There’s really no good reason that I haven’t written anything in
10 11 12 days. (Simply getting this blog from Word to the internet was a veeeerrrry long ordeal.) No reason – other than the craziness that is the end of school. Between all the parties and field days, recitals and gift buying and award ceremonies and more pizza and hot dogs than any human should consume within a one week period – well, I haven’t had too many spare brain cells to devote to the art of putting all my snarky observations into words.
Oh, but have no fear. Mama is here. And I have snarky to spare.
So here we go. End of school. Beginning of summer vacation. Crazy. And in Texas? Crazy and freakin’ hot. Hello, summer. It’s been a while.
Left to my own devices during summer break, I would sleep ridiculously late or waste away every day on the computer or on my iPhone playing that evil, evil game known as Words With Friends – which is a blog post unto itself. WWF and I have a frenemy relationship. I love it, then I hate it. Stupid game. Huge eater of time.
Left to their own devices during summer break, my kids would sit drooling in front of the television all day long without moving. They would resort to grunting instead of talking as they absorb themselves in Scooby Doo or The History Channel (depending on who has wrested control of the remote).
Neither a healthy nor productive way to spend three months. We needed a plan.
Enter Griffin’s teacher, who is the cutest thing to ever grace a 2nd grade classroom – not to mention a phenomenal teacher and a great mom to two of her own GT kids. She shared with me her secret to a happy, productive, educational summer. She hands her son and daughter a sheet of paper and tells them to write a list of topics they want to study over the next three months. She assigns a topic for each week of the summer and then plans a weekly schedule that centers on that topic. For example, they will go to the library one day, do a cooking project another day, do a craft project another day, take a “field trip” another day – same schedule every week. The assignments only take up a couple of hours each day, so there is still plenty of time for carefree summer fun.
Now I know myself. I know that I often have grand ambitions and a weak will. I get off to a great start, then hobble to the sidelines and quit. But I’m determined to follow through. I am determined to be A Good Mom.
I presented the idea to my kids, and their cute little faces lit up as they ran to find a sheet of paper. Enthusiasm could definitely work in our favor.
Minutes later, the boys presented me with their list. Griffin: sharks, history of soccer, Vietnam, inventors, ancient Egypt, money from different countries. Nathan: the ocean, electricity, the body, plants, ants, how DVDs are made, magnets, Venezuela.
Where did you hear about Venezuela?
“My Leap-stuh game.”
Oh. OK. Venezuela it is.
Griffin keeps referring to this ambitious summer schedule as “summer home school” – to which I cringe. Hats off to all the home schooling moms out there, but nothankyou. Griffin has asked me a few times this year why he can’t be homeschooled, and I promptly reply, “Because I’d kill you.”
Michael swiftly and diplomatically steps in and explains that we believe homeschooling is not something God is calling us to do right now, and how we think he is receiving an excellent education at his public school.
Yeah, OK. That too. But mostly the killing thing.
So back to summer. Meghan came up with her list upon her return home from her increasingly demanding social calendar. Forensics, the Renaissance, WWII aircraft and war strategies, Russian royalty, Flu pandemic of 1918 – to name a few.
(I know. My kids are freakishly weird and so not normal. Normal kids would pick topics like horses and bugs and Kansas. Not my kids. But I love that about them.)
I’ve been working on a weekly schedule and planning all the activities – which would have been impossible ten years ago. Can you imagine planning twelve weeks of crafts and cooking and field trips without Google?!? But type “Venezuelan craft for kids,” or “Greek cooking for kids,” toss out the enormous stack of Family Fun magazines and cookbooks, and life is good.
I’m also hoping that having such a schedule will allow Mama the time to do the things that I want/need to do – like writing blog posts more often than every 12 days and working on that thing with all the photos and patterned papers…you know…with the big books? And all the little ribbons and brads and stuff? What is that called? It’s been so long since I’ve done it…I forget.
I’ll let you know next week how it’s going.
Here we go…