Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer & School - Can they go together?

My boys just finished summer school. You might think I’m a tough mom to make them go to more school when they just completed the year but it works for us.

One son is moving to the next grade level at a new school and isn’t great at transitions. This gives him the opportunity to learn the hallways of the new school, the location of the bathrooms and cafeteria, and meet some new kids before it really counts. By being familiar with the new school before school starts, there is no additional anxiety when the fall school semester starts. He can just start to focus on the school work and making friends.

The other son isn’t moving to a new school and doesn’t have trouble with transitions. He’s just a social butterfly and loves the interactions that school provides. He had a blast with all of his friends and built a relationship with a teacher that he hadn’t had an opportunity to before.

But do they learn anything in summer school?
Surprisingly, yes. The theme for my young children’s summer school was Space. As in, “The final frontier”. They learned about the planets, about gravity, about constellations, satellites, and astronauts. It was really interesting to listen to them share about the things they learned in school. My 8 year old went into a long and drawn out explanation of satellites. The climax of his story was when they actually got to make edible satellites from ice cream cone cupcakes, frosting, licorice ropes, etc. “I’ll teach you how, Mom. We can make them at home!”

My 10 year old learned that his troubles with math weren’t that he couldn’t do the work, but that he was so sloppy that none of the columns of his numbers lined up and he was making silly mistakes. Supermom to the rescue! Graph paper was purchased and he learned that he can keep his numbers orderly if he keeps one number to a box on the graph paper. Automatic rows and columns – what could be better? He was concerned the teacher wouldn’t approve of the graph paper but I convinced him he should try it and if the teacher had a concern he could call me. My son was so surprised that the teacher didn’t have an issue with it and his summer school grade went up from a C to an A.

In fact, it wasn’t just the kids who enjoyed the topic of Space for summer school. My husband went to the schools and helped both sons' classes shoot off school-made space rockets. He and the kids had so much fun that when I got home from work I had to watch the rockets they made at home launch over 100 feet in the air. Summer school rocks!


Anonymous said...

You spelled "school" wrong.

Just kidding! Love you! T

greenwoman said...

Sounds like they had a blast!

But actually I just wanted to comment and say, I love the new blog theme! Pretty!