I don’t really believe in summer school but on the other hand I want everything to be done as best as possible. It is how I approach just about anything. I’m not a tiger mom by a long shot, but I eat, sleep and breathe tiger air. I can’t help it. It is in my blood.
Like it or not, my children do as I do and not as I say. We’re working on better listening but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s about a value system perhaps, a work ethic, and ultimately our actions speaking louder than words. Life, your own as an individual, yours as a parent, as a colleague, or a spouse, is all about priorities and how you order them.
So what does all this have to do with summer school or learning? I value hard work but I value play too. Not just for children. I was born in Canada. I lived in France. I now call the US home. This mash up of cultures has made me ‘Tiger mom goes to Woodstock.’ Downtime, lingering over a two hour lunch, taking a month off to relax in cottage country is not wasted time. On the other hand if you don’t work hard you will not get ahead.. and by ‘get ahead’ of course I mean be at the head if the class which is the only place to be.
So while I ‘poo poo’ the American habit of sending children home with a list of books, number if hours or titles to read over the summer. I want my children to read over the summer because there is nothing more lovely than curling up with a good book…. or any book you want to read.
Most of the summer we have been reading here and there willy nilly, and enjoying the carefree days of summer. But, the children are getting restless and we could all do with a bit if routine so, I cleared off the kitchen table and made it into our summer school spot. Each day after camp we go to the table for a short assignment.
We picked up tons of great tools at Target in the Dollar Spot section. We keep it short and sweet and do everything from reading recipes to spelling tests pulled from our shopping list.
As for nurturing love of books without timed reading sessions, we have books on cd galore from the library for our car rides to camp, we love our local library outings, and this year my eldest (9 years old) is trying out NPR’s Backseat Book Club.
As for timed reading sessions, I did get my daughter a bookmark with a timer from Barnes and Nobles that has a timer built in and we love the app Reader Buddy. She likes to be able to track her own time (tiger child) but she doesn’t put any expectations or limits on how long (flower child).