Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day?

Today is officially the first day of summer break. Its the first Monday of sunshine, bike riding and pals. The first day of Independence ... no mre teachers, no more books and all that. Or is it? Not in this house because today is also the first day of The Smart Summer Folders.

My kids all had awesome report cards this year. They all worked very hard and made some incredible progress during the school year. After a lot of hard work, forr the first time since grade one Dude no longer has an IEP for Math. Crafty has gained in confidence and independence in all of her work but especially in writing and Mischief has grown leaps and bounds in his reading. I am one proud mama. I am also wary of summer break.

The school battles the kids have won this year have been hard fought. They have all spend hours around the kitchen table reading, writing and mathing and I don't want those hours to be all for nothing. Every year I see the kids put in the effort all school year to learn and improve themselves but as soon as the dismissal bell rings the books get closed for two months. The result is that the beginning of the next school year can seem like torture. They are out of routine, have lost some ground and are kind of lazy in their study habits.

That's not going to happen this year, I have a plan.

I made folders for each of the kids. In each folder is a chart for the week listing four categories; Reading, Printing, math and Special Project. I have also included some grade level math worksheets and a printing exercise for each of them. The plan is for the kids to spend about 15 minutes everyday reading, printing or working on math and an additional 15 minutes working on our Random Acts of Service Challenge. That's just one half hour a day.

My hope is to keep their skills up, create some sense of routine for the summer and inspire a little more self discipline in the kids. I want them to walk into their new school year more confident, better prepared and more focused. I think this plan is doable and the kids seem pretty excited ... ask me in a week how we're doing!

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~John Lubbock

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