Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Summer Plans

Our school year officially ends on June 5. That doesn't mean we take the summer off. I cannot stand to hear "I'm bored" and given how hot we get, there are plenty of hours in a day when it is not safe to be playing outside. At the same time, we don't allow more than 1 hour of screen time (TV, computer and Wii combined) in a day. We don't want J to lose all the knowledge he has gained this year, but, we don't want him to have to do school work every day either. Striking a balance is hard, but I am hopeful we have found it.

Our plan is that he will spend 1 hour each morning working on spelling, writing, and math. Spelling and writing are areas he struggles with due to his dyslexia. As for math, he does great overall, but those darn multiplication facts are still causing him issues, and we can't move onto 2-digit multiplication until he gets those down. We are also instituting a new "Quiet Time With God" time at the start of each day. He can use this time as he chooses (reading his bible, praying, singing, learning a memory verse or a new prayer, or saying his rosary), but we are going to be encouraging him to do this daily.

After that, it is on to playtime. Last year, we chose a theme each week and did crafts and read books based on those themes. I had originally not planned to do that this summer, but at J's request we will be doing Vikings. I have found several fun books, crafts, and even a model viking ship that we will be working on throughout the summer, and we'll share as we go along.

Some of our regularly planned activities include:
* The pool (of course)
* Library summer reading program
* Weekly family night at the library (games, movies, crafts, etc.)
* Friday night concerts at the park
* Friday field trips (the first is a trip out to see a friend's new baby goats!)
* One week of cub scout camp
* T is teaching J to play the trumpet

J loves art, so I have also planned out some fun new art projects for him to do this summer using the style of the Great Masters. (You all know that I can hardly draw stick figures, so this comes straight out of a book!)

And then the big one for J is the Hogwart's Summer Correspondence School. J loves Harry Potter; he and T have read most of the books together. He is also at an age where he can tell reality from fantasy, but is still young enough to want to believe. When I found the idea for the HSCS online, I couldn't resist. He got his invitation via tree mail two weeks ago, and eagerly responded. I have initially planned to spend only a few weeks on it, but given his interest level we may continue this throughout the summer. "Magical" assignments are actually science experiments, craft projects, or just game playing so it will be fun and safe!

So, those are our summer plans. M will continue with her Montessori work and Tot School, so nothing changes for her except more time spent playing with her brother!

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