Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ... End of Summer and Lessons Learned

In about 72 hours our summer vacation will be over. It was a great summer. We got all of the fun things done off our summer wish list and most of the grown up desires, too. We never did make it to organizing the creepy-crawly, spider-infested, 1931 dug-out basement. Need I explain why?

Lesson 1 ~ Fill yourself up! I renewed myself with reading. I managed to read five books that were not related to food allergies, raising children or education! That is a major accomplishment for me (since I spend most of my reading time with non-fiction material). I enjoyed my time with Amish novels very much.

Lesson 2 ~ Swimming Lessons ... All the kids completed 18 swimming lessons. Goldilocks will be remaining in level 3 next summer. She did make some strides forward, but she is not yet confident enough to be moved to the next level. Little Red Ridinghood could advance to level 4 if she gets some experience in the pool this winter to keep her skills fresh (not sure that will happen). Tom Sawyer has all the skills to advance to level 5 but lacks the endurance for level 5. He should probably do level 4 one more time. I also learned that making the kids hair wet before swimming helped a lot with reducing chlorine damage to their hair.

Lesson 3 ~ Tennis is fun and HOT!  The kids all enjoyed their first experience with tennis. Tom Sawyer was a natural. I was approached by several teachers to discuss his natural and raw talent. Tom Sawyer loved hitting the ball but hated the heat. He struggled with the heat a great deal, and I doubt he would want to continue if it meant standing out in the heat. If we can afford it and it works with our schedule, we may try a fall clinic and see if he likes it even more. Goldilocks and Little Red Ridinghood had fun and enjoyed their social time with other kids more than playing the game.

Lesson 4 ~ Circle time is enough school time ...  We did about 25 minutes of circle time each day.  During that time, we did math pages, hand writing, library books and reading lessons. I don't think any ground was lost and everyone had plenty of free time. It felt like a real summer with just a bit of school.

Lesson 5 ~ Tim had lots of time with friends ...  All of the children had several play dates this summer. However, seeing Tim take over coordinating gatherings for his Amtguard club was great. He also really enjoyed fencing, which was more free form this summer. Some of the adult students continued to oversee the class while the teacher was out of the country.

Lesson 6 ~ The Library Reading Program and Barnes and Noble Program ...  I was really disappointed in the summer library program this year. About half of the programs we attended were poorly thought out. In addition, the books that the kids earned were pitiful. Not only were they twaddle, but several of them were Japanese graphic novels that read from back to front and right to left! Talk about confusing for a learning disabled and dyslexic child .... Why don't the librarians use this as an oppotunity to present children with some meaningful books?! I will be talking more about the summer program with our librarians. I liked the Barnes and Noble book list better. 

  Signing a card for Books for Africa at a library program

Lesson 7 ~ Water Balloon Fights Are Good for Everyone ... When you can't beat the heat and your kids are starting to get on your nerves, it is time to pull out the bag of 100 balloons. Yes, we filled 94 balloons with water and had a blast pelting each other. Everyone had fun and everyone released some built up tension. What a great way to release a bit of irritation without hurting anyone's feelings.



  1. oh wow, fencing would ROCK!! i didn't get swimming lessons done this summer, bad mommy. i love your blog look, so summery and pretty!!! what a view!

  2. I always wanted to learn to fence...of course, I also would like to be able to belt out "Black Velvet" without neghbourhood cats joining in....!

    I hear you about the poorly thought-out reading programs. Our local library offeres a "bilingual" summer reading program with not a single activity or book in English. Argh!

    Overall it sounds like you had a good week. :)

  3. Fencing? How neat! I've never seen it offered around here! Looks like a fun-filled, busy summer! All the best in the upcoming year! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  4. I love finding time to read something just for me (and Amish novels are great to relax with). I'm glad our food allergies are so old hat now that I'm no longer needing to read up on them...LOL.

  5. what fun - we love tennis and water balloons !!

  6. You read novels??? I am so impressed! I don't remember the last time I read one! :) I'm so glad you were able to do that for yourself.

    It sounds like you had a great summer, although I have to say that I'm really surprised at what you wrote about the library's reading program!

    Water balloons are a staple here. Good old inexpensive, get-it-out-of-your-system fun!


  7. Sounds like that basement is imploring you for a spider unit! hee hee