nate The Great is an excellent series of books for young readers around first grade. A common question comes up: What books should I get for my young readers after they have graduated from Nate the Great and Olive Sharp (Nate’s cousin)? Here we list 12 book series that your child may enjoy, listed in order of difficulty (easiest first):

Pinky and Rex series by James Howe
The stories of Pinky and Rex, two best friends. The reading level is comparable to Nate the Great.

Young Cam Jansen series by David Adler
In each book, our heroine Cam Jansen solves a mystery. The Young Cam Jansen series is easier than the regular Cam Jansen series. Books are about 30 pages, and there are pictures on every page.

Cam Jansen series by David Adler
The same as the Young Cam Jansen series, except this is for more advanced readers. Small pictures on about half of the pages. Each book is about 50 pages long.

Arthur series by Marc Brown
Continuation of the Arthur picture books found in the Junior Easy Reader section. Full-page pictures on about 20% of the pages. Each book is about 50 pages long.

Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline
Stories about Horrible Harry. This series of books have a small amount of pictures on half of the pages. About 60-70 pages.

Jigsaw Jones Mystery series by James Preller
A mystery series. Small amount of pictures on about half of the pages. About 60-70 pages.

Rainbow Magic – The Fairy Series by Daisy Meadows
Girls who like fairies will love this series of books. This is the story of Kristy and Rachel and how they help the fairies to fight back Jack Frost and his goblins, who are always trying to ruin things. Has a small amount of pictures on most pages. These books are about 60-70 pages long.

Amelia Bedelia series by Herman Parish
There are two levels of Amelia Bedelia books. The easy level I’d consider to be slightly easier than Nate the Great series. The advanced level has small pictures on most pages and is over 100 pages long.

Disney Fairies series by various authors
Each book is just over 100 pages and is a story centered around Disney Fairies. This series of books is not written by a single author, but has many different authors. Good for kids who like Disney Fairies.

Capital Mysteries series by Ron Roy
The story of KC and Marshall and the mysteries they solve. This series of books have few pictures and are about 80-100 pages.

A to Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy
Also a mystery book series, this is the story of Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose, written by the same author as the Capital Mysteries. This series of books are typically over 100 pages long and have few pictures.

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
The stories of Jack, Annie, and the Magic Tree House, which takes the two siblings to exotic places such as the moon and the Amazon rain forest. Although in fiction form, Magic Tree House books incorporate history, geography, and science elements into the book so children learn about those topics while reading the book.

A while back I was looking for free printable reading comprehension worksheets for first graders, and I realized that I needed to sift through the online search results: Some of the sites required you to register, some of the sites offered free sheets but they weren’t what I was looking for. Below I have compiled a list of 6 sites, along with the number of free reading comprehension sheets for each site. All the sites satisfy the following criteria:

  • Completely free — no need to buy anything.
  • No need to register for the site.
  • The sheets all have an article/poem for kids to read, and the kids then need to answer questions based on what they read.
  • The sheets can be easily printed — on some site you may have to look around to find a way to print the sheets.

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Once a kid enters kindergarten (and sometimes before that), parents will start to worry about whether the kids is reading up to the level of his or her peers.  The good news is, there are quite a few reading levels that can be used to assess how well a child is reading. The most popular ones are below:

  • Fountas & Pinnell
  • Basal Level
  • DRP (Degrees of Reading Power)
  • Reading Recovery
  • DRA Level
  • Lexile Level

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