Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Boyz of Summer...

So the summer is progressing. My boyz have completed the half day athletic camps organized by the school and in addition, I have found lots to do with the kids after work to make it fun. Now I have them going to the little summer camp run by the preschool/child care they used to go to. I know they are the oldest kids there but the teachers are especially fond of them, they are close to home, it's safe and I can afford the 3 days a week they go for half days. I have a good relationship with their pre-school teacher and she's amazed at how far they have advanced since she last saw them.

As well as having fun and lots of free time I'm now trying to steer a little back toward keeping up the academic gains acquired in kindergarten so they don't walk into school in September and wonder how to write a short sentence. So my idea is to have them do "assignments" from the workbooks I bought them for over the summer and their pre-school teacher will check and grade them. She thought that was an excellent idea and I think it's not too much since they are only at camp 3 days a week. The rest of the week they hang out and play at home.

So I pulled out the handwriting workbooks and we played "school" last night. I chose 3 pages of writing tasks and they sat at their desks and I was "mommy teacher" while they did the assignment. When they finished and we folded up the desks and chairs, they asked when I would be lining them up for dismissal. I asked, "dismissal? why" and they told me that when school was over, they clean up and the teacher walks them out to the busses for dismissal. Okay, I played along and they marched behind me outside to the driveway.

Then I told them our SUV was the bus. And they piled in. Now they wanted to know where we were going on our field trip. And I told them to the library. They were thrilled that the "game" had taken on a reality that was becoming more and more fun.

So I grabbed my keys, their book bag for the summer reading club and my husband and we went on a family field trip to the library!

I love to see them learn and am constantly amazed at how accelerated learning is from when I was a child. I know there are all kinds of things marketed at parents to raise a "super-baby" - you know, a kid who is potty trained by a year, can read novels at 2, write a thesis at 3 and by 4 speaks 6 languages fluently. So at work today, I kept hearing advertisements on our studio radio for Your Baby Can Read. And I laughed. If you've seen the TV commercials, it shows a product guaranteed to have your child reading before nursery school. I haven't used the product, my kids are past the age level of the product so I have no way of knowing if it would have made a difference for my boyz. But I just started thinking, "What next? Your Baby can Vote? Your Baby can Drive? Your Baby can figure out your Taxes?". I love my boyz and have always worked to read to them (and they both love books) and help maintain what they learn in school. But why can't kids just be kids and grow up a little slower? Does it really matter if they can read at 5th grade level when they are just finished with kindergarten? I'm not saying hold them back but the world is spinning so fast. Is it so wrong to see childhood not as a competitive sport for parents but as the most carefree and wondrous part of life?


Jean said...

The pressure on parents is amazing and it, in turn, puts pressure on the children. What I fear is that kids lose their creativity and imaginations through formal education. .....And I am a teacher! More and more standardized tests are being given and as a result our kids are being pushed into molds so they come out ready to pass the tests and nothing more.

Reading and writing at a young age are fine, but so is observing the world, asking questions, and solving problems in inventive imaginative ways.

Your SUV bus and trip the the library were creative, stimulating inventions. That's what I'm talkin' about!! Well done.

Mrs Mom said...

We are going to home school the Little Mens- well, I guess we already ARE in a way, as we learn letters and numbers in short bursts through each day. They go with us on barn calls, and help out so much.

Kids don't seem to get the chance To Be Kids anymore- both Dear Husband and I noticed that, and decided that along with the lousy education available to us here, we would like our guys to learn just that- how to PLAY, Create, and BE a kid. With MANNERS.

Way to go to you guys on the "bus trip"! That's an awesome idea- have to try that out for our guys!

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English Rider said...

What next? Your baby can be tried as an adult, for whatever horrible acting out crime he commits due to all the pressure.
Your summer plan sounds steady headed and nurturing fun. Raising one's own children, how quaint!