Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Finally

Summer is finally here.
When I was a kid growing up in the South and the Midwest and everywhere in between, summer started in May. By June it was hot.
Southern California, especially the coastal area, seems to wait for the summer equinox, as if waiting for permission to distribute the summer weather.
But it is here.
Most of the neighborhood kids are out of school. Our homeschooling friends have begun their weekly meet up at the beach and the days are long enough to enjoy almost warm afternoon sails.

 Kip gave our son a surfing lesson Saturday afternoon.

Almost up

After taking several weeks off of "school" work for the weddings, family visits and travel, I decided it was in the kids' best interest to do a little summer school. If we don't do school for several weeks the kids actually seem a little bored.
So this past week we started having our two-hour summer school days. The kids spend an hour each on reading and/or writing and math.
I am picking our daughter's summer reading because I want to challenger her with reading and I'm hoping she will learn a little American history in the process. She just finished Hero Over Here and we had an interesting discussion about the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Our son is making slow, steady process with the reading. He still laboriously sounds out every word, and a single worksheet of 8 or 10 simple sentences takes him an exhausting 20 minutes with my help. I am walking the tight rope of gently pushing and helping, and backing off. If his brain is not ready to absorb the mechanics of reading yet, I don't want to push him. Reading is not the only way to learn about the world around you.

During our math time I played Countdown with our son. The game of dice involves basic operations -- adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. It's a good warm up for math time, and I kind of tricked him into doing double the work by letting him roll for Doug the dog.
Our daughter picked up where we left off in her Singapore curriculum and discovered the fun of solving for the unknown angle using basic rules of geometry. She needed lots of help, but often figured out the answers before I did when she called me over to help her.
So far it has been a good start to summer.

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