So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
-Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Well, things have changed over the course of the last year and I have learned quite a bit about SC, her learning style, and what type of curriculum will work for us. If you read my curriculum post from the beginning of this past school year, I said something very similar. Who knew that kids keep changing as they grow up! I will go into more detail about the changes for next fall in a later post, but I wanted to highlight the few things we will be working on over the summer. Honestly, I was never a child who loved summer "break." I liked having a short break from school, but I quickly got bored with daytime tv (I am probably one of the few people who really does not like The Price is Right) and I was ready to go back to school. I don't quite know how summer with SC would look without doing some sort of schooling at home, but I do know she hasn't stopped asking to do school yet for more than a day or so break, and I am not inclined to force her to quit just because the public schools happen to give their teachers time "off."
So, here are the few things we will be working on for the summer, plus some fun activities. Any new curriculum I will give an overview of, but if you want more details about some of the things we are continuing, check them out here.
For Bible lessons we will be continuing with the "Beginner" pages from Bible Study for All Ages. I like this program because I am actually reading straight from the Bible to SC, and reading whole chapters, not just what some might consider familiar stories. However, I will be switching to another program in the fall that I think will actually fit our family even better. More on that when it is closer to fall.
2. PHONICS / READING
We are on Book 2 of the Explode the Code series, and should finish that this summer. We are using Explode the Code more of a supplement than an actual core curriculum and will continue this way in the fall with a new reading program.
We only have Collection 3 left of the BOB Books, and with our new reading challenge in place, I think it will only be a matter of days before we are completely done with these. We have a large quantity of the I Can Read! books that I am trying to guide her toward. She is really apprehensive to read anything other than BOB books, but the reading challenge, for now, has given her a little push in the direction of at least trying.
3. WRITING / SPELLING
We are working on A Reason for Handwriting level A, which has Bible verses to work on as practice. She really likes doing "day 5," which is creating her Bible verse on a coloring sheet to give to someone (usually AC). We got way off schedule with this, so we will go through into fall and start level B once we get there.
In conjunction with the Bible verses in A Reason for Handwriting level A is the spelling lessons in A Reason for Spelling level A. We are using this for the summer, but in the fall will switch to something that goes along with the new reading program instead.
4. MATH / LOGIC
We switched away from Math-U-See at the end of last year when it was becoming a struggle to get SC to do the problems with the manipulatives. She also seemed to all of a sudden be much further past where the program was. After some research, we started Singapore Math Primary Mathematics level 1A and it has so far been a great fit. We will continue through the summer and start level 1B in the fall. We will also be adding some Lollipop Logic, mazes and other critical thinking activities.
5. SCIENCE / HISTORY
Instead of working on a curriculum for science and history this summer, we will be spending a lot of time going on field trips to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and the Fort Worth Zoo. We have already been to the Perot once, and had a great time, including getting to see James Cameron's DEEPSEA Challenger submarine.
We attempted to begin French last year, but having a curriculum to follow just ended up being too much for SC at 4 years old. So, we took a break, and since then, she has actually asked if we can learn Spanish first instead. We live in Texas, so there are many people we come across who speak it, and opportunities for practice. Also, our sponsored Compassion child lives in a Spanish-speaking country, which has helped spark some interest. For the summer we will be watching Muzzy dvds and Little Pim dvds, all free from the library.
Last fall we started a group "piano readiness" class at a local university and it will both well and not-so well. SC picked up on things very quickly, which was great, but then didn't have the patience to wait for the other students to catch up. She would spend her waiting time wandering the teacher's office and trying to figure out how to get the other pianos (keyboards) or other mechanical devices to come on. The teacher loved SC, but recommended she switch to private lessons. Unfortunately, this teacher did not have space to teach SC herself and we tried a graduate student, which was not a good fit. So, the original teacher has recommended another teacher (who is even closer to our home), and after a trial lesson last week, we will be starting weekly lessons. I am very excited, and so is SC, who loves to sit and just play on our piano at home.
8. PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Though dance comes to an end for the summer, gymnastics does not. SC will be taking one gymnastics lesson a week. She is also enrolled in swim lessons for the summer, and we will probably continue in the fall. We started SC in swim lessons when she was one year old in a "parent-n-me" style class, and we continued until last summer, when the place we had been attending switched management and got rid of our favorite teacher. Now, a year later, we have found another place we really like, and SC is thrilled to get to swim again.
The preschool SC has been attending holds a twice a week summer camp that runs the same times during the day as the preschool was. This year the theme is "Under the Big Top," and SC is very excited to see what sort of activities this circus theme will entail. I love that the school holds this camp, because I really like having a little time to myself each week to do things that I cannot necessarily get done efficiently with SC in tow (even if that is just sitting at the bookstore and reading a book for a few hours). Next year the school will also have a "bridge" kindergarten class twice a week that SC will attend, which will give us a good chance to give real homeschooling a try, but still keep things similar to how they have been in the past, making the change a little less.
I know I mentioned swim lessons, but we will also be spending a large amount of time at grandma's pool, as well as the local waterpark that has an amazing area for smaller children. We bought a season pass there last year at the recommendation of a few people, and it was great to have that, because we could go a few times a week for just a little while and not feel we had wasted the large entrance fee.
What are your plans for summer? Are you doing any school or summer bridge activities? Leave a comment, and then check out some other Top Ten Tuesday posts here: