When I was a kid I always used to get the inevitable summer reading list, especially in grammar school, which always got shoved somewhere under my bed the day after school let out. I blissfully forgot about the lists for the rest of the summer. I think I was friends with a few kids who did actually, you know, learn stuff during the summer. That definitely wasn’t me though.
Now that my own little redheaded appendages are in elementary school they get those summer reading lists and sometimes more. I was a book-worm when I was a kid, (and now) so I just ploughed through most of the local library on my own. However with my oldest, I have made an attempt each summer to reinforce her math skills. Like me, she is also a reader, so those lists were generally half read before summer started. But with the math we would enthusiastically make up worksheets for about a week, and then suddenly it was half way through August when I remembered to pull out the booklet or find a math game on the computer. We always made a half-hearted attempt though, and as a result her brain was not entirely empty when she went back to school in the fall. Now that she has discovered a few new math games on the computer that she enjoys, I think she will get a little more learning this summer.
This year, however, since I have two little ones in school its double the load. Apparently, being in special education entitles you to a nice shiny journal with lots of blank pages, along with the math and reading. Because of her challenges with focus and attention, I really want to give her a boost up as she enters the intimidating world of regular education. My youngest is thrilled with her journal and can hardly wait for summer to begin so she can start filling those pages up.
It’s really for their own good, I tell myself. Unfortunately life always seems to intervene and we are left with fewer days of leisure each summer. I am hoping that my daughters’ enthusiasm for learning carries them beyond my innate summer laziness and that we get much more summer learning done this year. I kind of have a hunch we will.