Friday, May 28, 2010

79 days and counting...

I really can't believe school is actually over for the year! I guess time flies when you're busier than any one one person should ever be...
That being said, I'm just about ready to begin the Summer O' Fun for the kidlets. I'm hoping that keeping to our schedule will alleviate the constant, "Moooom! I'm bored!" that inevitably shows up about this time every year and doesn't stop until the end of August.

We're starting with folders. The girls are used to keeping a planner at school, to record their homework and other pertinent information, so I decided not to fix it if it ain't broken. They each get a folder with a printout of their chores for the week, and have to keep track of when they are completed. Points are awarded for completion, and points will be used to buy rewards. We're still doing MyJobChart online, but having printouts will keep them from wanting to get on the computer 15 times a day.
I'm also adding a Math worksheet and some kind of Language Arts worksheet each day for the girls to finish, just so they retain what they've learned over the school year. Lest you think I'm a mean mom, making my kids do homework all summer, please know that these worksheets will take about 30 min. to complete both, so it's not like I'm some Nazi Mom....mostly.

We've decided to pick a weekly theme--one the girls are interested in and want to learn more about--then all of our activities for the week will be incorporating our theme somehow. For instance, this week the girls picked Horses as our theme, so on Wed. we went to the library and picked out all sorts of books on horses and borrowed My Friend Flicka from the library as well. Today, we were lucky enough to find that the Miniature Horse Show was going on up at the County Fairgrounds, so we packed a picnic lunch and went to go see them. We found an owner who was kind enough to let 7 little kids under the age of 8 maul...I mean pet... her horse and get pictures with him...they were in LOVE!

So, the schedule for the summer will look something like this (though, I'm not naive enough to believe that it will work out like this every week, all summer long) :

Monday--Swimming Day. We have a membership at the City Rec Center, so I figured we better let the kids use it too! Luckily, Maggie and Brooke are pretty good swimmers, Dixon sits in a floaty, and Katie is too chicken to venture out very far, so my focus can be on my little Kamakazi, Bridget, who is certain she's a mermaid and can breathe underwater. I'm excited that my former swim teaching/lifeguarding skills can once again surface, but I'm hoping not to need the latter.

Tuesday--Movie/Book Report Day. We'll either borrow or rent a movie that has to do with our theme for the week. I love that the library has lots of great choices. Not only do they have a few popular movies, but there are lots of educational DVD's that the kids are WAY excited to watch. We borrowed one on the life of butterflies and moths, and they watched in 5 times before taking it back. Since the kids will have borrowed at least one book on our weekly theme, I figured their L.A. for the day can be a book report. Great way to practice handwriting as well as reading comprehension.

Wednesday--Library Day. Every Wed. the library does StoryTime, where they read a few books, blow some bubbles, do a little relaxing yoga (seriously!), then make a craft to take home. It's nice to let someone else do the reading for a while, and we can return our books and get new ones for the week. My rule for this summer is 3 books each. One from the library's reading list they provide for each grade level, one having to do with our weekly theme, and one that's just whatever the heck they want. I'd love to let them get more, but that's 15 books already, and I have to carry them AND the baby back to the car, AND keep track of them once they're at my house for the week, so...limits are essential.

Thursday--Project Day. My girls have such imaginations, and thankfully they really like to express themselves through making things. I'd like to keep to our weekly theme when doing our projects, but frankly, I'm not sure if I can come up with a unique project every week that sticks to that, so we'll just go with the flow on this one. For this week, we're going to decorate our summer folders, and I may even break out the forbidden paint and markers...maybe.

Friday--Activity Day. We'll plan some sort of outing, hopefully theme-related, that will get us out and doing something we wouldn't normally do, for instance, the Miniature Horse Show. I'm really hoping to mix it up and let the girls experience all sorts of different things. Of course, most of these things will have to be free, but I'm up to the challenge of finding some jewels out there!

So, that's the plan for the Stringhams this summer. We'd be happy to have some company at any of our outings, so let me know if you want to join us! Some of the ideas the girls and I have come up with so far are:

Dinosaur Park
Treehouse Museum
HAFB Museum
Duck Park in Layton
Bike Riding
Running a Race (5K family run/walk in August--Yay!)
Bowling (Did you know that bowling centers across the country have a Kids Bowl Free Program that runs all summer? Two free games per kid per day, you just have to pay for shoe rental. For us, it's $6 and all the kids get to have a great time bowling! Sparetime here in Roy is a participant, so for us, it's perfect.)
Chuck E. Cheese's-the kids think if we use it as an activity, our theme should be Mice. Hmmm.

And that's it for now. While I have some ideas, I still have to come up with more themes, activities and projects to last all summer, so if you have any ideas, please share!


Meredith said...

I thought it would be fun to get one of those butterfly gardens, and then when they were ready, taking them to a field and letting them go.

I also thought about a temperature. Marking water in cups as it evaporated, and then freezing it and watching it melt....and then of course running through the sprinkler, or that fun park up in Ogden.

Wind....kite day, of course you can't really plan for that.

Bird day at Tracy Aviary.

fish day at the fish farm

Farm day, ty's co-worker has lots of animals and told us to bring the kids by some day.

I had more ideas, but I forgot them all. Is it still going strong so far?

Jonesy said...

Thanks for commenting, Mer. :) Either I posted the next one too quickly and no one saw this, or no one has any ideas whatsoever. I'm hoping it's not the latter!

I like all of your ideas..the temperature one is not one I thought of...good one!

So far, things are going very well! We got all our Star books at the library today (though it was a madhouse there...) and even found a star video to watch. Haven't planned out themes further than that yet. I'm guest posting this same post at Bloom again next week, I think, and will hopefully glean some great ideas from all the ladies there.