Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Goals for the Smalls

I mentioned in my June Goals and Happenings post that I'd like to set a few manageable Summer goals for the children. Well, of course I'm just now getting around to writing about them!

First of all, I've definitely mentioned it, but we do school in the Summer over here. We had a nice break that coordinated with moving and now we're picking back up steam. I'm just sharing that since some of these goals, especially for AP, are academic ones.

Ann Peyton:

1. Learn to swim. Peyton's been working a bunch of extra days, but in August his schedule should get a lot better and I'm hoping we can make some serious progress. Annie's doing great with putting her head in, kicking, floating on her back, and swimming from our arms to the steps if it's just a yard or so. But I'd love it if we could say we have a real SWIMMER by Summer's end. If not, that's okay too. But it's a good goal and it's deserving of it's first place prominence on the list.

2. Do English lessons 80-100. The way the English curriculum that we're using works is that Foundations (which is the basics for reading) is divided into four levels. I had planned to try to do A and B in Kindergarten and C and D in first grade. We are working our way through C (which is lessons 80-120) and this will put us right on track to be a fourth of the way through our entire first grade year (halfway through Level C and then we should start Level D around Christmas) by Summer's end. I technically think it will be around mid September. Different things work for different people, but I love the idea of having one "term" almost completely finished when everyone else is going back to school. It works well for us because we can take a week off for sickness or travel and we also only have to average about three days a week of school.

3. Do math lessons 1-35.
This will also put us about a quarter of the way through math. We actually got to skip nine or so lessons at the beginning that were review because Annie did really well on the little assessment at the beginning of the book. Again, the idea of having one term out of the way by September is really appealing.

4. Feed the cats twice a day. This Fall, I think we're going to try to get the kids doing more chores. This is just a basic one that I'd like to go ahead and start on.

5. Discuss and decided on a fall extra-curricular. Sometimes my goals for myself are just to make a decision, so this seems fitting. I really want the kids to each have something fun they can be involved in and something that will provide a bit of social interaction outside of just play dates and such. That said, I will never be the mom driving to a different lesson every afternoon (or at least I don't think I will). So we're limiting it and I'd like to make the best decision we can, with lots of input from her, of course.

6. Work through all 75-ish readers we own.
A friend in BK gave us a bunch of these before we moved and Annie picks out one to read to me each night. She also thumbs through them at resttime or whenever the urge strikes her. I realized recently that there's only about ten she hasn't read and it would be fun to say she's mastered them all! I have to say, that's a lot of reading and I'm very, very proud of her.


1. Learn to swim.
Here again, I'd love for it to happen and I'm cautiously optimistic with Peyton having a lot more days to come with me and work with them. Graves is a lot more brave than AP and will not hesitate to jump in to one of us (Annie still struggles with that). He's unafraid to put his head under even without googles and he loves the slide. But, he's got a long way to go in regards to form. I'm assuming most super active four year old boys do, though.

2. Actively participate in morning school. Part of our school routine most days involves a little calendar time, a very small amount of memory work, a short devotion, and some read-aloud time usually from a library book or something that's nonfiction. Since we started this back in New York Graves mostly wanders around and does his own thing during this time. I've been okay with that as long as he's not disruptive and honestly, he picks up more than I expect him to. BUT, I really want to start practicing focusing his attention this year. It's actually one of my big academic goals for him this year before we start Kindergarten when he's five. So I'm trying to figure out certain times when I can help him train himself to focus. I'm thinking of getting him some little fidgets (he doesn't have ADD or any kind of sensory issue that we know of, but I think this could be super helpful) and I'm trying to practice a lot of patience.

3. Join us and act appropriately for part of homeschooling each day. Again, this is more of the same. Although, this is less about paying attention and more about allowing Annie to concentrate. There is no way I can fit all of "First Grade" into his rest time and still have my sanity. There just isn't. So it's pretty integral to this working that he be able to play or hang out near us and not disturb the process. Again, lots of patience.

4. Help me pick a read aloud specifically for him and read it. I so often pick our books more with Annie's interest in mind and as he gets older, I want to focus on him and his special little interests more, too. So we're going to figure out a chapter book or something he'll love.

5. Practice good table manners. 
This is his big chore and actually he and AP both need to work on it. Asking to be excused, bringing their dishes to the sink, and not randomly getting up and walking around the kitchen (that one is more him). We're pretty flexible (see the "picnic" going on above) but there needs to be a little more order.

6. Discuss and decided on a fall extra-curricular. He really needs the social interaction more than AP. He's pretty intimidated by groups and he kind of clings to me and Peyton. Since he's not in school, I really feel like this is something we need to prioritize but I'd also love it if it was something that was loads of fun for him.

So, those are my goals for them this Summer. They seem extremely manageable but also incredibly worthwhile and beneficial. I'll probably report back in September. And maybe for Fall, I'll let Annie be involved in helping me with a new list!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I loved swimming as our activity - we have done it for years. First lessons and then swim team. I love the idea of a lifetime sport versus a fleeting pastime. Evie has taken dance in the past and will take gymnastics this fall. Henry is going to do swimming lessons because it is social and great exercise! I agree with not driving all over town - I just cannot do it! You are doing a terrific job with your kiddos, SD! I am impressed and inspired by your mothering.